Jeffreys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jeffreys 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 Jeffreys family

The surname Jeffreys 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 Jeffreys family

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

Jeffreys Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Jeffreys have included Jeffreys, Jeffereys, Jefferies, Jeffers, Jefferis, Jefferyes, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jeffry, Jeffs, Jefries and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Jeffreys family to Ireland

Some of the Jeffreys 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 Jeffreys migration to the United States +

North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Jeffreys:

Jeffreys Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Goodwife Jeffreys, who settled in Virginia in 1624 with her husband
  • Nathaniel] Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [4]
  • Arthur Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
Jeffreys Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Simon Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1707-1708 [4]
  • Alexander Jeffreys, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1720 [4]
  • William Jeffreys, aged 25, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775 [4]
Jeffreys Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Jeffreys, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [4]
  • Richard Jeffreys, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [4]

Canada Jeffreys migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jeffreys Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Jeffreys, aged 35, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland

Australia Jeffreys migration to Australia +

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

Jeffreys Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Jeffreys, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Jeffery Jeffreys, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [6]
  • William Jeffreys a carpenter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [6]

New Zealand Jeffreys 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:

Jeffreys Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Julius Jeffreys, aged 18, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" in 1848
  • Mr. Jeffreys, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 23rd March 1848 [7]
  • Mr. John Jeffreys, (b. 1826), aged 24, British agricultural labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Randolph" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand in September 1850 [8]
  • Mr. Jeffreys, British settler travelling from London via Plymouth aboard the ship "Tasmania" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on to Lyttelton on 26th February 1853 [8]
  • Mr. Jeffreys, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Simlah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th April 1855 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jeffreys (post 1700) +

  • Anne Jeffreys (1923-2017), born Anne Carmichael, an American Golden Globe nominated actress and singer
  • William Henry Jeffreys (1871-1938), American politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 25th District, 1916-21; Mayor of Chase City, Virginia [9]
  • Simon G. Jeffreys, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Franklin County, 1835 [9]
  • Simon Jeffreys, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Franklin County, 1782-83 [9]
  • Richard Jeffreys, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972 [9]
  • Raymond J. Jeffreys, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Ohio at-large, 1938 [9]
  • R. L. Jeffreys (d. 1924), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 1912 (alternate), 1920 [9]
  • Marmaduke N. Jeffreys, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Franklin County, 1815-16, 1819, 1821 [9]
  • J. P. Jeffreys, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1860 [9]
  • George Jeffreys (1889-1962), Welsh minister who founded the Elim Pentecostal Church
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Paul Avron Jeffreys (1952-1988), English Musician from Surrey, England, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [10]
  • Rachel Jeffreys (1965-1988), Swedish Advertising Executive from Surrey, England, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [10]


Suggested Readings for the name Jeffreys +

  • 2208 Marmaduke Norfleet Jeffreys by Louise Jeffreys Andrew.

  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) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html


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