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This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval origin and is a locational surname from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have not disappeared from the maps in Britain. Enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures in the 14th Century was a prime cause of these "disappearances", along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348. The placename means literally "field of the bulls" from the Old Norse "Boli (bull) and "feld" from the Old English meaning open, uncultivated land. Thus the name would have described an individual from "the place of the bulls". Dorothy Bulfield married Richard Bell on January 24th 1646 at Cartmel, London and James Bulfell was christened at the same location on July 7th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Daniel Bulfell (married), which was dated 1632, Priory Church, Cartmel, London, during the reign of King Charles I, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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.

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