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

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

While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name Twomey is O Tuama.


Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Twomey family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include Toomie, O'Toomie, Twomey, O'Twomey, Twomy, O'Twomy, Twony, Toomey, O'Toomey, Toomy, O'Toomy, Twomie, O'Twomie, Twome, O'Twome, Toomee, O'Toomee, Tome, O'Tome, Thomey, O'Thomey, Thoume, O'Thoume, Thomey, O'Thomey, Tumey, O'Tumey, Tumee and many more.

First found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. This ancient family name was descended from Tuaim Snama, an eighth century King of Osraigi, and were presumably of Dalcassian origin. They were descended through Mathghamhain, the brother of Brian Boru. Although this tribe of Toomey held a family seat in Cork in the 14th century, they are believed to be descended from the Dal Cais to the north.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Twomey research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1478, 1640, 1653, 1730, 1659, 1702, 1706, 1603 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Twomey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Twomey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


North America received thousands of Irish immigrants from the English-ruled Ireland during the 19th century. Once in the United States or what would become Canada, these immigrants quickly contributed to the ongoing settling and industrialization processes. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. An exhaustive examination of immigrant and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the surname of Twomey:

Twomey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Jeremiah Twomey settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • John Twomey, who arrived in Mississippi in 1841
  • William Twomey, who landed in Mississippi in 1847
  • Elizabeth, Michael, and Jerry Twomey who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1847

Twomey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Dennis Twomey, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Providence" from Cork
  • John Twomey, aged 36, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Charlotte" from Cork
  • Eliza Twomey, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Charlotte" from Cork
  • Honorah Twomey in King's Cove Parish, Newfoundland in 1838

Twomey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Michael Twomey, aged 27, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Johanna Twomey, aged 23, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Timothy Twomey, aged 22, a smith, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Honorah Twomey, aged 21, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Denis Twomey, aged 22, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879


  • Michael Twomey (b. 1963), American violinist and composer
  • Anne Twomey (b. 1951), American stage, film, and television actress
  • Ann Twomey (b. 1951), American labor union leader
  • Seamus Twomey (1919-1989), Irish republican; twice chief of the Provisional IRA
  • Moss Twomey (1897-1978), Irish republican; chief of staff of the IRA
  • Liam Twomey (b. 1967), Irish Fine Gael politician from Wexford
  • Pat Twomey (b. 1929), Australian rules football player
  • Mick Twomey (b. 1931), Australian rules football player
  • Margaret Twomey, Australian diplomat; ambassador to Russia since 2008
  • Bill Twomey (1927-2004), Australian rules football player



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortis undis et armis
Motto Translation: Waves and strong arms


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Twomey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Twomey 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 3 February 2015 at 10:32.

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