|One source suggests NEFF, spelled in a dozen or more ways, was originally NEVO, whch, in turn, may have been corrupted from the French NEVEU, nephew. At any rate, NEVO seems to have appeared on both sides of the Upper Rhine as early as the 13th century. "Nephew" in German, is der Neffe; which lends further credence to the name as originally meaning 'nephew' in several languages. Documentation shows NEVO in Zurich as early as 1229, and NEFO in Basel by 1244. Our family comes from the German-speaking Canton of Zurich as "Naf" and seems to have been converted to NEFF when our ancesters came to America in the 18th century. For census and legal purposes, for example, the 18th and early 19th centuries show Nef, Neff, Neaff, Nehf, and Nave as just a few variations.