Recorded in many spelling forms including Jeff, Jeffs, and diminutives such as Jeffcock and Geffcock, and dialectals such as Jeffcoat, Jeffcoate, Jephcott and others, this is an English surname It is however of Norman-French origins, and was introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. It derives from a short form of the name Geoffroi, which seems to represent three Old German names: Gaufrid, meaning district of land-peace, Walahfrid, meaning traveller-peace, and Gisfrid, meaning pledge peace. Geoffrey was popular in England from the 12th to the 15th Century, and the recording of Geffe, without any surname is noted as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1260, whilst Ralph Jeffe is listed in the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire in 1275, Geoffrey Geffcoke in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1327, and Agnes Jeffcoate recorded in Suffolk in 1380. The final "s" when it occurs, indicates the patronymic form. Other recordings include William Jeffs who married Sara Warren on April 26th 1620 at St. Giles' Cripplegate, city of London , and Agnes Jeffcot at St James Clerkenwell in 1616. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Geffes, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327-1377. 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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