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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Duffey family come from? What is the Irish Duffey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Duffey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Duffey family history?

The original Gaelic form of Duffey was O Dubhthaigh. The first portion of the name is the word "dubh," which means "black," while the second portion is likely an obsolete Irish forename.


The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Duffey were encountered in the archives: Duffey, Duff, Duffy, O'Duffey, O'Duffy, Duffe, O'Duffe, Doey, Dohey, Doohey, O'Dowey and many more.

First found in Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and were one of the many families descended from the great Kings of Ireland called the "Three Collas." Descending from the Clan Colla was The Duffy, Lord of Fermanagh.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duffey research. Another 531 words(38 lines of text) covering the years 1075, 1150, 1501, 1175, 1527, 1615, 1527, 1615, 1675, 12 M, 1671, 1809 and 1871 are included under the topic Early Duffey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 87 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duffey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Duffey family came to North America quite early:

Duffey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Alice Duffey who landed in Maryland in 1724

Duffey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Duffey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • James Duffey, who landed in America in 1842
  • Patrick Duffey, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • Rose Duffey, aged 16, landed in New York in 1854
  • Anne Duffey, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1854

Duffey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Duffey settled in St. John's in 1829
  • John Duffey arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834

Duffey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Ellen Duffey, aged 18, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849

Duffey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Ada Duffey, aged 8, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877
  • Agnes Duffey, aged 10, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877
  • Ann Duffey, aged 35, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877
  • Elizabeth Duffey, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877
  • Henrietta Duffey, aged 5, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877


  • John Duffey (1934-1996), American Washington DC-based bluegrass music innovator
  • Joseph D. Duffey (b. 1932), American academic, educator and political appointee
  • Todd Duffey, American actor
  • Arthur Francis Duffey (1879-1955), American track and field athlete
  • Warren Joseph Duffey (1886-1936), U.S. Representative from Ohio
  • William Simon Duffey Jr. (b. 1952), United States federal judge
  • Doug Duffey, American singer, songwriter, pianist, bandleader, music arranger, record producer, music publisher, poet, diarist, photographer and visual artist
  • Eliza Bisbee Duffey, American feminist and writer of the 19th century
  • Joe Duffey (b. 1982), English rugby union footballer


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  11. ...

The Duffey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Duffey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 November 2014 at 09:22.

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