England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shafftowe family lived in Northumberland, at Shafto Crag, from whence their name is derived.
Early Origins of the Shafftowe family
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 Shafftowe family
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Shafftowe Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Shafto, Shaftan, Shaftoe, Shaftowe, Shaftow and others.
Early Notables of the Shafftowe family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Shafftowe family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Shafftowe or a variant listed above were: John Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1716; Edward Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1730.
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