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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name Day originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.

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During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Day revealed many variations, including Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Day research. Another 396 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early Day History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 280 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Day Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Day:

Day Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Anthony Day, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635
  • Dorothy Day, aged 17, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Hanna Day, aged 20, landed in America in 1635
  • Jo Day, aged 16, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Jon Day, who landed in Virginia in 1636


Day Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Day, who arrived in Virginia in 1701-1702
  • Martha Day, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Robert Day, who arrived in America in 1764
  • Andrew Day, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765

Day Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Redmond Day, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Gabriel Day, who arrived in New York in 1835
  • Joseph Day, who landed in New York in 1836
  • Botheny Day, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839
  • William Day, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845


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  • Edmund Ezra Day (1883-1951), American economist and educator, president of Cornell University (1937-1949)
  • William Rufus Day (1849-1923), American diplomat, jurist, and politician, Secretary of State (1898) and Supreme Court justice (1903-1922)
  • Clarence Shepard Day Jr. (1874-1935), American writer
  • J Edward Day (1914-1996), American administrator, Postmaster General (1961-1963), who oversaw the introduction of ZIP codes
  • Dorothy Day (1897-1980), American writer and radical social reformer
  • Colonel George Everett "Bud" Day (b. 1925), former U.S. Air Force pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member since General Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations
  • Doris Day (b. 1924), born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, an American Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winning actress, singer, and animal rights activist, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004
  • Emily Day (b. 1987), American gold medalist beach volleyball player on the NORCECA Circuit 2009
  • Charles Wayne "Chuck" Day (1942-2008), American guitarist and baritone bluesman
  • George Calvin Day (1871-1940), American rear admiral of the United States Navy

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  • Day unto Day: A Study of the Day Family in America by Margery Frances Day Hanson.
  • Descendants of Christopher Day of Bucks County, Pennsylvania by James Edward Day.
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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  7. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Day Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Day 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 4 March 2014 at 21:13.

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