Giffard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Giffard arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Giffard family lived in Staffordshire with now extinct branches in Devon, Southampton and Buckinghamshire. [1] Some references claim that the surname was a nickname for a chubby cheeked or round faced person having derived from the Old French word "giffard," a pejorative form of "giffel," meaning "jaw." This is not the case.

"The old historical Giffards of Normandy and England descended from the De Bollebecs, who were connected by marriage with Richard I, Duke of Normandy. Walter, son of de Bollebec, though surnamed 'Gifford,' or 'the Liberal,' seems to have been conservative in the acquisition and retention of lands; for he got not only the fair domain of Longueville, from Richard II of Normandy, but also the Earldom of Buckinghamshire." [2]

Early Origins of the Giffard family

The surname Giffard was first found in Devon, Southampton, Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire. As mentioned above, the surviving Staffordshire branch has remained there since the reign of Henry II when Peter Gifford became Lord of the Manor of Chillington. [1]

Chillington Hall is a Georgian country house near Brewood in Staffordshire. The current estate is the third manor on the site - the first stone castle was built by the family in the 12th century and part of the current cellar contains some of the original foundation. Another branch of the family was found at Great Blakenham in Suffolk.

"Walter Gifford, Earl of Buckingham, appropriated the manor, in the time of William II., to the monks of Bec in Normandy, who established a cell here." [3]

Little is known of Walter Gifford other than he was Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1311. Bletchley in Buckinghamshire was another family seat.

"Walter Gifford, Earl of Buckingham, possessed by grant from William Rufus the whole landed property of this parish, which was inherited by Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford, who had married his granddaughter, Roesia." [3]

Important Dates for the Giffard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Giffard research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1200, 1279, 1444, 1496, 1557, 1536, 1554, 1613, 1554, 1629, 1560, 1590, 1548, 1600, 1642, 1734, 1687, 1703, 1703 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Giffard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Giffard 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 Gifford, Giffard, Geffard, Gyfford, Gifferd, Geffard, Gifferd, Gyffard, Gyfferd, Gyford, Giford, Givard, Givord, Giverd and many more.

Early Notables of the Giffard family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Alexander Gifford; George Gifford (by 1496-1557) an English politician, Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1536 and Buckinghamshire in April 1554; George Gifford (died 1613), English politician, Member of Parliament for Morpeth and Cricklade; Gabriel Gifford (1554-1629), Catholic Archbishop of Reims; Gilbert Gifford (1560-1590), English double agent who...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Giffard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Giffard family to Ireland

Some of the Giffard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Giffard migration to the United States

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 Giffard or a variant listed above:

Giffard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Giffard, who arrived in Leeward Islands in 1703 [4]

Giffard migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Giffard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Robert Giffard, who landed in Canada in 1622
  • Robert Giffard, who arrived in Quebec in 1627
  • Robert Giffard, who landed in Quebec in 1634

Contemporary Notables of the name Giffard (post 1700)

  • Lieutenant General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay KBE CMG DSO and Bar (1882-1966), senior Australian soldier
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay (1882-1966), Australian High Commissioner in India from 1944 to 1948 [5]
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard LeQuesne Martel KCB, KBE, DSO, MC, M I Mech E (1889-1958), British Army engineer serving in World War I and World War II, known as "Q Martel", involved in development of the tank
  • Giffard Le Quesne Martel (1889-1958), English soldier

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Citations

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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)
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Iven Mackay. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Mackay/Sir_Iven_Giffard/Australia.html
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