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The surname Whitfield is one of antiquity beginning as early as 1165 A.D. with ROBERT de WHITFIELD, Chaplain to Countess Ada, who received the lands of "Whitfield" of Hexham, Northumberland, from her by grant that year. MATTHEW de WHITFIELD, Lord of Whitfield, held "Whitfield of the Prior and Convent of Hexham" from 1174 to 1214 A.D. His son RALPH de WHITFIELD had:

MATTHEW de WHITFIELD to whom the lands of Whitfield were confirmed by the Great Charter of Inspectimus of King Edward I about 1280 A.D. Had sons Robert and John:

ROBERT de WHITFIELD, Lord of Whitfield, married BEATRIX de QUITFELD, daughter of ISABEL FITZ-PIERS (lineage descends from ROBERT GRENTESMAISNIL of GRENTESMAISNIL in the Dukedom of Normandy) and ROBERT de VIPONT whose maternal line descends from ROGER de BUSLIE, Lord of Tickhill, who came to England with William the Conqueror, and whose paternal line descends from the famed LADY GODIVA, sister and heir of William Thorold. Lady Godiva married the Earl of Mercia, LEOFRIC III, greatgreat-great grandson of LEOFRIC I, Earl of Leicester in 750 A.D. Robert and Beatrix had Gilbert and:

RICHARD WHITFIELD, Lord of Whitfield, born 1279 A.D., died 1332 A.D. Had sons Gilbert and:

ROBERT de WHITFIELD, Lord of Whitfield, whose second son was: JOHN WHITFIELD, became Lord of Whitfield after the death of his older brother. John married ALICE MILFORD, daughter of SIR JOHN MILFORD, of Milford Castle, Northumberland. John and Alice had MATTHEW WHITFIELD, born about 1389 A.D. His sons John, Robert, Thomas, Nicholas, Richard, Christopher and SIR MATTHEW WHITFIELD, born about 1410 A.D., High Sheriff of Northumberland. Married about 1434 to MARGARET de LANCASTER, daughter of SIR JOHN de LANCASTER, obit. 1475. Matthew had John, William and Henry.

JOHN WHITFIELD born 1435, died 1492. Son Robert: ROBERT WHITFIELD born 1454, married the daughter of RICHARD THIRLWELL, of Thirlwell. His son:

JOHN WHITFIELD, obit. 1507, had Mathew.

MATTHEW WHITFIELD, married the daughter of CHRISTOPHER RIDLEY of Wallstown. Matthew died in 1546. His son:

RALPH WHITFIELD, born 1529, died 1607. He married DOROTHY RIDLEY, daughter of HUGH RIDLEY of Willimeteswick. Had brothers Cuthbert and Peter, sisters Margaret and Agnes. GEORGE WHITFIELD, died before his father Ralph. He married ALICE ? Had brothers Nicholas and Francis. SIR MATTHEW WHITFIELD, Of Whitfield Hall, was 3 months old when his father George Whitfield died. He married ANNE ? On 29 June 1629 he made his entry into the lands which belonged to his grandfather Ralph, and which had been unlawfully held by his uncle Francis Whitfield.

From here on the trail is uncertain! I have tried to show that "Matthew" is a consistent family name. It may be that our WILLIAM WHITFIELD descends from an earlier line as "William" (of Sir Matthew, b. 1410) no doubt was the progenator of many Williams, and ours could have sprung from that branch. The custom was to name the first born son after its paternal grandfather, however that was not always the case.

1) William I b. abt 1690 Lancashire, England
m. abt 1713 Elizabeth Goodman Chowan Co., NC
ch: William II, Matthew, Sarah, Luke, Mary, Patience, Constantine, Margaret, Charity, Elizabeth
d. abt 1770 Dobbs Co., NC

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This Page Last Updated: Sunday, 25-Mar-2012 14:21:22 MDT