This is a Dutch surname. Quite well recorded in the surviving church registers of the states of Drenthe since 1806 and Groningen from 1843, its meaning and origin are open to some conjecture. There are several possibilities. Firstly the name could for instance describe the place of the "Aeffa people", which would refer to a former settlement, or secondly it may describe the people (-ing) who live in the edge of the wood, from the ancient word "efes", or thirdly it could describe people who lived on an island from the Old Scandanavian word "ey". What we do know is that Aeffa was a widely recorded personal name of the pre 7th century a.d. and is found for instance, in the English placename of Effingham in the county of Surrey. Reidential or locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say that they were names given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere, since one of the easiest forms of identity was to call a stranger by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. What is known is that surviving church recordings commenced during the Napoleonic Wars (1795 - 1815), and include examples such as Frerik Eefting and his wife Lammiche, at Zudlaren, Drenthe, on April 7th 1808, Willem and Marchien Eefting at Assen, Drenthe, on September 20th 1808, and Martjen and Hillebrand Eefting, at Beerta, Groningen, on May 13th 1843.
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