Cuffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Cuffe 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 Cuffe 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." [1]

Early Origins of the Cuffe family

The surname Cuffe 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 Cuffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cuffe research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1670, 1678, 1641, 1694, 1744, 1737, 1804, 1821, 1563, 1601, 1563, 1598, 1641, 1841, 1733, 1781, 1793, 1641, 1797 and 1821 are included under the topic Early Cuffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cuffe Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Cuffe dating from that time include Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.

Early Notables of the Cuffe 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 Cuffe, who lived in Castle Inch, County Kilkenny, father of Otway Cuffe, 1st Earl of Desart (1737-1804); and James Cuff M.P., the 1st and last Lord Tyrawley (d. 1821), he held the estate containing Deel Castle, a 16th Century Tower House, in County Mayo. Henry Cuff or Cuffe (1563-1601), was an English "author and politician, born in 1563...
Another 177 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cuffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cuffe migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Cuffe family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Cuffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Martin Cuffe, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [2]
  • Martin Cuffe who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • John and Thomas Cuffe, who arrived in Virginia in 1670
  • Richard Cuffe, who settled in Jamaica in 1670
Cuffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Annie Cuffe, aged 3, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1892
Cuffe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary Cuffe, aged 74, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1904
  • Mary Cuffe, aged 42, who settled in America from Ballaghaderin, Ireland, in 1907
  • Edward Cuffe, aged 20, who immigrated to America from Hamilton, England, in 1907
  • Annie Cuffe, aged 18, who landed in America from Dugort, Ireland, in 1908
  • Edward Cuffe, aged 22, who landed in America from Hiost, England, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Cuffe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cuffe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Ann Cuffe, aged 16 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [3]
  • Ms. Mary Cuffe, aged 19 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Westmoreland" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [3]
  • Miss. Catherine Cuffe who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Thompson" departing 5th May 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 14th June 1847 but she died on board [4]
  • Mrs. Mary Cuffe, aged 30 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Thompson" departing 5th May 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 14th June 1847 but she died on board [4]
  • Mr. Patrick Cuffe, aged 46 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Standard" departing 22nd April 1847 from New Ross, Ireland; the ship arrived on 19th June 1847 but he died on board [4]
Cuffe Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Edith Annie Cuffe, aged 41, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1910
  • Thomas E. Cuffe, aged 41, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1910
  • Thomas E. Cuffe, aged 42, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1910
  • Fred Cuffe, aged 34, who settled in Toronto, Ont., in 1913
  • Henry J. Cuffe, aged 37, who settled in Toronto, Ont., in 1913

Australia Cuffe migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cuffe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Cuffe (post 1700) +

  • Selena Senora Cuffe (b. 1975), African-American businesswoman, co-fonder of Heritage Link Brands, LLC
  • Paul Cuffe (1759-1817), sometimes spelt Cuffee, an American Quaker businessman, sea captain, patriot, and abolitionist
  • Mike Cuffe, American Republican politician, Member of Montana State House of Representatives 2nd District; Elected 2010 [6]
  • William Ulick O'Connor Cuffe (1845-1898), 4th Earl of Desart, an Irish peer
  • John Otway O'Conner Cuffe (1818-1865), 3rd Earl of Desart, an Irish Conservative politician, Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in 1852
  • Ellen Odette Cuffe (1857-1933), Countess of Desart, née Bischoffsheim, an Irish politician, company director and philanthropist
  • Charles Richard Cuffe (1914-1972), Irish cricketer
  • James Cuffe (1778-1828), Irish politician, Member of Parliament for Tralee (1819-1828); he was the illegitimate son of James Cuffe, 1st Baron Tyrawley
  • James Cuffe (1747-1821), 1st Baron Tyrawley, an Irish peer and politician, Member of Parliament for Mayo (1768-1797), and for Donegal Borough (1776-1777)
  • James Cuffe (1707-1762), Irish landowner in County Mayo
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Cuffe 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.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 22)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 71)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arabian voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1846 with 26 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arabian/1846
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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