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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. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  2. 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).
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. 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.
  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 4 September 2014 at 18:52.

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