McCaffrey last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name McCaffrey is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named McCaffrey.

Meaning of McCaffrey

Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Mac Gofraidh, meaning "son of Gofraidh," a personal name derived from gow ("smith") and frid ("peace").

McCaffrey, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the McCaffrey surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of McCaffrey in America

McCaffrey is the 4339th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The McCaffrey surname appeared 8,181 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 people would have the surname McCaffrey.

We can also compare 2010 data for McCaffrey to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 4339 4040 7.14%
Count 8,181 8,078 1.27%
Proportion per 100k 2.77 2.99 -7.64%

The history of the last name McCaffrey

The surname McCaffrey is of Irish origin, and it dates back to the early medieval period in Ireland. The name is derived from the Gaelic personal name "Cathmhaoil," which means "battle-chief" or "warrior-chief." This name was often anglicized as Caffrey, and the prefix "Mc" or "Mac" means "son of."

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name McCaffrey can be found in the Annals of the Four Masters, a chronicle of medieval Irish history written in the 17th century. The annals mention a Brian McCaffrey who was killed in a battle in County Tyrone in 1395.

The McCaffrey surname was particularly prevalent in the provinces of Ulster and Leinster, especially in counties such as Tyrone, Armagh, and Louth. The name is also associated with several notable Irish families and clans, including the McGraths of Sligo and the O'Byrnes of Wicklow.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, during the Plantation of Ulster, many McCaffreys were dispossessed of their lands and forced to migrate to other parts of Ireland or abroad. This led to the spread of the surname across Ireland and to other countries.

One notable figure with the McCaffrey surname was Sir Charles McCaffrey (1816-1881), an Irish-Australian politician and judge who served as the Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1877 until his death.

Another prominent McCaffrey was Aloysius McCaffrey (1873-1945), an Irish-American prelate who served as the Bishop of Trenton, New Jersey, from 1925 to 1945.

Edward McCaffrey (1891-1950) was an Irish-American screenwriter and film producer best known for his work on the 1939 film "Gone with the Wind," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011) was an American-Irish writer best known for her science fiction series "Dragonriders of Pern," which earned her numerous awards and accolades, including the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Finally, Ed McCaffrey (born 1968) is a former American football player who played as a wide receiver in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Giants, winning three Super Bowl championships.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name McCaffrey

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname McCaffrey.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for McCaffrey was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 94.89% 7,763
Non-Hispanic Black Only 0.32% 26
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 1.05% 86
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.18% 15
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.39% 114
Hispanic Origin 2.16% 177

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of McCaffrey has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 94.89% 96.26% -1.43%
Black 0.32% 0.26% 20.69%
Asian and Pacific Islander 1.05% 0.88% 17.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.18% 0.21% -15.38%
Two or More Races 1.39% 1.29% 7.46%
Hispanic 2.16% 1.10% 65.03%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name McCaffrey was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of McCaffrey, please contact us.

Reference this page

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"McCaffrey last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 22, 2024.

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