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

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

There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name Dunphy is O Donnchaidh, which means descendant of Donnchadh, a personal name Anglicized as Donogh.


During the Middle Ages a name was spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Dunphy family name. Variations found include Dunphy, Dunfy, O'Dunphy, O'Donoghue and others.

First found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunphy research. Another 300 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1014 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Dunphy History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Dunphy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Dunphy family name:

Dunphy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Dunphy settled in Pennsylvania in 1772

Dunphy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Walter Dunphy, who arrived in Kentucky in 1837
  • Mr. Dunphy, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • John Dunphy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1862

Dunphy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Francis Dunphy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • James Dunphy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Catherine Dunphy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • Alice Dunphy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Margaret Dunphy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834


  • Marv Dunphy, American former volleyball player
  • Melissa Dunphy (b. 1980), Australian-American composer of classical music
  • Jack Dunphy (1914-1992), American novelist and playwright
  • Jerry Dunphy (1921-2002), American television news anchor
  • Don Dunphy (1908-1998), American television and radio sports announcer
  • Fran Dunphy (b. 1948), American college basketball coach
  • John Dunphy, American Educator and Surgeon
  • Jessica Dunphy (b. 1984), American actress
  • Paul Dunphy (b. 1987), Irish soccer player
  • Brian Dunphy (b. 1974), Irish Folk singer



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: Generosa virtus nihil timet
Motto Translation: Generous valour fears nothing


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. 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.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Dunphy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dunphy 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 9 October 2015 at 21:34.

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