Vahey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Vahey has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Vahey is O Fathaigh, derived from the word "fothadh," meaning "foundation."

Early Origins of the Vahey family

The surname Vahey was first found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Vahey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vahey research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vahey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vahey 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 Vahey that are preserved in archival documents are Fahey, Fahie, Fahy, Fay, O'Fahey, O'Fahy, Vahey and many more.

Early Notables of the Vahey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Vahey 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 Vahey name: Daniel Fahay, who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1860; Peggy Fahee, who settled in New York State in 1846; Daniel, James, John, Michael, and Patrick Fahey, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.


Contemporary Notables of the name Vahey (post 1700) +

  • James H. Vahey (b. 1871), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Massachusetts State Senate, 1907; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1924; Massachusetts Democratic State Chair, 1949 [1]


The Vahey Motto +

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: Esperance
Motto Translation: Hope.


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 5) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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