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About the study
I am collecting basic information on Fifield and variants worldwide, and attempting to trace all Fifields back to their origins in the British Isles
Fifield is the most common spelling of the name, but current variants include Fiefield, Fyfield, and replacing the initial F with Ph. This last variant is most common in the Canadian province of Quebec.
An old measure of land was a hide, and a common baronial holding was five hides of land. Several small towns and hamlets in the south of England took their name from this holding, and the spelling tended to change with time toward Fifield. A person would then have been referred to as William of Fifehyde or, eventually, William Fifield.
Distribution of the name
In England the name is most common in the south. In the U.S. it is spread across the northern part of the country with the biggest concentrations in the east and midwest. It also appears in Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland in Canada, and has spread from these locations.
I have extensive information on lines of descent in the U.S., and more limited information from England (especially Hampshire), Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland.