Recorded in the spellings of Loftin, Lofton and Lofting, this is a surname of English origins. It is locational and originates from a now "lost" medieval village probably called "Loftun" or similar, the name translating as the house with an upper floor, at a time when few had them. The derivation is from the Olde English and Norse pre 7th century word "lopthuis". What is certain is that no such place or anything quite like it in spelling, is recorded in any known gazetter of the past two hundred years. This in itself is unusual, but not unique. It is known that at least three thousand, and possibly as many as seven thousand British Isles surnames originate from now "lost" places, of which the only public reminder of their existence in the 20th century, is the surviving surname. Early examples of the surname taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Thomas Lofton at St. Paul's cathedral in the city of London in 1629, and Mary Lofting, at St Brides church, Fleet Street, in 1719. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmund Loffton. This was dated February 25th 1619, when he was a witness at St. Margaret's church, Westminster, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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