The surname Liff has two distinct possible entomological origins. Firstly, the name could have been derived from the Old English personal name
"Leofa" and/or "Leofe", both meaning "Dear" or "Beloved." Secondly, the name could have been a topographical name for someone who lived in a densely foliated area from the Middle English word "leaf."
Early Origins of the Liff family
The surname Liff was first found in Norfolk
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Liff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Liff research.Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1198, 1273, 1279, 1318, 1327, 1377, 1677, and 1754 are included under the topic Early Liff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Liff Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Liff are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Liff include: Leaf, Leaff, Leaffe, Leafe, Leif, Lief, Life, Lef, Leof, Leefe, Leve and many more.
Early Notables of the Liff family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Liff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Liff family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Liff or a variant listed above: John Leaff who sailed to Virginia in 1663; Henry Leaf who arrived in Barbados in 1663; Sarah Leaffe who arrived in Maryland in 1679; and Dennis Leaf who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1865..
Contemporary Notables of the name Liff (post 1700)
- Samuel "Biff" Liff (1919-2015), American Tony Award-winning American Broadway manager and producer