Recorded as Geff, Jeff, the rare diminutives Jeffel and Jeffkin, the equally rare patronymics including Geffes, Jeffes, Jeffs, Jeffels, Jefferson and others, this is an English medieval surname. It is however of Norman French origin, and was introduced into England after the famous Conquest of 1066. It derives from the pre 7th century Old French Geoffroi or Geuffroi, from the Germanic name Gaufrid", meaning "land-peace". Geoffrey was a popular given name in England and as Geffe (without surname) appears in the Assize Court colls of Cheshire in 1215, whilst Ralph Jeffe is listed in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Devonshire in 1273. Other recordings showing the development fo te4h surname over the centuries William Jeffs who married Sara Warren on April 26th 1620 at St Giles Cripplegate in the city of London, whilst two centuries later in the probate registers of 1750 to 1850, Richard Jeffels is shown is dying at Whitby in Yorkshire, an area where this spellings seems to be or have been very prevalent, on March 1st 1845. A coat of arms associated with the family has the blazon of an ermine shield charged with a gold saltire on ared canton, the badge of courage, the crest being a pelican's head erased. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Geffes. This was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd, known as "The Father of the English Navy", 1327-1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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