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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Cahill family come from? What is the Irish Cahill family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cahill family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cahill family history?

The original Gaelic form of Cahill was Mac Cathail or O Cathail, while is derived from the personal name Cathal, which is generally Anglicized as Charles. Cahill is derived from the Old Irish "catu-ualos" which means "valor or powerful in battle".

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The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Cahill revealed spelling variations, including Cahill, O'Cahill, Kahill, Cawhill, Cahille, Cahil, Cahaly, Cahell, Cahel, Caughell, Kahil, Kahel, Caill, Cail and many more.

First found in County Kerry and Tipperary as there are at least two distinct septs of the name. The first sept from County Kerry descend from the Heremon line of kings and were known as the Cahills of Connaught. The second sept claim descent from the Ir line of kings and were located at Corkashinny, or the parish of Templemore, Tipperary. This line further branched to the eponymous Ballycahill, Tipperary. Both branches descended from O'Connors, the Kings of Connacht, specifically "Cathal," also known as Conor na Luinge Luaithe, when anglicized means "Conor, the Swifter-Sailing Ship" [1] which may elude to the seafaring coat of arms used by the family.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cahill research. Another 275 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1654, 1796 and 1864 are included under the topic Early Cahill History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 87 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cahill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Cahill:

Cahill Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Elizabeth Cahill, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1735
  • Thomas Cahill, an "enforced emigrant" sent to America from Ireland in 1737
  • Henrick Cahill, aged 19, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Daniel Cahill, who arrived at Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1768
  • John Cahill, who settled in Maryland in 1774

Cahill Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Petrick Cahill, who landed in America in 1807
  • Peary Cahill, who arrived in South Carolina in 1821
  • Eliza Cahill, who landed in New York in 1842
  • Margarett Cahill, aged 14, arrived in New York in 1849
  • Brigett Cahill, aged 7, landed in New York in 1849


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  • Eddie Cahill (b. 1978), American actor
  • Erin Cahill (b. 1980), American actress
  • Leo Cahill (b. 1930), American professional football coach with the CFL
  • Sarah Cahill (b. 1978), American beauty queen
  • Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934), American inventor of the teleharmonium, the first electromechanical musical instrument
  • Thomas Vincent Cahill (b. 1940), American scholar and writer
  • William T Cahill (1912-1996), Republican Governor of New Jersey, 1970-73
  • Edward Cahill (1867-1941), Irish Jesuit priest and academic
  • Mabel Cahill (1863-1905), Irish championship tennis player
  • Darren Cahill (b. 1965), Australian professional tennis player and coach

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  • The Cahills of Cincinnati and Related Families by Richardson Dougall.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In Domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  2. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Cahill Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cahill Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 September 2014 at 12:25.

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