Duffit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the Duffit name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in either of the towns named Duffield in Derbyshire and in North Yorkshire. The surname Duffit belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Duffit family
The surname Duffit was first found in North Yorkshire at either North or South Duffield, villages and civil parishes in the Selby District. The place name dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Dufeld.
Alternatively, the name could have originated from Duffield, a village, beside the River Derwent, at its junction with the River Ecclesbourne in Derbyshire. This locale also dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Duvelle, but by the 12th century, the locale was known as Duffeld. The place name literally means "open land frequented by doves." 
"In Domesday Book it is called Dunelle, and is described as having 'a church, a priest, and two mills;' it afterwards formed part of the demesne of Henry de Ferrers, who, in 1096, possessed a castle on an eminence north-west of the village, the site of which is now named Castle-Orchard." 
Early History of the Duffit family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duffit research. Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1273, 1379, 1383 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Duffit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Duffit Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Duffit were recorded, including Duffield, Duffeld, Duffell, Duffill, Duffitt and others.
Early Notables of the Duffit family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duffit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Duffit family to Ireland
Some of the Duffit family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Duffit migration to the United States +
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Duffit family emigrate to North America:
Duffit Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Fredk Duffit, aged 15, who arrived in New York in 1854 
Related Stories +
The Duffit Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)