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

Where did the Irish Cahill family come from? 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".


Scribes and church officials, lacking today's standardized spelling rules, recorded names by how they were pronounced. This imprecise guide often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Cahill are preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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.


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.


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


In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families fled an Ireland that was forcibly held through by England through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence may have moved north to Canada at the war's conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Cahill or a variant listed above, including:

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


  • 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



  • The Cahills of Cincinnati and Related Families by Richardson Dougall.


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

Other References

  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. 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.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

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

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