The Pitfield family of Dorset (especially Fordington)
( Also spelt Pytfold; Pitfold )
The Pitfield family has been traced back to John Pytfold of Allington (Bridport) who appears in the Tax Returns of 1525. His son Robert died in 1586 and left a will in which all of his ten children are named and provided for. Nine sons and one daughter survived to adulthood and had large families of their own. The Pytfolds were prosperous yeomen, some of the farms mentioned in the will are still in the family today. All Pitfields traced so far are descended from Robert Pytfold.
Some members of the family have achieved greatness and celebrity while others have languished in poverty. Amongst the former are Sir Charles Pitfield who owned most of Hoxton in London in the 17th century and his son Alexander Pitfield an MP in the 18th century. Among the latter was Mary the widow of Samuel Pitfield (1782-1840) who was caught receiving stolen goods and sentenced to transportation to Tasmania in 1843.
Marriage of Sebastian PITFIELD (1632-1702) to Christian MEADON (1641-1715)
at Chaldon Herring Dorset on 21st Feb 1665/6
Sebastian Pitfield (1632-1702) was baptised at Donhead St Mary in Wiltshire on 21st Oct 1632 the son of Robert Pitfield (1609-1680) & Mary Knapton. Sebastian married Christian Meadon (1641- 1715) at Chaldon Herring in Dorset on 21st Feb 1665/6 and raised a family of seven children in Chaldon Herring and Broadmayne before the family settled in Fordington in about 1685. His mother Mary was a member of the wealthy Knapton family of Fordington and Sebastian had close business interests with them. Sebastian was buried at St Georges Church in Fordington on 16th April 1702 and his Will is recorded in the Calendar of Dorset Wills and Administrations in the Salisbury Probate Court and has been transcribed by Michael Pitfield:-
The Will of Sebastian Pitfield (1632-1702)
This is the last Will and Testament of me
Sebastian PITFIELD of Ffordington in the County of Dorsett Yeoman being sick and weake in body but of sound and pfect [perfect] memory and understanding (thanks bee to God)
Impris: (Impremis) I give and bequeath unto my dear wife Christian PITFIELD, all my indoore Goods and Implements of household stuff whatsoever together with all my weareing apparell both limens and woollen
Item: I give and bequeath unto
my son Samuel the sum of twenty pounds which I hereby direct my Executor hereafter named to satisfy him within one yeare next after my decease.
And lastly all my outdoore goods and other chattels whatsoever, not before bequeathed, I hereby give and bequeath unto my son Charles PITFIELD whome I hereby
constitute sole Executor of this my said Testament
In Testament whereof I have hereunto sett my hand
& seal this Seaven & twentyeth Day of January in the Thirteenth yeare of the Reign of
or (our) Soveraign Lord William the Third over England et (and in the) Anno D (year of our Lord) 1701
Signed sealed published & declared
to bee the last Will & Testament
of the said Sebastian PITFIELD in
ye sound of us
Robt (Robert) Lillington
His widow Christian PITFIELD was named in the will of Eleanor HUNT widow of Fordington as her overseer for which she was left 5 shillings when it was written on 30th May 1703. Eleanor died and was buried at Fordington on 22nd May 1706 and would have been a close friend. Christian died on the 18th and was buried on 22nd May 1715 and also left a Will
Mary the wife of W Bellman
The Fordington descendants of Sebastian and his wife Christian Meadon (1641- 1715) form the largest group of Pitfields in any Dorset parish. His son and heir Charles Pitfield (1665-1743) was churchwarden of St Georges Church 1723-8 and lived until the age of 76 being buried at St Georges church in 1743.
Three generations of Innkeepers in Fordington
(Left) Union Arms run by George Pitfield (1815-1874) & his wife Caroline (28 below) -- & --
(Right) The Bulls Head run by George Pitfield (1844-1917) & his wife Elizabeth (38 below)
[Note:- Picture (left) © John Hall taken 26th Mar 2010 some rights reserved
- Picture (right) © Michael Pitfield - depicted in the picture - taken 20 Sep 2007
Innkeepers of the Bull's Head - Fordington Hill
Link to other photographs of unknown members of the Pitfield Family taken by the Photographer Thomas Grigg (1857-1932) of Dorchester
we would be grateful if anyone can help identify the individuals
George PITFIELD (1844-1917) Innkeeper (1877-1897) & his son. George John PITFIELD (1871-1947) & his wife Alice Mary
Like all large family groups, the Pitfields in Fordington had mixed fortunes over the centuries. Some prospered, becoming publicans (See pictures of the Union Arms & Bull’s Head above), or shopkeepers (Edwin Pitfield (1855-1921), was a master hairdresser in High West Street, (& cut Thomas Hardy’s hair) and skilled craftsmen (masons, blacksmiths). Others descended into poverty, the workhouse and the slums of Mill Street.
In the 19th century the Pitfields spread out to Dorchester and beyond. Descendants of Robert Pitfield can now now found throughout the world.
14th June 2013
For further information see the Pitfield Family website www.pitfield-family.co.uk
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to more information on individual PITFIELD families that lived in Fordington and Dorchester:-
Link to Pitfield Photograph Album
(1). Sebastian PIFIELD (1632-1702) & Christian MEADON (c1641-1715) 1st Family to live in Fordington from 1685
(2). Charles PITFIELD (1665-1743) & his wife Amy [Eamey] - son of (1) - Churchwarden of St Georges Church Fordington (1723-28)
(3). William PITFIELD (d.1747) & Ann UPSEL [UPSALL] - married 2nd Feb 1725/6 at All Saints Church Dorchester - 2nd Family to live in Dorchester/Fordington from 1725
(4). Charles PITFIELD (1723-1801) & Mary BISHOP (1722- 1794) - married at Fordington 05-Oct 1746 - son of (2) - a Yeoman
(5). Mary PITFIELD (1721-1784) & Amos STILE (d.1776) - married at Fordington 23rd Dec 1746 - daughter of (2)
(6). Sebastian PITFIELD (1726-1794) & Mary WOODSFORD (d.1821) - married at Fordington 30th Nov 1756 - son of (2) -a Yeoman
(7). Elizabeth PITFIELD (b.1729 - ?) & Edward LESTER - married at Fordington 5th July 1759 - daughter of (3)
(8). William PITFIELD (d.1785) & Martha WAY married Alverstoke Hants 27 May 1763 settled All Saints Dorchester - (Thought to be son of 3 but no baptism located) - Wm died Union Workhouse, Martha re-married (12)
(9). Charles PITFIELD (1750-1804) & Ann THORN - married at Fordington 25th Aug 1776 - son of (4) - served in the Militia
(10). Sebastian PITFIELD (1757-1815) & Mary THORN (1760-1845) - married at Fordington 17-May-1781 - son of (4)
(11). Amey PITFIELD (1763-1850) & John JACOB - married at Fordington 15-July-1781 - daughter of (6)
(12). Martha PITFIELD (-) married Edward JONES at All Saints Church Dorchester on 16th Oct 1787 - widow of (8)
(13). Samuel PITFIELD (1782-1840) & Elizabeth BAGG - married at Fordington 23-Jan-1808 - son of (10) 2nd later marriage at (19) - an agricultural labourer
(14). Joseph PITFIELD married Elizabeth GOULD at West Stafford on 7th Dec 1809 - unknown
(15). Joseph PITFIELD (1786-1852) & Maria SARGENT (d.1811) - 1st marriage at Fordington 23-Apr-1810 - son of (10) 2nd marriage later at (17) - an agricultural labourer
(16). Sebastian PITFIELD (1791-1859) & Mary BRIDLE (1792-1831) - married at Fordington 13th May 1813 - son of (10) 2nd marriage later at (22) - an agricultural labourer
(17). Joseph PITFIELD (1786-1852) & Elizabeth SARGENT - 2nd marriage at Stinsford 15 Aug 1813 - son of (10) 1st marriage at (15) - an agricultural labourer
(18). Ann PITFIELD (1794-1849) & Isaac MILLER - married at Fordington 8th May 1815 - daughter of (10) - married an agricultural labourer
(19). Samuel PITFIELD (1782-1840) & Mary COUSINS (1800-1869)- at Stockbridge Hants 18th Mar 1817- 1st marriage at (13) son of (10) an agricultural labourer. Mary convicted 1842 transported to Tasmania for 7 years.
(20). Mary Stone PITFIELD (b.1795) married James BOWDITCH at St Peters Church Dorchester on 16th July 1822
- Mary a native of Bridport Independent church.
(21). Hannah PITFIELD (1800-1837) & Robert WARR - married at Fordington 14th Sep 1829 - daughter of (10)
(22). Sebastian PITFIELD (1791-1859) & Ann CORNICK (1801-1861) - married at Fordington 1st Jan 1832 - son of (10) - 2nd marriage; 1st at (16) - an agricultural labourer
(23). Amy PITFIELD (1784-1856) & John KERLEY - married at Fordington 31st May 1834 - daughter of (10) - Amey married a blacksmith
(24). Charles PITFIELD (1811-1869) & Phoebe PARSONS (1815-1887) - married at Fordington 31st Jan 1836 - son of (13) - an agricultural labourer and later a porter.
(25). John PITFIELD (1813-1884) & Elizabeth GAWLER (1814-1837) - married at Fordington 27th Mar 1837 -John the illegitimate son of Amy Pitfield daughter of (10) who married at (23) John's 2nd marriage at (26)
(26). John PITFIELD (1813-1884) & Sarah BILKE (1819-1857) - married at Fordington on 31st Jan 1842 - 2nd Marriage - 1st at (25) - masons labourer.
(27). Samuel PITFIELD (1818-1870) & Marianne NORRIS (b.1822)- married at Fordington on 26th Mar 1843 - son of (19) - farm labourer.
(28). George PITFIELD (1815-1874) & Caroline Margaret CRITCHELL (1822-1885) - married at Fordington on 18 Apr 1844 - son of (17) - a tailor and Innkeeper of the 'Union Arms' Fordington
(29). James PITFIELD (1823-1885) & Ann BRIDGE married in Dorchester (not located church) 3rd qtr 1846 - son of (19) - a blacksmith
(30). Joseph PITFIELD (1826-1852) & Mary Jane HAWKINS - married at Fordington on 18th Mar 1849 - son of (16) - a labourer.
(31). Eliza Jane PITFIELD (1821-?) & James LEGG - married Fordington on 4th Oct 1849 - daughter of (17) - Eliza a servant.
(32). Emma PITFIELD (1826-?) & Henry WOODSFORD - married Fordington on 27th Oct 1850 - daughter of (19)
(33). Mary Ann PITFIELD (1829-?) & Edmund NEWBURY married at Fordington on 13th May 1855 - daughter of (19)
(34). Henry PITFIELD (1837-1889) & Elizabeth CURTIS married at Fordington on 25th June 1855 - son of (22) - a prison warder.
(35). Edward PITFIELD (1837-1894) married Tamar COX (1834-1921) at Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on 25th Dec 1857 - Illegitimate son of Mary
Ann PITFIELD (b.1813) the daughter (16)
(36). Charles PITFIELD (1832-1882) married Charlotte Jane HANHAN (b.1836) at Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on 8th Apr 1858
- son of (22)
(37). Sarah Ann PITFIELD (1840-1926) married Herbert William Reader GROVES (1838-1918) at Poole 4th qtr 1860 - daughter of (24) - Herbert a candle maker, police constable and then ran an off licence shop
(38). Isaac PITFIELD (1843-?) & Mary NAPPER married at Fordington on 26th May 1867 - son of (24) - a servant 1861 and Innkeeper of the 'Swan Inn' in Mill street in 1871. Moved to Cheshire to live by 1876.
(39). Eliza Jane PITFIELD (1849-?) & John ROGERS married at Fordington on 30th Nov 1868 - daughter of (28) - a dressmaker -moved to live in Battersea Surrey
(40). George PITFIELD (1844-1917) married Elizabeth BRUSHETT (1850-1891) at All Saints Church Dorchester on 24th Feb 1870 - Son of (28) - innkeeper of the 'Bulls Head' Fordington Hill
(41). John PITFIELD (1845-c.1874/80) married Emma ROBERTS (1848-1927) at Winterbourne Monkton on 15th Feb 1871 - son of 26 - a labourer and carter
(42). Emily Elizabeth PITFIELD (1851-1885) & Richard Charles Hewer DAVIS married at Fordington on 08 Nov 1871 - daughter of (28)
(43). Sarah Ann PITFIELD (1852-?) & William YOUNG a carpenter married at Fordington on 25 Dec 1874 - daughter of (30) - a servant prior to marriage.
(44). Elizabeth PITFIELD (1851-?) & Thomas LOVELESS (1847-1898) married at Fordington on 09 May 1875 - daughter of (24)
(45). Stephen PITFIELD (1821-1894) & Elizabeth DAMON (b.1829) married at Fordington on 7th July 1875 - son of (19) - masons labourer
(46). Sarah Bilke PITFIELD (1849-1919) married Charles MARTIN married at Fordington on 24th Oct 1875 - daughter of (26)
(47). Louisa PITFIELD (b.1854-?) married Henry LAKE married at Fordington on 25th Oct 1877 - daughter of (35)
(48). Edwin PITFIELD (1855-1921) married Kate CURTIS (1849-1929) married at Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on 5th Aug 1878 - son of (28) - a Gentleman and hairdresser
(49). James PITFIELD (1856-1904) married Alice YATES at St Peters Church Dorchester on 4th Sep 1878 - son of (34) -
(50). George PITFIELD (1853-1927) married Emily BARTLETT (1858-1946) married at Fordington on 25th Dec 1878 - son of (24) - a Railway Guard on the SWR
(51). Emma PITFIELD (1857-?) married Thomas READ married at Fordington on 25th Dec 1879 - daughter of (24) - married a Royal Navy Gunner
(52). Caroline Margaret PITFIELD (1859-?) married Sydney William GULLIVER married at Fordington on easter day 17 Apr 1881 - daughter of (28)
(53). John PITFIELD (1857-?) married Jane Bonnet WALLIS married at Fordington on 31st Jan 1882 (28)
(54). Henry PITFIELD (1861 - ?) married Sarah Ann THRESHER at St Peters Church Dorchester on 4th Sep 1882 - son of (34)
(55). Sarah Jane PITFIELD (1858-1896) married Francis Patrick QUIGLEY at Fordington on 3rd Feb 1884 - daughter of (35)
(56). George PITFIELD (b.1846 - ?) married Mary Ann MANSFIELD at St Georges Church Fordington on 10th Aug 1884 - son of (27)
(57). George John PITFIELD (1871-1947) a native of Fordington married Alice Mary SCARD (1867-1932) at Cerne Abbas on 24 May 1894 - son of (39) - a hairdresser then Innkeeper of the 'Phoenix' 16 High East street & 'Bulls Head' Fordington Hill