Jefferies History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jefferies 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 Jefferies family

The surname Jefferies 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 Jefferies family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jefferies 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 Jefferies History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jefferies 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 Jefferies has seen various spelling variations: Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.

Early Notables of the Jefferies 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 Jefferies Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jefferies family to Ireland

Some of the Jefferies 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 Jefferies migration to the United States +

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Jefferies:

Jefferies Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nathanael Jefferies, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • Andrew Jefferies, who settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Thomas Jefferies, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Andrew Jefferies, aged 24, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Edward Jefferies, aged 24, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jefferies Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James W Jefferies, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835 [4]

Australia Jefferies migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Jefferies Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Jefferies, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Francis Jefferies, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Thomas Jefferies, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Jefferies (Jeffreys), (b. 1796), aged 42, Cornish house carpenter and jointer, from Polperro, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Layton" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 18th January 1838 [8]
  • Mrs. Anne Jefferies (Jeffreys), (b. 1802), aged 36, English tailoress, from Bideford, Devon, England, UK travelling aboard the ship "Layton" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 18th January 1838 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jefferies migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Jefferies Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Jefferies, aged 31, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • Sarah Jefferies, aged 30, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • Mr. Samuel Jefferies, (b. 1811), aged 31, British agricultural labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" arriving in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand on 28th October 1842 [9]
  • Mrs. Sarah Jefferies, (b. 1812), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" arriving in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand on 28th October 1842 [9]
  • Mrs. Jefferies, British settler travelling from London with 7 children aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand via Nelson and Wellington on 1st March 1852 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jefferies (post 1700) +

  • Chris Jefferies (b. 1980), American basketball player
  • Gregg Jefferies (b. 1967), American baseball infielder
  • Matt Jefferies (1921-2003), American artist, set designer and writer
  • Richard Manning Jefferies (1889-1964), American Democrat politician, Member of South Carolina State Senate from Colleton County, 1927-58; Governor of South Carolina, 1942-43 [11]
  • R. M. Jefferies Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1964 [11]
  • John C. Jefferies, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Laredo, Texas, 1878 [11]
  • Jervas Jefferies, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Tehuantepec, 1897; Salina Cruz, 1897 [11]
  • James R. Jefferies, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 1st District, 1942 [11]
  • Hardie H. Jefferies, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 15th District, 1926 [11]
  • Charles R. Jefferies, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware; Elected 1895 [11]
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_bounty_nsw.pdf
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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