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

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

The name Caffey originally descend from Cobthach Fionn, a quo O Cobhthaigh, where "cobthach" means "victorious" and "fionn" means "fair," combined to mean "the fairhaired victor." [1]

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In the Middle Ages, a name was often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer. Literacy was rare at that time and none of the languages to be found in the British Isles had achieved any great semblance of standardization. Variations of the name Caffey found include Coffey, Caughey, Coffie, Coughey, Cauffey, Cauffy, Cauffie, Coffy, Coughay, Coffay, Coffeye and many more.

First found in County Cork, Roscommon and Meath, where the claim descent from the Irish monarch, Luy Mac Con, from the line of Ithe Kings, ancestor of Cobthach Fion, who in turn was the ancestor of the name Coffey or Caughey (both pronounced the same way). The O'Coffeys of Corcaloidhe are kin of the O'Driscolls, and are still common in southwest County Cork today.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caffey research. Another 197 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1580, 1700, 1745, 1857 and 1916 are included under the topic Early Caffey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caffey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the late 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape such hunger and disease. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Caffey:

Caffey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • M. Caffey, aged 35, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Joseph P. Caffey, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Theo Caffey, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Caffey Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Lizzie Caffey, aged 14, who settled in America from Tullamore, in 1901
  • Jane Caffey, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Strokestown, Ireland, in 1904
  • John B. Caffey, aged 27, who settled in America from Dublin, in 1904
  • Bridget Caffey, aged 14, who emigrated to the United States from Mitchelstown, in 1906
  • Nicholas Caffey, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Trim, Ireland, in 1907


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  • Charlotte Irene Caffey (b. 1953), American rock and roll guitarist and songwriter
  • Jason Andre Caffey (b. 1973), American former professional basketball player
  • Lee Roy Caffey (1941-1994), American NFL football linebacker
  • Francis Gordon Caffey (1868-1951), United States federal judge
  • Brigadier-General Benjamin Franklin Jr. Caffey (1893-1972), American Commanding General Special Troops 4th Army (1944-1945)


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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: Non providentia sed victoria
Motto Translation: No victory without foresight

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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. 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.
  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. 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).
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Caffey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Caffey 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 19 September 2013 at 06:48.

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