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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Belgium, Dutch, English, French, German


The distinguished surname Geffen emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Geffen is derived from Giff, a pet form of the personal name Geoffrey. This pet form is supplemented by the diminutive suffix -on or -in.

Geffen Early Origins



The surname Geffen was first found in North Ayrshire where the Barony of Giffen was in the parish of Beith in the former District of Cunninghame. Giffen Castle is today in ruins but the castle was home to the Lordship of Giffin, which included the Baronies of Giffen, Trearne, Hessilhead, Broadstone, Roughwood and Ramshead dating back to the 15th century. It fell into disrepair soon after 1726 and finally collapsed in 1838.

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Geffen Spelling Variations


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Geffen Spelling Variations



Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Giffin, Giffen, Geffen, Giffan, Giffon, Geffan, Geffon, Giffines, Giffins, Giffans, Giffons, Whiffen, Whiffin, Wiffin, Wiffen, McGiffen and many more.

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Geffen Early History


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Geffen Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geffen research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379 and are included under the topic Early Geffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Geffen Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Geffen Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Geffen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Geffen In Ireland


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Geffen In Ireland



Some of the Geffen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Geffen:

Geffen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Geffen, who arrived in Maryland in 1664

Geffen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Abraham Geffen, who came to New York, NY in 1872
  • Rike Geffen, who came to New York, NY in 1872
  • Matias Geffen, who arrived in Allegheny Co. Pennsylvania in 1891

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Contemporary Notables of the name Geffen (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Geffen (post 1700)



  • Maxwell M Geffen (1896-1980), American editor and publisher from New York
  • David Geffen (b. 1943), American record executive, film producer and theatrical producer
  • Tobias Geffen (1870-1970), rabbi from Atlanta, Georgia
  • Aviv Geffen (b. 1973), Israeli rock singer
  • Yehonatan Geffen (b. 1947), Israeli writer

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Geffen Family Crest Products


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Geffen Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Geffen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Geffen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 29 November 2016 at 16:23.

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