This Irish name formerly O'Foirbhilhe in the Gaelic, is a nickname and translates as 'the descendant of the perfect one', the clan originating in County Tyrone. With a meaning like that it is perhaps not surprising that the surname is regarded as 'rare'. Up to the 1950's 'Furphies' were found all over Ireland being horse drawn 'water carts' manufactured by Joseph Furphy, these being in effect mobile meeting places, a place of gossip. Apparently in Australia to 'furphy' is to gossip or spread rumour! The variant spellings are Furphy, Fuphey, and Furfey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Samuel Furphy. which was dated 1816 (Baptised) Tanderagee in Ballymore, Co. Armagh. during the reign of King George III 'Farmer George' 1760-1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.