The Cuffee 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 Cuffee 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 Cuffee family
The surname Cuffee 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 Cuffee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cuffee 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 Cuffee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cuffee Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations
of the surname Cuffee were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.
Early Notables of the Cuffee 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 Cuffee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cuffee family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
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 Cuffee family relocated to North American shores quite early: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Cuffee (post 1700)
- Edward Emerson Cuffee (1902-1959), American jazz trombonist, he played with Leon Abbey (1940), Count Basie (1941), Chris Columbus (1944), and Bunk Johnson (1947)
- Paul Cuffee (1759-1817), son of a slave father, Saiz Kufu (later, Cuffe) and an Indian mother, he was a philanthropist, merchant, sea captain, tireless advocate for black rights in America, as well as an agent of returning African Americans to Africa
The Cuffee 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.