Recorded as Douty, Dowty, Doughty, Dofty, and Dufty, this interesting surname is English. It was originally a nickname for a powerful or brave man, especially a champion jouster`, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "dohtig" " meaning valiant or strong. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below) and early examples of recordings include William Doughty in the Register of the Freemen of Leicester in te year 1301, and John Dughti in the Register of the Freemen of York in 1314. Later examples taken from the early surviving church registers of the city of London include Alys Dowtye who married William Style at St. Margaret, Westminster, on January 23rd 1547, Henry Doughty who was christened on December 28th 1562 at St. Martin, Pomeroy, London and Elizabeth Dofty who married James Franncis on February 13th 1575 at St. Augustines, Watling Street. John Doughty (1598 - 1672) although a religious divine, joined the cavalier forces of King Charles 1st in 1642. He was on the restoration made prebendary of Westminster Abbey in 1660. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Douti. This was dated 1247, in the Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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