Show ContentsCaughey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname is one of the native Irish surnames that come from the Irish Gaelic language. The original Gaelic form of the name Caughey is "Mac Eachaidh," from the personal name Eachaidh, which is Anglicized as Aghy. It is cognate with Eochaigh, which is Anglicized as the once-common Christian name Oghy.

Early Origins of the Caughey family

The surname Caughey was first found in the county of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Caughey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caughey research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caughey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caughey Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Caughey were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Caughey, McCaughey, McGaughey, Coffee, Coffey, Coffy, O'Coffey, O'Coffy, Mulcahy, McGahey and many more.

Early Notables of the Caughey family

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

United States Caughey migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Caughey or a variant listed above, including:

Caughey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Caughey, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1816 [1]
  • Henry Caughey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]
  • John Caughey who settled in New York in 1845
  • J Caughey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • Robert Caughey, who arrived in Savanna(h) Georgia in 1852 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Caughey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Caughey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Caughey, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Caughey (post 1700) +

  • Robert Caughey (1912-1990), American jazz alto sax player
  • Lyle Caughey, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1964 [2]
  • Clara L. Caughey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924 [2]
  • Seán Caughey (d. 2010), Irish republican, and later monarchist, activist
  • Marianne Caughey, married name of Smith, New Zealand draper who co-founded with her husband William Henry Smith Smith & Caughey's, now a mid-sized department store chain in 1880
  • Mark Caughey (b. 1960), former Northern Ireland international footballer
  • Christine Caughey, former New Zealand City Councillor in Auckland

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Helen Caughey (1880-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [3]
  • Mr. Albert Edward Caughey (1878-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [3]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. E S Caughey, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [4]

The Caughey Motto +

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: Non providentia sed victoria
Motto Translation: No victory without foresight

  1. 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)
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from
  3. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from
  4. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook