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

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

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Hickey is O hIcidhe, which is derived from the word "iceadh," which refers to a "physician" or "healer."


Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Hickey that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are Hickey, Hickie, O'Hickey, O'Hickie, Hicky and others.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hickey research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1014 is included under the topic Early Hickey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Irish families fled the English-colonized Ireland in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of Hickey:

Hickey Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • James Hickey settled in Boston in 1768
  • Catharine Hickey settled in Pennsylvania in 1772

Hickey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Hickey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • William Hickey, who arrived in New York in 1823
  • Dennis Hickey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Richard Hickey, aged 26, arrived in Missouri in 1841
  • Daniel Hickey, aged 32, arrived in Missouri in 1844


  • William Hickey (1928-1997), American Academy Award nominated actor, best known for his role as Don Corrado Prizzi in the John Huston 1985 film Prizzi's Honor
  • Brigadier-General Daniel Webster Jr. Hickey (1895-1980), American Commanding Officer 38th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade (1945-1946)
  • Lieutenant-General Doyle Overton Hickey (1891-1961), American Chief of Staff Far East Command (1950-1953)
  • Lieutenant-General Thomas Francis Hickey (1898-1983), American Commanding General 3rd Army (1955-1958)
  • Kevin John Hickey (1956-2012), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher who played from 1981 to 1991
  • Ersel Hickey (1934-2004), American rockabilly singer best known for his hit song "Bluebirds over the Mountain"
  • Thomas Francis Hickey (1861-1940), American prelate, 2nd Roman Catholic Bishop of Rochester (1909-1928)
  • James Aloysius Hickey (1920-2004), American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. from 1980 to 2000
  • David "Dave" Hickey (b. 1940), American art and cultural critic
  • Thomas Hickey (b. 1776), Continental Army soldier in the American Revolutionary War, the first person executed for treason in America



  • Hicklin (also Hickey) Families in America by Marjorie Abbott-Braswell.
  • Hickin (also Hickey) by Pasha Palombi Smith.

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: Honor virtutis praemium
Motto Translation: Honor is the reward of virtue.


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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).
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. 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).
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  11. ...

The Hickey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hickey 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 24 July 2014 at 11:11.

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