The Clan/Sept History
The Irish name O Fahy has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original
Gaelic form of the name O Fahy is O Fathaigh, derived from the word "fothadh,"
Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because
the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name
was spelt and in what language. Research into the name O Fahy revealed many
variations, including Fahey, Fahie, Fahy, Fay, O'Fahey, O'Fahy, Vahey and many
First found in Galway, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily
at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th
century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East
Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the
Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish
settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to
Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence
River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland,
the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish
immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the
late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia.
Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These
Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads,
coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution
to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have
revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O Fahy or a variant listed
above, including: 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.
Motto Translated: Hope.
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