Select Penfold Surname Genealogy

The Penfold surname derived from the old English word pundfald, meaning a pound or walled enclosure where stray animals were kept.  It would either be an occupational name for someone in charge of such as pound or would describe someone who lived near one.

Select Penfold Resources on The Internet

Select Penfold Ancestry

England.  The Penfold name is very much a name from Sussex on the south coast of England, and primarily from west Sussex.

Philip de la Pundfold appeared in the Hundred Rolls as a landowner in Sussex in 1275. Further early recordings included Thomas ate Pundfolde in 1296 and John Pennefold in 1332.

Many lines of descent have come from the Penfold family that were landowners in the parish of Angmering from around 1550 to 1800.  These Penfolds may have originated from the village of Shipley near Storrington in the 1400’s with the spelling of Penfould.  

Later Penfolds were to be found:
  • in Chichester where Stephen Penfold was mayor of the town in 1669 and again in 1677.
  • in Broadwater near Worthing from the late 1600’s.  
  • and then in Steyning where the family became quite prominent.  Richard Penfold was the Surgeon and Apothecary of Steyning in the 1750’s and the Rev. John Penfold the vicar of Steyning from 1792 to 1840.  His son Christopher emigrated to Australia in 1844.  
The Penfold name was also evident in Petworth, Arundel and the village of Hartfield.  A Penfold family started the Tortington iron works near Arundel in 1833.  In 1909 James Penfold broke away and began his own business servicing farm machinery at Barnham nearby.

Penfold has remained a Sussex name.  By the time of the 1881 census the name had spread to other places in SE England – most notably to Surrey and London – but not much further.

Francis Penfold moved from Petworth to Haslemere in Surrey in 1650 and established the family home, Penfolds, there.  J.W. Penfold, born in 1828, was the designer of the ubiquitous British pillar box. 

There was a gypsy family of Penfolds, starting with William Penfold who married Mary Collins in Kent in 1805.   These Penfolds wandered and they and later Penfolds could be found in Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire in the first half of the 19th century.

From the Penfold line in Steyning came the Rev. William Penfold who became vicar of Ruardean in the Forest of Dean.  His son John was an eminent Anglican priest on the Channel Island of Guernsey in the early 1900’s.

The birthplace of Albert E. Penfold is unclear, but was likely to have been in London where he began work as an apprentice in the early 1900’s.  He founded his company, Penfold Golf, in Birmingham in 1927 and the golf balls made there became famous.

William and Priscilla Penfold left Sussex for Lockport in upstate New York in the 1850’s and later moved to Buffalo.  Their son William became a self-taught portrait painter there.  His son Frank, formally trained, was to be the better-known artist for his landscape and portrait paintings.

  William Friend Penfold was a farmer from Goudhurst in Kent who came with his family on the John to South Australia in 1840.  They settled in Gawler where William opened the Plough and Harrow hotel in 1856.  Sadly his son Thomas died after eating poisoned dog meat in 1864.

Four years later in 1844, Christopher and Mary Penfold arrived in South Australia from Steyning in Sussex and immediately started a winery based on the French vine cuttings that they had brought with them.  Christopher’s main purpose was to produce fortified wines for medicinal purposes.  But after Christopher’s death in 1870, Mary steered the production towards commercial wines and Penfold’s Winery became firmly established.

New Zealand
.  Stephen Penfold and his family from Godalming in Surrey came to Wellington on the Birman in 1842 and later settled in New Plymouth.  After Stephen died in 1851, the family moved south to Wanganui

Select Penfold Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Penfold Names

Christopher and Mary Penfold started the Penfolds winery in South Australia in 1844.
J.W. Penfold designed the pillar box for the British Post Office in 1866.
Albert E. Penfold founded Penfold Golf, the maker of golf balls, in Britain in 1927.

Select Penfolds Today   
  • 5,500 in the UK (most numerous in Sussex)
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

Click here for reader feedback
Click here for return to front page