This interesting name has two possible origins. It may derive from the Gaelic-Irish "Mac Dhuibh", the son of (Mac) the black one (dubh), which probably described a person of dark hair, dark complexion or also someone who was reknown for mystic powers, member of the occult. This name originating in North Connacht, was Anglicized as Mac Guff to Mac Giff(ie). Due to the Anglicizing influence of the British adminstration in Ireland, the "Mac" was possibly dropped, as ones chances of pursuing a career were enhanced by doing so. Also people were forced to drop the "Mac", when immigrating to Britain or the United States. It may also be a pet form of Jeffrey, from a Norman personal name "Geffrey" (in Medieval English and Je(u)froi (Old French). Joane, daughter of John Jeffe was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate, London on August 22nd 1585, while John, son of Abell Jeffes was christened, here also, on September 11th 1586. Bridgeit Giffe married Richard Page on February 8th 1591, at St. Mary Mountlaw, London. Margaret, daughter of Daniell Giff, was christened at St. Andrews, Holborn, London on April 16th 1738. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Geffs, which was dated December 22nd 1567, was christened at St. John, Hackney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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