Dofty History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Dofty family have grown. The name Dofty was given to a member of the family who was a person who was considered brave and strong. The surname Dofty originally derived from the Old English word doughty or dohti which meant valiant, hardy, manly. 
Most sources agree that this is the generally accepted origin of the name. However, one source claims the name to be Norman in origin as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae notes William de Oughtia, Normandy 1180, 1198. 
Early Origins of the Dofty family
The surname Dofty was first found in Yorkshire where early spellings of the name varied greatly.
By example, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Johanna Doughti; Johannes Doughty, taylour; and Adam Doughty. In the East Riding of Yorkshire, the Poll Tax Rolls for Howdenshire included Robertus Dughty and Johannes Dughti. 
While most of the records of the name come from Yorkshire, we must look to Bedfordshire for the first record. For it is here that William Douti held lands as listed in the Assize Rolls in 1247. Later, William Doughty was listed in Leicestershire in 1300 and John Dughti was listed as a Freeman of York in 1314. 
Early History of the Dofty family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dofty research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1792, 1365, 1533, 1545, 1578, 1577, 1598, 1672, 1598, 1613, 1599, 1655 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Dofty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dofty Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Dofty family name include Doughty, Doughtie, Dowtie, Dowty and others.
Early Notables of the Dofty family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Doughty (1545-1578), an English nobleman, soldier, scholar and personal secretary of Christopher Hatton. His association with Francis Drake, on a 1577 voyage to interfere with Spanish treasure fleets, ended in a shipboard trial for treason and witchcraft and Doughty's execution.
Migration of the Dofty family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Dofty surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Anne and Thomas Doughty who settled in Virginia in 1623; Francis Doughty settled in New England in 1630; Phillip Doughty arrived in Boston in 1774; another Anne Doughty settled in Virginia in 1736. Doughty's Falls were probably named after Thomas Doughty a settler from Berwick in 1657..