Coffey Families and their County Mayo and County Roscommon Connections
According to Sir Robert E Matheson's "Special Report on Surnames in Ireland" the Coffey Surname was not in the top 75 principal surnames in Ireland when it was conducted in 1890. According to his birth index chart for the same year, there were 98 entries for the Surname Coffey in Ireland (60 in the Province of Munster, 22 in the Province of Leinster, 5 in Ulster and 11 in the Province of Connaught). Surname Coffey was found primarily in the Counties of Kerry, Tipperary, Dublin, Cork and Roscommon. He only listed two variations of this name, Coffey and Coffee. (Matheson, 1982, p. 7, 42).
Edward MacLysaght who has written numerous books on Irish family names, in his book "Irish Families their names, arms and origins," recognizes three distinct septs of the Coffey surname, The O'Coffey sept in South-west County Cork where the name is often pronounced Cowhig or Cowhey, a sept in County Roscommon and one in County Westmeath that has seen significant "scattering" since that time. According to him, the Irish version of O'Coffey is O'Coghthaigh that means victorious. (MacLysaght, 1972, p.82).
The only other spelling variation I have seen documented for the Surname Coffey was "Coffie" that "The Book of Irish Families Great and Small" from the Irish Archives had listed as a principal name of Roscommon in 1659. (O'Laughlin, 2002, p.47).
In the Griffith's Valuation for County Mayo, the Surname Coffey was recorded in four different Civil Parishes: Kilmovee and Turlough and two of which were later transferred to County Roscommon, Castlemore and Kilcolman.
In the Griffith's Valuation for County Roscommon, the Surname Coffey is much more prevalent occurring in the following Civil Parishes: Tibohine, Kilkeevin and Kiltullagh that border County Mayo, and in Cloonfinlough, Creagh, Drum, Kilglass, Killinvey, Kilteevan, Lissonuffy, Moore, Ogulla, Roscommon, St. John and St. Peter Civil Parishes. (Griffith, 1847-1864, Mayo and Roscommon).
|Surname Coffey Distribution Map for County Mayo, Ireland|
|Coffey's Identified in County Mayo, Ireland Griffith's Valuation and Civil Parish Descriptions|
|Surname Coffee (and Variations- Coffey)in the County Mayo, Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Records (I will be recording Coffee RCP records starting in Mid September starting with the Charlestown RCP microfilm (Kilbeagh Civil Parish).|
|Coffey's Identified in County Roscommon, Ireland Griffith's Valuation and Civil Parish Descriptions|