Shafften is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Shafften family lived in Northumberland
, at Shafto Crag,
from whence their name is derived.
Early Origins of the Shafften family
The surname Shafften 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 Shafften family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shafften research.Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1110 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Shafften History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shafften Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Shafto, Shaftan, Shaftoe, Shaftowe, Shaftow and others.
Early Notables of the Shafften family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Shafften Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shafften family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Shafften or a variant listed above: John Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1716; Edward Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1730.