Reefe is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon
society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a local
representative of a lord. The surname Reefe originally derived from the Old English word Gerefa
which referred to a representative. Occupational
names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational
names have remained fairly commonplace in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational
suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith and wright.
Early Origins of the Reefe family
The surname Reefe was first found in Suffolk
where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Reefe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reefe research.Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1818, 1900, 1608, 1658, 1618, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1673 and 1737 are included under the topic Early Reefe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Reefe Spelling Variations
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 Reefe include Reeve, Reve, Reave, Reaves, Reeves and others.
Early Notables of the Reefe family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Charles Reeve; John Reeve (1608-1658), an English plebeian prophet, believed the voice of God had instructed him to found a Third Commission in preparation for the last days... Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reefe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Reefe family to Ireland
Some of the Reefe family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 47 words (3 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 Reefe family to the New World and Oceana
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 Reefe were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Reefe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John O. Reefe, aged 60, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Saint Paul" from Southampton, England CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX7T-5MZ : 6 December 2014), John O. Reefe, 04 Sep 1896; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Saint Paul, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Reefe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Rose Reefe, aged 13, originally from Kingston, Jamicia, who arrived in New York in 1915 aboard the ship "Mandeville" from Kingston, Jamaica CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJWQ-SJW : 6 December 2014), Rose Reefe, 29 Dec 1915; citing departure port Kingston, arrival port New York, ship name Mandeville, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Contemporary Notables of the name Reefe (post 1700)
- Leon Reefe, English politician, member of the Hertsmere Borough Council in Hertfordshire in 2001 and 2003
The Reefe Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Animum rege
Motto Translation: Rule thy mind.