This is an English surname but one of pre 7th century Old Norse-Viking origins. It may be either a topographical name for a dweller in a house with an upper-chamber and hence was a form of status, or it could have been an occupational name for a servant of the upper-chamber. In either case the derivation is from the word "lopt" meaning loft or upper storey. Houses built with an upper storey (which was often used for the storage of produce during the winter) were a considerable rarity among the ordinary people of the medieval times, and perhaps not suprisingly this is one of the earliest of all surnames to be recorded. These recordings include Hugh ate Lofte in the Assize Court Rolls of Kent in 1317 and Hugo Loft of Sussex in the year 1346. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Loftis, Lofthouse and Loftus. Church registers for the diocese of Greater London include examples such as the christening of Elizabeth Lofts, the daughter of Matthew and Debora Lofts, in July 1626 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of John Loft to Tabitha Thompson on May 19th 1713 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matthew ad le Loft. This was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, and known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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