The ancient Scottish name Covay was first used by someone who worked as a tender of cattle. The name is an adaptation of the Old English word cuhyrde
, of the same meaning. It derives from the roots, cu
, meaning cow
, and hierde
, meaning herdsman
. The family were "mainly from the ancient barony of Cowie in Kincardineshire." CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Covay family
The surname Covay was first found in Kincardineshire
(Gaelic: A' Mhaoirne), a former county on the northeast coast of the Grampian region of Scotland
, and part of the Aberdeenshire
Council Area since 1996. Cowie is a small village "situated at the mouth of the river Cowie, which falls into a bay of that name, forming a small and commodious harbour." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Cowie Castle is a ruined fortress nearby and is thought to have been the site of a royal hunting lodge in the Middle Ages. Cowie Chapel also known as the Chapel of St. Mary and St. Nathalan is a ruined chapel but is one of the oldest surviving structures in Kincardineshire.
One of the first records of the family was Herbert de Cowy who witnessed a charter by Nicholas de Dumfres in 1394. Years later, John Cowy was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1505. CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
Early History of the Covay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Covay research.Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1040, 1394, 1505, 1600, 1512, 1642 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Covay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Covay Spelling Variations
In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations
in Medieval Scottish names. Covay has appeared as Cowie, Cowey, Cowy, Covie, Cowye, Covey, Cowwie, Cowwey, Coavie, Coawie, Kowie, Kowey, Kovey and many more.
Early Notables of the Covay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Covay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Covay family to Ireland
Some of the Covay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 166 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Covay family to the New World and Oceana
The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence
, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan
societies in North America. Among them: Phillip Cowie settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834; followed by Thomas in 1859.