The O'Cuffe 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'Cuffe 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'Cuffe family
The surname O'Cuffe 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'Cuffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Cuffe 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'Cuffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Cuffe Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations
of the surname O'Cuffe can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Cuff, Cuffe, Couffe, Couff, Cuffy, Cuffey, Cuffie and others.
Early Notables of the O'Cuffe 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'Cuffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Cuffe family to the New World and Oceana
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Cuffe name: 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'Cuffe 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.