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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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


The surname Touhey 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.

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Touhey were encountered in the archives: 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Touhey research. Another 230 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1593 is included under the topic Early Touhey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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

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 Touhey name: Edward and John Towey who landed in Pennsylvania in 1868 and 1878 respectively; Patrick Tohey settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1847. The family also branched to Cumberland, New South Wales, Australia, where a Gentleman, John Thomas Toohey resided..


  • Patrick J. Touhey (1865-1923), born near Loughrea, County Galway, an Irish celebrated player of the uilleann pipes
  • William James Touhey (1906-1999), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player who played 280 games from 1926 to 1937

Touhey Historic Events

RMS Lusitania

  • Miss Margaret Touhey, English 3rd Class passenger returning from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking

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    Other References

    1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
    5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
    7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    10. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    11. ...

    The Touhey Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Touhey 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 11 April 2016 at 07:42.

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