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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The Durkin surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Duarcáin.

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The surname Durkin was first found in north Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they held a family seat as Chiefs of their race. Irish history was greatly influenced by the Norman invasion of 1172, and thereafter, the surnames of Irish Gaelic clanns and septs and many of the Norman families became almost indistinguishable. This family name was found later in Sligo where seated and represented the first recorded reference to the name by Sineall, son of Cassan. They were descended through the MacNamara line from the O'Brien Kings of Ireland.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Durkin, Durkan, Dorcan, McDurkin, McDorcan, McDurkan, Gurkin, McGurkin, O'Durkin, O'Durcan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durkin research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Durkin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Durkin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Annie Durkin, who arrived in Virginia in 1670

Durkin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Anthony Durkin, who came to Philadelphia in 1844
  • Catharine Durkin, who came to New York in 1864
  • Ann Durkin, who settled in New York in 1864
  • Ann Durkin, aged 7, arrived in New York in 1864
  • Catharine Durkin, aged 30, landed in New York in 1864


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  • Shevonne Durkin (b. 1969), American actress, perhpas best known for her starring role in the 1994 horror movie Leprechaun 2
  • Raymond M. 'Ray' Durkin (b. 1936), American Democratic party politician, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (1985-1990)
  • Trent Bernard "Junior" Durkin (1915-1935), American stage and film actor, perhaps best known for his roles as Huckleberry Finn in Tom Sawyer (1930), and Huckleberry Finn (1931)
  • John Anthony Durkin (1936-2012), American politician, Democratic U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1975 to 1980)
  • Master Sergeant William Lloyd Durkin (1916-2006), American Marine who became famous for rescuing Howard Hughes when the aviation pioneer's XF-11 reconnaissance plane crashed on July 7, 1946
  • Tom Durkin (b. 1950), American sportscaster specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing
  • Martin Patrick Durkin (1894-1955), American administrator, 7th Secretary of Labor in 1953, known as the "plumber" of President Dwight Eisenhower's "Nine Millionaires and a Plumber" cabinet
  • Jim Durkin (b. 1961), American politician, Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives (2013-)
  • Edward J. Durkin, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1940
  • Gerald F. Durkin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1984

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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Durkin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Durkin 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 3 April 2016 at 13:55.

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