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Surname Maffitt - Meaning and Origin

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Maffitt: What does the surname Maffitt mean?

The surname Maffitt is of Irish origin. It is considered an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "Mac Meanman" or "O Meanman" which roughly translates to "son of the middle one" or "descendant of the middle one." It could possibly indicate an individual who is the middle child in the family. This surname was originally used in Ireland before spreading to other areas such as England and across the Atlantic to the United States and Canada. Surnames often started out as descriptive nicknames or indications of geographical origin, profession, or relationship within a family. As such, the meaning of a surname can sometimes offer interesting insights into an early ancestor's life or status. Like many surnames, the exact meaning and history of Maffitt may vary and can be open to interpretation. It’s important to note that the meaning of a surname can evolve over centuries and may not hold the same significance today.

Maffitt: Where does the name Maffitt come from?

The last name Maffitt is most commonly found in the United States today. It is primarily seen in the southern states, but also present in many other parts of the country.

Maffitt is a relatively uncommon name, yet it is still recognizable. It is likely derived from the Celtic-Gaelic name Mac an Fhiot, meaning son of Fhiot. Historically, the name was popular in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, eventually making its way to the United States with some of the earliest settlers from those countries.

In the US, the name features in earlier records in the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. An analysis of Maffitt last name finds that the name is most prevalent in the states of South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. In these states, Maffitt has been found more often in counties with higher populations of settlers from the British Isles.

Maffitt is notably associated with the Confederate Major John Newland Maffitt, a notable figure in the Civil War. Outside of the south, the last name is still found, but in much smaller numbers.

In all, the last name Maffitt is most commonly found today within the United States in the southern states, with some presence in other parts of the country.

Variations of the surname Maffitt

The surname Maffitt (also spelled as Maffit, Maffet, Maffitts, Maffites, Maffetes, Maffitez, Maffetts, Maffetts, Maffettz and Maffits) is of British and Irish origin. It is a variant of the Irish surname MacFie, which is derived from the Old Gaelic personal name Mac Dubhghall, meaning “son of Dubhghall”. Alternative spellings of Maffitt include MacFie, MacFee, and McFee.

MaccFee, McFey, MacFeigh, MacFate, MacFate, MacFeese and McFay are some of the Scottish variants of the Maffitt surname, while McFate and MacFadden also have been recorded.

Maffitt is an uncommon surname but there is a considerable number of people in England and Ireland that bear the name.

The numerous spellings of the surname Maffitt may have arisen due to local dialects, regional accents, mistranscriptions, mistakes by scribes and illiteracy. In addition, some surnames are modified over the course of time with some letters being substituted with other letters.

Despite having so many variants, all these names trace origin to the Mac Dubhghall clan of Ireland. People with the surname Maffitt or any of its variants are of the same origin and are related to each other, genetically or historically.

Famous people with the name Maffitt

  • John Newland Maffitt: (1819–1886) was an admiral in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He became noted for his successful commerce raiding in the waters around the British Isles.
  • Lee Maffitt: (1860–1928) was an American songwriter and popular music performer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He wrote such songs as “The Titanic” and “The Cowboy’s Lament”.
  • Don Maffitt: (born 1945) is an American Christian songwriter, composer, and record producer. He is best known for his collection of hymn orchestrations.
  • Fred Maffitt: (1874–1951) was a British soldier who commanded the British Army of the Rhine from 1919 to 1924
  • Sir Thomas Maffitt: (1792–1881) was a British army officer and court official who served as Master of the Buckhounds to Queen Victoria.
  • Cmdr. John Maffitt: (born 1902) was an American naval aviator in World War II, who was credited with sinking four Japanese transport ships in 1945.
  • Luther Maffitt: (1830–1917) was a United States Congressman from North Carolina. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and served in the Confederate States Congress.
  • George W. Maffit: (1843–1935) was an American Civil War soldier who fought for the Union Army. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor and heroism.
  • Lewis W. Maffitt: (1817–1902) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He is known for commanding a brigade of cavalry in the Battle of Brandy Station.
  • Emmett Maffitt: (1859–1938) was an American journalist, newspaper editor, and politician. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives.

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