Day 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.


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 [1]
  • Dorothy Day, aged 17, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Hanna Day, aged 20, who landed in America in 1635 [1]
  • Jo Day, aged 16, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [1]
  • Jon Day, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [1]
  • ... (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 [1]
  • Martha Day, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • Robert Day, who arrived in America in 1764 [1]
  • Andrew Day, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [1]
Day Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Redmond Day, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Gabriel Day, who arrived in New York in 1835 [1]
  • Joseph Day, who landed in New York in 1836 [1]
  • Botheny Day, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [1]
  • William Day, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845 [1]
  • ... (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 [2]
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 18th Century
Day Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Day, (b. 1788), aged 27, English labourer who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1875 when he accidentally drowned [4]
  • Charles Day, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Charles Day, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • John Day, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Day, (b. 1807), aged 27, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 27th September 1834, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1838 when he was killed [7]
  • ... (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 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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
  • 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 [9]
  • 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
  • William Rufus Day (1849-1923), American diplomat, jurist, and politician, Secretary of State (1898) and Supreme Court justice (1903-1922)
  • ... (Another 164 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 explosion [10]
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 sinking [11]
  • 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 sinking [11]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Norman Marsden Day, British Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Leonard Henry Day (b. 1916), British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Leonard Henry Day, British Petty Officer (Radar), who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [12]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Thomas William Day, British Warrant Mechanician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [13]
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 [14]


Suggested Readings for the name Day +

  • 247 "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. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  14. ^ 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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