Jeffersons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This Jeffersons surname comes from the Norman personal names Geoffrey and Godfrey. These names appear in Middle English as Geffrey and in Old French as Jefroi or Jeufroi. Galfridus and Gaufridus are early forms of the name; these indicate a Germanic first element derived from either "gala," which means "to sing," or "gawi," which means "region" or "territory." [1]

The surname Jeffersons also features the patronymic suffix "-son," which superseded all other such suffixes in popularity by the 14th century and was most common in the north of Britain.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 Jeffersons family

The surname Jeffersons was first found in Staffordshire where Robert Geffreysone was recorded in the Assize Rolls for 1344. Years later, the family emerged in Yorkshire where Alice Geffrason was listed in 1488 and later John Jeffrason was listed as a Freeman of York in 1528. [2]

The Jeffersons of Virginia which included US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) probably hailed from England.

Early History of the Jeffersons family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jeffersons research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1344, 1488, 1528, 1609, 1658, 1640, 1648, 1641, 1743, 1826, 1720, 1691, 1720 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Jeffersons History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jeffersons Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Jeffers, Jefferson, Jeffson, Jephson and others.

Early Notables of the Jeffersons family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Jephson (1609-1658), a Member of Parliament for Stockbridge (1640-1648), served in the Parliamentary army and was Cromwell's envoy to Sweden. He was "the eldest son of Sir John Jephson of Froyle, Hampshire, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Norreys of Mallow, co. Cork. He was one of the representatives of Stockbridge, Hampshire, in the Long parliament, and...
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jeffersons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jeffersons family to Ireland

Some of the Jeffersons family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 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 Jeffersons family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Jeffersons or a variant listed above: John Jefferson, who came to Virginia in 1620; Mary Jefferson, who settled in Virginia in 1653; Edmund Jefferson, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682; Robert Jefferson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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