O'Foy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the O'Foy family

The surname O'Foy was first found in County Cavan, north Connacht, and Fermanagh, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the O'Foy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Foy research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1707 are included under the topic Early O'Foy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Foy Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname O'Foy that are preserved in archival documents are Foy, Fee, Fye, Fey and others.

Early Notables of the O'Foy family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Foy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'Foy family

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Foy name: Margaret Foy who settled in Maryland in 1732; Patrick Foy settled in New England in 1764; John Foy settled in Barbados in 1654; Hugh Foy settled in Barbados in 1680.

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