Origins Available: Irish
Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides
islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name MacDuffie evolved there as 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 MacDuffie family
The surname MacDuffie 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 MacDuffie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDuffie research.Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early MacDuffie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDuffie Spelling Variations
Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations
. In various documents MacDuffie has been spelled MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDuffie family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacDuffie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacDuffie family to Ireland
Some of the MacDuffie 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 MacDuffie family to the New World and Oceana
Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence
broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan
societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The MacDuffie were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:
MacDuffie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Rufus L. MacDuffie, aged 57, who arrived at New York City, NY, in 1924
The MacDuffie 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.