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 The surname Jeff makes use of the patronymic suffix -son, which had superseded all other such suffixes in popularity by the 14th century, and was most common in the north of Britain.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 Jeff 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 Jeff family
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Jeff Spelling Variations
Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Jeff have included Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.
Early Notables of the Jeff 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 Jeff family to Ireland
Some of the Jeff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Jeff family to the New World and Oceana
During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Jeff: 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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