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About the study
The Jephcott Society was formed in 1983 to bring together researchers of this surname and its recognised variant versions.
The oldest form of the name (from the 16th century) appears to have been Jeffcocke or Jefcok or various other forms of this. However, the 'ck' or 'k' end seems to have been completely replaced by 't' endings in the the late 16thy century and the surname has evolved into approximately 14 variants that include Jephcote, Jeffcoat, Jefcoate, Jeffcutt, Jeffcott, Jefcut, etc. All of these seem to link back to the Wet Midlands area of England. There are Jeffcock families in the Sheffield area of England that may or may not connect with our Warwickshire families, for whom we have not done any detailed research.
The name seems to be a patronym meaning 'son of Geoff'. Reaney lists various early instances from the 14th century, such as Gevcok, Geffecocke, etc. Geoffrey is a Norman name so there may be a link way back to Normandy France. That we we probably never be able to prove.
History of the name
We are not famous folk. Sir Harry Jephcott helped to create what has become the Glaxo Pharmaceutical empire. We have two actor brothers, Saul and Dominic Jephcott. There are various other Jephcott, Jeffcoat, Jeffcoate, etc. individuals of note but our origins are humble farm people from the area of Ansty, north of Coventry, Warwickshire.
The most common form is Jephcott, followed by Jeffcoat. 100 years ago, the name was almost exclusive to Warwickshire.
Distribution of the name
We are now dispersed to the far corners of the world, some as a result of transportation and many through emigration. The Jeffcoat name is well known in South Carolina in the USA and there is evidence of the name amongst African Americans, presumably a result of the slave trade.
We have amassed a large amount of data over the years and a 1000 page book has been produced. Details may be found at http://www.camulos.com/tjs/tjs.htm
None so far.