Show ContentsFitzgeoffry 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 Fitzgeoffry family

The surname Fitzgeoffry 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 Fitzgeoffry family

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

Fitzgeoffry Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include FitzGefferey, FitzGeofferey, FitzGeferey, FitzGeffrey, FitzGeoffry, FitzGeoffrey and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitzgeoffry family (pre 1700)

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 Fitzgeoffry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fitzgeoffry family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fitzgeoffry or a variant listed above: 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