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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French-Alt, French, Irish

Where did the Irish Foy family come from? What is the Irish Foy family crest and coat of arms? When did the Foy family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Foy family history?

The surname Foy originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Fiaich," derived from the word "fiach," which means "raven."

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Many spelling variations of the surname Foy can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Foy, Fee, Fye, Fey and others.

First found in County Cavan, north Connacht, and Fermanagh, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foy research. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Foy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 21 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Foy name:

Foy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Foy settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Alec Foy, who landed in Virginia in 1657
  • Elizabeth Foy, who arrived in Virginia in 1662
  • Margaret Foy, who arrived in Maryland in 1674
  • Hugh Foy settled in Barbados in 1680

Foy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Garret Foy, who landed in Virginia in 1723
  • Margaret Foy who settled in Maryland in 1732
  • Patrick Foy settled in New England in 1764
  • Charles Foy arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Charles Foy, aged 18, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775

Foy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Terrance Foy, who landed in South Carolina in 1808
  • Terrence Foy, who arrived in South Carolina in 1808
  • John Foy, who landed in America in 1812
  • Henry Foy, who arrived in America in 1812
  • Betsey Foy, aged 25, arrived in America in 1821


Foy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Willm Foy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eliza Foy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • William Foy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Foy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Foy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • John Foy, aged 30, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Biddy Foy, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Bryan Foy, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast

Foy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Foy, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Foy arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846
  • William Foy arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Simlah" in 1849
  • Mary Foy, aged 21, a general servant, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Epaminondas"


Foy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Philip Foy, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875

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  • Frederick William "Fred" Foy (1921-2010), American radio and television announcer best known for his narration of The Lone Ranger
  • Eddie Foy (1856-1928), American vaudeville actor and comedian
  • Laura Foy (b. 1976), American television host
  • Mary Foy, American librarian
  • Des Foy (b. 1963), Irish rugby player
  • David R Foy, President and Chief executive officer and director of Phillips Cables Ltd since 1985
  • Claire Foy (b. 1984), English actress
  • Kylie Foy (b. 1971), New Zealand field hockey player
  • Matt Foy (b. 1983), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Peter Foy (1925-2005), English stage-flight-effects specialist

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  1. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Foy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Foy 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 17 March 2015 at 17:09.

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