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

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

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Toohey is O Tuathaigh, which is derived from tuathach, which means ruler.

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Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Toohey family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Tuohy, Tuohey, Touhy, Touhey, Tooey, Tooy, Towey, Towy, Twoey, Twoy, Twohig, Toohey, Toohy,O'Tuohy, O'Tuohey, O'Touhy, O'Touhey, O'Tooey, O'Tooy, O'Towey, O'Towy, O'Twoey, O'Twoy, O'Twohig, O'Toohey and many more.

First found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat as a clann, and their chief was known as O'Tuathaigh (meaning ruler). They were amongst the many tribes of western Ireland, septs of the Hy Niall who were descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages. King Niall was perhaps the most famous of all Irish Kings being responsible for harassing the Roman departure from England at the foot of the Alps.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toohey research. Another 230 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1593 is included under the topic Early Toohey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Toohey family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Toohey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Bridget Toohey, aged 2, landed in New York in 1854
  • Ellen Toohey, aged 30, landed in New York in 1854
  • Jude Toohey, aged 40, landed in New York in 1854
  • Margaret Toohey, aged 4, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Ned Toohey, who landed in New York in 1854


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  • John Peter Toohey (1880-1946), American writer and publicist, member of the Algonquin Round Table
  • John Peter Toohey (1892-1984), American college football player
  • John Leslie Toohey AC, QC (b. 1930), Australian judge and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1987-1998)
  • Peter Toohey (b. 1954), Australian cricketer who played in 15 Tests and 5 ODIs from 1977 to 1979
  • Meghan Toohey, folk-rock singer/songwriter
  • John Thomas Toohey, Irish-born, Australian brewer, founder of Tooheys in 1869


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  9. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Toohey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Toohey 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 May 2014 at 01:11.

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