Cathey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Cathey originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Carthaigh, which is derived from the word "carthach," which means "loving."
Saint Carthach the Elder (d. 580?), appears in "the 'Felire' of Engus the Culdee (10th cent.) with the epithets of royal and Roman attached to his name. This is generally interpreted to mean that he was of royal ancestry, and had travelled to Rome [cf. Cainnech, Saint]. From the 'Vita Kierani' (Bollandist A. SS., March, v. 395) we gather that he was the grandson of Angus, king of Munster, who would seem to be the king whose death is recorded in the 'Four Masters' under the year 489. Colgan, however, noting that he was the brother of St. Cuanna, quotes from an old genealogy to show that he was the great-grandson of Neill of the Nine Hostages, who died about the year 405. In the 'Vita Kierani,' St. Carthach appears, before the death of St. Patrick, as one of St. Ciaran of Saighir's young disciples." 
Saint Cathach the Younger (d. 636) also called Mochuda, was "the founder of the famous monastery at Rahen, and bishop of Lismore, was the son of Finnall (Annals Four Masters, sub an. 631). According to his legendary life, which, however, seems to have preserved much that is historical, he was born in Kerry, of the race of Fergus." 
Early Origins of the Cathey family
The surname Cathey was first found in County Kerry and much of County Cork, in the area formerly known as Desmond. One of the oldest and most important of all Irish families, the MacCarthy family claim descent from Oilioll Olum, the 3rd century King of Munster who gave the region of Desmond to his son Eoghan after his death. Eoghan's descendants were known as the Eoghanacht, and the surname MacCarthy is derived from Carthach, an 11th century lord of this group who was killed when the Lonegans set his house on fire.
They were settled at Carrignavar where they were the Lords of Eoghannacht and Diarmod MacCarty Mor swore fealty to King Henry II thereby retaining his estates in Cork. Innumerable members of the family have been important in Irish history, especially those with the forenames Fineen, Florence or Justin, beginning with the Fineen MacCarthy who vanquished the Geraldines in 1261.
Several branches of the powerful MacCarthy sept existed, including MacCarthy Reagh, who held a family seat at Carbery in West Cork, and the Muskerry MacCarthys, who were based in the barony of Muskerry in that county. MacCarthy Mor of County Kerry, long thought to be extinct, has only recently been proven to still exist.
The McCarthy Reagh branch rose to become the Princes of Carbery in what is now southwestern County Cork in the 13th century. It is generally thought that Donal Reagh MacCarthy, the 5th Prince of Carbery, a quo MacCarthy Reagh, son of Donal Glas was the first to use Reagh is his surname. From this early listing, each subsequent prince continued to use Reagh in one form or another. As far as the early princes are concerned, we know very little. However from Finghin MacCarthy Reagh, the 8th Prince of Carbery from 1477 to his death in 1505, a solid genealogy has been determined.
Early History of the Cathey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cathey research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1446, 1646, 1455, 1492, 1492, 1490, 1640, 1628, 1594, 1665, 1694, 1668, 1734, 1698, 1769, 1733 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Cathey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cathey Spelling Variations
Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Cathey revealed many variations, including MacCarthy, MacCarty, MacArty, MacArthy and others.
Early Notables of the Cathey family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy (c. 1455-1492), an Irish ecclesiastic who never ruled his see, Bishop of Ross, Ireland in 1492 and Bishop of Cork and Cloyne in 1490, his feast day is 25 October; Charles MacCarty (Cormac Oge McCarthy), (d. 1640). He was from the ancient line of Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster, and was created the 1st Viscount Muskerry in 1628. His motto was "Forti et fideli nihil difficile, " which translates as "to the strong and faithful, nothing is...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cathey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Cathey is the 2,999th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. 
Cathey migration to the United States +
A great wave of Irish migration occurred during the 19th century as a direct result of English colonial rule and tight-fisted absentee landlords. Many of these Irish immigrants boarded passenger ships bound for North America. Those who migrated early enough were given land in either British North America or the United States; those who came in the late 19th century were typically employed in industrial centers as laborers. At whatever age they undertook the dangerous passage to North America, those Irish immigrants were essential to the speedy development of the two infant nations to which they arrived, whether they broke and settled land, helped build canals, bridges, and railroads, or produced products for consumer consumption. An examination of immigration and passenger lists has uncovered a large number of immigrants bearing the name Cathey or one of its variants:
Cathey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- James Cathey, who arrived in Virginia in 1739 
Cathey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- John Cathey, aged 29, who arrived in America from Ulverston, England, in 1912
- Arley D. Cathey, aged 31, who arrived in Kilbourne, Louisiana, in 1921
Contemporary Notables of the name Cathey (post 1700) +
- Reginald Eurias "Reg" Cathey (1958-2018), American actor of stage, film, and television, known for his role as Norman Wilson in The Wire and as Freddy Hayes in House of Cards which earned him three consecutive Emmy Award nominations
- Morgan Henry Cathey (b. 1984), American soccer player
- James J. Cathey, American vice president of business development for Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc
- William Cathey, American politician, Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, 1867-70 
- H. A. Cathey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1920 
- Elizabeth Cathey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 2012 
- Betty Cathey, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Tennessee State Senate 7th District, 1974 
- Ralph Cathey (b. 1963), British professional footballer
- Cathey Steinberg, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Georgia 4th District, 1992 
Related Stories +
Suggested Readings for the name Cathey +
- Cathey Cousins by Myrtice Adell Cathey.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html