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Surname taft - Meaning and Origin

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taft: What does the surname taft mean?

The surname Taft is of English origin, derived from the Old Norse word "topt" meaning homestead or house. It is a topographical surname used to reference someone who lived in a small plot of land or a yard. Alternatively, the name could also have been derived from the Middle English word "thoft" or "theoft" meaning "lane", "alley" or "paddock". Its variations include Tafft, Tafte, Tafter and others. There are multiple places in England also named Taft, indicating it might have originally indicating a geographical origin. This surname's historical existence dates back to medieval times and it became well-known in the United States due in part to William Howard Taft, the 27th President and later Chief Justice. However, it's important to note that individual families may have their own interpretations or specific ancestry related to the surname.

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taft: Where does the name taft come from?

The last name Taft is most commonly associated with the United States of America. The Taft surname is most widely respected due to the two U.S. President's of the same name, William Howard Taft and his distant cousin Robert Alphonso Taft. The Taft family has lived in the U.S. since the early 1600's with a small group of them being founders of the Connecticut colony. It began as a Quaker family from Devon, England.

Taft is still found in many parts of the United States today, although the prevalence has decreased since the mid-20th century. The greatest concentration of Tafts now is found in Ohio, particularly in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas. As with many people with immigrant roots, the Taft name is sprawled across the country, with significant numbers in California, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida. Beyond the United States, large Taft communities are found in Mexico and Brazil.

In the US, Taft is rarely found as a first name, having fallen out of vogue since its heyday in the early twentieth century. However, the surname itself is still relatively common, with over 27,000 Americans carrying the Taft moniker – still making it one of the more popular surnames in the US.

Variations of the surname taft

The Taft surname is believed to have an English origin, likely deriving from an occupational name derived from the Old English "taeft," which means "weaver." Variations of the surname Taft include Tafte, Taufte, Toft, Taffe, Tavitt, Taff, Tavit, Thefft, Taffee, Theakston, Tawitt, Tefft, Teakle, and Teagle.

Taft is also the Anglicized form of the surname O’Tótháin, which is of Irish Gaelic origin and means 'descendant of Tóthán.' Variants of O’Tótháin include Toohy, O'Toohey, Toehey, O'Tohey, O'Tohill, Tohill, O'Tohill, Tohil, Toiley, O'Tooley, and Tooley.

In Germany, the Taft surname is derived from various given names beginning with the Germanic element "taht" (meaning people or tribe). Variations of the German Taft surname include Tafta, Tafel, Toffel, Tophorn, and Tofel.

In Denmark, the Taft surname is derived from the word "toft," which means homestead or settlement. Variations of the Danish Taft surname include Toft and Tofts.

The Taft surname is also found in Sweden and Scandinavia, where it is derived from the Old Norse given names "Tofr," meaning "Thor's forest," and "Töfri," meaning "thundering." Variations of the Swedish Taft surname include Thof, Tof, Tofr, Toffi, Thor, Tovi, Tafti, Tafton, and Taffi.

Finally, in the Netherlands, the Taft surname is derived from the Dutch word "taft," which is a type of woolen fabric or taffeta used in the textile industry. Variants of the Dutch Taft surname include Taift, Tafft, Taff, Ta FACE, Taftele, and Tieft.

Famous people with the name taft

  • William Howard Taft: the 27th President of the United States and 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Robert A. Taft: Senator from Ohio, three-time presidential candidate, and a leader of the conservative coalition.
  • Seth Taft: a former mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Herbert S. Taft: an assistant to US Supreme Court justices, civil servant, political scientist, and the son of President William Howard Taft.
  • William Howard Taft IV: a former US deputy secretary of defense and lawyer.
  • Horace Taft: a physicist who specialized in optics.
  • Lorado Taft: a noted American sculptor, who built monumental fountains around the United States in the early 20th century.
  • Peter Rawson Taft II: a politician and son of President William Howard Taft.
  • Robert Taft Jr.: the son of Senator Robert A. Taft and former Leader of the Republican Senate from Ohio.
  • Ruth Ellsworth Taft: an American theater producer and Director.

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