Jolyfe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Ancestry of the Jolyfe name lies with the Norman Conquest of England. This Norman name was used for a happy and lively person. The surname of Jolliffe was originally derived from the Old French word joli, of the same meaning. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

Early Origins of the Jolyfe family

The surname Jolyfe was first found in Staffordshire where they were an ancient family granted lands by William the Conqueror, and "allied to some of the chief nobles of the Kingdom." A northern branch enjoyed power and affluence in Europe before the Norman Conquest, and were originally known as Jolli. This spelling changed with the years to Jollye, to Jolliff, and finally to Jolliffe.

Important Dates for the Jolyfe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolyfe research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1824, 1613, 1680, 1660, 1679, 1660, 1750, 1734, 1741, 1697 and 1771 are included under the topic Early Jolyfe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jolyfe Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Jolliffe, Jolli, Jolliff and others.

Early Notables of the Jolyfe family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Jolliffe; John Jolliffe (1613-1680), an English merchant in London and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1679; William Jolliffe (1660-1750), British politician, Member of Parliament for Petersfield (1734-1741)...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolyfe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Jolyfe family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Jolyfe or a variant listed above: John Jolliffe settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630; Mary Jolliffe settled in Georgia in 1741; John Joliffe settled in Barbados in 1685; John Joyliffe arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1663 from the original Staffordshire branch..

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