Show ContentsHaffey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

History reveals the roots of the Haffey family name in the ancient Strathclyde people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The Haffey name is derived from the Gaelic personal name Debshithe, which means the black man of peace.

Early Origins of the Haffey family

The surname Haffey was first found in Wigtown (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhaile na h-Uige), formerly a county in southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, where they held a family seat from very early times. This distinguished Clan was originally known as the Clan MacKilhaffy and held a family seat at Craig Caffe in the parish of Inch.

Early History of the Haffey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Haffey research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1320 and 1540 are included under the topic Early Haffey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Haffey Spelling Variations

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Haffey has been spelled Mahaffy, Mehaffy, MacHaffie, Mahaffie, McHaffie, MacHaffy, McHaffy, MacGilhaffie, McGilhaffie, MacGilhaffy, McGilhaffy, MacKilhaffy, McKilhaffy, MacKilhaffie, McKilhaffie, MacIlhaffie, McIlhaffie, MacIlhaffy, McIlhaffy, MacCaffee, McCaffee, MacCaffie, McCaffie, McCaffy, MacCaffy, Milhaffie, Milhaffy, Mahalfie, Mahalfy and many more.

Early Notables of the Haffey family (pre 1700)

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

Haffey Ranking

In the United States, the name Haffey is the 14,050th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Haffey family to Ireland

Some of the Haffey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Haffey migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

Haffey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Roderick Haffey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 [2]
  • Michael Haffey, aged 18, who arrived in Virginia in 1813 [2]
  • John Haffey, who landed in Arkansas in 1886 [2]
  • James Haffey, who landed in Mississippi in 1897 [2]

Canada Haffey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Haffey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Haffey, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland

Australia Haffey migration to Australia +

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

Haffey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Haffey, (b. 1801), aged 25, Irish house maid who was convicted in Monaghan, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1832 listed as having 2 children [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Haffey (post 1700) +

  • James Haffey (1857-1910), American politician, Member of the Washington House of Representatives (1895-1897)
  • Chris Haffey (b. 1985), American gold medalist aggressive inline skater
  • Francis "Frank" Haffey (b. 1938), Scottish football goalkeeper who played for Celtic and the Scottish national team
  • Sub-Lieutenant Frances Haffey Brooke -Smith GC (1918-1952), British officer awarded the George Cross in the second world war while assigned to Atlantic convoy escort duties

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook