England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shaftow family lived in Northumberland, at Shafto Crag, from whence their name is derived.
Early Origins of the Shaftow 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 Shaftow family
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Shaftow Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Shaftow include Shafto, Shaftan, Shaftoe, Shaftowe, Shaftow and others.
Early Notables of the Shaftow family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Shaftow family to the New World and Oceana
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Shaftows to arrive on North American shores: John Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1716; Edward Shaftoe settled in Virginia in 1730.
Shaftow Family Crest Products