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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish

The name Corey has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as O Corraidh or O Corra.


The surname Corey was first found in County 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 very ancient times.

Scribes and church officials, lacking today's standardized spelling rules, recorded names by how they were pronounced. This imprecise guide often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Corey are preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of the name that were found include Corey, Cory, Coriell and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Corey research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Corey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Corey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families fled an Ireland that was forcibly held through by England through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence may have moved north to Canada at the war's conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, 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 Corey or a variant listed above, including:

Corey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Giles Corey who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Miss Corey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1651
  • Wm Corey, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
  • John Corey, who arrived in Virginia in 1663

Corey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Richard Corey, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798
  • Jacob Corey, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

Corey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Ebenezer Corey, who settled in Portland Me. in 1820
  • Daniel Corey, who arrived in Sandusky Ohio in 1820
  • J. D. Michael Corey, who both arrived in New York in 1822
  • Michael Corey, aged 42, landed in America in 1822
  • Caleb Corey, who settled in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1823

Corey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mrs. Sarah Corey, (née Griffin) U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. Gideon Corey, "Coree" U.E born in Rhode Island, New York, USA who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger on the Union Transport from New York

Corey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Corey (aged 17), a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Jane Corey (aged 24), a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Mary Corey (aged 19), a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"


  • Mrs. Mary Phyllis Elizabeth Corey (d. 1912), (née Miller), aged 30, American Second Class passenger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Bryan Scott Corey (b. 1973), American Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher
  • Wendell Corey (1914-1968), American actor, best known for his roles in Rear Window (1954) and The Rainmaker (1956), President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (1961-1963)
  • James Warren "Jim" Corey (1883-1956), American actor, who appeared in over 315 films
  • Jeff Corey (1914-2002), born Arthur Zwerling, American stage and screen actor and director; he became a well-respected acting teacher after being blacklisted in the 1950s
  • Elias James Corey (b. 1928), American chemist and co-winner of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1986), the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1990) and the Priestly Medal (2004)
  • Robert Brainard Corey (1897-1971), American biochemist
  • Ronald Corey CM (b. 1938), Canadian businessman and former professional NHL ice hockey executive with the Montreal Canadiens
  • Albert Corey (1878-1904), born Louis Albert Coray, a French two-time silver medalist at the 1904 Summer Olympics
  • Ernest Albert Corey (1892-1972), Australian, WWI soldier awarded medals as a stretcher bearer


  • The American Corys (also the Coreys) by Vernon Corey.
  • The Corys (also the Coreys) by Charles E. Corey.

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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  7. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Corey Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Corey 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 20 December 2015 at 08:23.

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