Jefferson Family History
Jefferson Name Meaning
English (northern): patronymic from the Middle English personal name Geffrey or Jeffray (see Jeffrey ) + -son. In the late medieval period Geffreyson was increasingly pronounced Jeffrason with shortening of the diphthong to a simple vowel which was later commonly altered to Gefferson and Jefferson with metathesis of -r- and this shortened vowel. In North America this surname became especially common among African Americans (see 2 below). African American: from the personal name Jefferson (or Thomas Jefferson) adopted in honor of Thomas Jefferson the 3rd president of the US; or adoption of the surname in 1 above in most cases probably for the same reason.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press