This unusual and interesting name is of Irish origin, and is a variant of the name (O')Duffy, itself widespread in Ireland. Duhig arose, as did the other variants, Doohey and Dowey, from local pronunciations of the Irish "O' Dubhthaigh", a surname in which the root word is "dubh", black. In its present form this surname is found mainly in South Munster, but there are several distinct septs of O'Duffy. Some members of these septs were remarkable for their contribution to the Church, the most noteworthy being Cele O'Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, who was King Roderick O'Connors ambassador to Henry 11 in 1175. Another noteworthy namebearer was Father Eugene O' Duffy (circa 1527 - 1615), a famous preacher who always used the Irish language in his sermons. One Sir James Duhig was born at Limerick in 1871 and was Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia for forty-six years. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Muiredagh O' Duffy, Archbishop, which was dated 1075 - 1150, Archbishop of Tuam, County Galway, during the reign of High Kings of Ireland with opposition, 1022 - 1166. 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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