Shafftan is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Shafftan family lived in Northumberland
, at Shafto Crag,
from whence their name is derived.
Early Origins of the Shafftan family
The surname Shafftan was first found in Northumberland
at either Shafto East or Shafto West. Both townships have remained rather small over the years with populations less than 50 people but both have considerable antiquity, being mentioned in records of the 13th century. In 1378, Matthew Bolton, vicar of Newcastle, and others, were feoffees for founding a chantry in the "chapel of Shafthowe." The Shaftos were traditional landowners of the area with the Aynsleys, and the Vaughans. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Shafftan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shafftan research.Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1110 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Shafftan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shafftan Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Shafto, Shaftan, Shaftoe, Shaftowe, Shaftow and others.
Early Notables of the Shafftan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Shafftan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shafftan family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Shafftan or a variant listed above: John Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1716; Edward Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1730.