Show ContentsTiffin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tiffin is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Tiffin is a name that comes from the medieval female given name Tiffania, that comes from the Greek Theophania, composed of the elements theos, meaning God and phainein meaning to appear. Tiffin translates roughly as the manifestation of God. [1]

In a case where a man had a family by a second marriage the children of his second wife would occasionally take her name as a means of distinguishing the two groups.

Early Origins of the Tiffin family

The surname Tiffin was first found in Kent where the single names Theophania, Teffania, Theffanie all appeared in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1206. Later in Devon, Tiphina le Justiser was registered in 1322 and later again, Tiffania was found in Norfolk in 1323. Tiffan and Teffen both appear in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. As a surname, the first record we found as Gilbert Tyffayne in Norfolk in 1288. Later Cristina Typhayn was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327 and later again, William Tyffen was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1524. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include Johannes Holand et Tiffan uxor ejus; and Teffan Danyll. [1]

Tiffany & Co., the luxury jewelry and specialty company in New York was named and founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), born in Killingly, Connecticut.

Early History of the Tiffin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tiffin research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1690, 1536, 1540, 1632, 1750, 1695 and 1759 are included under the topic Early Tiffin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tiffin Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Tiffen, Tiffin, Tiffing, Tiffine and others.

Early Notables of the Tiffin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tiffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tiffin migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Tiffin name or one of its variants:

Tiffin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catharina Tiffin, who landed in America in 1773 [3]
Tiffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Tiffin, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1822
  • Henry Tiffin, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830
  • Daniel Tiffin, who landed in Philadelphia in 1867
  • Mgt. A. Tiffin, aged 17, who immigrated to America from Ireland, in 1892
Tiffin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Tiffin, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States from Brightlingsea, England, in 1910
  • Charles William Tiffin, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Joseph Tiffin, aged 29, who landed in America from Appleby, England, in 1912
  • Catherine Tiffin, aged 19, who settled in America from Morningside, Scotland, in 1913
  • Victor Tiffin, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Tiffin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tiffin Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Allen Tiffin, aged 5, who immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1913
  • Ethel Tiffin, aged 36, who immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1913

Australia Tiffin migration to Australia +

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

Tiffin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Tiffin, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Tiffin 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:

Tiffin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • H S Tiffin, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Brougham

West Indies Tiffin migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Tiffin Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Tiffin, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. Thomas Tiffin, (b. 1607), aged 28, British settler travelling from Gravesend, England aboard the ship "Falcon" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tiffin (post 1700) +

  • Van Leigh Tiffin (b. 1988), American football kicker, son of Van Tiffin
  • Van Tiffin (b. 1965), former American NFL football placekicker who played in 1987
  • Pamela Tiffin (b. 1942), born Pamela Tiffin Wonso, an American two-time Golden Globe Award nominated actress
  • Edward Tiffin (1766-1829), American Democratic Party politician, Governor of Ohio, 1803-07; U.S. Senator from Ohio, 1807-09; Resigned 1808; Member of Ohio State House of Representatives, 1809-10 [7]
  • Michael Stuart Tiffin (b. 1958), English former cricketer
  • Arthur Ernest Tiffin OBE (1896-1955), English 3rd General Secretary of the British Transport and General Workers' Union in 1955
  • Charles Tiffin (1833-1873), English architect born in Newcastle upon Tyne, who emigrated to Queensland, Australia where he held the post of Queensland Colonial Architect
  • Annabel Tiffin, English BBC broadcast journalist and presenter, currently the main presenter and producer for the regional news program North West Tonight
  • Russell Blair Tiffin (b. 1959), Rhodesian international cricket umpire, and a former Test cricket umpire
  • Helen Tiffin, Canadian Professor of English at the University of Tasmania, Australia
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Tiffin 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: Patria fidelis
Motto Translation: A faithful country.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021 from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook