This interesting surname of English origin is a nickname for a powerful or brave man, especially a champion jouster, deriving from the Middle English "doughty", Olde English pre 7th Century "dohtig" "dyhtig" meaning "valiant" or "strong". The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one William Doughty (1300), "the Register of the Freemen of Leicester", and John Dughti (1314), "the Register of the Freemen of York". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Douty, Dowty, Dufty, etc.. One Alys Dowtye married William Style at St. Margaret, Westminster, on January 23rd 1547. Henry Doughty was christened on December 28th 1562 at St. Martin, Pomeroy, London and Elizabeth Doughty married James Franncis on February 13th 1575 at St. Augustine, Watling Street, London. John Doughty (1598 - 1672) was a divine, received a B.A. and fellow of Merton College, Oxford (1618), M.A. (1622), joined the cavalier forces, D.D. and prebendary of Westminster Abbey (1660), rector of Cheam (1662). One John Doughty (aged 18 yrs), a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "John-Robert" bound for New York on June 1st 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Douti, witness, which was dated 1247, in the "Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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