Recorded as Loftie and Lofty, this is an English surname although probably one of pre 8th century Norse-Viking origins. Like the surnames Loft and Loftis, it would seem to derive from the word "loft" meaning air, with the transferred meaning of "high", and hence a medieval nickname for a tall person. This form was perhaps a northern diminutive with the distinctive suffix y or ie being added as a form of endearment. Unfortunately the name in these spellings does not seem to be recorded in any of the dictionaries of surnames, for us to check our findings against theirs. Furthermore we have not been able to find any proven recordings earlier than the Stuart period (17th century), which is usually considered much too late, most surnames being in place by the 14th century. However it is also true that the church register recordings which commenced in 1535 show a steady "development" in spelling with some amazing examples in the period from about 1570 to 1670 which was when the English language changed from Middle to Modern English, as we know it today. Examples of recordings taken from surviving registers of the city of London include Wyllyam Loftis at the church of Allhallows, London Wall, in 1553, Catherine Lofty who married William Horne by special licence in London on October 3rd 1679, and Ann Loftie who married Richard Jackson at St Mary Aldermary, on August 2nd 1743.
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