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1. do James,
h. do Josiah,
i. do James,
b. do Richard,
f. do George,
i. do James,
b. do James,...
b. do Richard,
do Theophilus 2d,..
f. do George,...
Although the Redfield family in the United States, was undoubtedly introduced from England at the time of the Puritan emigration, still the name is very rare in Great Britain at the present day. It is not found in the London Directory, nor in those of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Glasgow. Nor have we in our inquiries met with any positive testimony of its present existence beyond the Atlantic.* Yet there is suffi cient historical evidence to show that names closely allied in etymological affinities were formerly to be found in England.
A William Redefeld is mentioned as holding an ecolesiastical position in 1213, in the reign of King John.t
Johannes de Grey de Retherfeld is named in certain deeds of enfeoffment of property in Oxfordshire in the reign of Edward III., 1327–1377,1 and his name is still substantially preserved by a village in Oxfordshire called Rotherfield Grays. Rotherfield as a family name now occurs in England.
Roger of Redelingfeld is mentioned in the public records of Great Britain as holding various messuages in the county of Kent, and the Prioress of Redlingfeld or Redyngefeld in Suffolk, is often named in old land titles,ộ and the name Redlingfield is still applied to a village in Suffolk.
Passing on to other names perhaps more likely to have relation to the ancient form of our patronymic, we find a manor in the hundred of Hinckford, county of Essex, which in 1378, bore the name of Redfanne, though now called Redfants, I and in Wiltshire, in the time of Edward I, we find a
* Among the papers of the late Wm. C. Redfield was found the following memorandum, probably made about 1813 : "I am informed that a Dr. Thomas Redfield and his son resided af Beckington, Somersetshire, Egland, but h:18 romored to some oiher place. I think a referenco was made to Thomas Bilster, 16 Wolcott Parade, Bath, as one likely to give information. This is ine only instance in which I have heard of the nanjo in England, except once hearing a statement that a Mr. Redfield, lately from Birmingham, England, was drowned soon after his arrival at New York, some shirty years ago." The compiler's efforts to follow up the cloe indicated above, have not been successful.
| Rotuli Chartarum in turri Londinensi asservati, Vol. I. Pars I. p. 196.
William de Redefaunde. Rudfyn, Ruffyn, and Redfern are family names occasionally found in the public records.
In Burke's Encyclopedia of Heraldry, the name Redfield does not occur, but we find the following cognate names :
REDFERN. Or, six martlets gules three and three. Crest, A birch tree proper.
RedlEFELD. Paly of eight argent and gules : on a chief azure a lion passant guardant or.
The similarity of the arms above assigned to Redfin and Redfyne, seems to imply a close relation between the two, and they are doubtless but different forins of the same name. The name Redlefeld naturally suggests that of Redfield, and hence some of our kindred have too hastily assamed for our own family the arms assigned above to Redlefield. But we think that the evidence which will presently be adduced, will show that the ancestor of the Redfields in the United States was probably not Redlefeld, but Redfin, and that the change to Redfield (not easily explained) did not take place till after the death of the first settler. The fact that this change occurred on this side of the Atlantic may explain the present rarity of the name of Red field in England, though Redfin seems now to be quite as uncommon there. Redfern is not unfrequent now in England, and has some representatives in this country, but is probably a distinct family, as indicated by the armorial bearings just quoted.
Thorough research in England would probably contribute to further discoveries in relation to the transatlantic history of the family, and it is to be hoped that some one may yet have the opportunity and the disposition to perform this task, which has been out of our power.
In the United States, the name Red field can hardly be called common, yet it has been borne by more than 1600 individuals, and not less than 500 families of the name now exist, distributed in almost every State and Territory of the Union, though chiefly in the Northern and Western States. All these, that have come to our knowledge, are certainly descended from James Redfield, who resided in Say brook in 1676, and we can hardly doubt that he was the son of William Redfin, who settled near Boston as early as 1639.
In tracing the descent of the family, we assume this William Redfin to be the ancestor, and take him for the first generation. The grounds of this position will appear as we proceed. Should our conclusions be deemed unsatisfactory by any, the chain of genealogical succession from the second generation will still be unimpaired; and if the James Redfield from whom we all unquestionably descend, be not identical with James, the son of Wil. liam Redfin, then there is no evidence whaterer that the last mentioned James had any descendants.
The arrangement herein adopted is substantially that now in general use for works of a similar character. The system of numbering, which is to serve for a clue through all the affiliations and ramifications of the family tree, is also that more generally employed. To those who are not familiar with it, it may be necessary to say, that all bearing the name of Redfield are numbered in order in the left margin, and where any of them have families, the same numbers are repeated for them as heads of families, in the same order in the center of the page. The numbers in parenthesis after heads of families, refer to preceding heads of families from whence they descend. This system of notation makes it easy to trace any branch of the family, either in a descending or ascending line. For instance, William Redfin is numbered 1, and his son James is numbered 4 in the margin. By looking for 4 in its proper order in the body of the page, James Redfield's family history is found, where his son Theophilus bears No. 8 in the margin. If 8 is sought for in its proper order in the body of the page, there the history of Theophilus's family will be found, and so on. Or if we wish to trace any family upwards, the process is reversed, thus-Amasa Angell Redfield, numbered in the margin 1346, is the son of Luther Redfield, who is numb’red 592 in the body of the page. By running back along the marginal figures to 592, we find Luther enumerated as son of Luther Redfield, sr., who is numbered 221 in body of the page. Referring again to the margin for this number, we find the father of Lather Redfield, sr., and continuing the same method soon trace back to No. 1.
In reckoning the successive generations the children of the first settler are called the second generation, and so on. To readily distinguish between individuals of different generations, a different type is employed for each generation, thus :
First Generation, Cilliam Bedfield.