Tofts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Tofts dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the parish of Toft in the county of Norfolk. This place-name was originally derived from the Old Norman word Topt which was used to denote those who lived in the trees or forest. There were other locations with the same name found in Cambridge, Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. The surname Tofts is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel.

Early Origins of the Tofts family

The surname Tofts was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Tofts family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tofts research. Another 154 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1640, 1725, 1675, 1669, 1620, 1680, 1758, 1698, 1689, 1750 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Tofts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tofts Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Tofts have been found, including Taft, Tafte, Toft, Tofte, Tofts, Tuffs and others.

Early Notables of the Tofts family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Robert Toft (d. 1620), English poet and translator, a 'gentleman' who travelled in France and Italy. Katherine Tofts (1680?-1758?), was an English vocalist, said to be connected with the family of Bishop Burnet. [1] Thomas Toft (died 1698), was an English potter...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tofts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Tofts family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Tofts, or a variant listed above: Joseph Taft arrived in Maryland in 1774; Fred, R. and P. Taft, arrived in San Francisco in 1850; James Toft settled in New England in 1753; David Toft settled in Philadelphia in 1841..


Contemporary Notables of the name Tofts (post 1700) +

  • Chris M. N. Tofts (b. 1964), English computer scientist, a scientist at Hewlett-Packard (1999-2008), Fellow of the British Computer Society and Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Application
  • Catherine Tofts (d. 1756), or Katherine Tofts, the first English singer who sang Italian opera in England, inspiration of a Jonathon Swift poem in which he exalts her beauty


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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