Duffin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Duffin family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the Old Norse personal name Dólgfinnr, which was popular in the north of England during the 11th century. However, the surname Duffin may also de derived from the Old Norse forename Dufan, which was borrowed from the Old Irish personal name Dubán.

Early Origins of the Duffin family

The surname Duffin was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066.

Early History of the Duffin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duffin research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1379 is included under the topic Early Duffin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Duffin Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Duffin include Duffin, Duffan, Duffyn, Duffane, Duffen and others.

Early Notables of the Duffin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Duffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Duffin family to Ireland

Some of the Duffin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Duffin migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Duffin were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Duffin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Duffin who settled in North America in 1757
  • Edward Duffin, who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1757
  • Ann Duffin, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Virginia in 1774
Duffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anne Duffin, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • William Duffin, who settled in New York, NY in 1824
  • James Duffin, who settled in New York in 1843
  • Patrick Duffin, who was naturalized in Ohio in 1848
Duffin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John Carraile Duffin, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902 [1]

Canada Duffin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Duffin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Duffin, who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • James Duffin, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland

New Zealand Duffin 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:

Duffin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Duffin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865
  • Hugh Duffin, aged 21, a farmer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "India" in 1875
  • Ellen Duffin, aged 19, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "India" in 1875
  • Mr. Duffin, British settler travelling from London via Cape ports aboard the ship "Pembroke Castle" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th November 1889 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Duffin (post 1700) +

  • Shay Duffin (1931-2010), Irish-born American character actor of the stage and screen, known for The Departed (2006), Titanic (1997) and Raging Bull (1980)
  • Richard James Duffin (1909-1996), American physicist, known for his contributions to electrical transmission theory and to the development of geometric programming
  • Dan Duffin (b. 1973), English director and writer, known for The 12 Days of 'Black Christmas' (2006), What Have You Done?: The Remaking of 'Black Christmas' (2006) and On Screen! (2005)
  • Aoife Duffin, Irish Film and Television Award nominated actress, known for Fear of Flying (2012), Behold the Lamb (2011) and What Richard Did (2012)
  • Jacalyn Mary "Jackie" Duffin (b. 1950), Canadian medical historian and hematologist who holds the Hannah Chair, History of Medicine at Queen's University
  • Graeme Duffin (b. 1956), British rock musician for the Scottish pop band Wet Wet Wet since 1983
  • Anne Duffin, British historian and part-time lecturer at the University of Exeter
  • Adam Duffin (1841-1924), Irish unionist politician in Northern Ireland
  • Terrence Duffin (b. 1982), Zimbabwean cricketer

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Patrick Duffin, British Petty Officer Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [3]


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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