Pitfield families appear in various parts of North America between 1760
and 1900. The origins of some of these are known, but other families
cannot be traced back to England with any certainty. To get a better
understanding of where these families fit in it is useful to summarize
the origins of the family in England.
My research has shown that there are two distinct Pitfield families
in England. The first family originated in the southern county of Dorset,
where the name evolved from the name Pitfold which was present in the
county from at least 1525. Details of this family are shown in Database
second family originated in the northern county of Lancashire. In this
county the name evolved from Patefield and Peatfield with the spelling
of the name changing constantly between Patefield, Peatfield and Pitfield
in the same families. Some members of this family took the name Pitfield
whilst others kept the name Patefield. Both names still exist in the
locality today. Details of this family are shown in Database
My main interest
in North America has to trace the origins of Benjamin
Pitfield ( ? -1793) of New Jersey and Philadelphia, USA and George
Pitfield (c1749-1827), of Nova Scotia, Canada, and to follow their
families in America and Canada. This database shows only these two
families. Were they, as family tradition would have it, brothers,
and did they come from the Dorset family or the Lancashire family? There
is some evidence from my researches that Benjamin
Pitfield ( -1793) was from the Dorset family and in fact that he
could be the same Benjamin
Pitfield (1741- ) who was christened at Colyton Devon - see my notes
on both of these Benjamins for more information.
Even though I believe
that Benjamin Pitfield 1741-?
and Benjamin Pitfield ?-1793
are the same person I have decided to show them as separate people on
separate databases until such time as more certain proof emerges.
If, as I believe,
Benjamin Pitfield -1793
of New Jersey was born at Colyton, Devon in 1741 could George
Pitfield (c1749-1827) of Canada be his brother? As yet I can find
no evidence of this - there is no christening for a George Pitfield
in Devon around 1749 - but I still think it a strong possibility.
Two - The Pitfields in Canada and USA only
shows the families of Benjamin ( ? -1793) and George Pitfield (c1749-1827)
as the other North Americans are shown elsewhere.
Other family groups
in North America, who are shown on other databases, can be summarized
Darwin Pitfield (1808-c1860). Born in Chorley, Lancashire, son
of John Pitfield (1784-1855)
and Elizabeth Darwin and
grandson of Charles Pitfield
of Cantsfield (?-1796). James Darwen Pitfield came to New Jersey,
America around 1830 where he married and settled down. James Darwin
Pitfield was also the nephew to Bryan
Robinson Pitfield (1776- ) shown below. Because James's origins
are in Lancashire I have shown him and his family in Database
Robinson Pitfield (1776- ). Born in 1776 at Tunstall, Lancashire
the son of Charles and Ann Pitfield of Cantsfield. Bryan was living
in New York City at the time of the census of 1830 and his descendants
can be traced there in the years that follow. He was also the uncle
of James Darwin Pitfield (1808-c1860)
shown above. As Bryan's origins are in Lancashire I have shown him and
his family on Database Three.
Gale Pitfield (1843-1927). Born Bridport, Dorset. Settled in
Ohio, USA and later Toronto, Canada. As his origins were in Dorset he
and his family are shown on Database One.
It should be pointed
out that if you are looking for a particular member of the Pitfield
family they may not appear in the Database that you expect. For instance,
there are members of the Pitfield family who appear in Australia, New
Zealand and America who I can show are descended from either Robert
Pitfold of Allington or have their origins in Lancashire. Therefore
they are shown in either the Dorset or Lancashire Databases, rather
than the Australian or North American Databases. To find the Pitfield
that you are interested in, you may have to visit more than one Database,
each of which has its own index.
As with all of the
Databases, I am not showing a person sheet for anyone who was born after
the year 1911. This is to protect the privacy of any person who
is living. If you are a member of the Pitfield family accessing
this site (and therefore almost certainly born after 1911), then your
details will not be shown, but it is likely that your ancestors are,
and it is possible that I am in possession of information relating to
you and your family, that is not shown on this site. If you would like
to make contact with me I would be happy
to share information with you.
For a brief outline
of the different databases return to the Homepage.
Go to the Index
of Surnames appearing in Database Two
To go directly to
one of the other Databases follow the links below.