Clan MacPhee

I have been doing research over the past few years on the Mac Phee name and have come across interesting tidbits of history. 

Our Clan was called, in very early Scots and Irish traditions, MacDhubhsith. The sounds of
the Gaelic syllables made this name Macduhe or Macdoohe. When it became necessary or
useful to express this name in English it naturally became Macduphie or MacDuffie. If the
prefix were omitted it became Duphie or Duffie or Duffy. The choice of most of the early
members of the tribe was MacDuffie in Scotland and Duffy in Ireland.

...writers have speculated on the odd arrangement of our name. Bowman considers "MacFie or MacPhee has the poetic, if slightly obscure interpretation "son of dark of peace".
Gentry3 (p. 36) refers to the origin of McFee in Ireland. He defines it as being "son of faith" being Mc (son) Faoi (genitive of faoi) faith. Other derivates are Fayle (a person of faith, a
believer); Fein (to feign); Feyer (one that has faith).  John McPhee interprets our name as"people of peace" or "still folk" or even "silently moving people".4

I came across a rather poignant translation of "Mac Dubhsith" (pronounced Moch Doh fee yuh) which means Son of (Mac)  Sorrowful (dubh)  Peace/quietness/tranquility, reconciliation (sith). 

The history of the name gave me pause for reflection - The People of Sorrowful Tranquility.


  1. Sure hope you discover more. It is a very interesting endeavor when you start looking at the history. Love love love Scotland. You should see if you can untangle the Dyck name, which sadly we stem from

  2. What is family, anyways...?

    I think that Dyck would be a bit of a challenge, but I'll do some poking around. Is it pronounced "dike" or "dick"? And do you know if there was another spelling in the home country? Dyke? Dike? Dick?

  3. Is is British (Dick), Dutch/Flemish (Van Dyck or Van Dyke)? Or...?

    I think you mentioned once upon a time that it was Mennonite which would most certainly make it Dutch.

  4. Definitly Mennonite. I know John (biological dad) had a brother named Frank, Abe and Pete and a sister name Anne. I believe his parents were Susanah and Jacob. They came from Plum Creek Manitoba. Auntie Karen knows more. We always prnounce it as Dyck when I was younger but whenb the kids got older they said Dick. Can't see the pictures of the roosters. I didn't know there were friendly and unfriendly breeds. I also like the name Francois

  5. Fixed the rooster photos.

    I don't think that there is "friendly" vs "unfriendly" but rather protective vs. extra protective!