Recorded as Drife and Driffe, this is a very rare surname. In these spellings it has been recorded in England since the time of King Charles 11nd of England (1649 - 1685). However its church recordings remain rare, and its origins are certainly open to conjecture. The name would seem to be of 'foreign' origin, and probably French as no similar spelling would seem to be found in any other European language. However even in France it would seem to be either a transposed spelling of a French name such as Drisse, meaning either a person who lived by the sea, or possibly Drieux, a form of Andrew. The date of the first known recording as shown below, would suggest that the name is probably a Huguenot refugee introduction, this date being at the very height of the protestant persecution by the catholic monarch King Louis x1V (!743 - 1715). However again we have to say that whilst this is very probable, it is not proven. The surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include the recording of Guilielmus, the son of Mathaei and Catharine Driffe, at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on March 24th 1670.
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