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Home: Surnames: Rife Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Origin of the Surname Rife
Posted by: Michael A. Rife Date: April 24, 2001 at 18:54:50
In Reply to: Origin of the Surname Rife by Martha Hughes Rice of 321

If the formatting this is not good here I have the information on my website: http://rife.50megs.com/REIF.TXT

This was on a certicate that I bought in Orlando years ago.

Michael A. Rife

THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH CENTER

FAMILY NAME HISTORY

REIFF / REIF


THE GERMAN SURNAME REIFF IS BELIEVED BY ETYMOLOGISTS TO BE
OF THREE ORIGINS. FIRSTLY, THE SURNAME REIFF IS OF PATRONYMIC
ORIGIN, FROM THE FIRST NAME OF THE FATHER OF THE INITIAL
BEARER. IN THIS INSTANCE, THE SURNAME REIFF, IS A VARIANT
OF THE ANCIENT SURNAME RIFF, DERIVED FROM THE PERSONAL NAME
RIDFRIT, A SHORT FORM OF RIFO. ALTERNATELY, THE SURNAME REIFF
IS OF OCCUPATIONAL ORIGIN, FROM THE TRADE OR PROFESSION OF
THE FATHER OF THE INITIAL BEARER OF THE NAME AS A SURNAME.
HERE, THE SURNAME REIFF IS DERIVED FROM THE MIDDLE HIGH GERMAN
WORD REIF MEANING VATTED BAND OR HOOP, THUS REFERRING TO
"A MAKER OF HOOPS FOR WINE VATS". FINALLY, THE SURNAME REIFF
IS OF NICKNAME ORIGIN, FROM A PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTIC OR
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTE OF THE INITIAL BEARER. IN THIS CASE, THE
SURNAME REIFF DENOTES "A WEAK AND COLD PERSON".

REFERENCES TO THIS SURNAME OR TO A VARIANT INCLUDE A RECORD
OF ONE NICOL. HOLTZMENGER DE DOMO ZU DEM REYFE IN WORMS IN
1325, AS WELL AS A RECORD OF A HAUS ZU DEM REYFE ALSO IN
WORMS IN 1325. BEARERS OF THE SURNAME SWENKENREIFF (SWENKE
BEING A FEMALE PERSONAL NAME), WERE RECORDED IN BRUENN IN
1365, AND STEZENREIF (TO SET) IN NUERNBURG IN 1370, AS WELL
AS BEARERS OF THE SURNAME REIFSSCHNEIDER (TAILOR) IN IGLAU
IN 1372. JODOCUS GEN. RIFF WAS A CHURCH MASTER OF JEGENSTORF
IN BERN, AS RECORDED IN 1375. BEARERS OF THE SURNAME
TREFFENREYFF IN LIEGNITZ WERE RECORDED IN 1389. HEINR. RIFFE
OF STRAUSSBURG WAS MENTIONED IN DOCUMENTS DATED 1405. THE
SURNAMES BECHERREIF (CUP) AND REIFSTECK (STICK) WERE FOUND
IN DOCUMENTS OF STRAUSSBURG IN 1419. THE SURNAMES REIF AND
REIFF WERE OF DESCENT FROM BRESLAU. FABIAN REIFF DIED IN
THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY WHERE HIS GRAVESTONE IS NEAR ST.
ELISABETH. HIS WIFE, HEDWIG, DIED BEFORE HIM ON FEBRUARY
18, 1555

BLAZON OF ARMS: ARGENT; A MILLSTONE PROPER;
CHARGED WITH AN IRON SABLE.
CREST: A TOWER WITH AN EMBATTLED
POINTED TOP AND OPEN PORT,
ALL ARGENT.
ORIGIN: GERMANY




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