This surname was a baptismal name 'the son of Geoffrey' a popular 13th and 14th font name. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Goisfridus (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday book of 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workman and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday book. Thomas Jeffreys, 1273, County Lancashire. William Jeffrey of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Rogerus Jeffray of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Cook married Alice Jeffery, St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1613. Buried. William Jeffereys, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1656. One of the most notable of the name was George Jeffreys (1648-1689) was the English judge, known as the 'infamous Jeffreys', born in Acton, near Wrexham. He was called to the bar in 1668, he rose rapidly, and became, in 1671 common serjeant of the City of London. Previously nominally a Puritan, he began to intrigue for court favour, was made a solicitor to the Duke of York, and was knighted in 1678. In every state trial he proved to be a willing tool to the crown, and won the favour of King James II who raised him to a peerage. When Jame's fled the country, he tried to follow his example, but was caught in Wapping disguised as a sailor, and sent to the tower. There he died. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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