The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Gaffy is a nickname
for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan
is Mac Dubhshithe,
which translates as black one of peace.
One branch of the Clan
on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.
Early Origins of the Gaffy family
The surname Gaffy was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay
, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan
may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona
in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire
. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.
Early History of the Gaffy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaffy research.Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early Gaffy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaffy Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. Gaffy has appeared as MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the Gaffy family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gaffy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gaffy family to Ireland
Some of the Gaffy family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 187 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gaffy family to the New World and Oceana
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence
, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan
societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Gaffy or a variant listed above include: James MacFee who settled in New Hampshire
in 1718; John MacFee settled in Boston in 1766; George, John and William MacFee settled in Philadelphia between 1820 and 1840.
The Gaffy 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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.