Coffey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Coffey originally descend from Cobthach Fionn, a quo O Cobhthaigh, where "cobthach" means "victorious" and "fionn" means "fair," combined to mean "the fairhaired victor." [1]

Early Origins of the Coffey family

The surname Coffey was first found in County Cork, Roscommon and Meath, where the claim descent from the Irish monarch, Luy Mac Con, from the line of Ithe Kings, ancestor of Cobthach Fion, who in turn was the ancestor of the name Coffey or Caughey (both pronounced the same way). The O'Coffeys of Corcaloidhe are kin of the O'Driscolls, and are still common in southwest County Cork today.

Early History of the Coffey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coffey research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1580, 1700, 1745, 1729, 1745, 1857 and 1916 are included under the topic Early Coffey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coffey Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname Coffey exist in the archives researched. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Coffey, Caughey, Coffie, Coughey, Cauffey, Cauffy, Cauffie, Coffy, Coughay, Coffay, Coffeye and many more.

Early Notables of the Coffey family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Dermot O'Coffey ( fl. 1580), the Gaelic poet. Charles Coffey of Leinster (1700-1745), was an Irish dramatist, actor and composer, a 'native of Ireland,' is first heard of in Dublin. In Dublin...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coffey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coffey World Ranking

In the United States, the name Coffey is the 850th most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. [2] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Coffey is ranked the 560th most popular surname with an estimated 81 people with that name. [3] And in Australia, the name Coffey is the 774th popular surname with an estimated 5,047 people with that name. [4]


United States Coffey migration to the United States +

During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation, and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Coffey:

Coffey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Coffey, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [5]
  • Edward Coffey, who landed in Virginia in 1726 [5]
Coffey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nicholas Coffey, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [5]
  • Henry Coffey, aged 25, who landed in Missouri in 1840 [5]
  • Michael Coffey, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [5]
  • John Coffey, who landed in New York, NY in 1851 [5]
  • Ann Coffey, who settled in New York in 1853
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Coffey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Coffey, aged 19, who arrived in America from Dublin, Ireland, in 1903
  • Beatrice Coffey, aged 45, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1904
  • Hannah Coffey, aged 25, who arrived in America from Ballymaculey, County Waterford, in 1905
  • John Coffey, aged 24, who arrived in America from Ballymaculey, County Waterford, in 1905
  • John Coffey, aged 27, who arrived in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Coffey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Coffey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Coffey, aged 5 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Julius Caesar" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [6]
  • Ms. Mary Coffey, who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [6]
  • Mr. William Coffey, aged 34 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ganges" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [6]
  • Mr. Honora Coffey, aged 15 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Saguenay" departing 5th June 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 22nd August 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • Mr. James Coffey, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Washington" departing 9th July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 26th August 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Coffey Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Anne Coffey, aged 20, who arrived in Newfoundland, in 1903
  • James B. Coffey, aged 26, who arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1911
  • Harriet Ellen Coffey, aged 50, who arrived in Toronto, Canada, in 1916

Australia Coffey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Coffey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Christopher Coffey, (b. 1795), aged 24, Irish clerk who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Castle Forbes" on 3rd October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1826 [8]
  • Mrs. Eleanor Coffey, (b. 1800), aged 26, Irish house servant who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Miss Honora Coffey, (b. 1819), aged 18, Irish house maid who was convicted in Galway, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Diamond" on 29th November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as having 1 daughter [10]
  • James Coffey, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Ramillies" [11]
  • Catherine Coffey, aged 20, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk" [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Coffey 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:

Coffey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Coffey, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Mr. Denis Coffey, Irish settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [13]
  • Mrs. Coffey, Irish settler born in Dublin with 1 son travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [13]
  • William Coffey, aged 32, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Miss Rachael Coffey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Ann" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 24th September 1858 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Coffey (post 1700) +

  • Junior Lee Coffey (1942-2021), American running back in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants (1965-1971)
  • Donald Straley Coffey (1932-2017), American physician and Catherine Iola and J. Smith Michael distinguished professor of urology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Charles E. "Charlie" Coffey (1934-2015), American football player and coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies
  • Russell Coffey (1898-2007), American serviceman, one of the last three surviving American World War I veterans
  • Brigadier-General John Will Coffey (1897-1951), American Professor of Ordnance, US Military Academy West Point (1947) [15]
  • Todd Coffey (b. 1980), Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • John "Jack" Francis Coffey (1887-1966), Major League Baseball player
  • Dennis Coffey (b. 1940), American guitarist, studio musician
  • Kellie Coffey (b. 1971), American singer-songwriter
  • John Louis Coffey (b. 1922), American federal judge
  • ... (Another 60 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Coffey 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


Suggested Readings for the name Coffey +

  • The Coffeys of Wayne County by Jacqueline Coffey Sexton.
  • Lizzie's Legacy and Our Coffey Cousins by Mary Elizabeth Coffey Self.

  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 19)
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 69)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/castle-forbes
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Diamond
  11. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 11 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAMILLIES 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/ramillies1853.shtml.
  12. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Nashwauk 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/europa1855.shtml
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) John Coffey. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Coffey/John_Will/USA.html


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