Recorded as Paffett, Poffet, Puffet, Puffett, Puffitt etc.. This unusual surname is a patronymic derivative "son of Puff" of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal nickname "Pude". The original meaning was "a small, round, jolly person" as in John Pudde recorded in the 1168 Pipe Rolls of Warwick. In Middle English "dd" and "th" were interchangeable, the transposition to "ff" being apparently early 17th Century. The name recording examples include William Puffitt of Westminster (1635) and Elizabeth Puffett of Sunbury on Thames (1751). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Puffet, which was dated March 14th 1641, a witness at All Hallows Church, London Wall, during the reign of King Charles I, "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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