England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Duncuft family lived in Yorkshire. One reference suggests that the name could be derived from the local at the dun-croft but this is only speculation.
Early Origins of the Duncuft family
Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, where conjecturally this family is descended on the male side from Drogo de Beuvriere, a Norman knight, who held the village of Ottringham from the Archbishop of York. Drogo was originally granted the castle of Skipsey and was said to have married a kinswoman of William the Conqueror who he killed in 1086, either by accident or design. He fled the country leaving only his descendants on estates in Yorkshire.
Early History of the Duncuft family
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Duncuft Spelling Variations
spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Duncalfe, Duncalf and others.
Early Notables of the Duncuft family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Duncuft family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Duncuft or a variant listed above: William Duncalfe who settled in Virginia in 1739; John B. Duncalfe arrived in Philadelphia in 1868.
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