× Home
×

Family Crest and History Search
House of Names
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more
An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


The distinguished surname Wiffen 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 Wiffen is derived from Giff, a pet form of the personal name Geoffrey. This pet form is supplemented by the diminutive suffix -on or -in.

Wiffen Early Origins



The surname Wiffen 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.

Close

Wiffen Spelling Variations


Expand

Wiffen 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.

Close

Wiffen Early History


Expand

Wiffen Early History



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

Close

Wiffen Early Notables (pre 1700)


Expand

Wiffen Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

Close

Wiffen In Ireland


Expand

Wiffen In Ireland



Some of the Wiffen 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.

Close

The Great Migration


Expand

The Great Migration



Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wiffen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Wiffen was registered in Bonavista, Newfoundland in 1828 [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

Wiffen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Henry Wiffen arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1867

Close

Contemporary Notables of the name Wiffen (post 1700)


Expand

Contemporary Notables of the name Wiffen (post 1700)



  • Joan Wiffen CBE (1922-2009), New Zealand amateur paleontologist who discovered the first dinosaur fossils in New Zealand

Close

Wiffen Family Crest Products


Expand

Wiffen Family Crest Products




Close

See Also


Expand

See Also




Close

Citations


Expand

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. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Wiffen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wiffen 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.

Sign Up

  


FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more
House of Names on Facebook
Follow Houseofnames on Twitter
Houseofnames on Pinterest