There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name McCafrey originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Gafraidh. Gafraidh or Gothraidh equates with the English personal name
Godfrey. Variations that start with the prefix Mac or Mc mean son of Godfrey.
Early Origins of the McCafrey family
The surname McCafrey was first found in County Fermanagh
(Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland
, Province of Ulster
, where they held a family seat
at Ballymacaffrey near Five mile Town in Fermanagh
near the Tyrone
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Early History of the McCafrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCafrey research.Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 198 and 1987 are included under the topic Early McCafrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McCafrey Spelling Variations
In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research into the McCafrey family history revealed numerous spelling variations
of the name, including MacCaffery, MacCaffrey, MacCafferty, MacAffery, MacAffry, MacAfferty, MacGoffrey, MacGodfrey and many more.
Early Notables of the McCafrey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McCafrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McCafrey family to the New World and Oceana
, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name McCafrey: Biddy MacCafferty who settled in Newcastle in 1804; Arthur, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, and Robert MacCafferty all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.