This interesting name is of Old Germanic origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the surname from the male personal name Jeffery or Jeffrey. The history of this name is a little complicated, since two and possibly three Old German personal names have 'fallen together' in the same form, of 'Geoffrey' or 'Jeffrey'. In England the name was introduced by the Normans after 1066 as 'Je(u)froi', and appears in Middle English as 'Geffrey'. At that time 'Godfrey' was a separate name, and it is thought that some 'Geoffrey's' may be corruptions of that name. Otherwise, the names that combined to form 'Jeffrey' were 'Godafrid' meaning god-peace, 'Gaufrid', territory or region and peace and 'Galfirdus', meaning song-peace. The name development has included Agnes Geffrays (1283, Suffolk), Hugo Jafres (1327, Staffordshire), Symon Geffris (1340, Worcestershire), and Philip Jeffereyes (1566, ibid). Among the recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of Richard Jeffryes and Jone Westwood, at St. Gile's, Cripplegate, on May 28th 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Geffrei, which was dated 1203 The Norfolk Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John known as 'Lackland' 1199 - 1216. 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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