Show ContentsLuff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Luff is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from an Old English personal name Lufu which affectionately referred to Love. In this case, the name was a "personal name and pet name [Middle English love, luf(e), Old English lufu, from, love]. Lufu was an A.-Saxon fem. name." [1]

The surname Luff was adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. After the Norman Conquest, the Old English naming system gradually dissolved. Old English names became less common and were replaced by popular continental European names. The earliest surnames in England were found shortly after the Norman Conquest and are of Norman French rather than native English origins.

However, two other sources disagrees with this generally accepted origin and in "this name relates not to the tender passion, but is an old modification of the French Loup, wolf." [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Luff family

The surname Luff was first found in Oxfordshire, where one of the first records of the family was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 as a forename as in Love del Hok. The same rolls lists Alan le Love and Walter Love in Cambridgeshire. [4]

Another source claims "Love is an ancient Kentish surname. Reginald Love held property around Chatham and Rochester in the reign of Henry V. The Loves have long been an old Staplehurst [, Kent] family of gentry; a hundred years since there were several inscriptions to this family, some of them obliterated, in the church and churchyard." [5]

Up in Scotland, early records there revealed Thomas Lufe who appeared as witness in Glasgow, 1472, and Yhone Luyif was a tenant in the barony of Glasgow, 1521. William Lufe and Ranald Lufe were rebels at the horn in 1534, and John Lufe rendered to Exchequer the accounts of the bailies of the burgh of Renfrew in 1567. [6]

Early History of the Luff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Luff research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1095, 1470, 1596, 1661, 1608, 1682, 1610, 1610 and are included under the topic Early Luff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Luff Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Luff has undergone many spelling variations, including Love, Lufe, Luf and others.

Early Notables of the Luff family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Love (1596-1661), an English churchman and academic, Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, member of the Westminster Assembly, and Dean of Ely; Nicholas Love (1608-1682), an English lawyer, one of the Regicides of King Charles I of England, upon the Restoration, he escaped to Switzerland where he died. On the more infamous side, Peter Love (d. 1610), was an English pirate, believed to have been from Lewes, Sussex. As captain of the Priam...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Luff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Luff Ranking

In the United States, the name Luff is the 15,136th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Luff family to Ireland

Some of the Luff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Luff migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Luff were among those contributors:

Luff Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Luff, who arrived in America in 1633 [8]
  • Edward Luff, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [8]
Luff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Luff, who landed in New Jersey in 1770 [8]
Luff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John N Luff, aged 26, who arrived in New York, NY in 1800 [8]
  • Valentine Luff, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1800 [8]
  • Samuel Luff, who arrived in New York in 1822 [8]
  • Thomas Luff, who arrived in America in 1845 [8]

Canada Luff migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Luff Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • E Luff, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • John Luff, who landed in Canada in 1832
  • John Luff, aged 15, who landed in Canada in 1832

Australia Luff migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Luff Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Luff, English convict who was convicted in Abingdon, Berkshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [9]
  • Henry Luff, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ceylon" in 1850 [10]

New Zealand Luff migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Luff Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Luff, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [11]
  • Henry Luff, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Canute" in 1867
  • Mr. Alfred Luff (Suff), (b. 1852), aged 22, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [12]
  • Miss Susan Luff (Suff), (b. 1853), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [12]
  • Adelaide Luff, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Luff (post 1700) +

  • John Nicholas Luff (1860-1938), American philatelist, eponym of The Luff Award of the American Philatelic Society
  • Henry T. Luff (1856-1916), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1875 to 1884
  • Edward T. Luff, American Republican politician, Circuit Judge in West Virginia for the 19th Judicial Circuit, 1969 [13]
  • Robert Charles William Luff CBE (1914-2009), English theatrical agent and producer, best known for producing the stage version of The Black and White Minstrel Show
  • Alfred Luff (1846-1933), English cricketer from Kew, Surrey
  • Brian Luff, born Brian West, an English writer, television producer/director and performer from London
  • William "Bill" Luff (b. 1909), Australian rules footballer
  • Arthur Pearson Luff (1855-1938), British physician and forensic chemist, understood to be one of the founders of 20th century forensic medicine
  • Enid Luff (b. 1935), Welsh musician, music educator and composer from Ebbw Vale, Wales
  • Troy Luff (b. 1969), former Australian rules footballer for the Sydney Swans
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. 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. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022).
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CEYLON 1850. Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  12. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  13. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook