This early medieval German surname has both noble and heraldic associations. It is locational, and derives from former residence (or ownership) of one of the various places called Seefeld or Seefelden, found in Germany and Austria. The name means "the land (feld or veld) by the lake (see)", and was ennobled through the Baronies of Seefeldt of Bavaria and Courlande. The principal Coat of Arms displays three black lozenges conjoined in a bend on a silver (white) field. The original nameholder (as shown below) is believed to have been Lord of the lands of Seefelden. The name recordings include the following examples: Michell Seefeldt, a christening witness at Newmitz-Soltikow, Pommern, Germany, on March 14th 1648, whilst on November 2nd 1707, Georg Fridericus Seefeldt was christened at Baden-Baden. In America the name pre-dates the 1776 Independence, and was sometimes Anglicized to Suffield, however, Elizabeth Soufeld was recorded at Albany, New York State, on November 10th 1769, in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820) of Great Britain. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Heinrich de Sevelt, which was dated 1275, in the "Records of Seefelden", Near Uberlingen, West Germany, during the reign of Rudolph 1, Holy Roman (German) Emperor, 1275 - 1291. 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.