This ancient of pre 7th century German origins and Anglo-Saxon origins, is recorded in over seventy spellings. These range from Feild, Feld, and Field, to Delafield, Veld, Van den Velde, Feldmann, and the various ornamental compounds such as Feldblum or Fieldstone. However spelt, the name is topographical for someone who lived or worked on land which had been cleared of forest, but not brought into arable cultivation. The derivation is from "feld", translating as pasture or open country, almost the opposite of the 20th century meaning.. The earliest recordings are to be found in England and Germany. These include Hugo de la Felde, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Bedfordshire, England, in the year 1188, and Petrus im dem Velde, of Mengen, Germany, in 1216. Other recordings include Franz van de Velde, the bishop of Herzogbusch, Germany, in 1576, and Margarett Feilde, who married at the church of St. Martin Orgar, London, in 1586. Amongst the very first settlers to the new colony of Virgina, America, was James Feild. He arrived in the ship "Swan of London", in 1624.. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Robert de Felde, which was dated 1185, in the list of Knights Templars, in the registers of the county of Gloucestershire, England. This was during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.