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The Duffs are descended from those original Gaels who inhabited the Highlands of Scotland long before the Roman Invasion, and before the Christian era.
Their ancient Gaelic name, Dhuibh, is pronounced Duff, and signifies a dark complected man with dark hair. The first Scottish Highlanders were members of the ancient German Tribes who crossed over the German Ocean and settled first on the east and north coast of the barren Island of Caledonia, later moving inland.
They were of the Chauci, Cimbri, Suevi, Catti, and others, all fair complected with either red or brown hair, and of a giant stature and enormous endurance.
The people of Britain and the lowlands of Scotland were originally from France and southern Europe, but the Highlanders from the beginning, kept themselves apart, and did not mingle with the lowlanders, whom they did not trust.
The Duffs were of German Catti ancestry, having settled on the shores of Caithness in very early times. At first they were of the ancient Kournaovioi Tribe who occupied the north peninsula of Caithness, later moving down into Moray below the Moray Firth, where they were Mormaers of the Kanteai Tribe for many ages.
At one time Moray included all the north central Highlands, and the more reliable historians agree that the famous Thane of Fife came from Moray, previous to the great historical event which brought him to the attention of posterity. With the other Caledonian Tribes the Duffs fought the Roman Invaders and thus prevented the foreigners from gaining a foothold in Scotland.
The Clan Duff always marched with their kinsmen, the Mackintoshes of Clan Chattan, and the Shaws of Clan Quhele in time of war, and it was established that they were not only valiant on the Field of battle, but mostly continued to be conscious of and to uphold those fine ideals and traditions that had so long sustained their brilliant ancestors back in the earlier days of Scotland's history.
Other branches of the Clan were the MacKintoshes of Nairn and Iverness, also the Duffs of Monyvaird, and the Earls of Finday, Campbell, Creich (Creech), Craigton, Stuart and so on. I will update this as I gather more information.