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

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German


The distinguished surname Giffen 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 Giffen is derived from Giff, a pet form of the personal name Geoffrey. This pet form is supplemented by the diminutive suffix -on or -in.

Giffen Early Origins



The surname Giffen 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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Giffen Spelling Variations


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Giffen 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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Giffen Early History


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Giffen Early History



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

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Giffen Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Giffen Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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Giffen In Ireland


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Giffen In Ireland



Some of the Giffen 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



In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Giffen were found:

Giffen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Giffen settled in Boston in 1769

Giffen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Giffen settled in Jamaica in 1801
  • Thomas Giffen, who arrived in Jamaica in 1801

Giffen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • James Giffen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Giffen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

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Contemporary Notables of the name Giffen (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Giffen (post 1700)



  • Robert Carlisle Giffen (1886-1962), United States Navy admiral, Commander Service Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1945-1946), recipient of the Navy Cross and Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Keith Ian Giffen (b. 1952), American comic book illustrator and writer
  • Sir Robert Giffen KCB (1837-1910), Scottish statistician and economist, Fellow of the Royal Society in 1892, awarded the Guy Medal (gold) in 1894, eponym of the term "giffen good," a contrarian principle where people consume more of a product as the price rises and vice versa
  • Walter Giffen (1861-1949), Australian cricketer who played in 3 Tests between 1887 and 1892, older brother of George Giffen
  • George Giffen (1859-1927), Australian cricketer who played for South Australia and Australia, posthumously inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Brad Giffen, Canadian television reporter, anchor and radio personality

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Giffen Historic Events


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Giffen Historic Events




HMS Hood

  • Mr. John A Giffen (b. 1921), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Fulham, London, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

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Giffen Family Crest Products


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Giffen 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. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. 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).
    6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    11. ...

    The Giffen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Giffen 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 16:29.

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