Recorded in several forms including Geffinger, Geffen, and the Dutch Van Geffen and Van Giffen, this is a surname of Dutch-German origins. It derives apparently from the ancient word of the pre 7th century "geffen" meaning "land" as in the town of Geffen in The Netherlands. Curiously the surname as Geffinger is not (apparently) recorded in The Netherlands, and is quite rare in Germany. It translates as the person (-er) who came from the place of the Geffen tribe (-ing). Locational surnames are "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move elsewhere, usually in search of work. On the continent the use of the prepositions "de or di" in France, Italy and Spain, were complimented by the Dutch "van" and the German "von", to imply not only that a person was from a particular place, but was also the owner. Early examples of the surname recording include Gertrudus Geffinger, the daughter of John Geffinger, christened at Graach catholic church, province of Rheinland, Germany, on April 5th 1655, Andries van Griffen, a witness at Millegersberg, Zuid Holland, on May 11th 1693, and Rosa van Geffen, christened at Hertogenbosch, Noord, also in the Netherlands, on March 18th 1701.
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