The Couff surname comes from the Middle English word "cuffe," which meant "glove." It is thought that the name was originally an occupational
name for a maker or seller of gloves. Although most instances of the name in Ireland
were through migration from England
, there were native Irish bearers of Couff from the Gaelic form of O Duirnin. Although this name is usually Anglicized as Durnin, it had occasionally become "Cuffe" through mistranslation, since the Gaelic word "dorn" refers to "a fist."
Early Origins of the Couff family
The surname Couff was first found in Kilkenny
(Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland
in the province of Leinster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times.
Early History of the Couff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couff research.Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1670, 1678, 1641, 1694, 1744, 1737, 1804 and 1821 are included under the topic Early Couff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Couff Spelling Variations
People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations
of the surname Couff that are preserved in archival documents are Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.
Early Notables of the Couff family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Sir James Cuffe (died 1678) was an Irish politician, son of Thomas Cuffe of Somerset
, he moved to Ireland
with his father and brother in 1641; Michael Cuffe (1694-1744), an Irish Member of Parliament; Agmondesham... Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Couff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Couff family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Couff to North America: Martin Cuffe who settled in Virginia in 1623; followed by John and Thomas in 1670; Richard Cuffe settled in Jamaica in 1670; John Cuff settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1762.
The Couff Motto
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: Animus tamen idem
Motto Translation: Yet our mind is unchanged.