In Pennsylvania where the progenitor of Caughey arrived in the 1700's and the family moved to the Southwest then Northwest of PA- the pronunciation is Caw-hee- however this same family as it moved to the Dixie south and then midwest...pronounced it Coy- [as in Boy]....Note there are many variant spellings throughout the Revolutionary War rolls-Coffe,Kegy, Cahy, and Civil War rolls---but in reality in contemporary times one tends to use the family tradition of pronunciation.
As to Caughey origins-they are found in Ulster on the Flax Rolls 1700's - however not in Cromwell's Adventurer list of the 1600's, nor Scottish Plantation List- and as a surname the Caughey name seem to be found in County Down and County Donegal in the earliest records.
It is considered to be an Ulster name..Belfast and Ards Penninsula being the popular vote as well as GreyAbbey in County Down as far as population. Caugheys leaving Ireland in 1700 traveled with the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.
It is considered by the locals to be an "old name in Ireland"- though some believe that the Caugheys originated in the earlier times from the Islands off of Scotland.
They traveled in PA with the Sturgeons, McCrearys, Johnsons etc. which are Scotch-Irish names...meaning people of Scottish origin who lived in Ireland and who sailed from Ireland to America and settled in groups-the Caugheys were with the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and founders of churches across PA.
Many of this group fought in the American Revolutionary War. There of course were later Caughey migrations...the Southern states are listed as a settlement place for the Caugheys-but compared to other surname groups -Caughey in the south is not a well populated surname in the 1700's or even 1800's in America. Sometimes Haughey, Hoy, Hoye, etc. are variant spellings used simultaneously with Caughey in Ireland and here- but in the early1900's there was no longer the interchange of spellings.
And so for the Pennsylvania corridor to the west the spelling remained Caughey for the certain line descending from Francis and John Caughey -brothers from Ireland whose descendants moved to southwestern and then northwestern PA in the 1700's
Irish records are scarce in this area of research and one must rely on the knowledge of the traditional storytellers in the area of departure in Ireland to tell the story of the time of Caughey. Usually there are several branches within one surname and family name-and the Irish speak in terms of thousands of years rather than in decades as do Americans. Oral tradition plays an important part on tracing an individual identity."Cead Mil Failte" to the land of Irish Research. A wonderful journey into time and history both in Ireland and here.My understanding is original name is Mac Eachaidh probably from Clogher in Tyrone where Mac Caughey still most common. Caughey most common in Down and Antrim. Caughey is listed under Cowie in Scots phone books. In the United States the name has been Americanized to Coy, Coffee, Coffey, Cahill depending on the region where the original Caugheys settled.
What does the name "Caughey" mean in Gaelic = A Thousand Welcomes
Submitted by: Sandra Griffett