CARDIFF Family History

Family History

by Dennis Cardiff

GenConnect CARDIFF Database
CARDIFF Surname Message Board

The CARDIFF Surname

The CARDIFF surname has many variations, some of which have passed into obscurity, others are still in common usage. Some of these variations include:

Kevin CARDIFF of Dublin, Ireland, informs me that there are "a number of theories about the name CARDIFF. One is that it comes from the Irish words Cathair Dubh (cah-ir duv) which means black town. Another is that it is a shortening of the name MacARDIFF. There are MacARDIFFS, ARDIFFS and CARDIFFS in the Irish phone books. Another is that it comes from people who came to Ireland, possibly in Norman times, from the Welsh city of that name. There is a small area in County Kildare, Ireland, called KERDIFFSTOWN, which appears to have been spelt CARDIFFSTOWN in certain 18th century documents."

Other theories indicate that CARDIFF is Celtic in origin and refers to the Fort of Didius. The root of the Welsh word CAERDYDD includes caer: a fort. This surname has also been explained as the Fort on the (River) Taff (one of the major rivers in Wales), or CAERTAFF.

Early References to the CARDIFF Surname

Some early references to the surname CARDIFF include Richard De CARDIFF born 1150 in Sandford, Shropshire, England. His daughter Amabil, born 1170, married Thomas De Sandford in 1197. William CARDIFF was Canon and Rector of St. Davids cathedral in Glamorgan, south Wales, in the year 1201. Rebert de CARDIFFE had lands in Dungarvan, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1233. Nicholas KERDIFFE was a lawyer in Dublin in 1609. Early American settlers include Patrick CARDIFF who settled in Georgia in 1733; Christopher CARDIFF arrived in 1768; Thomas CARDIFF settled in New England in 1773; another Patrick settled in Philadelphia in 1868.

Notable Contemporaries of the CARDIFF Surname

Notable contemporaries of this surname include Brigadier Erold CARDIFF, and world renowned Cinematographer and Film Director. Dr Joseph Radford CARDIFF was Medical Officer in Carrigbyrne, Ireland, for forty years and Coroner for south Wexford. When he died in November, 1900, he was described by the Wexford People as "one of the foremost political thinkers of his time, not alone in Wexford but in Ireland." Captain Michael CARDIFF rose from a ten-year-old cabin boy to become a distinguished master mariner, respected in many of the world’s ports for his outstanding seamanship. He died in 1964.

William Mark, Jane and George CARDIFF

Family legend has it that our branch of the CARDIFF family, headed by William Mark CARDIFF, originated in Cardiff Wales and crossed to Ireland in the early 1600's. They settled first inWexford, then moved west to Carlow county, near the town of Carlow.

Following the Irish economic collapse of 1815, the potato famines of 1817 and 1821-22, "Thousands of unfortunate sons and daughters of Ireland were at this time contemplating removal to North America", wrote Edward Talbot who lived in the hills of north Tipperary. "I became an exile, not as a matter of choice, but of necessity, not with a view of realizing a fortune in the transatlantic wilderness, but of escaping penury and its consequent miseries in the land of my nativity."

William Mark CARDIFF was born March 1, 1809, in Carlow county. With his sister Jane and brother George he booked passage to Canada in 1823. 6000 Irish were to immigrate to Canada that year. William Mark, George and Jane settled in Lanark county in what was to become the province of Ontario. In 1834 Mark moved to Kitley, then in 1848 to South Elmsley near Smiths Falls. In 1858 Mark and his family moved to Huron County near Goderich.

George and Richard CARDIFF

Another CARDIFF family, which arrived from Ireland in 1820, was already established in Lanark county. This was the family of military settlers Richard CARDIFF, his brother George, George's wife Mary PAYNE and their six sons: John, George, Thomas, Richard, William and Mark. They took up residence in the Perth Military Settlement where their sister Jane was born in 1825. In 1834 they moved to Renfrew County near Admaston and the town of Renfrew.

Other CARDIFF Surname Researchers

Diane JOHNSTON is researching Mary, daughter of Thomas CARDIFF, who married Philip THOMPSON. They had three children: Mark, born in 1881, married Martha MOFFATT/HENDRIE; Eunice Jean, born in 1913, married John WALKER; Jessie moved to Michigan with her father after her mother's death in 1908. For further information on the descendants of this family you may write to Diane JOHNSTON at her e-mail address.

Robert FLOYD is researching Clara CARDIFF, born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, who married Peter FLOYD (or FLOOD), who was born 27 December 1867. Prior to 1897 they moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where their daughter Ethel was born on 21 September 1897. They later moved to Brooklyn, New York. Peter died 22 December 1934. Clara died in October 1942. For further information on the descendants of this family you may write to Robert FLOYD at his e-mail address.

Other CARDIFF families in Ireland were attracted to southern parts of the globe. Frank CARDIFF is researching Peter and Thomas CARDIFF, of County Kildare, who left Ireland in 1839, for Australia. Peter arrived with his wife and six children. Thomas married in Australia to Margaret Dempsey. For further information on the descendants of this family you may write to Frank CARDIFF at his e-mail address.

Research on Christopher CARDIFF who came from England via the Bermuda Islands to Sussex County, Maryland, has been documented on websites developed by Steve WATERS, John CARDIFF, Lane and Dennis BEOUGHER.

Sjana BARCROFT-HUNDT is researching Miles CARDIFF, born about 1796 in County Wexford, Ireland, who married Sarah GRAHAM. He and his family supposedly immigrated to New York about 1852 where he worked as a shoemaker, eventually moving to San Francisco, California. He died in Portland, Oregon, in 1879. His daughter, Theresa Jane CARDIFF, born in 1845 in Liverpool, England, married Isaac DOVE in 1866 in San Francisco and settled in Portland. For further information on this branch of the family you may write to Sjana BARCROFT-HUNDT at her e-mail address.

Richard Eads KNOX Jr. is researching William Finch CARDIFF, born in 1821, who married Catherine SIPES. Both were from Pennsylvania. They had two children: John R., born in 1848, and Anna B., born in 1853. William and Catherine moved from Warfordsburg, Fulton, Pennsylvania to Galva, Henry, Illinois. John R. married Rebecca FERRIS from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They immigrated to Texas where they worked as rice farmers. They had five children including John Victor and Charles C. who have large families in the Houston, Texas, area. For further information on this branch of the family you may write to Richard Eads KNOX Jr. at his e-mail address.

Victor SANCHEZ is researching Edward Cardiff, native of Newry, County Down, Ireland, who married Joanna QUINN on February 15, 1823. They had two children: Mary Joanna CARDIFF and James CARDIFF. Mary Joanna CARDIFF married Jose Francisco Pelaez y MIQUEL in the cathedral at San Juan, Puerto Rico. They were married about 1846. Their children were: Eduardo and Josefa Pelaez y CARDIFF, both born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Josefa was married in 1864 (g-grandmother to Victor SANCHEZ).

There are two possible versions of how Mary Joanna ended up in Puerto Rico. Father, Edward and mother Joanna, emigrated to New York in the 1820's or 1830's. Joanna died and Edward remarried. He either stayed in New York with his second wife and sent his daughter, Mary Joanna to live with a friend in Puerto Rico - or - he moved to Puerto Rico with his children and new wife, Marguerite RELLEY. He may have died in Puerto Rico in 1842 or he may be buried in a cemetery in Long Island, New York. Victor SANCHEZ verified the Irish side of things with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Now he needs to verify the New World side of the story. For further information on this branch of the family you may write to Victor SANCHEZ at his e-mail address.

Jean CARDIFF is researching John CARDIFF who migrated around 1889 from Ross Port, a small village north-west of Belmullet, in County Mayo, Ireland, and settled in Chicago, USA. He married Mary MONAGHAN from Inverness, County Donegal, Ireland. For further information on this branch of the family you may write to Jean CARDIFF at her e-mail address.

Margaret Elliott ALONZO is researching George CARDIFF who married Catherine (Kate) ELLIOTT, born 1866, in New York. Kate's parents were Luther ELLIOTT, born 1832, in Canada, and Roseanna DUFFY born 1835, in County Tyrone, Ireland. The ELLIOTT family were United Empire Loyalists, migrating from Duchess County, New York, to Elizabethtown, Ontario, then back to upstate New York. For further information on this branch of the family you may write to Margaret ALONZO at her e-mail address.

A group of CARDIFF family members have produced a book entitled "The Family of William Mark Cardiff 1809-1888 and Margaret Jane Duffield 1815-1893". Research for this project was conducted by many CARDIFF family members including: Olive(Cardiff) Bell, Marilyn (Bolger) Clark, Adeline (Cardiff) Campbell, Max and Ruth Tuck, and many others whose generous contributions are very much appreciated. This book is available at a cost of $25.00 from Olive Bell at 166 Hincks Street, Goderich, Ontario, N7A 3C5. Other books are in production and will be available soon. We have over 30,000 CARDIFF related entries to share and we welcome contact with researchers worldwide.

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