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

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

The origins of the name Duffan are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the Old Norse personal name Dólgfinnr, which was popular in the north of England during the 11th century. However, the surname Duffan may also de derived from the Old Norse forename Dufan, which was borrowed from the Old Irish personal name Dubán.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Duffan family name include Duffin, Duffan, Duffyn, Duffane, Duffen and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duffan research. Another 314 words(22 lines of text) covering the year 1379 is included under the topic Early Duffan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Duffan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Duffan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Duffan surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Duffan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Duffan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851

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  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Duffan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Duffan 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 27 October 2010 at 13:32.

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