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EARLY HISTORY

Garfield  (Gaffield, Gafeild, Gearfield, Gearfeldt, Guiffeld, Fearfield), descended from the Saxon race who settled in England about the year 400 A.D.

Many centuries ago the Family name Garfield emerged as a notable English family name in the county of Northampton where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Kilsby with manor and estates in that shire.

Later they branched to Tuddington in Middlesex.  They flourished in this county for several centuries, intermarrying with the distinguished families of that county.  Notable amongst the family at this time was Benjamin Garfield of Tuddington.

Members of the family name Garfield, sailed to the New World aboard the armada of small sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic.
THE GARFIELD FAMILY
IN AMERICA

The first recorded history of the Garfield family occurred in 1587 when a tract of land was deeded to James Garfield (Gearfeldt) by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.  The land was located near Chester, England.  It is believed that the land was given for military service rendered the Earl on the continent.  The estate was situated near Oswestry, near the Vale of Leangollen on the border of Wales.

It is conjectured that the Garfield family was of Welsh origin and may date back to Scandinavian ancestry through the Viking invasions.  The family appears to have stemmed from descendants of the Knights of the Caerphilly  (Gaerfili)  Castle, meaning "Keeper of the Battlefield".

James Garfield's son, Edward, immigrated to America in the early 1600's with Governor John Winthrop.  It is speculated that they came over on one of the crossings of the Mayflower.  Edward became a man of wealth and notoriety in Watertown, MA.  His son, Benjamin, married Mehitable Hawkins, and had two children before she died in 1675.  His second wife, Elizabeth Bridge, gave birth to Samuel in 1690 along with six other children.  Benjamin Garfield was given a commission of Captain in the Colonial Militia by the Governor of Massachusetts.  He was elected nine times to the Colonial Legislature.