Taafe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While this surname is generally regarded as Irish, we must look further back to properly understand its origin. Taafe is actually derived from the Welsh name Taaffe, which is a form of the personal name David and is related to the modern pet name Taffy. The Irish Gaelic form of the surname Taafe is Táth, which is pronounced, and indeed, often spelled, Taa.

Early Origins of the Taafe family

The surname Taafe was first found in County Louth (Irish: Lú) the smallest county in Ireland, located on the East coast, in the Province of Leinster where the family rapidly rose to positions of great importance shortly after their settlement during the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. "Lord Taafe's ancestors were a Welsh family, who settled in Ireland at the English invasion." [1]

Sir Nicholas Taafe's grandson, Richard Taafe seated at Castle Lumpnagh was Sheriff of Dublin in 1295, and later Sheriff of County Louth in 1315. His son was Archbishop of Armagh. This line of early nobility continued well into the 14th and 15th centuries with more Sheriffs of Louth on record. [2]

Early History of the Taafe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Taafe research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1284, 1441, 1649, 1641, 1603, 1677, 1642, 1661, 1639, 1704, 1685, 1708, 1688, 1695 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Taafe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Taafe Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Taafe included: Taafe, Taaf, Taffe, Taffee, Taffie, Taffey and others.

Early Notables of the Taafe family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was John Taaffe, 1st Viscount Taaffe (died before 1641); Theobald Taaffe, 1st Earl of Carlingford (c. 1603-1677), 2nd Viscount Taaffe, of Corren and 2nd Baron of Ballymote between 1642 and 1661, Irish Royalist officer who played a prominent part in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and accompanied Charles II in exile. Upon the Restoration, he was created 1st Earl of Carlingford; and Francis Taaffe, 3rd Earl of Carlingford (1639-1704), Irish army commander and politician. John Taaffe (fl. 1685-1708), was an Irish informer and Irish priest whose real name is said to have...
Another 128 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Taafe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Taafe migration to the United States +

In the mid-19th century, Ireland experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Taafe:

Taafe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johann Taafe, aged 35, who landed in Missouri in 1846 [3]

Canada Taafe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Taafe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Taafe migration to Australia +

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

Taafe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Jane Taafe, (b. 1804), aged 22, Irish laundress who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as having 1 child on board [5]
  • Eliza Taafe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [6]
  • Mary Taafe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Taafe (post 1700) +

  • Eduard Franz Josef Taafe (1833-1895), Austrian statesman
  • Ellen Taafe Zwilich (b. 1939), American who received the first Juilliard doctorate awarded to a woman (1975) and in 1982 became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in music


The Taafe 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: In hoc signo spes mea
Motto Translation: In this sign is my hope.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INCONSTANT the Voyage - 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Inconstant.htm


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