This surname was derived from the name of the shire FIFE in Scotland, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be Eele de Fyfe of the county of Fyfe who was documented in the year 1296. John de Fyff was a charter witness in Aberdeen in 1436, and may be the same John de Fyff of Aberdeen, who appears there as burgess in 1464. Andrew de Fiffe was the vicar of the parish church of Maryton in 1477, and John Fieff, Scottish merchant of Aberdeen was granted a safe conduct to travel and trade into England in 1453. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The surname became Feif and Pfeiff in Sweden, where several of the name became prominent. Duncan Phyfe, a Scot, went to the United States about the year 1784, and was a maker of fine furniture equal to that produced by Sheraton, Hipplewhite and Adams.
The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Dron in County Perth.
Orders over $85 qualify for Free Shipping within the U.S. (Use coupon code: FREESHIP).