This unusual surname appears to be first recorded in London in the year 1803. This, as they say, cannot be! Long before the year 1800, everybody everywhere in England had a hereditary surname for at least two hundred years, and for most people - four hundred. This suggests that 'Dafter' is a variant of something else, the question is what? The surname as Daft or Daft is one of the earliest on record, being particularly prevalent in the Nottingham region, but whether 'Dafter'is in anyway related, we are unsure. The suffix ending of 'er' is a characteristic of the Kent - Sussex region and it describes a resident of a place. Examples are Brooker and Fielder which are self explanatory, on the other hand 'er' is also short for 'worker', and when added to a prefix describes a builder or miller for instance. No occupation comes to mind for 'Dafter'. So where does it come from ? Perhaps Ellen Daftnall who married William Winterley at St Martin Orgar on April 11th 1591 might be the clue, but unfortunately we have no further link recordings. Examples of 'Dafter' recordings include Robert Dafter who married Mary Bellerby at the famous church of St Mary Le Bone, London on April 23rd 1811, and it is in this church that all early records seem to be found. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Dafftor, which was dated April 16th 1803, who married at St Mary Le Bone, London, during the reign of King George 111, known as 'Farmer George', 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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