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

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

The surname Hoey originally appeared in Gaelic as "O hEochaidh" or "Mac Eochaidh," derived from an Irish personal name "Eachaidh," meaning a "horseman."

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Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Hoey are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Hoey, O'Hoey, Hoy, Hue, Kehoe, Keogh, MacKeogh and many more.

First found in Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times at Ballymackeogh, and were descended from the MacKeoghs who in turn were descended from their eponymous ancestor Eochaidh O'Kelly one of the ancient Kings of Ui Maine.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hoey research. Another 454 words(32 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1653, 1725, 1798, 1828, and 1893 are included under the topic Early Hoey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Hoey or a variant listed above:

Hoey Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Hoey who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1772

Hoey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Hoey, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • William Hoey, aged 18, landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1803
  • William Hoey in settled in Charles Town in 1803
  • Owen Hoey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Charles, Dennis, John, Michael, Thomas and William Hoey, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1877


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  • Allen Hoey (1952-2010), American Pulitzer Prize nominated poet, novelist, and literary critic
  • Clyde Roark Hoey (1877-1954), American politician, Governor of North Carolina (1937 to 1941)
  • Aoife Hoey (b. 1983), Irish bobsledder who competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Major Charles Ferguson Hoey (1914-1944), Canadian military officer who won the Military Cross in 1943 and the Victoria Cross in 1944
  • Dennis Hoey (1893-1960), British film and stage actor, best remembered for his role as Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes series
  • Iris Hoey (1885-1979), British actress


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  1. 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.
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Hoey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hoey 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 3 March 2014 at 10:15.

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