Giffen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished German surname Giffen is of two possible origins. Firstly, the name is derived from "Gifhorn," the name of a town in the region of Hanover. It was a common practice of the time to refer to a new resident of a city by the name of his hometown; thus, in this case, it is likely that the progenitor of the name was a native of Gifhorn who had settled in another city. Alternatively, the name may be derived from the Old High German "geba," meaning "to give."

Early Origins of the Giffen family

The surname Giffen was first found in Lower Saxony, where the name is thought to have emerged. The young Giffen family was instrumental during this period, playing a major role in the early history of the region and contributing greatly to the development of medieval German society.

Important Dates for the Giffen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Giffen research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1457, 1620, 1645, 1726, 1730, 1732, 1740, and 1870 are included under the topic Early Giffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Giffen Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gift, Giff, Giffey, Giffen, Giffhorn, Gifhorn and others.

Early Notables of the Giffen family (pre 1700)

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Giffen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Giffen migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Giffen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Giffen, who settled in Boston in 1769
Giffen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Giffen, who settled in Jamaica in 1801
  • Thomas Giffen, who arrived in Jamaica in 1801 [1]

Giffen migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Giffen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Giffen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Giffen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Contemporary Notables of the name Giffen (post 1700)

  • Robert Carlisle Giffen (1886-1962), United States Navy admiral, Commander Service Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1945-1946), recipient of the Navy Cross and Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Keith Ian Giffen (b. 1952), American comic book illustrator and writer
  • Sir Robert Giffen KCB (1837-1910), Scottish statistician and economist, Fellow of the Royal Society in 1892, awarded the Guy Medal (gold) in 1894, eponym of the term "giffen good," a contrarian principle where people consume more of a product as the price rises and vice versa
  • Walter Giffen (1861-1949), Australian cricketer who played in 3 Tests between 1887 and 1892, older brother of George Giffen
  • George Giffen (1859-1927), Australian cricketer who played for South Australia and Australia, posthumously inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Brad Giffen, Canadian television reporter, anchor and radio personality

Historic Events for the Giffen family

HMS Hood
  • Mr. John A Giffen (b. 1921), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Fulham, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [2]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
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