There are two possible origins for this unusual name. The first is as a dialectally developed form of the Norse-viking pre 7th Century "Joli" meaning "merry and lively", and given as a baptismal name in pre Norman (1066) times. The second possible origin is from the Anglo-Saxon "Gaufrid" through the French "Geoffrey", again a baptismal name, which translates as "God-peace". The "Link" spellings would seem to be from "Jolyf" and "Jeffe", one John Jolyf being recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdon in 1273, whilst Ralph Jeffe is found in the Hundred Rolls of Devon in 1275.(King Edward 1st 1272-1307). As "Jelphs" the patronymic form of "Jelf", the first recording may be that of John Jelphs who in the Early Settler Records of the New World was recorded as owning five acres of land in the parish of Christchurch, Barbadoes, on January 16th 1680. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Guelfe, which was dated September 10th 1568, a witness at St. Margarets Church, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "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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