Duffus History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the ancestors of the Duffus family begins among the Pictish clans ancient Scotland. The name Duffus comes from the Gaelic Dubh or the older Gaelic word Dub.

Early Origins of the Duffus family

The surname Duffus was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where one of the first records of the name was Duncan Duff who was witness to a charter in 1275.

The Clan claim descent from Duff (Dubh, the Black) (d. 967), King of Celtic Alban. He was son of Malcolm and succeeded, in 962, Constantine as king. " In 965 Duff defeated Colin, the son of Indulph, supported by the abbot of Dunkeld and the chief of Athole at Drumcrub in Strathearn. Two years later Colin reversed this victory and expelled Duff, who, according to a later chronicle, was afterwards, when attempting to recover his kingdom, slain at Forres. His body was hidden under the bridge of Kinloss, and the sun did not shine till it was found and buried. An eclipse on 10 July 967 may have originated or confirmed this story." [1]

Early History of the Duffus family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duffus research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1320 and are included under the topic Early Duffus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Duffus Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Duffus include Duff, MacDuff and others.

Early Notables of the Duffus family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Duffus family to Ireland

Some of the Duffus family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Duffus migration to the United States +

The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Duffus:

Duffus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Duffus, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1806 [2]
  • Jane Duffus, who arrived in Saratoga, NY in 1855 [2]
  • Jessie Duffus, aged 28, who immigrated to America, in 1893
  • John Duffus, aged 37, who immigrated to the United States, in 1894
Duffus Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joanna Martin Duffus, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Jeanie Duffus, aged 34, who landed in America from Broughly Ferry, in 1906
  • Joseph Duffus, aged 22, who landed in America from Aberdeenshire, in 1906
  • Chas. G. Duffus, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Aberdeenshire, in 1906
  • James Duffus, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Duffus migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Duffus Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Cornelius Dugan U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
Duffus Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mary Duffus, aged 70, who settled in Halifax, Canada, in 1924

New Zealand Duffus 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:

Duffus Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Duffus, aged 46, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Duffus (post 1700) +

  • Parris Duffus (b. 1970), retired American professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Louis George Duffus (1904-1984), Australian-born, South African cricketer
  • Joseph James Duffus (1876-1957), Canadian merchant and parliamentarian


The Duffus Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Deus Juvat
Motto Translation: God assists.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X


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