Show ContentsFitzgeffery History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman prefix "Fitz," meant "son of" and was used with the father's name, until the father died. When patronymic names became surnames the Fitz became a permanent part of the surname. It has been suggested that the FitzGeoffrey surname came from Geoffrey, Earl of Essex.

Early Origins of the Fitzgeffery family

The surname Fitzgeffery was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Blackburn Hall in Bedfordshire who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Sir John Fitzgeoffrey was one of the Barons who rebelled against King John and was at Runnymede in 1215 at the signing of the Magna Carta.

Early History of the Fitzgeffery family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzgeffery research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1511, 1575, 1611, 1617 and 1638 are included under the topic Early Fitzgeffery History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitzgeffery Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fitzgeffery family name include FitzGefferey, FitzGeofferey, FitzGeferey, FitzGeffrey, FitzGeoffry, FitzGeoffrey and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitzgeffery family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Charles Fitzgeffrey (1575?-1638), Cornish poet and divine, born at Fowey in Cornwall about 1575, son of Alexander Fitzgeffrey, a clergyman who had migrated from Bedfordshire. [2] Henry Fitzgeffrey (fl. 1617), English writer of satires and epigrams, "is commonly assumed to...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fitzgeffery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fitzgeffery family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Fitzgeffery family to immigrate North America: George Fitzgeffrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1623; and William Fitzgeffrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1623.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook