The names of several towns in England were derived from the old Anglo-Saxon measure of five hides of land. These include three Fifheads of Dorset, Fivehead in Somerset, two each Fifields in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, two Fyfields in Berkshire, and one each in Hampshire and Essex. In the Domesday Book of 1086 "Alfred holds Fifield himself, and Ralph from him. The value was four pounds, now one hundred shillings." A historical booklet from Fifield Merrymouth (the family of Murimuth later became prominent in town) in Oxfordshire mentions "Thomas de Fyfhide" in 1302-3, and the town has the Fifield Manor as one of its prominent structures.
The distribution of Fifields in the 1881 census cuts a broad swath from Hampshire up through Oxford and across to Gloucester with some scatterings in other parts of the country. In 1881 there were no Fifields recorded in either Scotland or Wales. Hampshire had the largest concentration, both in numbers and as a percentage of the population.
There are two Fifield coats of arms. One, associated with Bromley in Kent, has "Ermine on a bend engrailed azure three cinquefoils or." The other, seen in Hampshire, has "Per fess vert and argent a pale counterchanged, three acorns or." The basic designs of the arms are distinctly different. While an "achievement" (coat of arms plus the crest and mantling) was often modified within a family, the modifications were usually made to the crest and mantling, not the coat of arms (shield) itself. Modifications to a shield were more often made to combine the shields of two families due to marriage, and then incorporated elements from each shield. Note that only an individual, not a family, could use an achievement. While the achievement could be inherited, it had to be modified for each individual if the individuals holding it did so concurrently.