McGuff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first families to use the name McGuff lived in ancient Scotland in the kingdom of Dalriada. The name was then used 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 McGuff family

The surname McGuff 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.

Important Dates for the McGuff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGuff research. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early McGuff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGuff Spelling Variations

In various documents McGuff has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the McGuff family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the McGuff family to Ireland

Some of the McGuff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGuff migration to the United States

Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the McGuff family emigrate to North America:

McGuff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McGuff, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
McGuff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Rebecca McGuff, aged 42, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1905
  • Wm. McGuff, aged 40, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1905
  • Wm. McGuff, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1919
  • Annie McGuff, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1924

Contemporary Notables of the name McGuff (post 1700)

  • Joseph T. McGuff (1926-2006), American journalist, author, and newspaper editor
  • Ronald M. McGuff, American founder of McGuff Company Inc., California in 1979, a medical products wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and medical products
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