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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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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


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  • Jessica Dunphy (b. 1984), American actress
  • John Dunphy, American Educator and Surgeon
  • Fran Dunphy (b. 1948), American college basketball coach
  • Don Dunphy (1908-1998), American television and radio sports announcer
  • Jerry Dunphy (1921-2002), American television news anchor
  • Jack Dunphy (1914-1992), American novelist and playwright
  • Melissa Dunphy (b. 1980), Australian-American composer of classical music
  • Marv Dunphy, American former volleyball player
  • Eamon Dunphy (b. 1945), Irish footballer and broadcaster
  • Sean Dunphy (1937-2011), Irish singer

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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. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. 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).
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  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 26 January 2015 at 17:38.

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