McDuff to McDuffee/MacFie

Our SCOTS-IRISH History by Sue & Marilyn/2004; (A progress in learning)

Watching DNA Marker Results

DNA technology is becoming an essential part of genealogy research. Whether you want an aid in breaking through those "brick walls" or just want to understand the awesome science of DNA, you will benefit from learning about man's molecular structure. The McDuffie DNA Surname Project started in April of 2004 and is gaining momentum with more men willing to take the "mouth swab" test. There have been DNA surprises and I expect more will unfold.


Since June, 2011, DNA Heritage Lab is now Family Tree DNA =

Group 5a: McAfee, McDuffe, McDuffee, & Duffy

Oct 2011: We now watch DNA results at Family Tree DNA at:


Oct 2008:   We continue to research with family and friends, but for now we are watching DNA Results on the McDuffie DNA Surname Project: AND Family Tree DNA at:

  • We were in Group 5 but have been moved to Group 5a because our DNA is almost identical to 3 McAfee families, and 1 McDuffee:    "making it a separate and distinct McDuffie bloodline in its own right! The spread in 5a also indicates that the mutual common ancestor of all those in 5a lived 300 to 500 years ago.
  • The Macduffs in Group 5 and the various names in Group 5a are genetically quite close, but nevertheless distinct. Their mutual common ancestor would be in excess of 1,500 years ago, prior to surnames, so it is not significant.
  • Groups 1, 5a, and 9 are separate and their mutual common ancestor would be in excess of 10,000 years!"    

(Rod Macduff, McDuffie DNA Surname Project Coordinator/2008)


We will find more explanations on our particular family line, if more men test. Since surnames changed, finding ancestors is made difficult, if not impossible. Surnames are not consistent in paper records, so testing is the only way to find family connections. The DNA thread between these particular surnames in 5a is interesting. We need more  McAfee, McDuffe, and McDuffee/ie  men to test!!! -  Come on guys, help!  please!!

MY McDuffe Ancestors

          Robert McDuffe                                    
b. abt 1725, Monmouth Co, NJ; m. abt 1744; d. ??
Wife:  Agnes

Robert McDuffe  (he used Robert on all records)                                   
b. 1746, Monmouth Co, NJ; m. abt 1776 - 80 in PA; d. 1827, Harrison Co., Kentucky             
Wife: Rachel (Collins); b. abt 1756 - 60, Scotland; d. before 1820, Harrison Co., Kentucky

Children:  10

Murley McDuffe
b. abt 1780, Peters Twp., Washington Co., PA; m. Oct 1799, Harrison Co., KY; d. ?? probably Harrison Co., KY
Husband: John BROWN; b. abt 1780; d. ?? probably Harrison Co., KY     (children unknown)

Catherine McDuffe
b. abt 1781, Peters Twp., Washington Co., PA; m. Dec 1799, Mason Co., KY; d. ??
Husband: Zacheus KEY; b. 1770, Philadelphia, PA; d. 1830, Wayne Co., IN     (8 children)

Robert McDuffe, Jr   -   Pioneer Circuit Riding Minister KY to IN/1808; ordained Methodist Episcopal Minister/1826
b. 24 Nov 1786, Peters Twp., Washington Co., PA; m. 4 May 1806, Harrison Co., KY; d. 22 Apr 1870, Rush Co., IN
Wife: Sally S. TAYLOR; b. abt 1788, N. Carolina; d. 1823, Harrison Co., KY     (5 children)
2nd Wife: Sarah "Sally" SCOTT; b. abt 1788; m. 1825, Clermont, OH; d. 1864, Rush Co., IN     (4 children)

Gabriel Columbus McDuffe   -   Circuit Riding Minister KY to IN; Elder & Minister in Christian Church
b. 12 May 1791, Bourbon Co., KY; m. 1812, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1864, Rush Co., IN
Wife: Priscilla EVANS; b. 1790, Bourbon Co., KY; d. 1849, Rush Co., IN     (9 children)
2nd Wife: Mary I. COLLINS; b. 1818, Fleming Co., KY; m. 1850 Rush Co., IN; d. 1900, Rush Co., IN   (1 child)
    Veteran/War of 1812/Kentucky Militia

Enoch McDuffe
b. Mar 1794, Harrison Co., KY; m. 1817, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1840, Rush Co., IN
Wife: Katherine "Kitty" POPE; b. 21 Mar 1797, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1871, Rush Co., IN     (7 children)

    Veteran/War of 1812/Kentucky Militia

Fielding Bell McDuffe
b. abt 1796, Harrison Co., KY; m. 1816, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1860, Harrison Co., KY
Wife: Margaret RAYMON;  b. abt 1794, Harrison Co., KY; d. ??, Harrison Co., KY     (5 children)

Rachel McDuffe
b. abt 1798, Harrison Co., KY; m. 1818, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1820, Harrison Co., KY
Husband: William MARSHALL; b. 1778, Faurquier Co., VA; d. 1859, VA

James R. McDuffe
b. 1801, Harrison Co., KY; m. 1823, Harrison Co., KY; d. abt 1846, Harrison Co., KY
Wife: Susannah CLOUGH;   b. 1803, Harrison Co., KY; d. abt 1846, Harrison Co., KY     (5 children)

Nancy McDuffe
b. 17 Jan 1806, Harrison Co., KY; m. 1825, Harrison Co., KY; d. 10 Apr 1877, Rush Co., IN
Husband: John WAGGONER, JR; b. 1803, Harrison Co., KY; d. 1881, Rush Co., IN     (5 children)



Robert & Rachel have many descendants from the children listed above. Our family line descends through Robert, Jr & Sarah "Sally" Taylor. To see our line of descendants, please click on this link:

Sue & Marilyn

"The Change of Name"


Dear All

A closer look at my publications, plus an analysis of the dates of arrival of Clan Names, has revealed the probable answer to some of the mystifying problems faced by Clan members.

There is no doubt that our Clan started as Clan Macduffie but why did it become Clan Macfie? After all, the Macdonalds never changed their name nor did any of the other Scottish Clans.

The Macduffies were Highland Catholics and as such had strong links with the Macdonalds and the McDonnells in Northern Ireland for centuries.

But a closer look at the dates the name was changed (from various sources) including Black and MacLysaght, indicate a vast transformation in the 16th century which coincides with the Reformation of European religion. The Scottish Covenants were confirmed in 1581 but had been practised for some years before, this at a time the Campbells were trying to acquire as much of the Highlands as possible. The Campbells were Presbyterians and tried to destroy as many Macduffies as possible. No wonder many Clan members changed their names, some even becoming "Ffie"

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the change of name to MacFie - McPhee - McFee, etc. came as a result of the arrival of Scottish Presbyterianism and any clash between these names and Macduffie indicate a change in religious allegiance. This explains the presence of tombstones with different names adjacent to each other in the ancient churchyards.

The sad feature is that the retiring Lord Lyon would only accept MacFie as the Clan names because the "Sugar" MacFies - Presbyterians - were the only ones to bear Arms at the time Professor Earle Douglas applied for revival.

The true name of our Clan is Clan Macduffie.

David Morgan