The Couffe 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 Couffe 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 Couffe family
The surname Couffe 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 Couffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couffe 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 Couffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Couffe Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname Couffe are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.
Early Notables of the Couffe 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 Couffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Couffe family to the New World and Oceana
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families
made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Couffe family in 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 Couffe 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.