Origin of the Name Gaffney
The origin of the name Gaffney
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Gaffney
include Gafney, Gafny, Gaffnee, Caulfield, O'Growney, Keveney, McCarron and Carew. This name is derived from a number of Gaelic septs, including O'Gamhna, O'Caibheanaigh, MacConghamhna and MagFhachtna and as a consequence has a wide number of anglicized forms.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name. From the year 1100 to 1600 the name is recorded as a sept in the barony of Kilkenny West. The ancient document the 'Four Masters' records the head of the sept as 'Chief of Maol an tSinna' meaning 'Chief of the Shannon', their territory lying on the Westmeath side of the river Shannon.
The Gaffney coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Gaffney descendants.