Show ContentsDoody History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Doody was O Dubhda. The first portion of the name comes from the word dubh, which means black or dark complexioned. [1]

Early Origins of the Doody family

The surname Doody was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht. King Niall, brother of Fiachra and descended from Daithi, was one of the last pagan Kings of Ireland. For centuries they were the leading sept of northern Ui Fiachrach. Their territory comprised the baronies of Erris and Tirawley in the county of Mayo and Tireagh in Sligo. [2] They were the traditional Princes of Hy-Fiachra in Connaught. [1]

Early History of the Doody family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doody research. Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1354, 1579, 1813, 1891, 1579, 1579, 1656, 1706 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Doody History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Doody Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Doody that are preserved in archival documents are Dowd, Duddy, Doody, O'Dowd, Dowdy, Dowdie, Doudy, Doudie, Doudd, Doodie and many more.

Early Notables of the Doody family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Father John O'Duada (d. 1579) one of many Irish Franciscan martyrs when he was tortured and hanged in 1579; and Samuel Doody (1656-1706), an early English botanist...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doody Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Doody Ranking

In the United States, the name Doody is the 8,838th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Doody migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Doody to North America:

Doody Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Doody, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1843 [4]
  • Mary Doody, aged 18, who landed in New York in 1854 [4]
  • Thomas Doody, who arrived in Alabama in 1858 [4]
  • Jeremeah Doody, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1860 [4]

Canada Doody migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Doody Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Doody, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833
  • Mr. Daniel Doody, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bee" departing 17th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [5]

Australia Doody migration to Australia +

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

Doody Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Doody, British convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Joshua Doody, British Convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mary Doody, aged 17, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849 [8]
  • William Doody, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" in 1850 [9]
  • John Doody, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella" [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Doody 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:

Doody Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Doody, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873 [11]
  • Elizabeth Ann Doody, aged 21, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873 [11]
  • James Doody, aged 20, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Doody (post 1700) +

  • Margaret Anne Doody (b. 1939), American professor of literature at the University of Notre Dame
  • Alison Doody (b. 1966), Irish actress and model who at 18 was - and remains - the youngest Bond girl for her role in A View to a Kill
  • C. William Doody (1931-2005), Newfoundland-born, Canadian politician, member of the Senate of Canada representing Newfoundland and Labrador (1979-2005)
  • Rachel Doody (b. 1984), New Zealand former association football player
  • Michael Doody, Canadian politician, Mayor of Timmins, Ontario (1977 to 1980)
  • Nick Doody (b. 1972), British stand-up comedian

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Gerald Maurice  Doody (1897-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [12]

  1. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. 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. 73)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LORD ASHBURTON 1850. Retrieved from
  10. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIBELLA 1852. Retrieved
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 4th November 2011). Retrieved from
  12. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook