The surname of LOFTUS was a locational name 'the dweller at the loft-house' the upper floor, a house with an attic or loft. This is a Yorkshire surname, and there are several places of the name. The chief is Lofthouse, a village three miles north of Wakefield, and there is a village so called in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Robert de Lofthus, documented during the reign of Edward I (1279-1307) Yorkshire. Robertus Lofthouse of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Loftous of County York, registered at Oxford University in the year 1593. A locational name usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The original bearer would take his name from the village, town or the area where he dwelt. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage that it would add to their status. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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