Covey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Covey 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." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Covey family

The surname Covey 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." [3]

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. [1]

Early History of the Covey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Covey research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1040, 1394, 1505, 1600, 1512, 1642 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Covey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Covey 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. Covey has appeared as Cowie, Cowey, Cowy, Covie, Cowye, Covey, Cowwie, Cowwey, Coavie, Coawie, Kowie, Kowey, Kovey and many more.

Early Notables of the Covey family (pre 1700)

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


United States Covey migration to the United States +

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:

Covey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • B Covey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Covey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Covey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Charles Covey, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Covey migration to Australia +

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

Covey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Covey, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836 [5]

New Zealand Covey 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:

Covey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Covey, (b. 1864), aged 19, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Westland" arriving in Hawke's Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand in 1883 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Covey (post 1700) +

  • Rachel Covey, American Young Artist Award nominated child actress, best known for her role in Enchanted (2007) [7]
  • William O. Covey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Delaware, 1960 (member, Committee on Rules and Order of Business) [8]
  • Winton G. Covey Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from West Virginia 4th District, 1980 [8]
  • W. D. Covey, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Baxter Springs, Kansas, 1955 [8]
  • Susan Candace Covey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972 [8]
  • Sharon Covey, American Democrat politician, Member, Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008 [8]
  • M. W. Covey, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1860 [8]
  • M. R. Covey, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 15th District, 1891-92 [8]
  • Lorenzo D. Covey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Erie County 3rd District, 1855 [8]
  • John K. Covey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1964 [8]
  • ... (Another 15 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Master Melvin  Covey (1911-1917), Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Master Victor  Covey (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Miss May  Covey, Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]


Suggested Readings for the name Covey +

  • 3651 "Ancestors and Descendants of Walter Covery, Dutchess County, New York (1750-1834)" by Mary Lancaster Quist.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Cygnet arrived Holdfast Bay, Adealide Sept. 11, 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Cygnet.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Rachel Covey. (Retrieved 2011, March 21) Rachel Covey. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1684762/
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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