PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]


Author: DWP
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

Leofgifu is an Old English feminine name comprising the elements lēof ‘dear’ and gifu ‘gift’.

There are five entries in the PASE corpus, of whom of whom Leofgifu 1-3 occur in pre-Domesday contexts (cf. seven such occurrences in Searle 1897: 327-8); Leofgifu 4 is a catch-all for occurrences in DB; and Leofgifu 5 is the TRE abbess of Shaftesbury, profiled below. Despite this apparently low frequency, however, women are generally under-reported in pre-Conquest sources and the elements lēof and gifu are common in the formation of other OE personal names. The PASE corpus and the distribution of estates recorded or inferred as held TRE by women called Leofgifu in DB suggest that this name was fairly common but was used mainly in the southern and eastern counties.


Searle 1897: W. G. Searle, Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum: A List of Anglo-Saxon Proper Names from the Time of Beda to that of King John (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1897)

von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Leuefa, Leueua, Leueue

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: Leofgifu

  Phillimore edition: Leofeva

  Alecto edition: Leofgifu

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

People of this name

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