This very interesting name is Russian-Ashkenarsic in origin. It derives from Japhet, itself a patronymic form of Jaffe, and translates as "the son of the handsome one". It is also possible that the name is a developed form of "Jephthah", described in "The Book of Judges", as being a mighty warrior. There is also a possibility that some name holders may have developed their name from the Old French "Jeufroi" (the modern Geoffrey), or from the Breton "Gof", meaning a Smith. The name recordings are rare and hampered by the lack of records in certain countries, these recordings include Joseph Patrick Jaffe born at Johnstone, Rhode Island, U.S.A. on March 27th 1864. and Adolf Joffe born at Moscow, Russia on October 22nd 1883. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Isaac Joffe, which was dated July 28th 1871, born at Strawropol, Russia, during the reign of Tsar Alexander 11 of Russia, 1855 - 1881. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.