This name is of English topographic origin for one who dwelled on a plain by a brook. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'broc' a brook or stream, plus 'feld' translating variously as 'open country' i.e. a plain, or 'land free from wood'. The surname is first recorded at the end of the 12th Century, (see below). One, Adam del Brokefeld, of Ormski appears in the 'Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire', dated 1332. The widespread recording of the name in Lancashire church registers from the mid 16th Century suggests that the name may be locational from a minor spot in that county. On July 13th 1566 Margaret Brookfield, an infant, was christened in Ormskirk and on January 21st 1706 John Brookfield was christened in St. Nicholas', Liverpool. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Brokefeld, which was dated 1199 - 'The Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire', during the reign of King Richard I, Richard The Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.