Recorded in a number of spellings including Jeffrey, Jefferie, Jeffroy, Jaffray, Geoffroy, Geoffrey, Jofre, Geoffre, Jaffre, Gaufre, and the patronymics Jefferys, Jefferies, Jeffress and Jefferson, this is usually a British and French surname, although ultimately of pre 8th century Old Germanic origins. The history of this name is complicated, and it would seem that three or even four German personal names were "fused" to create the personal names of Geoffrey or Jeffrey. These names were Godafrid meaning god-peace, which became the later Godfrey, and a popular surname in its own right, Gaufrid, which translates as territory-peace and Galfridus, meaning song-peace. What is certain is that the name was first introduced into Britain by the Norman invaders of 1066, appearing in Scotland as early as the 13th century with Piers le fiz Gaffray being a burgess of Peebles in 1296. The name development has included Agnes Geffrays of the county of Suffolk, England in 1283, Hugo Jafres of Staffordshire in 1327, Symon Geffris of Worcestershire in 1340, and Philip Jeffereyes of the same county in1566. Anna Jeffreys was christened on the 24th February 1660 at the church of St. Martins-in-the- Fields, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Geffrei. This was dated 1203, in the Curia Regis rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King John of England. He was known by his father by the dubious nickname of 'Lackland', and reigned in great unpopularity from 1199 to 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
other versions of this surname
- http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/ij/jeffreys1.php (membership required to view without interruption)
- http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/ij/jeffreys3.php (membership required to view without interruption)