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

Origins Available: Dutch, English


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

Giffin Early Origins



The surname Giffin 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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Giffin Spelling Variations


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Giffin 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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Giffin Early History


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Giffin Early History



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

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Giffin Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Giffin Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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Giffin In Ireland


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Giffin In Ireland



Some of the Giffin 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 were a number of people bearing the name Giffin

Giffin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hannah Giffin settled in Pennsylvania in 1771

Giffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Giffin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • John Giffin arrived in Philadelphia in 1840
  • O F Giffin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1860
  • Maggie Giffin, aged 70, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Elliot M. Giffin, aged 39, who emigrated to America, in 1897

Giffin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Josselyn Giffin, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Mrs. William M. Giffin, aged 54, who emigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • John Wm. Giffin, aged 32, who emigrated to the United States from Helen's Bay, Ireland, in 1908
  • Anna M. Giffin, aged 34, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Charles Bernard Giffin, who landed in America, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Giffin Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Wesley Giffin, aged 57, who arrived at Sarnia Ont., Canada, in 1924

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Contemporary Notables of the name Giffin (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Giffin (post 1700)



  • Gordon D. Giffin (b. 1949), the thirty-fourth Ambassador of the United States to Canada
  • Merritt Hayward Giffin (1887-1911), American silver medalist discus thrower at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • Emily Giffin (b. 1972), American author
  • Noah Giffin (b. 1987), Canadian musician and engineer
  • Simon Osborn Giffin (1870-1935), Canadian merchant and political figure in Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Lee Giffin (b. 1967), Canadian retired NHL ice hockey player
  • Ronald Chapman "Ron" Giffin (b. 1942), Canadian lawyer and former politician in Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Michael Giffin (b. 1984), Canadian CFL football running back for the Montreal Alouettes
  • David Giffin (b. 1973), Australian former vice-captain of the Wallabies in rugby union
  • Philip Giffin, Composer

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Giffin Family Crest Products


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Giffin 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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
    3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    11. ...

    The Giffin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Giffin 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 16:23.

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