Show ContentsDay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name Day originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.

Early Origins of the Day family

The surname Day was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond. Today Dysert O'Dea Castle still stands near Corofin, County Clare with its Romanesque Doorway and High Cross and was the site of the Battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318. It was here that the Irish chieftain Conor O'Dea, chief of the Cineal Fearmaic and ally of Murtough O'Brien, stood his ground only to be defeated by the invading forces from Scotland.

Early History of the Day family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Day research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early Day History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Day Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Day revealed many variations, including Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.

Early Notables of the Day family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Most Rev. Thomas O'Dea; and Cornelius O'Dea (d. 1434), Archdeacon of Killaloe and later Bishop of Limerick. Three items of his have survived over the centuries: his Mitre, Crozier and a manuscript now entitled "The Black Book of Limerick." Today, they are all kept in Limerick's Hunt Museum. "According to a legend Bishop Cornelius O'Dea went to Dublin to attend a synod of bishops without his...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Day Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Day World Ranking

In the United States, the name Day is the 245th most popular surname with an estimated 106,941 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Day is ranked the 388th most popular surname with an estimated 12,025 people with that name. [2] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Day is the 125th popular surname with an estimated 290 people with that name. [3] France ranks Day as 9,596th with 500 - 1,000 people. [4] Australia ranks Day as 127th with 21,115 people. [5] New Zealand ranks Day as 198th with 2,818 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Day as 124th with 40,173 people. [7]


United States Day migration to the United States +

The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Day:

Day Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anthony Day, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [8]
  • Dorothy Day, aged 17, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • Hanna Day, aged 20, who landed in America in 1635 [8]
  • Miss Hannah Day, (b. 1615), aged 20, British maid to the Jeoffries family travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Elizabeth and Anne" arriving in Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire) in 1635 [9]
  • Jon Day, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Day Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Day, who arrived in Virginia in 1701-1702 [8]
  • Martha Day, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [8]
  • Robert Day, who arrived in America in 1764 [8]
  • Andrew Day, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [8]
Day Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Redmond Day, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [8]
  • Gabriel Day, who arrived in New York in 1835 [8]
  • Joseph Day, who landed in New York in 1836 [8]
  • Botheny Day, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [8]
  • William Day, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Day migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Day Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Chata Day, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Nath Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Day Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Luke Day, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Joseph B Day, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Elmer Day, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Miss. W.O. Day, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Wandsworth" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in May 1847 [10]
Day Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • J C Day, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • T J Day, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Day migration to Australia +

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

Day Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Day, (b. 1794), aged 25, English clerk who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. William Day, (b. 1791), aged 28, English ploughman who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1821 [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Day, British Convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Mr. John Day, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 13th July 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Robert Day, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 13th July 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Day migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Day Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Geo Day, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • Hendry Hale Day, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Day, aged 48, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Jane Day, aged 38, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Mr. John Day, (b. 1792), aged 48, British blacksmith travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Day migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Day Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Jo Day, aged 16, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [8]
  • Mr. John Day, (b. 1619), aged 16, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [16]

Contemporary Notables of the name Day (post 1700) +

  • Doris Day (1924-2019), born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, an American Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winning actress, singer, and animal rights activist, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004
  • Thomas Brennock Day (1932-2021), American scientist and university administrator, President of San Diego State University from 1978 to 1996
  • Patrick Day (1992-2019), American professional boxer who died from brain trauma sustained in a knockout loss against Charles Conwell
  • Burke Day (1954-2017), American writer and politician who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1995 to 2011
  • Ann Day (1938-2016), American Republican politician, Member of Arizona State Senate 12th District; Elected 1998 [17]
  • George Calvin Day (1871-1940), American rear admiral of the United States Navy
  • Charles Wayne "Chuck" Day (1942-2008), American guitarist and baritone bluesman
  • Emily Day (b. 1987), American gold medalist beach volleyball player on the NORCECA Circuit 2009
  • J Edward Day (1914-1996), American administrator, Postmaster General (1961-1963), who oversaw the introduction of ZIP codes
  • Clarence Shepard Day Jr. (1874-1935), American writer
  • ... (Another 168 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Peter  Day, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [18]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. William S W Day (b. 1902), English Chief Electrical Artificer serving for the Royal Navy from Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [19]
  • Mr. Frederick J Day (b. 1921), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [19]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Norman Marsden Day, British Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Leonard Henry Day (b. 1916), British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Leonard Henry Day, British Petty Officer (Radar), who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [20]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Thomas William Day, British Warrant Mechanician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [21]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Victor Day (b. 1914), Newfoundlander from Channell who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. William John Day, American Seaman Second Class from Washington, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]


Suggested Readings for the name Day +

  • Day unto Day: A Study of the Day Family in America by Margery Frances Day Hanson.
  • Descendants of Christopher Day of Bucks County, Pennsylvania by James Edward Day.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 24th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  10. ^ 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. 23)
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th February 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eliza
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  21. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  22. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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