Origin of the Hatfield



Hatfield House, England


Name and Family of Hatfield

Media Research Bureau

Washington D. C.


The name of HATFIELD is believed to have been derived from the residents of its bearers at a village or parish of that name in England.  It is found in ancient English records in the various spellings of Hitfield, Heathfield, Hayfield, Haytfield, Hatfeield, Hatfeld, Hatful, Hattfield, Hatfield and numerous others, of which the form mentioned is that generally used in America today.


Families of the name were early settled in Yorkshire and at a later date were resident in the Counties of Nottingham, Middlesex and London.  Records indicate that they were, for the most part, of landed gentry and yeomenry of the British Isles.


According to one historian, the large and influential Yorkshire, England branch of the family traces descent from Walter de Hatfield, who was the father about the beginning of the fourteenth century of Stephen, Thomas and Peter.  The eldest son, Stephen, married Agnes of Seeten and was the father of William who married Margaret Stanton and had issue by her of Robert, Stephen, Thomas and Sir William.  Robert, son of William and Margaret had issue by his wife, Maud Boynton, of John, Thomas, and Stephen, of whom the first was the father of Richard, Stephen, William, Anthony, Thomas, Robert, Agnes, John, Maud, and others, and the last is believed to have been the grandfather of Alexander of Yorkshire.


Another family historian, however, states that this Alexander Hatfield of Yorkshire was the son of Nicholas Hatfield and his wife Ann Sanderson, Nicholas being the son of Robert, son of William, son of Robert, son of another William, son of Richard, son of Ralph, son of Adam de Hatfield of the fourteenth century.


However this may be, Alexander Hatfield of Yorkshire married Isabel Shiercliffe in 1558 and was the father by her of Ralph, John, Nicholas, Isabel, and Ann of who the first was the father by his wife, Margaret Mirfield, of Anthony, Alexander, John, Gervas, and six daughters.  Of these sons of Ralph and Margaret Hatfield, Anthony was married in the early seventeenth century to Elizabeth Cowlt by whom he had no issue, and in 1628 to a second wife Faith Wesby, who gave him, among other children, a son named John; Alexander married Alice Tindley and was the father by her of a daughter named Elizabeth; and John was the father by his wife, Frances Westby, of John, Jonathan, Thomas, Joshua, Samuel, Anthony, and several daughters.


Other early records of the family in England mention William de Hatfield of Essex in 1273, Agnes de Hatfield of Cambridgeshire at a slightly later date, and Johannes de Haytefeld of Yorkshire in 1379.


While it is not definitely known in every case from which of the several lines of the family in England the first migrant of the name to America were descended, it is generally believed that most, if not all, of the Hatfields derive from a common ancestor of a remote period.


Among the first of the name to come to America were several emigrants to Virginia.  They were Thomas Hatfield of Charles River County in 1637, Thomas Hatfield of Gloucester County in 1653, and Grace Hatfield of New Kent County in 1655.  These early emigrants however, left no definite record of their immediate families or descendants.


Sometime before 1660 Matthias Heathfield whose descendants all called themselves "Hatfield", came from Yorkshire, England, to New Haven, Conn., whence he later removed to New Jersey.  It is possible that he was the son of Thomas Hatfield, who went from England to Leyden, Holland, and the brother of the Thomas Hatfield who settled at Mamaroneck, New York in the latter half of the seventeenth century.  Matthias probably had issue by his wife Maria de Isaac, Abraham, Cornelius, and several daughters.


Many others of the name are mentioned in colonial records of the eighteenth century but it is probable that they were, for the most part, descended from the earlier lines.  Among these fragmentary records are those of Joseph Hatfield, who married Hulah Bacon in North Brookfield, Mass., in 1757 and was the father by her of, among others, Joseph, Silas, and Zebadiah; those of another Joseph of Essex County, New Jersey (probably descended from Matthias) who married Anna Rannels before 1781 and was the father by her of Clark, John, Mary, Frazee, and William; and those of James Hatfield of Staten Island, New York (believed to have emigrated from England before 1775) who was the father of James and John, as well as probably of other children.


The descendants of these and possibly of other lines of the family in America have scattered throughout the United States and have contributed as much to the rise and expansion of the nation as their progenitors did to its first establishment of this continent.  A conscientious, resourceful and keen-minded race, possessed of kindliness, sociability, and humanitarian interests the Hatfields have won prominence in the political, industrial and civil life of the nation.


Ed Note:  I do not have the date this was written.  I believe it was produced in the mid 1930's and not much later.



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