Cafferkey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name Cafferkey originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Gafraidh. Gafraidh or Gothraidh equates with the English personal name Godfrey. Variations that start with the prefix Mac or Mc mean son of Godfrey.

Early Origins of the Cafferkey family

The surname Cafferkey was first found in County Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat at Ballymacaffrey near Five mile Town in Fermanagh near the Tyrone border. [1]

Early History of the Cafferkey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cafferkey research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 198 and 1987 are included under the topic Early Cafferkey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cafferkey Spelling Variations

Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Cafferkey family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include MacCaffery, MacCaffrey, MacCafferty, MacAffery, MacAffry, MacAfferty, MacGoffrey, MacGodfrey and many more.

Early Notables of the Cafferkey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Cafferkey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cafferkey migration to the United States +

Ireland, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name Cafferkey:

Cafferkey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Michael Cafferkey, aged 23, who settled in America from Ballyhaunis, Ireland, in 1905
  • Patrick Cafferkey, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Ballaghaderin, Ireland, in 1908
  • Matthew Cafferkey, aged 21, who landed in America from Ballaghaderin, Ireland, in 1908
  • Anna Cafferkey, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Ballaghedin, Ireland, in 1908
  • Mary Cafferkey, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Ballynadem, Ireland, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Cafferkey (post 1700) +

  • Ger Cafferkey (b. 1987), Irish Gaelic footballer for the Mayo senior team


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)


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