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Surname MacCaffelly - Meaning and Origin

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MacCaffelly: What does the surname MacCaffelly mean?

The surname MacCaffelly is an old Irish name derived from the Gaelic Mac Dhuinnshléibhe, and ultimately from the ancient Celtic name Dunchadh, which translates literally as “brown/dark warrior”. This surname is one of the many notable Irish surnames of "Mac" or "son of" prefix which suggests the original bearer of this name once was the head of a family or clan.

The MacCaffelly name is associated primarily with Counties Down and Antrim in Northern Ireland, where it is thought to have originated some time in the mid 13th century. In the early days, the surname was known as Mac Duffley or Duffly, but by the seventeenth century, the spelling MacCaffelly had emerged.

The oldest recorded instance of the name MacCaffelly can be found in The Annals of the Four Masters, where it is recorded that in the year 1290, Aed MacCaffelly won a battle in the “hundred of Atha one Causeway” which is believed to be located near what is now Antrim in Northern Ireland. This is thought to be the first mention of the MacCaffelly name in Ireland, but no other records exist before this event.

Today the MacCaffelly surname is not especially widespread and it is estimated that only a few hundred people currently bear it, most of whom live in Ireland and North America. Those who do, however, are proud of their Irish heritage and the name is likely to live on for many generations to come.

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MacCaffelly: Where does the name MacCaffelly come from?

The last name MacCaffelly is mainly associated with the Irish people, particularly those from the Province of Ulster. There are many different variations of the name; MacCaffaly, MacCafflely, MacCaffelley, and so on. It is believed that the origin of the name came from the Gaelic MacCaffaill, which translates to "Son of the Bold One".

Today, MacCaffelly is most common in Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. In 2001, it was the 252nd most common surname present in the Province. It is also present in other parts of the United Kingdom, with a few individuals bearing the name recorded in Scotland, England, and Wales.

In terms of other parts of the world, MacCaffelly is most prominently present in the United States due to a large Irish diaspora. It can be found in a number of states across the country, including New York, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. There is also a presence in Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand censuses.

The name MacCaffelly is still quite popular, although it is far from being a common name. While it is more prominent in some parts of the world than others, it is likely to remain part of the Irish surname tradition for many generations to come.

Variations of the surname MacCaffelly

The surname MacCaffelly is derived from the Irish patronymic "Mac Cathmhaoil." Variations of this surname include Mac Cafiley, Mac Caffley, Mac Caffaley, MacCaffallee, MacCaffalla, MacCaffeley, MacCaffy, MacCafley, MacCaffla, MacCaffly, MacCaffile, MacCaffilly and MacCaffly.

The roots of MacCaffelly are found in the Irish surname - MacCathmhaoil. It is an Anglicised variation of an old Gaelic surname formed from the elements “Mac + Cath” – son of Cath. The Gaelic word “Cath” is derived from the Latin word “Catulus”, meaning little. It is suggests that this surname is in reference to a “descendant of a small one”.

Variations of the MacCaffelly surname are primarily found in the North America and Ireland. In particular, within Ulster, it is speculated that the majority of MacCaffelley families settled in counties Donegal and Monaghan.

MacCaffelly is also part of larger Irish clans, such as the Magennis, Butler, O'Boyle, McNulty, Trainor and Molloy. This means that there are numerous surnames with the same or similar spellings that are related to the MacCaffelly clan.

Some of the most common variations and related surnames are McCaffrey, McCaffery, Caffrey, Caffery, and Cafari. In addition to these variants, it is not uncommon to find the shorter variations of MacCaffelly such as Mac Cafley, MacCaffeley and Mac Caffley.

It should be noted that, at North American campuses, there is a student organization called MacCaffellys, so the name may appear on the rosters of faculty, staff, alumni and student organizations.

Famous people with the name MacCaffelly

  • Matt MacCaffelly: an American actor most widely known for his role in the television series "Chuck"
  • Kelsey MacCaffelly: a professional dancer and choreographer from Pittsburgh, PA
  • Michael MacCaffelly: an American journalist, author, and political commentator
  • Nikki MacCaffelly: a former professional motocross racer and bike builder from California
  • Sean MacCaffelly: an Irish singer-songwriter and producer
  • Tim MacCaffelly: a British comedian and radio presenter
  • Belle MacCaffelly: a British children's author and illustrator
  • Edward MacCaffelly: an Australian politician and former Deputy Prime Minister
  • Grace MacCaffelly: an English violinist
  • Isla MacCaffelly: an Australian model and actress

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