This name is locational of Olde English origin and derives either from the village of Lifton in Devon, or from residence at a Farm on the River Lyd. as "Liwtun" the village is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles c.880 AD. The River Lyd also being known as "The Lew". In the Domesday Book for 1086, the recorded spelling is Liftone and in the Devon Pipe Rolls of 1157, the name appears as William de Liftuna. In the middle English period, the name spellings include Lefton, Lyfton and Liffiton although the latter is now probably extinct. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willmote Lifton (female). which was dated 1602, (married) William Sott at St. martins, Exeter. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.