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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Italian

The original Gaelic form of Cale was Mac Cathail or O Cathail, while is derived from the personal name Cathal, which is generally Anglicized as Charles. Cale is derived from the Old Irish "catu-ualos" which means "valor or powerful in battle".


The surname Cale was first found in County Kerry and Tipperary as there are at least two distinct septs of the name. The first sept from County Kerry descend from the Heremon line of kings and were known as the Cahills of Connaught. The second sept claim descent from the Ir line of kings and were located at Corkashinny, or the parish of Templemore, Tipperary. This line further branched to the eponymous Ballycahill, Tipperary. Both branches descended from O'Connors, the Kings of Connacht, specifically "Cathal," also known as Conor na Luinge Luaithe, when anglicized means "Conor, the Swifter-Sailing Ship" [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
which may elude to the seafaring coat of arms used by the family.

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Cale family name include Cahill, O'Cahill, Kahill, Cawhill, Cahille, Cahil, Cahaly, Cahell, Cahel, Caughell, Kahil, Kahel, Caill, Cail and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cale research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1654, 1796 and 1864 are included under the topic Early Cale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable among the family name at this time was Flan O'Cahill, martyred in 938; Daniel O'Cahill, brother of Bogh O'Cahill, chief of the Clan, forfeited under the...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Cale:

Cale Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Susan Cale, who arrived in Maryland in 1672
  • William Cale, who landed in Maryland in 1672

Cale Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Cale, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872

Cale Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Cale, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

  • Eden Myfanwy Cale (b. 1985), American actress and filmmaker
  • Thomas Cale (1848-1941), American politician, delegate to the United States House of Representatives from the District of Alaska
  • Paula Korologos Cale (b. 1970), American actress, best known for her role as Joanie Hansen on the television series Providence (1999)
  • John Weldon "J.J." Cale (1938-2013), American Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and musician, best known for his songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" made famous by Eric Clapton
  • Pandeli Cale (1879-1923), one of the signatories of Albanian Declaration of Independence
  • Bruce Cale (b. 1939), Australian jazz double-bassist and composer
  • William Raymond "Ray" Cale (1922-2006), Welsh dual code rugby international player
  • Franklin Cale (b. 1983), South African football midfielder
  • John Davies Cale OBE (b. 1942), Welsh musician, composer, singer-songwriter and founding member of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground

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: In Domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.


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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. 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).
  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. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The Cale Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Cale 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 7 March 2015 at 23:16.

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