This unusual surname has its origins in a now "lost" place in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The epicentre of the surname recordings appears to lie in the triangle formed by the villages of Kirby in Cleveland, Helmsley, and the town of Thirsk. The name translates as "the hill or mound ("hoh" or "hough" - Olde English pre 7th Century) where flints are found. Rather curiously the placename does not appear in the report by the Historical Commission on lost medieval villages updated to 1990. Nevertheless the name is well recorded in Yorkshire from the early 17th Century, and in a variety of spellings, including: Flintoft, Flintoffe, Fintoph, Flintiff, and in London as Flintuff. It is also widely recorded in Lancashire, but not until 1769, when Thomas Flintoff was a christening witness at Goosnarch, on July 16th of that year. The earliest recordings include John Flintkofe of Catterick, on November 3rd 1689, and William Flintoff of Great Ayton, who married Dinah Carter, on May 18th 1740. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Flintoffe, which was dated August 20th 1630, a witness at the christening of his daughter (name unknown), at Kirby in Cleveland, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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