This interesting surname, with variant spelling Cuffe has a number of possible origins. The most likely source is that it is an English metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of gloves or may be a nickname for a wearer of particularly fine gloves, from the medieval English word "cuffe", glove. It may also be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Dhuibh, "son of the black one", from "dubh", dark, a nickname for a swarthy man or man of dark temperament. The Gaelic name "O'Doirin", male descendant of Doirin, a diminutive of "dorn", fist, cuff may also be a possible origin for the surname. Lastly, it may derive from the Cornish "cuf", meaning a dear or kind person. In Ireland, the surname is found in 1589, obtained 12,000 acres of Desmond land at 1d. per acre. Alice, daughter of Adam Cuff, was christened on November 20th 1592, at St. Augustine's, Watling Street, London. On March 6th 1757, at St. Peter's, Leeds one Daniel, son of Daniel Cuff was christened. A notable name-bearer was Henry Cuff, (1563-1601) a faithful friend of the Earl of Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Cuff, married Alice Porter, which was dated June 9th 1590, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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