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


The surname is one of the native Irish surnames that come from the Irish Gaelic language. The original Gaelic form of the name Coffee is "Mac Eachaidh," from the personal name Eachaidh, which is Anglicized as Aghy. It is cognate with Eochaigh, which is Anglicized as the once-common Christian name Oghy.

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Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Coffee dating from that time include Caughey, McCaughey, McGaughey, Coffee, Coffey, Coffy, O'Coffey, O'Coffy, Mulcahy, McGahey and many more.

First found in the county of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coffee research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coffee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Coffee or a variant listed above, including:

Coffee Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Coffee settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Rebecca Coffee, who landed in Maryland in 1675
  • Robert Coffee, who arrived in Maryland in 1680

Coffee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Coffee, who arrived in Virginia in 1714

Coffee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Coffee, aged 21, arrived in New York in 1812
  • William John Coffee, who arrived in New York in 1818
  • Huch Coffee, aged 34, landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839
  • George Coffee, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1841
  • Timothy Coffee, aged 29, landed in Missouri in 1843


Coffee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • John Coffee, who landed in Arkansas in 1903

Coffee Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Elisa Coffee, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Coffee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bridget Coffee, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Michael Coffee, aged 23, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Maria" from Cork
  • Jeremiah Coffee, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Charlotte" from Cork
  • Thomas Coffee, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the brig "Thetis" from Cork
  • Mary Coffee, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1838 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork


Coffee Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Coffee arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Patrick Coffee, aged 34, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Charlotte Jane"
  • Michael Coffee, aged 24, a shepherd, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella"
  • Mary Coffee, aged 28, a housemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle"
  • Thomas Coffee, aged 43, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sultana"


Coffee Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Ephrian Coffee arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • Grace Coffee arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • Mary Coffee, aged 17, a domestic servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1878

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  • Paul Coffee (b. 1956), retired American soccer Goalkeeper
  • John Trousdale Coffee (1816-1890), American politician and Confederate officer in the American Civil War
  • Harry Buffington Coffee (1890-1972), Nebraska Democratic politician
  • John Main Coffee (1897-1983), U.S. Representative from Washington
  • John C. "Jack" Coffee Jr. (b. 1944), American Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia Law School
  • John E. Coffee (1782-1836), American military leader and a United States Congress man
  • Lenore Jackson Coffee (1896-1984), American screenwriter and playwright
  • Linda Nellene Coffee (b. 1942), American attorney
  • John Coffee (1772-1833), American planter and military leader
  • Glenwood Razeem Coffee Jr. (b. 1987), former American football running back

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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: Non providentia sed victoria
Motto Translation: No victory without foresight

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  1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  2. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  3. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Coffee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coffee 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 7 April 2016 at 13:38.

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