Hoffay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Hoffay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found near a hill or steep ridge of land. The surname Hoffay is usually derived from the Old English word hoh, which means heel or projecting ridge of land. However, it is sometimes derived from the Old Norse word haugr, which means mound or hill. Furthermore, the name Hoffay may be derived from residence in one of a variety of similarly named places: Hoe is in Norfolk, Hoo is in Kent, places called Hooe are in Devon and Sussex, Hose is in Leicestershire, places named Heugh are in Durham and Northumberland, and settlements called Hough are found in both Cheshire and Derby.

Early Origins of the Hoffay family

The surname Hoffay was first found in Cheshire at Hough, a village and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East which dates back to the 13th century when it was first listed as Hohc. [1] [2] [3]

Dusting off some centuries-old records we found, Wilielmus de Huff, registered in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [4]

The name is "especially common in Bedfordshire and Northants, fairly so in Suffolk, Essex, Herts and Bucks, and very common in Northumberland and Durham. The nominative singular gives Hough, in Scotland and Northern England Heugh." [5]

Early History of the Hoffay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hoffay research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1564, 1618, 1660, 1651, 1743, 1699, 1717, 1681, 1687 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Hoffay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hoffay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Hoffay include Hough, Huff, Houfe, Hoff, Hoffe and others.

Early Notables of the Hoffay family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Hough (1651-1743), Bishop of Oxford (1699), and later Bishop of Worcester (1717), best known for the confrontation over his election as President at Magdalen College, Oxford (1681-1687.) He was "the son of John Hough...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hoffay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hoffay family to Ireland

Some of the Hoffay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hoffay migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Hoffay or a variant listed above:

Hoffay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Hoffay, aged 25, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • Joseph Hoffay, aged 30, who landed in America from London, England, in 1915
  • Edith Mary Hoffay, aged 47, who landed in America from London, England, in 1915
  • Edith M. Hoffay, aged 43, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Hoffay (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Hoffay, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Victoria, 1924 [6]


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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