THE FAMILY ABLUM: Being Jolly & Jolliffe

Michael Wager sent me this article inquiring if my surname, Jolliffe, was connected to the French word and spelling.

Yes, my surname is “jolly.”

My French heritage spelled our name Jollivau. The first French ancestor, Philippe Leigh Jollivau came to this continent in 1693 as an indentured servant.

The name changed to a British spelling, Jollival and eventually to Jolliffe. During WWI, the “e” was dropped with war records and my great grandfather just left it. His siblings also dropped the “e.” (?) In 1984 when I was adopted by David Haas, I added Haas and returned the “e” since it didn’t really matter.

Getting students to pronounce Jolliffe-Haas was impossible. After one student referred to me as Mr. Häagen-Dazs, I assured him that I was sweet, like a premium brand of ice cream from that day on a began going just by Mr. Haas!

Thanks, again, for the article, Michael!

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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