Jefferson last name origin

Jefferson last name origin DEFAULT

JEFFERSON Surname Meaning and Origin

Jefferson is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Jeffrey, Jeffers, or Jeff." Jeffrey is a variant of Geoffrey, meaning "peaceful place," from gawia, meaning "territory" and frid, meaning "peace." Geoffrey is also a possible variant of the Norman personal name Godfrey, meaning "God's peace" or "peaceful ruler."

Surname Origin: English

Alternate Surname Spellings: JEFFERS, JEFFERIES, JEFFRYS

Where in the World is the JEFFERSON Surname Found?

The Jefferson surname is most prevalent in the United States, where it ranks as the 662nd most common surname in the nation, according to surname distribution data from Forebears. It is most common in the Cayman Islands, where it ranks 133rd, and is also fairly common in England, Haiti, Brazil, Northern Ireland, Jamaica, Grenada, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

According to WorldNames PublicProfiler, the Jefferson surname is most popular in the United States, especially in the District of Columbia, followed by the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas. Within the United Kingdom, Jefferson is found primarily in Northern England and the southern border regions of Scotland, with the greatest numbers living in the Redcar and Cleveland district where the surname originated, and in surrounding counties such as North Yorkshire, Durham, Cumbria, and Northumberland in England, and Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Famous People with the Last Name JEFFERSON

  • Thomas Jefferson - 3rd president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson - American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter
  • Geoffrey Jefferson - British neurologist and pioneering neurosurgeon
  • Arthur Stanley Jefferson - English comic actor
  • Eddie Jefferson - celebrated American jazz vocalist and lyricist
  • Francis Arthur Jefferson - English recipient of the Victoria Cross

Genealogy Resources for the Surname JEFFERSON

Jefferson DNA Project
A group of people who've tested their Y-DNA through Family Tree DNA in an effort to use DNA plus traditional genealogical research to match up various Jefferson lineages.

Ancestry of Thomas Jefferson
A discussion of the ancestry of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, from the website of his family home, Monticello.

Jefferson's Blood
A discussion of the DNA evidence that supports the theory that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one of Sally Hemings's children, and quite probably all six. 

Jefferson Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Jefferson family crest or coat of arms for the Jefferson surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

JEFFERSON Genealogy Forum
Search the archives for posts about Jefferson ancestors, or post your own Jefferson query.

FamilySearch - JEFFERSON Genealogy
Explore over 600,000 historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Jefferson surname and its variations on the free FamilySearch website, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

JEFFERSON Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Jefferson surname.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

>> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins


Jefferson Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Jefferson Surname Meaning

Jefferson comes from son of Geoffrey, a forename meaning peaceful place.  The surname is not that common in England.

Jefferson is more common in America, thanks to Thomas Jefferson, the third American President.  He was recently discovered to have a Y chromosome belonging to the haplogroup known as K2.

Genetic studies show that this Y-haplogroup is extremely rare in Europe and is more likely to have come from northeast Africa or the Middle East.  Two unrelated Jeffersons in England were also found to have the same Y-haplogroup.  This led The New York Times to speculate that the Jeffersons were Jewish.

Jefferson SurnameResources on The Internet

Jefferson Surname Ancestry

England.  The first reference to a Jefferson appears to be a John Geffreesume, otherwise known as John fitz Geoffrey, as a signature to the 1258 Provisions of Oxford document.  However, the fitz Geoffrey name was still patronymic (his son was called fitz John), rather than a surname as we would know it.

Suffolk.  Jeaffresons were yeoman farmers in Suffolk for many generations. In the early 17th century, John Jeaffreson left his home for a life of adventure at sea.   He was fortunate in his connections and was able, in 1625, to secure rights to a plantation in the West Indies.

His son Samuel established this plantation, the Red House plantation, in St. Kitts.  Although the Jeaffresons later returned to England with their profits and bought Dullingham House in Cambridgeshire, it is believed that one of these Jeaffresons migrated from Antigua to Virginia and was the forebear of the American President, Thomas Jefferson.

Yorkshire   The name John Jeffrason appeared in Yorkshire in the 1528 York register. Jeffersons subsequently were to be found in the East Ridings:

  • a Jefferson family were landowners in Hook and Howden,
    dating back to Robert Jefferson in the 1680’s.  There were and still are clusters of Jeffersons in and around Driffield nearby.
  • and the name still means something in Thorganby where the family had been benefactors.  Locals protested when the name of their pub, The Jefferson Arms, was changed to The Indian Elephant.

The actor Thomas Jefferson was born in Ripon in 1732.  The family later emigrated to Philadelphia.  His son and grandson also became actors, the latter, Joseph, achieving public renown in America for his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle.   He put on a show in Washington, Our Japanese Embassy, when the first ever Japanese delegation came to America in 1860.

Cumbria.  Jeffersons can also be traced from the early 1600’s across the Pennines in what is now Cumbria.  A Jefferson family owned the Bulmer Hill farm near Wigton.  From Wigton came Robert Jefferson who founded the family rum business in Whitehaven that bore his name.  This business, which involved ships, plantations in Antigua and warehouses in Whitehaven, lasted until 1997.  The warehouses, first built in 1785, now function as a museum.

Also from Cumbria came Stan Jefferson who crossed the Atlantic, like the Yorskshire Jeffersons, to tread the boards in America.  He is better known by his stage-name Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame.

America.  The Jeffersons appear to have arrived in Virginia in the 1650’s.  Thomas’s father Peter claimed land in Albemarle County where he built a 5,000 acre plantation.  Thomas Jefferson himself served as Governor of Virginia, was a member of the Continental Congress, and, in 1800, became the third President of the United States.  He retired to his estate in Monticello in 1809.

While President, Jefferson concluded in 1803 the Louisiana purchase which secured for the United States the North American French possessions in the south.  As such, his name is particularly commemorated there.

Jeffersons themselves are still to be found foremost in Virginia, and then in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia.

Richard Jefferson was granted land in Delaware in the 1740’s.  John Jefferson was one of those who moved south to Mississippi in the 1830’s and later went onto Seguin in Texas where he ran a tavern and operated several stage lines.  Another Jefferson family from Virginia, the descendants of Colonel Field Jefferson,
migrated to Tennessee and Texas.

Thomas Jefferson has been called the “negro president.”  He was throughout his life a slave-owner.  His relationship with his slave Sally Hemings caused much comment at the time and still does.  Did Jefferson father any of her six children, including her son Eston who subsequently moved to Wisconsin and took the Jefferson name?  Eston’s descendants thought so and tried to gatecrash the annual Jefferson reunion.

African Americans  It is a noteworthy fact that 75% of the Jeffersons in America today are black. African Americans could choose their name after Emancipation and many of them obviously chose Jefferson as a well-known early President.  There are more than a thousand living descendants of Jefferson by his slaves.  We have post-bellum slave recollections by Isaac Jefferson at Monticello, by Sophronia Jefferson in Kentucky, and by Lewis and Hattie Jefferson in Mississippi.

In more recent times, the popularity of Jefferson as an African American name is evident from The Jeffersons, the first black family sitcom to be aired on national TV.  Blind Lemon Jefferson
is considered the father of the Texas blues; while Bill Jefferson was in 1990 Louisiana’s first black congressman since Reconstruction.

New Zealand.  Thomas Jefferson, a blacksmith from Durham, brought his family out to New Zealand in 1913.  They settled in the mining town of Pukemiro.  However, his son John died in a mining accident in 1917 and he himself passed away two years later.  He was survived by a widow, three sons and two daughters.


Jefferson Surname Miscellany

The Jeffersons of Whitehaven.  The Jeffersons of Whitehaven is a concise and long overdue history of the Jeffersons.

Richard Jefferson, the patriarch of the family, was born in Wigton, but the fortunes of the family were founded in Whitehaven, once a port of great importance in England.   The author was born and bred in West Cumberland and, as a boy, well remembers the Jefferson family business, with huge barrels of wines and spirits being delivered to their cellars in Chapel Street by railway wagons drawn by huge Clydesdale or Percheron horses and the occasional dire result when they bolted.

In the 18th century, the Jefferson family were mariners and shipbuilders.  They acquired estates in Antigua and opened up the United Kingdom rum trade.  The Story of Rum exhibition occupies the Jefferson family’s original buildings, constructed in 1785.  The Jefferson family was in business until the two last surviving family members, finding it difficult to cope with the demands of a disparate group of 18th century buildings, decided to retire.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.  Members of Hemings’ family have passed down the paternity claim through generations.   Hemings’ children were lightly skinned.  Several of them “passed” into white society.  A DNA study concluded that Jefferson was likely the father of at least one of Hemings six children, Eston Hemings born six years after the accusation surfaced during President Jefferson’s second term.

There was much comment at the time and even some ditties written by contemporaries, such as the following:

  • “Dear Thomas, deem it no disgrace
  • With slaves to mend thy breed
  • Nor let the wench’s smutty face
  • Deter thee from the deed.”

Lucian Truscott IV, a white member of the Monticello Association who invited the black descendants to the Jefferson reunion, blamed racism for the group’s refusal to let Jefferson’s black descendants join the association and have the right to be buried in the Monticello graveyard.

However, the association believed that the Monticello report was mistaken in many of their evaluations and that there was no proof that Thomas Jefferson fathered any Hemings child.  They thus voted not to accept any applications from Hemings family members for membership in their association.

Isaac Jefferson at Monticello.  In 1847, a writer came across Isaac Jefferson, a man who had served for many years as one of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves at Monticello. Isaac was then living in quiet retirement in Petersburgh, Virginia.  The writer took down Isaac’s life story, as well as a vivid account of domestic life at Monticello including perhaps the most detailed first-person description of Sally Hemings ever recorded.

The manuscript was not published.  For more than a century, Isaac Jefferson’s words lay unread.  In 1951 they were rediscovered and published under the title Memoirs of a Monticello Slave, an invaluable insight into everyday life at Jefferson’s home and plantation.

Only three other accounts from Thomas Jefferson’s slaves survive: Madison Hemings’ and Israel Jefferson’s interviews in an Ohio newspaper in 1873 and Joseph Fossett’s interview in the New York World in 1898.

Geoffrey Jefferson on the Eastern Front.  During World War 1, Geoffrey Jefferson served in the Anglo-Russian hospital in Petrograd, Russia, where he gained experience in gun wounds on soldiers wounded on the eatern front.  The hospital, a gift from the British Empire to its Russian allies, consisted of a basic clinic with three mobile field hospitals at the front. Patients were hardly in short supply.  During a single week during the summer of 1916, Jefferson in one of the three field hospitals treated 340 wounded soldiers and conducted 33 major surgical operations.

Following the March revolution in Russia, chaos prevailed on the eastern front during the spring of 1917 and the Anglo-Russian hospital faced almost insurmountable tasks.

Jefferson wrote to his wife in England:

“There are plenty of rumors about an eccentric socialist named Lenin, which is said to have arrived here via Germany and is now causing nothing but trouble and misery.  The majority of our wounded from the war think that he ought to be arrested immediately, something I hope will be a fait accompli in a few days.”

A few days later Jefferson communicated:

“I have just treated a man who had been shot in the foot by one of the terrorists of Lenin’s gang.  I don’t think we shall have any more trouble with these Lenin types.  They are in majority, and even if they should succeed in assuming power in Petrograd, the rest of Russia will not act in accordance with their premises.”

Thomas Jefferson, the Son of a Famous Actor.  Thomas Jefferson, born in 1857, was the son of Joseph Jefferson, well remembered by a generation of theater addicts in the role of Rip Van Winkle which he acted for forty years in the US, Australia, and England.

Thomas grew up to be an actor, though an actor less famed than his father.  He played with his father in Rip Van Winkle, then replaced him in the title part, married and had three daughters. Many years ago, he left the legitimate stage and went into the movies.  Five years ago he came back to the stage and took over Frank Bacon’s part in Lightin’.

Last week, divorced from his first wife because he had made too realistic love to his cinematic heroines, the 71 year old Thomas Jefferson announced his intention of marrying the latest one of these, Daisy Robinson aged 32.  Prophets were busy commenting on the imminent nuptials.

Wesley Jefferson from Mississippi.  Bassist, vocalist, and bandleader Wesley Jefferson has been a stalwart of the Clarksdale blues scene since the mid 1960’s.  He was born in Roundaway in Coahoma County in 1944, the oldest boy of thirteen children. As a youth he picked and chopped cotton, plowed with mules and later with a tractor, and lived in extreme poverty.

He recalls being influenced by his grandfather, Claude Jefferson, who played guitar at his home in Clarksdale. He also furtively listened to records by “deep blues” artists at a juke joint run by his mother out in the field where they sold catfish and moonshine made by his stepfather.  Local musicians who he saw
playing at small venues in the country included the one man band Popeye, guitarist Ernest Roy (the best guitarist I ever saw) and the band led by Tutwiler’s Lee Kizart, who hauled his piano from gig to gig.


Jefferson Names
  • John Jeaffreson established his family fortunes as a plantation owner in St. Kitts in the West Indies.
  • Henry Jefferson started the Jefferson rum business in Whitehaven in the 1780’s. 
  • Thomas Jefferson was the third American President. 
  • Joseph Jefferson was a nineteenth century actor known for
    his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle. 
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson from Texas was one of the first African American blues singers to achieve popular success. 
  • Wallace Jefferson in 2004 became the first African American to be Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Jefferson Numbers Today
  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous in Warwickshire)
  • 16,000 in America (most numerous in Texas).
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
Jefferson and Like Surnames

The surnames found here cover most of the US Presidential surnames since the first President, George Washington.  Click on the surname below if you wish to know more of that particular President and his name.

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SDB Popularity ranking: 1258

The history of this name is a little complicated, since two and possibly three Old German personal names have "fallen together" in the same form, of Geoffrey or Jeffrey. In England the name was introduced by the Normans after the Conquest in 1066, as "Je(u)froi", and appears in Middle English as "Geffrey". At that time "Godfrey" was a separate name and it is thought that some "Geoffreys" may be corruptions of that name. Otherwise, the names that combined to form "Jeffrey" were "Godafrid", god-peace; "Gaufrid", territory-peace; and "Galfridus", song-peace. The name Jefferson is one of the patronymic forms of the surname from this source and first appears in the mid 14th Century (see below). One Alice Geffrason was recorded in the Register of the Guild of the Corpus Christi in the City of York in 1488 and John Jeffrason was mentioned in 1528 in the Register of the Freemen of York. John Jefferson was one of the earliest settlers in "Elizabeth Cittye", Virginia, being recorded there on February 16th 1623. The most famous namebearer was Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), the chief drafter of the American Declaration of Independence (1776), who was secretary of state from 1790 - 1793 and third president of America, from 1801 - 1809. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Geffreysone, which was dated 1344, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", 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.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017


Jefferson Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Jefferson Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
There are several ancient Germanic personal (first) names that may have coalesced to give rise to the English masculine given name Geoffrey or Jeffrey, of which Jefferson is the patronymic/baptismal (“son on”) form. First, during the Norman Conquest of 1066 AD, the French name Jeufroi (or Jefroi) appeared in England, where it became Anglicized to Geffrey. Second, it may be tied to the Teutonic personal name Godfridus, whence also Godfrey. In Domesday Book, it is spelled Goisfridus (meaning “God’s peace”, deriving from Gaufrid and Galfridus). One source asserts the family first held land and titles in county Herefordshire, England.

Spelling Variations
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Jeafferson, Jeffereson, Jeffreson, Jeaffreson, Jefferyson, Jeffersonn, and others.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Jefferson ranks 594th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, and Delaware. The surname Jefferson frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (1,575th), Scotland (2,015th), Wales (2,488th), Ireland (11,387th) and Northern Ireland (1,229th). In England, it ranks highest in county Cumberland. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Stirlingshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Flintshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Carlow. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Antrim. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (3,366th), New Zealand (2,602nd), Australia (3,389th), and South Africa (17,476th). Henry Brougham Guppy’s 1890 book Homes of Family Names in Great Britain states the following in regard to the last names Jeffery/Jefferies/Jeffreys “These are essentially south of England names, Wilts being their principal home. It is remarkable that Jeffery is most numerous in the four south – west counties; whilst Jefferies and Jeffreys are most prevalent in the other parts of the area of distribution. The place of these names in the north of England is taken by Jefferson. Jeffs is a Cheshire variety.”

Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this last name was Robert Geffreysone who was documented in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire England in 1344 AD. Others include Alice Geffrason who was listed in the Register Guild of the Corpus Christi in York in 1488 AD and John Jeffrason whose name is contained in the Register of the Freeman of York in 1528.

Jefferson Family Tree & Jefferson Genealogy

Dullingham House
Dullingham House

Jeaffreson of Dullingham House
The lineage or ancestry of this branch of the Jefferson family tree traces back to Christopher Jeaffreson, Esquire of Dullingham, Justice of the Peace, and Member of Parliament born in 1699. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Shuckburgh, Baronet of Shuckburgh, and had a son and heir with her also named Christopher. This Christopher Jeaffreson was an Esquire of Dullingham who married Sarah, daughter of Francis Dayrell Esq. of Shudy Camps, and had a daughter with her named Sarah Elizabeth and a son named Christopher. The son and heir Christopher was a Lieutenant General in the army and Colonel of the Cambridgeshire local militia. In 1794, he married Harriet, Viscountess Gormanstown, daughter of John Robinson of Denston Hall, and had had a daughter with her named Harriet. This Harriet Jeaffreson was the heiress and in 1827 she married William Piggott, having the following issue with him: Christopher William, Ada (married John Dunn Gardner) and Harriet. The son Christopher William Jeafferson was an Esquire of Dullingham House in Cambridge, England who was born in 1836.

Other Jefferson Pedigree & Family Trees
Samuel Jefferson had a son named John Jefferson I. He married Elizabeth and had a son with her named Samuel. This Captain Samuel Jefferson Sr. was born in Pettistree, Suffolk, England in 1584. He married Elizabeth Carr in 1606. He went to the West Indies aboard the Hopewell. He had at least three children: Samuel Jr., John, and Susan. His son Samuel Jr. was born in Pettistree, England in 1607. He married a woman named Elizabeth in England in 1628. He died in 1690 in Antigua and Barbuda. He had a son named Thomas. This Thomas Jefferson Sr. was born in St. Christopher, British West Indies, around 1640. He went to Henrico County, Virginia, where he married Mary Branch in 1677. They had three issue together: Mary Field (Harris), Thomas II, and Martha (Wynne). His son Captain Thomas II was born in Colonial Virginia in 1679. He married Mary Field and had the following issue: Judith (Farrar), Thomas III, Peter, Martha (Goode), and Mary (Turpin). His son Colonel Peter Jefferson was born in Osborne, Chesterfield, Virginia around 1708. He married Jane Randolph and had the following children with her, one of which was President of the United States: Jane, Mary (Bolling), Thomas, Elizabeth, Martha (Carr), Peter Field, Lucy (Lewis), Anna Scott, and Randolph. President Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell Planation, Virginia Colony in 1743. He married Martha Wayles in 1772 and had the following issue with her: Martha (Randolph), Jane (Randolph), Mary (Eppes), Lucy Elizabeth, Beverly William Kemmings, Harriet (Hemmings) Heckman, Madison James Hemmings, and Eston Hemmings.

Early American and New World Settlers
John Jefferson was recorded as living in Virginia in February 1623. He came to colonial America aboard the Bona Nova around 1620. He owned 250 acres of land in a place called Archer’s Hope. Other settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include James Jefferson (Virginia 1638), Robert Jefferson (Virginia 1639), Robert Jefferson (Virginia 1639), Alice Jefferson (Virginia 1648), Mary Jefferson (Virginia 1653), Edward Jefferson (Virginia 1704), Weldon Jefferson (Virginia 1704), Frances Jefferson and (Virginia 1711).

In Canada, one of the first settlers bearing this last name was Robert Jefferson who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774. In Australia, a family of this name landed in Adelaide in 1851 aboard the Prince Regent. The father was Francis Jefferson (age 42), along with his daughter or wife Anne (age 25), and children Thomas and Mary. In New Zealand, a husband and wife, Benjamin and Sarah Jefferson, ages 25 and 37, respectively, came to Port Nicholson aboard the Lady Nugent in 1841.

Early Americans Bearing the Jefferson Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927), Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907), and Crozier’s General Armory (1904) do not contain any entries for the Jefferson last name.

I have identified one Jefferson family motto: A cruce salus (Salvation from the cross). This is an allusion to the cross depicted in the family coat of arms.

We have 5 coats of arms for the Jefferson surname depicted here. These 5 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Jefferson Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Jefferson Family Crest) include:
1) Simon Jefferson of London, a gentleman, son of Anthony of Ripon, York, confirmed by Segar

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of US

There are hundreds of notable people with the Jefferson surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who was one of the most prominent American Founding Fathers who served as the 3rd President from 1801-1809, the 2nd Vice President (from 1797-1801), the first Secretary of State, Minister to France, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, 2nd Governor of Virginia (1779-1781), and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was born in Shadwell, Colony of Virginia, son of a planter and surveyor named Peter and his wife Jane Randolph, 2) Wallace B. Jefferson (1963) who served as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 2004-2013, 3) Jesse Harrison Jefferson (1949-2011) who was an American Major League Baseball pitcher who played for 5 different teams (ex. Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays) from 1973 to 1981, 4) John Jefferson (1956) who was a wife receiver who plated for three different teams (ex. Green Bay Packers) from 1978-1985, born in Dallas, Texas, 5) Anna V. Jefferson (1926-2011) was the first American-American woman to become state senator in New York, serving from 1983 to 1984, 6) William Jennings Jefferson (1947) who served as a member of the US House of Representatives from Louisiana between 1991 to 2009, 7) Charles Edward Jefferson (1860-1937) who was an American Congregational clergyman who was born in Cambridge, Ohio, 8) Sir Geoffrey Jefferson (1886-1961) who was a British pioneer of the neurologist and neurosurgeon fields, and 9) Arthur Stanley Jefferson (1890-1965) who was an English comic actor known as Stan Laurel born in Ulverston, Lancashire, England, and who was one of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.


Name origin last jefferson

Jefferson (surname)

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Jefferson is a surname. Notable people with the name include:



  • Al Jefferson, American basketball player
  • Brandon Jefferson, American basketball player
  • Davon Jefferson (born 1986), American basketball player
  • Jermar Jefferson (born 2000), American football player
  • Jesse Jefferson (1949–2011), American baseball player
  • John Jefferson, American football player
  • Julian Jefferson, English cricketer
  • Justin Jefferson (born 1999), American football player
  • Malik Jefferson, American football player
  • Reggie Jefferson, American baseball player
  • Richard Jefferson, American basketball player
  • Richard Jefferson (cricketer), English cricketer
  • Van Jefferson (born 1996), American football player
  • Will Jefferson, English cricketer



  • Ann Jefferson (b. 1949), British scholar of French literature
  • Arthur Stanley Jefferson, birth name of Stan Laurel (1890–1965), English comic actor
  • Atatiana Jefferson (1990–2019), shooting victim of the Fort Worth Police Department
  • Charles Edward Jefferson (b. 1860), American Congregational clergyman
  • Francis Arthur Jefferson (1921–1982), British recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Geoffrey Jefferson (1886–1961), British neurologist and pioneering neurosurgeon
  • Henry and Robert Jefferson, British wine merchants with Caribbean estates, subjects of The Rum Story, a visitor attraction in Cumbria, England
  • Jane Randolph Jefferson, mother of the United States President
  • Joseph Jefferson (1829–1905), American actor
  • Margo Jefferson (b. 1947), American writer, critic, professor
How Did Colours Become Last Names?

Last name:Jefferson

Dossier: 600622

Type:Heraldic Preview

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Language of the text: English

Nobility: Noble family - Knights - Lords

Nobles in:England (England)

The country or region of the dossier mainly refers to the places where the family was ascribed to the nobility and may be different from those of residence

Heraldic Preview :



Nobility crown JeffersonThe surname Jefferson is of English origin. It is derived from the given name Jeffrey and signifies 'the son of Jeffrey'. This is a Norman personal name that appears in Middle English as 'Geffrey' and in Old French as 'Je(u)froi'. Some authorities regard this as no more than a palatalized form of Godfrey ( a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements 'god, got', god and 'fred, frid', peace ), but early forms such as 'Galfridus' and 'Gaufridus', point to the first element from the Germanic 'gala', to sing or 'gawi', region, territory. It is possible that several distinct names have fallen together in the same form. The name dates back to the thirteenth century were a Robert Geffreysone is recorded in historical archives. The name evolved through Geffreysone, Geffrason, and Jeffrason, until the modern form we know today was reached. It was borne by the American president Thomas Jefferson ( 1743-1826; president 1801-9 ), who was principally responsible for the text of the Declaration of Independance, and who was admired as a scientist, architect, and thinker as well as a statesman. The name was brought to America predominately by English immigrants. One of the first fore fathers to bring this name to America is that of a William Jefferson, formerly of Southwark, England, who came to America aboard the barque Minerva; he settled in Philadelphia. This name is the four-hundredth and seventy-fifth most common surname in America. ...

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Coat of arms of family Jefferson

1. Coat of arms of family: Jefferson

Language of the text: English

Azure on a saltire or between four bezants a leopard's face of the field. Crest-A Demi griffin azure collared or, holding a bezant.

Blazon Jefferson from England

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Coat of arms of family Jefferson

2. Coat of arms of family: Jefferson

Language of the text: English

Coat of arms of family Jefferson from England

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Jefferson Surname


Most Common

surname in the World

Approximately 76,349 people bear this surname

Most prevalent in:

United States

Highest density in:

Cayman Islands

Jefferson Surname Definition:

This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Geoffrey,' which see. The various forms cited and the numbers of their representatives furnish some sort of idea of the enormous popularity of this now old-fashioned font-name in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Read More About This Surname

The alternate forms: Jéfferson (1) are calculated separately.

Jefferson (333,183) may also be a first name.

Jefferson Surname Meaning

From Where Does The Surname Originate? meaning and history

This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Geoffrey,' which see. The various forms cited and the numbers of their representatives furnish some sort of idea of the enormous popularity of this now old-fashioned font-name in the 13th and 14th centuries. To give more than one or two modern references would be superfluous.

Rogerus Jeffray, 1379: Poll Tax of Yorkshire.

1613-4. Married — Thomas Cook and Alice Gowen, alias Jefferey: St. Dionis Backchurch (London).

1635. Buried — Captayne William Jefferyes: St. James, Clerkenwell.

1636. — John, s. William Jefferie: ibid.

— — Roberte Jefferies: ibid.

1664. — Richard Jeoffries: ibid.

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley

This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Geoffrey,' which see, compare Jarratt, Gerald, &c.

1545. Buried — Agnes Giffersonne: St. Antholin (London).

1747. — Sarah Jefferson: St. Mary Aldermary.

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley

Jeffrey’s (&c.) Son: v. Jeffrey, Jeffery, &c.

Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison

(English) The son of Geoffrey or Jeffre (God's peace).

Dictionary of American Family Names (1956) by Elsdon Coles Smith

The Teutonic personal name Godfridus, whence also Godfrey. In Domesday the ordinary form is Goisfridus. From it we get the modifications and derivatives, Jefferson, Jeaffreson, Jeffries, Jefferies, Jefferiss, Jeff, Jeffs, Jephson, Jepson, Jeffeock, Jefkins, with minor variations of spelling too numerous for insertion.

Patronymica Britannica (1860) by Mark Antony Lower

Jeffery,Jefferies,Jeffreys. —These are essentially south of England names, Wilts being their principal home. It is remarkable that Jeffery is most numerous in the four south - west counties; whilst Jefferies and Jeffreys are most prevalent in the other parts of the area of distribution. The place of these names in the north of England is taken by Jefferson. Jeffs is a Cheshire variety.

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890) by Henry Brougham Guppy

DNA test information

Jefferson Last Name Facts

Where Does The Last Name Jefferson Come From? nationality or country of origin

Jefferson (Arabic: جيفرسن) is held by more people in The United States than any other country/territory. It may also be rendered as: Jéfferson. Click here to see other potential spellings of this last name.

How Common Is The Last Name Jefferson? popularity and diffusion

This last name is the 7,446th most prevalent last name on earth, borne by approximately 1 in 95,450 people. The last name is mostly found in The Americas, where 88 percent of Jefferson live; 87 percent live in North America and 87 percent live in Anglo-North America. It is also the 3,131st most frequent first name at a global level It is held by 333,183 people.

The surname Jefferson is most common in The United States, where it is held by 64,729 people, or 1 in 5,600. In The United States it is mostly concentrated in: Texas, where 12 percent reside, California, where 7 percent reside and Maryland, where 7 percent reside. Aside from The United States it exists in 125 countries. It is also found in England, where 7 percent reside and Canada, where 2 percent reside.

Jefferson Family Population Trend historical fluctuation

The frequency of Jefferson has changed through the years. In The United States the share of the population with the last name rose 617 percent between 1880 and 2014; in England it rose 168 percent between 1881 and 2014; in Scotland it rose 710 percent between 1881 and 2014; in Wales it rose 2,425 percent between 1881 and 2014 and in Ireland it contracted 90 percent between 1901 and 2014.

Jefferson Last Name Statistics demography

The religious adherence of those holding the Jefferson last name is predominantly Anglican (68%) in Ireland, Orthodox (83%) in Russia and Christian (100%) in Kenya.

In The United States Jefferson are 6.15% more likely to be registered with the Democrat Party than The US average, with 59.38% registered with the party.

The amount Jefferson earn in different countries varies greatly. In Peru they earn 2.45% less than the national average, earning S/. 18,911 per year; in South Africa they earn 103.01% more than the national average, earning R 482,424 per year; in United States they earn 15.35% less than the national average, earning $36,524 USD per year and in Canada they earn 3.77% more than the national average, earning $51,556 CAD per year.

Phonetically Similar Names

Jefferson Name Transliterations

TransliterationICU LatinPercentage of Incidence
Jefferson in the Arabic language

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Jefferson Reference & Research

Jefferson FamilyTree DNA Project - A description of a group researching the paternal lines of men who bear the surname with the help of DNA analysis.

The name statistics are still in development, sign up for information on more maps and data

  • Surnames are taken as the first part of an person's inherited family name, caste, clan name or in some cases patronymic
  • Descriptions may contain details on the name's etymology, origin, ethnicity and history. They are largely reproduced from 3rd party sources; diligence is advised on accepting their validity - more information
  • Name distribution statistics are generated from a global database of over 4 billion people - more information
  • Heatmap: Dark red means there is a higher occurrence of the name, transitioning to light yellow signifies a progressively lower occurrence. Clicking on selected countries will show mapping at a regional level
  • Rank: Name are ranked by incidence using the ordinal ranking method; the name that occurs the most is assigned a rank of 1; name that occur less frequently receive an incremented rank; if two or more name occur the same number of times they are assigned the same rank and successive rank is incremented by the total preceeding names
  • Ethnic group cannot necessarily be determined by geographic occurrence
  • Similar: Names listed in the "Similar" section are phonetically similar and may not have any relation to Jefferson
  • To find out more about this surname's family history, lookup records on Family​Search, My​Heritage, FindMyPast and Ancestry. Further information may be obtained by DNA analysis

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