Geoffrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Geoffrey surname is a 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.

Goisfridus, Gaufridus and Gosfridus are all listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] At this time people tended to only use a surname; forenames came years later. Galfridus was listed in Lincolnshire c. 1150 and Simon filius Gosfrei was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Norfolk in 1210. Walter Geffrei was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Norfolk in 1203 and Gefray was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243. [2]

Geoffrey (d. 1093), was "Bishop of Coutances, [who] came of a noble Norman family settled at Montbrai, or, as pronounced in English, Mowbray, in the arrondissement of St. Lô; he was brother of Roger of Mowbray, and his sister Amicia married Roger of Albini. He was consecrated bishop of Coutances at Rouen on 10 April 1048, and is described as tall, handsome, and prudent." [3]

Geoffrey of Gorham (d. 1146), was Abbot of St. Albans, and "was descended from ancestors of noble rank both in Normandy and in Maine, of which county he was a native. " [3]

Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100?-1154), "otherwise Galfridus or Gaufridus Arturus, Galfridus Monemutensis, styled by Welsh writers Galffrai or Gruffyd ab Arthur, bishop of St. Asaph and chronicler, was either born or bred at Monmouth about the commencement of the twelfth century, and may have been at one time a monk of the Benedictine abbey there. He was the son of Arthur, who, according to Welsh authorities, was family priest of William, Earl of Gloucester, an apocryphal personage." [3]

Early Origins of the Geoffrey family

The surname Geoffrey was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where early forms of the name were found: Goisfridus, Gaufridus, Gosfridus. Later in Lincolnshire, Galfridus was found c. 1150. It wasn't until 1210, for the name to emerge with a forename: Simian filius Gosfrie in the Curia Regis Rolls for Norfolk. Agnes Geffreys was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1283 and a few years later, Robert Geoffray was listed in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1293. [2]

Early History of the Geoffrey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geoffrey research. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1327, 1327, 1327, 1332, 1333, 1340, 1379, 1450, 1499, 1566, 1689, 1723, 1645, 1689, 1610, 1685, 1643, 1613, 1703, 1674, 1685 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Geoffrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Geoffrey Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Geoffrey has seen various spelling variations: Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.

Early Notables of the Geoffrey family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem (1645-1689), Welsh jurist & politician, known as "The Hanging Judge," Lord Chancellor of Britain; George Jeffreys (ca.1610-1685), an English composer and organist to King Charles I at Oxford in 1643; and Sir Robert Geffrye (1613-1703), a Cornish merchant, Sheriff of London in 1674 and Lord Mayor of London in 1685. He was the "son of Robert Geffrey of...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Geoffrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Geoffrey family to Ireland

Some of the Geoffrey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Geoffrey migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Geoffrey:

Geoffrey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Louis Geoffrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [4]
  • Hyacinthe Geoffrey, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
Geoffrey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Felix Geoffrey, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [4]
  • N Geoffrey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Geoffrey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Geoffrey Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Nicolas Geoffrey, who landed in Canada in 1664

Contemporary Notables of the name Geoffrey (post 1700) +

  • G J Teale Geoffrey, teenage lead guitarist in the "Schechter-Teale Band"
  • Peter Geoffrey Atkins (1936-2022), New Zealand Anglican clergyman, who served as the Bishop of Waiapu from 1983 to 1990
  • Ian Geoffrey Hannaford (1940-2022), Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL (1958-1964)
  • Sir "Arthur" Geoffrey Haworth (1896-1987), 2nd Baronet of Dunham Massey in the County of Chester, English peer
  • Terry Geoffrey Morrison (1951-2021), New Zealand rugby union winger for the New Zealand National Team in 1973
  • Sir Brian Geoffrey Bender KCB (1949-2021), British civil servant, Permanent Secretary of three departments, two of which were re-organised under his helm
  • Moloantoa Geoffrey Makhubo (1968-2021), South African politician, Mayor of Johannesburg from December 2019 until his death from COVID-19 in July 2021
  • Bruce Geoffrey Haymes, Australian musician who won the ARIA Award for Best Original Soundtrack Album in 2002
  • Norman Geoffrey Jukes (1932-2021), English professional footballer who played as a full-back from 1951 to 1955
  • Sir Walter Geoffrey Shakerley (1859-1943), 3rd Baronet of Somerford Park in the County of Chester, English peer


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)


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