Caffery History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name Caffery originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Gafraidh. Gafraidh or Gothraidh equates with the English personal name Godfrey. Variations that start with the prefix Mac or Mc mean son of Godfrey.

Early Origins of the Caffery family

The surname Caffery was first found in County Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat at Ballymacaffrey near Five mile Town in Fermanagh near the Tyrone border. [1]

Early History of the Caffery family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caffery research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 198 and 1987 are included under the topic Early Caffery History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caffery Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname Caffery were found in the archives researched. These included Scribes and church officials generally spelled a name as it sounded; as a result, a person's name could be spelt innumerable ways in his lifetime. MacCaffery, MacCaffrey, MacCafferty, MacAffery, MacAffry, MacAfferty, MacGoffrey, MacGodfrey and many more.

Early Notables of the Caffery family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Caffery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Caffery migration to the United States +

North America received thousands of Irish immigrants from the English-ruled Ireland during the 19th century. Once in the United States or what would become Canada, these immigrants quickly contributed to the ongoing settling and industrialization processes. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. An exhaustive examination of immigrant and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the surname of Caffery:

Caffery Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Caffery, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [2]
  • Mary Caffery, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [2]
Caffery Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Jefferson Caffery, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Von Steuben" from Brest, France [3]
  • Charles Caffery, originally from Liverpool, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Carmania" from Liverpool, England [4]

New Zealand Caffery migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Caffery Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Sarah Caffery, (b. 1837), aged 24, Irish domestic servant, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Stuart" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th October 1861 [5]
  • Mr. John Caffery, (b. 1839), aged 22, Irish farm labourer, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Stuart" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th October 1861 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Caffery (post 1700) +

  • Jefferson Caffery (1886-1974), American diplomat, U.S. ambassador to El Salvador
  • Patrick Thomson Caffery (b. 1932), American attorney who formerly served as a U.S. representative
  • Donelson Caffery (1835-1906), American politician from the state of Louisiana
  • Chris Caffery (b. 1967), American heavy metal guitarist
  • John Peter Caffery (1879-1919), Canadian track and field athlete
  • Terrance Michael Caffery (b. 1949), retired a Canadian ice hockey forward


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J64M-4Z7 : 6 December 2014), Jefferson Caffery, 01 Sep 1919; citing departure port Brest, arrival port New York, ship name Von Steuben, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J647-131 : 6 December 2014), Charles Caffery, 02 Oct 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York City, New York, New York, ship name Carmania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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