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Surname O'Coigley - Meaning and Origin

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O'Coigley: What does the surname O'Coigley mean?

The last name O'Coigley is an old Irish surname derived from the Gaelic surname Ó Cogaigh, where 'cogaigh' translates to 'helmet'. This name is believed to originate from when the O'Coigley family served as chieftains or warriors and would have worn helmets in battle.

The surname was particularly dominant in the Counties of Mayo, Galway, and Limerick in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In many cases, the name O'Coigley has been anglicized to various forms, including Coyl, Coigley, Cooley, and Quil.

The O'Coigley family is believed to have descended from Owen, Prince of Hy-Many, which was a kingdom in the eastern part of what is now County Galway in Ireland. In particular, the family is believed to trace its roots back to Fillin, the son of Owen.

Today, the descendants of the O'Coigley family are scattered all around the world in places far and wide. They are still connected through their shared Irish heritage and pride in their family's long history. The name O'Coigley stands for a lasting legacy of courage and loyalty, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

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O'Coigley: Where does the name O'Coigley come from?

The last name O’Coigley is particularly widespread in the south of Ireland, especially in County Kerry, and makes up around 1.2% of the population’s surnames. Historically, the name was most commonly found in County Clare, which is continuing today, though other areas such as County Cork, Galway, Waterford, and Tipperary have also seen some rising prevalence of the name.

The Irish surname, O’Coigley, is derived from the Gaelic Ó Cógalaigh, translating to “descendent of Cógalaigh”. Cógalaigh is thought to come from cóigealach which means “of the fifth part”. The surname would have come from a person who broke up the large fort they owned and gave out a fifth of it, or who was derived from one. This person would then have been given the Gaelic surname Ó Cógalaigh, which then became the anglicized version, O’Coigley.

In the modern context, the last name O’Coigley is still quite popular in Southern Ireland, especially in Cork, Kerry, and Clare, though there’s now a scattering of people with that name all around the world, particularly through Irish emigration. Online records, such as genealogy databases, have made it easier and easier to trace ancestors and families, so the name has most likely spread even further than would have been previously possible, meaning that today the name O’Coigley can be found in places much further afield.

Variations of the surname O'Coigley

The O’Coigley surname has many variants, spellings and surnames of similar origin. These include:

O'Cogley: This is the most traditional spelling of the surname, with the “O” indicating a claim of direct descent from an ancestor with this surname.

O’Coghley: This is a more modern spelling that has seen recent usage.

O'Coggy: This is a variant spelling of the modern O’Coghley spelling.

Kogel: This is a Germanized spelling of the surname, common amongst German-Irish immigrants to the United States.

O'Coygle: This is a variant spelling used in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Cogley: This is an Anglicized form of the surname which is most prominent in the United States and was often the name chosen by recent Irish immigrants when they entered the country.

McCogue: This is a Scottish variant of the surname, being an Anglicized form of the Irish Mac Cuag.

McKag: This is a variant of McCogue, and is most commonly found in Scotland.

Cauley: This is an Americanized variant of the surname that has been used since the 19th century.

Quigley: This is an Irish spelling that derives from the Gaelic “Mac Uighiligh”.

Coley: This is a spelling from Cornwall, and derives from the Cornish “Coghleth”.

Thus, there are many different spellings, variants, and surnames which, while different, all have the same underlying origin as O’Coigley.

Famous people with the name O'Coigley

  • Shane O'Coigley: Former professional American football player.
  • James O'Coigley: Irish painter, sculptor and journalist.
  • Kevin O'Coigley: Irish businessman and founder of online retail company Liveday Ltd.
  • Christopher O'Coigley: Architect and academic most recently associated with the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
  • Patrick O'Coigley: Member of the Irish House of Commons in 1710 and the ancestor of the O'Coigley family of County Clare, Ireland.
  • Mrs Sinéad O'Coigley-Kelly: Irish publican and hotelier.
  • Srushti Prasad O'Coigley: Indian Actress and a VJ for Doordarshan.
  • May O'Coigley: Irish-born American actress and singer.
  • Sean O'Coigley: Irish based Songwriter, Singer and Keytarist.
  • Father Michael O'Coigley: Retired Canadian Catholic priest and former pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Toronto.

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