Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Jefferson

Jefferson is the transferred use of an English surname dating back to the Middle Ages. As a patronymic surname (i.e., passed from the father), Jefferson means quite obviously “son of Jeffrey”. In its original form, Geoffrey is a name of Germanic (Frankish) origin but the meaning is debated and uncertain. Most likely Geoffrey developed from Godfrey which also has Frankish and Germanic roots. The words “god/gōd” essentially means “God, good” and “fred/frid” means “peace”. Therefore, the full meaning of the name has to do with God’s peace or some divine (good) sense of peace. Geoffrey was brought to the British Isles by the Normans and the first recorded spelling of the surname was rendered Geffreysone in the mid 14th century. The medieval spelling of Geoffrey has since gone by the wayside. As a forename, Jefferson was popularized in America in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the nation’s third President and principle author of the Declaration of Independence.

All About the Baby Name – Jefferson



The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.



Jefferson has maintained a position on the charts for well over a century and most likely longer (thanks to Thomas Jefferson). In the mid 19th century Civil War South, the name was also used with some frequency in honor of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. While the name has never achieved anything beyond mild or moderate popularity in the United States, it has successfully carved out a consistent spot on the charts. The name’s peak popularity may be behind him, and despite the trendy interest in surnames as first names, Jefferson isn’t making the cut. When it comes to “son of” surnames specifically, Jefferson is far lagging in popularity compared to names like Jackson, Grayson and Harrison. We were surprised to see this. Jefferson has a rather dignified and intelligent quality to him, not to mention it’s loaded with patriotism. Further cementing the name’s patriotic quality in pop-culture is a memorable character named Jefferson Smith from the 1939 iconic movie starring James Stewart called “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. It’s a handsome name and a stronger, more modern (not to mention underused) alternative to Jeffrey.

Quick Facts













Son of Jeffrey (God's peace)










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Jefferson

Literary Characters


Jefferson Smith is the title character of the celebrated Frank Capra 1939 movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, based upon an unpublished story by Lewis R. Foster, and starring James Stewart in a signature role. Jefferson Smith is the leader of the “Boy Rangers”, who is appointed to fill the Senate seat of a recently deceased member. Unknown to the upstanding Jefferson, the system is fixed and he is merely a dupe of the forces who control the behind the scenes goings-on in Washington. After several plot twists that mistakenly put Jefferson Smith in a bad light, leading to his dawning awareness of the chicanery of his fellows, Jefferson stages an hours-long filibuster in the Senate that wins the day. He is proven to be as good and decent as we have known all along, and his enemies get their comeuppance. Politicians of the day roundly attacked the film, insisting it portrayed them in an unflattering light – some things never change!

Jefferson Hope is a pivotal character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, A Study in Scarlet, the book in which Sherlock Holmes makes his debut appearance. While investigating the murders of two men in London, Drebber and Stangerson, Holmes makes his brilliant deductions, which lead to Jefferson as the murderer. Jefferson is a good man, who had fallen in love with Lucy Ferrier years earlier in the Utah Territory in the United States. Lucy, unfortunately, has been raised a Mormon and is forced to choose a husband from that religion, either Drebber or Stangerson. Jefferson spirits her and her father out of Salt Lake City, but while he is foraging for food, Lucy’s father is killed and Lucy herself is kidnapped and forcibly married to Drebber. Lucy dies shortly thereafter of a broken heart, and Jefferson plots his revenge, following the two men to England and doling out their just desserts. When Holmes’ trail leads to Jefferson Hope, Jefferson gladly affirms his suspicions. Jefferson is ready to accept the consequences of law for his crimes of honor, but his own poor health metes out death before justice can; Jefferson dies with a smile of peace on his face.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Jefferson

Popular Songs


Jefferson St.
a song by Coretta Scott

a song by Roxette

Famous People


Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Jefferson

Historic Figures


Bill Clinton was our nation's saxophone-playing, good-humored, rock-n-roll president who served between 1993 and 2001. He came onto the scene breathing a new and youthful energy into a country of frustrated Americans (he was also only 46 years old). From modest beginnings, Billy Jeff had grand ambitions, and with his intelligence (he was a Rhodes Scholar) and charismatic personality, it seemed destined to be. It didn't hurt that Clinton was the quintessential natural politician. His presidency is marked by one of the longest periods of economic prosperity and peace in American history. It is also marked by the many scandals of his making (or those gleefully spread by his enemies): Jennifer Flowers, Travelgate, Whitewater, Paula Jones and, everyone's favorite, Monica Lewinsky (for which he was impeached). Still, it seemed that nothing could touch his approval ratings. Everyone pretty much loved Bill Clinton, except of course, his many Republican enemies. His wife Hillary was the first First Lady to have an office in the West Wing.

Bill Clinton is one of only four former United States presidents living, he being the 42nd in succession. Overcoming a troubled and underprivileged childhood, Clinton rose through academic and political ranks to achieve the highest office in the land. Admittedly personally charming and charismatic, engaging and intellectual (he was a Rhodes scholar), William “Bill” Clinton’s eight year reign was indelibly marred by the specter of impeachment. He presided over a period of domestic financial growth, fostered relations between Israel and the Arab nations, worked for health care and welfare reform, instituted NAFTA, tried to address the issues of gays in the military and, well, had a few little flings, one of which almost got him impeached. Upon leaving office, he worked on his own wife’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and has become a kind of elder statesman and humanitarian over the last decade. And he’s still married to Hillary. That may be his biggest coup of all.