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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Welsh Jeffreys family come from? What is the Welsh Jeffreys family crest and coat of arms? When did the Jeffreys family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Jeffreys family history?

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. The surname Jeffreys makes use of the patronymic suffix -son, which had superseded all other such suffixes in popularity by the 14th century, and was most common in the north of Britain.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.


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.

First found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jeffreys research. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1645, 1689, 1610, 1685, 1643, 1613, 1703, 1674 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Jeffreys History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 111 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jeffreys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Jeffreys family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 settled in Virginia in 1624 with her husband
  • Nathaniel] Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • Arthur Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1653

Jeffreys Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Simon Jeffreys, who arrived in Virginia in 1707-1708
  • Alexander Jeffreys, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1720
  • William Jeffreys, aged 25, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775

Jeffreys Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Jeffreys, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828
  • Richard Jeffreys, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870

Jeffreys Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Jeffreys, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork

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
  • Jeffery Jeffreys arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837
  • William Jeffreys a carpenter, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837

Jeffreys Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Julius Jeffreys, aged 18, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "John Wickliffe" in 1848


  • Anne Jeffreys (b. 1923), American Golden Globe nominated actress & singer
  • George Jeffreys (1889-1962), Welsh minister who founded the Elim Pentecostal Church
  • Sir Harold Jeffreys (1891-1989), British astronomer and geophysicist, he established that the four large outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) are very cold and devised models of their planetary structure
  • Julius Jeffreys (1800-1877), British physician
  • Arthur Frederick Jeffreys PC (1848-1906), British Conservative politician
  • Charles Alfred Jeffreys (b. 1877), South African sport shooter who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • John R. F. Jeffreys (d. 1941), British mathematician and codebreaker
  • George Darell Jeffreys (1878-1960), 1st Baron Jeffreys, British soldier & politician
  • George Jeffreys (1889-1962), British religious leader
  • Sir Alec Jeffreys FRS (b. 1950), British geneticist, who developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting and DNA profiling



  • Marmaduke Norfleet Jeffreys by Louise Jeffreys Andrew.

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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  11. ...

The Jeffreys Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jeffreys Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 April 2015 at 02:34.

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