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Geffen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms


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.

Early Origins of the Geffen family


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.

Further to the south, "the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire (1327) and Warwickshire (1332) contain at least 40 surnames [with the] -en [suffix.] " [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
By example, Peter and Rose Geffen were listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Warwickshire in 1332. Willelmus Gyffon was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


Early History of the Geffen family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geffen research.
Another 172 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1710, 1837, 1910, 1640 and are included under the topic Early Geffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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.

Early Notables of the Geffen family (pre 1700)


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

Migration of the Geffen family to Ireland


Some of the Geffen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 226 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Geffen family to the New World and Oceana


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 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)

Geffen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

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

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

Historic Events for the Geffen family



HMS Dorsetshire

  • Sender Geffen (d. 1945), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html

Geffen Family Crest Products



See Also



Citations


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html

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