This interesting name can be traced to two possible origins. Firstly it may be a dialectal variant of the locational name "Duffield", a parish in the county of Derby and also two townships in Yorkshire, named from the Old Norse, "dufa", dove, and the Old English word "feld", pasture or open country, (see below). It is also a nickname deriving from the Old English "dufe" (dove), and "heafod" (head) and the Medieval English words "dove" (dove), and "heved" (head). One Richard Dovefote is recorded in Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire and "William Dowfhed" is mentioned in the register of the freemen of the city of York (1355). Early records name Joan Dufett, daughter of John Dufett, who was christened in Christchurch, London in 1550. Elizabeth Duffitt, daughter of Mary and Thomas Duffitt, was christened at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London on November 16th 1621. The earliest record of "Duffett" is Catherina Duffett", daughter of Mariae and Roberti Duffett, christened in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on November 30th 1665. Variations of the name existing today are "Duffet", "Duffitt", "Duffell", "Duffield" and "Duffill". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Duffeld, which was dated 1190, in the "Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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