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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Cuffe family come from? What is the Irish Cuffe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cuffe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cuffe family history?

The Cuffe surname comes from the Middle English word "cuffe," which meant "glove." It is thought that the name was originally an occupational name for a maker or seller of gloves. Although most instances of the name in Ireland were through migration from England, there were native Irish bearers of Cuffe from the Gaelic form of O Duirnin. Although this name is usually Anglicized as Durnin, it had occasionally become "Cuffe" through mistranslation, since the Gaelic word "dorn" refers to "a fist."


Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Cuffe dating from that time include Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.

First found in Kilkenny (Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cuffe research. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1670, 1678, 1641, 1st , 1737, 1804, 1st and 1821 are included under the topic Early Cuffe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 141 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cuffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Cuffe family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Cuffe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Martin Cuffe, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Martin Cuffe who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • John and Thomas Cuffe arrived in Virginia in 1670
  • Richard Cuffe settled in Jamaica in 1670

Cuffe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Annie Cuffe, aged 3, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1892

Cuffe Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Mary Cuffe, aged 74, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1904
  • Mary Cuffe, aged 42, who settled in America from Ballaghaderin, Ireland, in 1907
  • Edward Cuffe, aged 20, who emigrated to America from Hamilton, England, in 1907
  • Annie Cuffe, aged 18, who landed in America from Dugort, Ireland, in 1908
  • Edward Cuffe, aged 22, who landed in America from Hiost, England, in 1909


  • Ciarán Cuffe (b. 1963), Irish Green Party politician
  • Hamilton John Agdmondesham Cuffe (1848-1934), 5th Earl of Desart, who was made a member of the Order of St Patrick in 1919
  • Tony Cuffe (1954-2001), Scottish folk musician


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Animus tamen idem
Motto Translation: Yet our mind is unchanged.


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Cuffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cuffe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 April 2014 at 14:04.

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