Tuft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Tuft comes from when the family resided 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. [1]

Toft is also "a township in the parish of Knutsford, Cheshire and is the parent of the Cheshire Tofts." [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has a variety of spellings for the various parishes: Toft, Cambridgeshire, Tofth; Toft Minks, Norfolk, Toft; and West Tofts, Norfolk, Toftes. [3]

"The name of Tofts is now best represented in the district of Bishop's Stortford [Hertfordshire]. Tofts is a Norfolk parish, and De Toftes was a Norfolk surname in the 13th century (H. R.). Two parishes in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire are called Toft." [4]

Early Origins of the Tuft family

The surname Tuft was first found in Northumberland where Elyas del Toft was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1197. [5] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the widespread use of the name at that time: Gundreda de Toftes, Norfolk; Eborard de Toft, Norfolk; Alan de Toft, Cambridgeshire; and Robert de Toft, Bedfordshire. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included an entry for Johannes Attn toftes et uxor and later, Hugh de Toft was recorded in East Cheshire in 1394. [2] The Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk included a listing of Gilbert de Toftes in 1327. John de Taft was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1340. [5]

By the 12th century they had moved north and acquired the old lands and barony which they called Tofts in the parish of Kirkton in Roxburghshire, Scotland. Ingram de Toftes, Robert de Toftes, and William de Toftes all rendered homage in 1296 to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland. William of Toftys was Rector of the church at Great Cauerys (Cavers) in 1363. [6]

Early History of the Tuft family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tuft research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1499, 1637, 1641, 1580, 1605, 1620, 1640, 1725, 1675, 1669, 1680, 1758, 1698, 1689, 1750 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Tuft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tuft Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Tuft has been recorded under many different variations, including Taft, Tafte, Toft, Tofte, Tofts, Tuffs and others.

Early Notables of the Tuft 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. Robert Taft Sr. (c. 1640-1725) was the first US Taft and founder of the US Taft Family. Some sources claim he emigrated to the United States in 1675 arriving at Braintree in Massachusetts and others claim he arrived at Mendon in 1669. The Taft homestead was in Mendon but some of his children were born in Braintree. William Howard...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tuft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Tuft migration to Canada +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Tuft or a variant listed above:

Tuft Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Tuft, who arrived in Saint Vincent in 1760-1763

Australia Tuft migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tuft Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Tuft, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim


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