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

Where did the Irish Caughey family come from? What is the Irish Caughey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Caughey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Caughey 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 Caughey 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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Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Caughey were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. 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 Caughey research. Another 218 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caughey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Caughey 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 Caughey or a variant listed above, including:

Caughey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Mary Caughey, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1816
  • Henry Caughey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • John Caughey who settled in New York in 1845
  • J Caughey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Robert Caughey, who arrived in Savanna(h) Georgia in 1852


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  • Robert Caughey (1912-1990), American jazz alto sax player
  • Seán Caughey (d. 2010), Irish republican, and later monarchist, activist
  • Christine Caughey, former New Zealand City Councillor in Auckland
  • Sir Thomas HC Caughey, Australian Business Executive
  • Mark Caughey (b. 1960), former Northern Ireland international footballer
  • Marianne Caughey, married name of Smith, New Zealand draper who co-founded with her husband William Henry Smith Smith & Caughey's, now a mid-sized department store chain in 1880


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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. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Caughey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Caughey 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 10 October 2013 at 08:44.

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