The O'Cuff surname comes from the Middle English word "cuffe," which meant "glove." It is thought that the name was originally an occupational
name for a maker or seller of gloves. Although most instances of the name in Ireland
were through migration from England
, there were native Irish bearers of O'Cuff from the Gaelic form of O Duirnin. Although this name is usually Anglicized as Durnin, it had occasionally become "Cuffe" through mistranslation, since the Gaelic word "dorn" refers to "a fist."
Early Origins of the O'Cuff family
The surname O'Cuff was first found in Kilkenny
(Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland
in the province of Leinster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times.
Early History of the O'Cuff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Cuff research.Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1670, 1678, 1641, 1694, 1744, 1737, 1804 and 1821 are included under the topic Early O'Cuff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Cuff Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname O'Cuff are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.
Early Notables of the O'Cuff family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Sir James Cuffe (died 1678) was an Irish politician, son of Thomas Cuffe of Somerset
, he moved to Ireland
with his father and brother in 1641; Michael Cuffe (1694-1744), an Irish Member of Parliament; Agmondesham... Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Cuff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Cuff family to the New World and Oceana
A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia
in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name O'Cuff or a variant listed above: Martin Cuffe who settled in Virginia in 1623; followed by John and Thomas in 1670; Richard Cuffe settled in Jamaica in 1670; John Cuff settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1762.
The O'Cuff 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: Animus tamen idem
Motto Translation: Yet our mind is unchanged.