Gaffney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Gaffney has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Gaffney is "O Gamhna." However, the name was also used as an Anglicized form by the septs of O Caibheanaigh, Mac Conghamhna, and Mac Carrghamhna.

Early Origins of the Gaffney family

The surname Gaffney was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Gaffney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaffney research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1270 are included under the topic Early Gaffney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaffney Spelling Variations

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 Gaffney were encountered in the archives: Gaffney, Gafney, Gaffeney, Gaffeny, Gafferny, Gaffin, Gaffnay, Gaffny, Caulfields, Keveneys and many more.

Early Notables of the Gaffney family (pre 1700)

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


United States Gaffney migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Gaffney:

Gaffney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W Gaffney, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [1]
  • Eliza Gaffney, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Bernard, Christopher, James, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and William Gaffney, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • John Gaffney, who landed in Mississippi in 1861 [1]

Canada Gaffney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gaffney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Gaffney, aged 56 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Pandora" departing from the port of New Ross, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Mrs. Ann Gaffney, aged 45 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Pandora" departing from the port of New Ross, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Miss. Bridget Gaffney, aged 1 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Charles Richard" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [2]
  • Mr. Michael Gaffney, aged 9 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Jessie" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in May 1847 [2]
  • N. Gaffney, aged 65 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Pandora" departing 11th June 1847 from New Ross, Ireland; the ship arrived on 4th August 1847 but they died on board [3]

Australia Gaffney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gaffney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Gaffney, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Constance" [4]
  • Eliza Gaffney, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [5]
  • Catherine Gaffney, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle" [6]
  • John Gaffney, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"
  • Patrick Gaffney, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gaffney 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:

Gaffney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Gaffney, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Gaffney (post 1700) +

  • James Thomas Gaffney Jr. (1921-2015), American NFL football quarterback for the Washington Redskins (1945-1946)
  • Maureen E. "Mo" Gaffney (b. 1958), American actress, comedian, writer and activist
  • James Edward Gaffney (1868-1932), American baseball executive, owner of the Boston Braves of the National League from 1912 through 1915
  • Francis Andrew "Drew" Gaffney M.D, (b. 1946), American doctor who flew aboard a NASA STS-40 Space Shuttle mission as a Payload Specialist
  • Christopher F. "Chris" Gaffney (1950-2008), American singer and songwriter
  • Brigadier-General Dale Vincent Gaffney (1895-1950), American Commanding Officer Alaskan Wing (1943-1950) [7]
  • Private first class Frank Joseph Gaffney (1883-1948), American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor, considered "the second bravest man in the U. S. Army"
  • Mo Gaffney (b. 1958), American actress, comedienne, writer and activist
  • Elizabeth Gaffney (b. 1966), American novelist
  • Derrick Tyrone Gaffney (b. 1955), American NFL wide receiver
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Gaffney +

  • 2360 Notes of George Washington Gaddy and Family by Frank C. Rigler, A Springer Family History: Some Descendants of Dennis Springer and Ann Prickett, including Family Histories for Prickett, Gaddis, McIntire, et al by Ruth Beckey Irwin.

  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 29)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 76)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Constance.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 17th January 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Emerald Isle 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/emeraldisle1854.shtml
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 5) Dale Gaffney. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gaffney/Dale_Vincent/USA.html


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