Jeffress History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jeffress 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 Jeffress family

The surname Jeffress 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 Jeffress family

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

Jeffress Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Jeffress name over the years has been spelled Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Jeffress family to Ireland

Some of the Jeffress 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.

Migration of the Jeffress family

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Jeffress: 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.


Contemporary Notables of the name Jeffress (post 1700) +

  • Edwin Bedford Jeffress (b. 1887), American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, 1925-29 [4]


  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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