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

Where did the Irish Mcgahey family come from? When did the Mcgahey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mcgahey family history?

The surname is one of the native Irish surnames that come from the Irish Gaelic language. The original Gaelic form of the name Mcgahey is "Mac Eachaidh," from the personal name Eachaidh, which is Anglicized as Aghy. It is cognate with Eochaigh, which is Anglicized as the once-common Christian name Oghy.

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Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Mcgahey dating from that time include Caughey, McCaughey, McGaughey, Coffee, Coffey, Coffy, O'Coffey, O'Coffy, Mulcahy, McGahey and many more.

First found in the county of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mcgahey research. Another 218 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mcgahey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Mcgahey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. 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 Mcgahey or a variant listed above, including:

Mcgahey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John McGahey, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Owen McGahey, aged 35, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Patrick McGahey, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1812
  • William McGahey arrived in Philadelphia in 1857
  • Ellen McGahey, aged 18, who arrived in America, in 1893


Mcgahey Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • William McGahey, aged 27, who arrived in America from England, in 1900
  • Mary McGahey, aged 22, who arrived in America from County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1905
  • Mary Jane McGahey, aged 30, who arrived in America from Knoch, County Down, Ireland, in 1906
  • Mary McGahey, aged 10, who arrived in America, in 1906


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  • Kathleen McGahey (1960-1984), American bronze medalist field hockey player at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • Jeanne McGahey (d. 1996), American poet
  • Charles Percy "Charlie" McGahey (1871-1935), English cricketer from Whipps Cross, Leytonstone, Essex
  • Michael "Mick" McGahey (1925-1999), Scottish trade unionist miner
  • Harrison McGahey (b. 1995), English football defender for Sheffield United


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  1. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 4 September 2014 at 18:52.

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