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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


The distinguished surname Whiffen emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Whiffen is derived from Giff, a pet form of the personal name Geoffrey. This pet form is supplemented by the diminutive suffix -on or -in.

Whiffen Early Origins



The surname Whiffen was first found in North Ayrshire where the Barony of Giffen was in the parish of Beith in the former District of Cunninghame. Giffen Castle is today in ruins but the castle was home to the Lordship of Giffin, which included the Baronies of Giffen, Trearne, Hessilhead, Broadstone, Roughwood and Ramshead dating back to the 15th century. It fell into disrepair soon after 1726 and finally collapsed in 1838.

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Whiffen Spelling Variations


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Whiffen Spelling Variations



Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Giffin, Giffen, Geffen, Giffan, Giffon, Geffan, Geffon, Giffines, Giffins, Giffans, Giffons, Whiffen, Whiffin, Wiffin, Wiffen, McGiffen and many more.

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Whiffen Early History


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Whiffen Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whiffen research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379 and are included under the topic Early Whiffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Whiffen Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Whiffen Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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Whiffen In Ireland


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Whiffen In Ireland



Some of the Whiffen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whiffen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Whiffen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Whiffen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Herbert Whiffen was granted land at Little Southern Harbour, Newfoundland in 1838 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0

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Contemporary Notables of the name Whiffen (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Whiffen (post 1700)



  • Frederick J. Whiffen, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles, California, 1915
  • C. W. Whiffen, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1912

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Whiffen Family Crest Products


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Whiffen Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0

Other References

  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Whiffen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whiffen 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 29 November 2016 at 16:23.

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