The name Quaife is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a maker of knitted caps or cowls. A male involved in this occupation was called a coifer, while a female involved in this trade was called a coifster; the latter case displays the distinctive Anglo-Saxon female occupational suffix -ster.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quaife research. Another 31 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Quaife History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Quaife include Coifer, Coifster, Coyfere and others.
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Quaife were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Quaife Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Thomas Quaife, who settled in New York, NY in 1823
Harriot Quaife, who settled in New York, NY in 1823
Eliza Quaife, who settled in New York, NY in 1823
Abraham Quaife, who settled in New York, NY in 1823