Toohey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Toohey is O Tuathaigh, which is derived from tuathach, which means ruler.

Early Origins of the Toohey family

The surname Toohey was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat as a clann, and their chief was known as O'Tuathaigh (meaning ruler). They were amongst the many tribes of western Ireland, septs of the Hy Niall who were descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages. King Niall was perhaps the most famous of all Irish Kings being responsible for harassing the Roman departure from England at the foot of the Alps.

Early History of the Toohey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toohey research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1593 is included under the topic Early Toohey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Toohey Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Toohey family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Tuohy, Tuohey, Touhy, Touhey, Tooey, Tooy, Towey, Towy, Twoey, Twoy, Twohig, Toohey, Toohy,O'Tuohy, O'Tuohey, O'Touhy, O'Touhey, O'Tooey, O'Tooy, O'Towey, O'Towy, O'Twoey, O'Twoy, O'Twohig, O'Toohey and many more.

Early Notables of the Toohey family (pre 1700)

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


United States Toohey migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Toohey family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Toohey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Toohey, aged 2, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Ellen Toohey, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Jude Toohey, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Margaret Toohey, aged 4, who arrived in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Ned Toohey, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Toohey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Toohey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Denis Toohey, who arrived in Canada in 1829

Australia Toohey migration to Australia +

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

Toohey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Toohey, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

New Zealand Toohey 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:

Toohey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Toohey, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836

Contemporary Notables of the name Toohey (post 1700) +

  • John Peter Toohey (1892-1984), American college football player
  • John Peter Toohey (1880-1946), American writer and publicist, member of the Algonquin Round Table
  • John Thomas Toohey, Irish-born, Australian brewer, founder of Tooheys in 1869
  • Peter Toohey (b. 1954), Australian cricketer who played in 15 Tests and 5 ODIs from 1977 to 1979
  • John Leslie Toohey AC, QC (b. 1930), Australian judge and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1987-1998)
  • Meghan Toohey, folk-rock singer/songwriter


  1. ^ 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)


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