This unusual and interesting name is of Irish and Scots origin and also appears as Duffy or O' Duffy in Ireland. The Irish Gaelic form is 'O Dubhthaigh' which means "descendant of Dubhthach", a byname derived from "dubh", meaning black. The name was borne by a 6th Century saint who was Archbishop of Armagh. The Scots Gaelic form is "Mac Dhuibhshithe", son of Dubhshith, a personal name composed of the element "dubh", with the same meaning as the Irish version in the modern idiom the variants include Duffie, Dowey, Dowie, Do(v)ey, Duthy, McDuffie, McFee. The name is common in Angus. Seven people of this name are recorded in Dunblane from 1598, and one Alexander Duthie was a planter in Jamaica in 1769. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marjory Duthe, which was dated 1492, in Holme, Orkney, during the reign of King James 1V of Scotland, 1488 - 1513. 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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