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Our 2,743 members have registered
2,395 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

Interest in the Moorfield One-Name study started in 2011 while attending the Family History Conference in Hamilton, New Zealand. Like many one-name studies, it grew out of an attempt to trace our ancestry and links to English, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian families. The name was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2013.

Variant names

The registered variants of the name are Moorefield and Morefield.
Research of the 1881 census records also found these spellings:
Marfield, Manfield, Maufield, Meerfield, Merefield, Merfield, Merifield, Mirfield, Mirefield, Morfield, Mourfield, Morefield.
In many indexes (particularly the census), Moorfield entries have been recorded as Murfield and vice versa though this is most definitely not a variant and is not actively researched.

Name origin

The Moorfield surname is a locative one, i.e. it is derived from one or more place names. Early chronicles of England record Moorfield as one of the oldest Norman surnames. The most likely source of the Moorfield name is the '€˜moor fields'€™ that existed outside the walls of the City of London in the area of the Moorfield Eye Hospital. Family history relates that the Moorfield families moved north at the time of the plague.

Historical occurrences of the name

Some well known Moorfield's include:

  • Moorfield Storey, (1845-€“1929), American lawyer, b. Roxbury, Mass. was noted for his reform leanings, he fought political corruption, opposed American colonial expansion, and sought the advancement of African Americans and Native Americans in the United States. It is not known why his first name was Moorfield.
  • John Edward (Jack) Moorfield, (b1880 Pemberton, Lancs -€“ d 1945 Sydney Aust) modeller and sculptor who, after emigration to Australia in 1907, is believed to have worked on the ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney. He completed the King George V Memorial, Parliament House Canberra, Australia in 1941.
  • John Cornelius Moorfield, (b 1943 NZ) specialist in Māori language, literature and culture, including teaching Māori as a second language. He is Professor at Auckland University of Technology and previously taught at The University of Waikato and the University of Otago. Included in his publications are a series of four graduated textbooks, a dictionary and resources now widely used in tertiary institutions. His dictionary is free online and he is currently working a digital platform to enable access and submission of exercises to tutors for marking via a computer or iPod.

Name frequency

The 1881 census ukcensusonline records 735 Moorfields.
According to an ONS database there were some 219 Moorfield, 40 Morefield and 19 Moorefields in England & Wales as of September 2002.

Distribution of the name

The most frequent use of the surname Moorfield is in Lancashire.
A Morefield family settled in New England, and records of Morefield/Murfield/Moorefield ancestors have been traced to Colonial Virginia arriving there in 1660s and transported by individuals who received land in exchange for bringing people to the colonies.
Richard Moorfield emigrated from Lancashire to Australia in 1870 settling in Yarrum, Victoria.
Cornelius Moorfield went to Canada in 1906 then returned to Lancashire after a year as it was too cold. Peter Moorfield, his father, and the rest of the family emigrated to Sydney in 1908 where his wife, Janet Park Hall, had a brother. About a year later they moved and settled in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Seven members of Robert Moorfield (b1854 Wigan Lancs), family moved to Toronto in the 1930’s.


Church records, census data, probates, civil registration, emigration records etc have been used to compile Moorfield pedigrees of families in England, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


There is a Morefield/Moorefield/Moorfield DNA project at Familytreedna ( and those interested are encouraged to join.

Retained study profile

This study is no longer registered with the Guild, but this profile page has been retained at the member's request. Please note that neither officers nor members of the Guild are able to answer any questions about this study.