This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Langtoft in Lincolnshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Langetof', and in the Lincolnshire Pipe Rolls of 1167 as 'Langetoft', and means 'the long toft', from the Old English pre 7th Century 'lang', long, with the Old Scandinavian term 'toft, topt', indicating 'site of a house', or 'deserted site', or in some cases, 'messuage, homestead'. Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The placename Langtoft has generated a number of modern surnames, ranging from Lantaff(e), Lantuff(e) and Lantiff(e) to Lantaph and Lantoph. Thomas Lantaff and Marie Preest were married in London in 1633. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Lantuff (marriage to Isabell Sumner), which was dated October 17th 1589, at Boxworth, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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