Show ContentsTift History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tift was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Tift family lived in Leicestershire, at Twyford.

Early Origins of the Tift family

The surname Tift was first found in Leicestershire where they were Lords of the manor of Twyford, and conjecturally descended from Hugh de Grandmesnil, sometimes spelt Grentemaisnil, from Calvados in the canton of St. Pierre-Sur-Eides in Normandy. The senior line of this family descended to the Earls of Leicester.

Early History of the Tift family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tift research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1388, 1390, 1378, 1560, 1620, 1640, 1729, 1640, 1679 and 1657 are included under the topic Early Tift History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tift Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Tift are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Tift include Twiford, Twyford, Tyford, Tyeford, Tieford, Tweeford, Tweford, Twifort, Twyfort, Tweefort, Tweeforth and many more.

Early Notables of the Tift family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Twyford, early English politician, Member of Parliament for Derbyshire in 1378. John Twyford was Lord Mayor of London; and Henry Twiford of Kenwick, Shropshire whose daughter was the second wife of Robert Hesketh (c.1560-1620), an English Member of Parliament and High Sheriff of Lancashire. Josiah Twyford (1640-1729), was an English potter, born in 1640 at Shelton, near Stoke-on-Trent. "Twyford commenced a manufactory of his own near Shelton Old Hall, the...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tift Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tift migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Tift, or a variant listed above:

Tift Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Tift, who landed in Massachusetts in 1641 [1]
Tift Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Asa F Tift, aged 30, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1837 [1]
  • M Tift, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • M.E. Tift, aged 40, who settled in America, in 1896
Tift Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Tift, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Katherine Tift, aged 54, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Edward Tift, aged 54, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • T. W. Tift, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Y. W. Tift, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Tift migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tift Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • David Tift, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760

Contemporary Notables of the name Tift (post 1700) +

  • Raymond Frank Tift (1884-1945), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Nelson Tift (1810-1891), American jurist, businessman, soldier and politician from the state of Georgia, eponym of Tift County, Georgia
  • William H. Tift, American politician, First Selectman of Griswold, Connecticut, 1909 [2]
  • Nelson Tift (1810-1891), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives, 1841; U.S. Representative from Georgia 2nd District, 1868-69 [2]
  • Catherine Tift Merritt (b. 1975), American singer-songwriter

  1. 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)
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook