Jeffords History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Jeffords is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Jeffords family lived in Staffordshire with now extinct branches in Devon, Southampton and Buckinghamshire.  Some references claim that the surname was a nickname for a chubby cheeked or round faced person having derived from the Old French word "giffard," a pejorative form of "giffel," meaning "jaw." This is not the case.
"The old historical Giffards of Normandy and England descended from the De Bollebecs, who were connected by marriage with Richard I, Duke of Normandy. Walter, son of de Bollebec, though surnamed 'Gifford,' or 'the Liberal,' seems to have been conservative in the acquisition and retention of lands; for he got not only the fair domain of Longueville, from Richard II of Normandy, but also the Earldom of Buckinghamshire." 
Early Origins of the Jeffords family
The surname Jeffords was first found in Devon, Southampton, Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire. As mentioned above, the surviving Staffordshire branch has remained there since the reign of Henry II when Peter Gifford became Lord of the Manor of Chillington. 
Chillington Hall is a Georgian country house near Brewood in Staffordshire. The current estate is the third manor on the site - the first stone castle was built by the family in the 12th century and part of the current cellar contains some of the original foundation. Another branch of the family was found at Great Blakenham in Suffolk.
"Walter Gifford, Earl of Buckingham, appropriated the manor, in the time of William II., to the monks of Bec in Normandy, who established a cell here." 
Little is known of Walter Gifford other than he was Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1311. Bletchley in Buckinghamshire was another family seat.
"Walter Gifford, Earl of Buckingham, possessed by grant from William Rufus the whole landed property of this parish, which was inherited by Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford, who had married his granddaughter, Roesia." 
Important Dates for the Jeffords family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jeffords research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1200, 1279, 1444, 1496, 1557, 1536, 1554, 1613, 1554, 1629, 1560, 1590, 1548, 1600, 1642, 1734, 1687, 1703, 1703 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Jeffords History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Jeffords Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Jeffords family name include Gifford, Giffard, Geffard, Gyfford, Gifferd, Geffard, Gifferd, Gyffard, Gyfferd, Gyford, Giford, Givard, Givord, Giverd and many more.
Early Notables of the Jeffords family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Alexander Gifford; George Gifford (by 1496-1557) an English politician, Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1536 and Buckinghamshire in April 1554; George Gifford (died 1613), English politician, Member of Parliament for Morpeth and Cricklade; Gabriel Gifford (1554-1629), Catholic Archbishop of Reims; Gilbert Gifford (1560-1590), English double agent who...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jeffords Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Jeffords family to Ireland
Some of the Jeffords family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Jeffords migration to the United States
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Jeffords family to immigrate North America:
Typical Jeffords Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Jeffords Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Mary Jeffords, aged 18, who landed in America from Manchester, England, in 1908
- Benjamin Jeffords, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1920
- G. A. Jeffords, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1922
- George A. Jeffords, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name Jeffords (post 1700)
- Harrison H. Jeffords (1834-1863), American Union Army colonel of the 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War; during the Battle of Gettysburg, he gave his life while protecting the United States flag
- Thomas Jonathan "Tom" Jeffords (1832-1914), American Army scout, Indian agent, and later a stagecoach driver in the Arizona Territory
- James Merrill "Jim" Jeffords (1934-2014), American former Senator from Vermont from 1989 to 2007
- Elza Jeffords (1826-1885), American lawyer elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1885)
- Tracy L. Jeffords, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1904 
- James Merrill Jeffords (b. 1934), American politician, Representative from Vermont at-large, 1975-89; U.S. Senator from Vermont, 1989- 
- Harry R. Jeffords, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Arizona, 1889-91 
- Elza Jeffords (1826-1885), American Republican politician, State Court Judge in Mississippi, 1868; U.S. Representative from Mississippi 3rd District, 1883-85 
You May Also Like
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html