patronymic name that comes from the personal names Geoffrey and Godfrey. These names appear in Old English as Geffrey and in Old French as Jefroi or Jeufroi. The surname Gefferies makes use of the patronymic suffix -son, which had superseded all other such suffixes in popularity by the 14th century, and was most common in the north of Britain. This suffix was sometimes abbreviated to -s.
Early Origins of the Gefferies family
Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Gefferies family
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Gefferies Spelling Variations
Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Gefferies has occasionally been spelled Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.
Early Notables of the Gefferies family (pre 1700)
Baron Jeffreys of Wem(1645-1689), Welsh jurist & politician, known as "The Hanging Judge," Lord Chancellor of Britain; George Jeffreys (ca.1610-1685)...
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Migration of the Gefferies family to Ireland
Some of the Gefferies family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
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Migration of the Gefferies family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Gefferies Mary Jeffs who settled in Virginia in 1726; Goodwife Jeffreys settled in Virginia in 1624 with her husband; Andrew Jefferies settled in Virginia in 1634.
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