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From :
Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 13 June 2021

I am finishing the translation of this site into French. It is clear that only the Cavey people in North America think they are of Irish origin. Elsewhere in the world they are either from the south of England (Australia and Canada) or from France (New Zealand).


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 7 June 2021

Although this site is no longer active, I have tried to translate a large part of it into French in 2021. On this occasion, I checked the external links to the site. Many of them are dead links (Error 404). This is the case of the McKevitt family site (below). On the other hand, while searching the Internet Surname Database, I found this:

  • For the name McKevitt, the sequence MacDaibheid, MacDhaibheid, MacDavitt, McDaid, McEvid, McKevit exists but does not lead to McCavey (nor a fortiori Cavey),
  • For the name Cavey ,it appears that while in rare cases the surname Cavey may derive from Irish Mac Daibheid via the Anglicised form Keavy, it is most commonly derived from French Cavey, Cavy and Cavee

The same kind of information can be found on the House of Names : no link is given between McKevitt and McCavey or Cavey.


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 18 September 2006

Due to the sensitivity of this debate : (are the Cavey in the US from England or Ireland ?) I would like to emphasise the following :

  • It has been proven from different sources below (and on other pages) that the name itself is rare in Ireland and much more frequent in England. This does not imply that there is no one Cavey in Ireland,
  • Therefore, if the probability that the US Caveys are from England is high, there is a possibility that one of the rare Cavey went to the US from Ireland, as long as nobody has proven the contrary,
  • Nevertheless, in that case, should not they be Catholics?
  • Many US Cavey reports that, from their family tradition, they have Irish roots. I have no reason to doubt about this, however, they may also be Irish by their G-G-[...]-G-G-mother's branch,
  • Anyway, to have an Irish ancestor does not mean that this person does not have English roots himself...


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 18 September 2006

I visited the Website of Thomas L. McKevitt where he traces back his roots and the MacDaibheid, MacDhaibheid, MacDavitt, McDaid, McEvid, McKevitt, McCavey names.

We have known Tom since 2000 when when he sent us a mail about our name.

On the Names' page, about the McCavey's name, Tom writes « The McCaveys seemed a bit shy of representation when we visited Ireland, and it seemed true that they must have emptied of Ireland and into Maryland, USA. The phone book there seems "chock full of McCaveys." Look as we would, however, we never managed to turn up a McCavey website. ». However, he does not point any Cavey name on his site.


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 18 September 2006

I have found on this list which shows that there was thirty Cavey on a boat that has arrived in the US from Liverpool via Queenstown (Ireland). No indication whether the Caveys got into Liverpool or at Queenstown.

Five Cavey were on board on another boat from Cork (Ireland too).

Nevertheless, most of the Cavey migrating to the US is from England.

Ports of Departure for Cavey

Port Cavey
Liverpool, England 45
Liverpool, England and Queenstown, Ireland 30
Aspinwall, Panama 8
Cork, Ireland 5
Liverpool and London, England 4
London, England 3


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 18 September 2006

I have found a piece of information on which I am giving here as a contribution to the debate.

Where the families lived in the US :

1840 US census :

McCavey :
Cavey :

1880 US census :

McCavey :
Cavey :

1920 US census :

McCavey :
Cavey :

At least this show that :

  • McCavey is a very rare name in the US. They are few in comparison to the Cavey. In 1880, the maximum number of McCavey' families was 4-5 in New Carolina while at the same time there was already 62-121 Cavey' families in Maryland.
  • There is probably no link between the MacCavey and Cavey families in the US. This does not prove that there is no link between the two names elsewhere and especially in Ireland.


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France) 21 April 2003

This may be due to my bad English and, moreover, to my ignorance of the Gaelic, but I have been impressed by the message sent by Tom McKevit (Ireland) on December 3, 2000.

His declination of McDevitt > MacDavitt > McKevitt > McCavitt > McCavett > McCavey > Cavey, sounds to me more probable than the previous explanations.

In no case, this implies that all of the Caveys could be Irish or that the name will always be of Irish origin.

However we cannot reject the hypothesis of some Caveys could come from this lineage.


Julian Cavey
(UK - Scotland) 17 june 1999


Cavey immigration to the USA. I believe that family expansion and geographical movement is the knock on effect of historical events or economic pressures of the time, and that the researcher should study the history of the time concerned in order to gain the background in which the familiy had to live - and sometimes survive!

You mention 1800 as a staring point for english speaking Caveys arriving in the USA. (There were CAVE's identified in Virginia as early as Joe Cave setlling in St Cristophers, Virginia in 1635; but they are definitely a separate 'clan' and nothing to do with us; do not be tempted!). Researcher Charlotte Ericson has estimated that in 1790 about 60 % of the white population of the USA were of english and Welsh stock, 8 % Scottish, 6 % Scots/Irish and less than 4 % Southern Irish. The great Irish influx came of course during the Great Potato Famine of 1847-51, the major ports being Boston, New York and Quebec, so I agree with you that the Irish connection has little to commend it.

Your statement that the first Caveys settled in Baltimore around 1800 means that they paid their passage by sailing ship to a landfall which was now at peace, following the Treaty of Paris, Sept 3rd 1783. The only social pressure in England at the time was for agricultural workers. My own line of Caveys were suffering in rural Sussex, from the Enclosures Acts, the Poor Laws, and the slow increase f unemployement due to new mechanical drill and the horse-hoe, to be followed later by reapers, binders etc. My family stayed put, and survived. But in 1839, my 3 x Great Aunt, a blacksmiths daughter with 6 children took a free passage to New South Wales under the British Government Scheme for those who could provide a Testimonial of Good Character, setting up the first Caveys in Australia! 

There were cells of Caveys in the IGI Index (Salt lake City) in the country districts around London from 1545 onwards, and in Hampshire and West Sussex from 1548 onwards, so any of these could have sialed from the Port of London or Southampton to America. Roman Catholics had been outlawed by Henry VIII when he split from the Church of Rome, so Protestantism was the norm. May I suggest that you contact the Society of Genealogists, London at to find out if they can acces any Passenger Lists or other sources which could help you in your quest. My grasp of French history and economic pressures at this time is not good - I suggest you ask Jean-Luc for his assessment of possible sailings of Caveys from Cherburg or Le Havre - the ports closest to the Cavey cells in Normandy.

Happy Hunting!


Dan Cavey
(USA - Florida) 3 june 1999

Jean-Luc, Julian Paul (and Alison), Colin,

It is so wonderful to finally see some informative, introspective and intelligent conversation return to the Cavey web site!  I wrote this as a group letter, so please read and comment on what I have written to each one of you.   You may e-mail me directly.

It was nice to read all of your letters.




Thank you so much in advance, for forwarding this message to your father.  You are a blessing to all Caveys.



Your insight is refreshing and educational.  I've been waiting over 2 years to read the kind of information you have given us.  Your information and Jean-Luc's additional interpretation brings me much satisfaction.  If you read the speculation in Jean-Luc's "Debate" section, you will see that I was one of his original speculators.  My most pressing issue, then and now, is that I don't believe that the American Caveys are of Irish decent.

There are no hard facts that show that the early American Caveys were Irish or that they anglicized the name from any other name.  For a variety of good reasons, that I wrote about 2 years ago, I believe this is just American Cavey folklore.  But, I'm willing to be proven wrong. (One big problem in my mind is that not many of us look Irish!  Though, after spending a month in France last year, I can see how many of us could be French.)

Apparently, Caveys first showed up in the USA around 1800 and were English speaking.  Later Caveys immigrants are absolutely known to be English and French.  I find it much more believable that the first Caveys were English or possibly Scottish, but not likely Irish!  I would also find it much more believable that the Irish took the original Cavey name and phonetically changed it into Gaelic rather than the other way

The earliest USA Caveys apparently descend from Joseph Cavey born in the USA in 1791.  There are various accounts of a John Cavey or and Anne Cavey before him, but nothing definitive.  Joseph seems to have been born with out any record of his parents.  This is a sure sign of immigrant parents..the question is from where?  Unfortunately, the names are not an indication.  John, Anne, and Joseph are, I think, very generic to the entire region.

Unlike many other American Caveys, I am very interested in the migration from France to England and (I believe) on to the USA.  I would appreciate and respect any additional comments you may have on the possible origins of the American Caveys around 1800.  The exact port of entry is not known, but it is known that the first Caveys settled in Baltimore, Maryland.  Although there were many Irish in Baltimore, most Irish settled further north.  Baltimore was at that time an established city with many generations of English descendants and large populations of German and Polish immigrants.   This was a time just after the Revolutionary War and a time when the country had very close ties with France.

I look forward to your response.



Thank you for your research.  I wrote most of my immediate thoughts above to Julian, but I hope that you will respond with your ideas as well.  Specifically, with respect to emigration to the USA from the British Isles.

I think you are correct that there is no great significance to the various spellings of the name.  If it is of any interest to you, most of the Caveys in the USA, that I know, are Protestant.



I'm very glad Julian and Colin found you.  You spent a long time looking for someone who had information on the English-French connection.

Don't be too confused by American's focus on connecting to each other within the USA.  Remember, the distance and time it took to migrate across half the USA could have been greater and longer than the distances and time it took for the French Caveys to migrate to England! 

Our society is extremely mobile now, but it wasn't so much in the 1800's.  (Except, maybe for the adventurous.)  Remember in the 1800's, the Caveys that moved from Baltimore and New York to places further west, were all first or second generation Europeans! (Most likely from the British Isles.)


Charlotte Carey
(England, via channel-island-l news group)  29 December 1997

One reason for the confusion might be that a lot of French Hugenot's moved to Ireland. I believe there is some evidence of this in my family. I will ask my father as he is much more with our family background.


Charlotte Carey
(England, via channel-island-l news group) 25 November 1997

As I asked to Charlotte "How do you pronounce your name in English ?" she repled : "Carey is pronounced Caree in English, I expect it depends on where the name originates from e.g Carey is both French and Irish and spelling, pronounciation has varied over the years."


J-F Pitot de La Beaujardiere
(France, via soc.genealogy.french news group) 1 November 1997

Translation : I had the opportunity to consult both the Rietstap book (without illustrations) and the illustrated version. The former was in a university library in Colorado, the latter in the home of an artist in Maryland who paints coats of arms on commission. I don't know where to find a copy in Paris, but it would be surprising if there wasn't one.

Did your cousin say there was a recent republication? When I last tried to buy it, Rietstap was not in print and to buy it second hand would cost hundreds of dollars.


William H Grimes
(via news groups) 1 November 1997

[speaking of the alternative : Irish branch or U.K. branch ?]

This probably is no 'debate' at all. Both versions could be correct for two different family lines. There are probably other possibilities as well, though I do not personally know of any.


Ronald D. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 18 October 1997

The two volumes of J. -B. Rietstap's "Armorial General" in the library here was republished here in Baltimore. The original was published in France. I have no date.

However, the three volume set of V. &  H. V. Rolland's "Illustrations to the Armorial General by J. -B. Rietstap", states on the copyright page the following:

Originally Published Paris, France, 1903-1926
American Publishers HERALDRIC BOOK COMPANY Baltimore, Maryland
Published in Conjunction with HERALDRY TODAY London, England

In one paragraph of the preface it states:

Monsieur V. Rolland, and afterwards his son Monsieur H. R. Rolland (who completed the work under the initials H. V., the V. in memory of his deceased father), however, completed this monumental work over a period of 23 years, in which 85,000 shields of Arms illustrate every one mentioned in Rietstap's "Armorial General".

Each of the coats of arms in the book are only postage stamp size, and in black and white.

These volumes are in both the Baltimore City and County libraries.

Since they were originally published in France, I hope they would be in the Paris libraries.


Roch van der Mensbrugghe
(Belgium - via soc.genealogy.belgium newsgroups) 11 October 1997

Translation : All the pillars of Belgian onomastics (Debrabandere, Herbillon & Germain) agree on the Picardic origin of the toponym Cavey(e) which means "(path) hollow".

(For Picardy language in Belgium, see the map at


Thomas J. Cavey
(U.S.A. - New-Jersey)  9 October 1997

Thanks for your prompt and informative reply to my letter. Some of the points in your note struck a familiar chord. For example, my grandfather - Martin - was a drunk, or at least an alcoholic. He also worked in Wisconsin as a telegraph operator for the railroad.

As a sidelight, my father - John - showed me an interesting article many years ago from a local Wisconsin paper. I believe the article referred to my grandfather's brother - not sure of name. Anyway, it was titled "Cavey Beat Death Once, Killed Yesterday At ...

Apparently after working for about 30 years for the railroad with an excellent attendance record. One Sunday when he was due to report for work, he told his family he had a bad feeling about work that day, and decided to stay home. His replacement on the job that Sunday was killed in an accident. Some time later, not sure how long, he was working as a conductor on a train, and fell-off onto the adjoining tracks where he was hit by an oncoming train and killed. Apparently he had a trick knee which gave out on him at a most inopportune time.


Thomas J. Cavey
(U.S.A. - New-Jersey) 8 October 1997

Enjoyed reading your letter and the debate now underway concerning the true country of origin of the Cavey name.

My grandfather was Martin Cavey who married Mary Holmes. The family grew up in Delavan, Wisconsin. I believe my great grandfather was named John, but I have no information about him. I do not believe he was born in Wisconsin, and may in fact have come from Ireland. The tradition in the family is that we have Irish roots from the Donegal area. Unfortunately, no one kept any records as far as I can tell. I'm really curious to know if the Wisconsin Cavey's are somehow an offshoot of the Maryland Cavey's, about which so much more seems to be known.

Since Cavey dates to such an early period in France, and is well documented, courtesy of Jean Luc, I believe it is reasonable to accept France as the mother country. I don't know if this adequately explains such a large Cavey presence in Ireland, although I suppose given several hundred years, and 3-4 generations per century, this is possible. If one accepts the possibility that Cavey's were introduced into Ireland directly or indirectly as a result of the Norman Conquest, there was probably plenty of time to create many Irish decendents.

Has anyone ever developed a statistical estimate of population growth starting with one couple and extrapolating forward based on average birth and death rates for the period in question. I realize the first few generations would be a little tricky because the sample size is so small, and any unusual occurrence could skew the numbers, but given some time, the sample size should become statistically valid and mirror the general population.


Dan Cavey
(U.S.A. - Florida) 7 October 1997


Wow!!!! I didn't expect to start such a heated debate, but I'm glad I did. I'm sure it has gotten all of us re-charged to find the solution.

First, a clarification: when I wrote "Ronald's Book" that was just a literary shortcut for "the book to which Ronald is referring". I assumed he had a book with a legitimate author.

Second, spelling: Micheal said it well. There was a lot of illiteracy and the spelling was mangled frequently, but I believe all our ancestors meant "Cavey" no matter how they spelled it.

Third, the Irish in America: Even though the Irish immigrant, was poor and second class, they were very proud and did not often hide their heritage. That pride is even more profound in today's America and even more so in the northeast part of the US.

Fourth, conjecture: I never doubted Ronalds facts about his roots in this country, just the "missing link" to Ireland and the conjecture of the origin of the name in Gaelic.

Fifth, long held beliefs: Ah...a very, very touchy subject. This one has my own father a little upset. I would guess that like all long held beliefs that there is both fact and fiction in the belief. This is for us to solve!!!! My personal conjecture is that there was a one or two generation stop in Ireland as the Caveys moved from France to Ireland to America. Jean-Luc may have stumbled on one small "factoid" that will help with this answer. Only the facts from our respective research will find the truth!

Sixth, Micheal's roots: It's interesting that Micheal has information about roots back to the early 1700's in America. Maybe this is another "factiod" that will help us.

That's all, maybe there will be a document somewhere in Northern Ireland or Normandy or Baltimore that will help us find the answers.

Keep in touch....Dan


Ronald D. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 5 October 1997

This letter concerns a reference made to "Ronald's book" by Dan. It is not my book.

The author is Edward MacLysaght (D.Litt, M.R.I.A.). Dr. MacLysaght was, when the book was published, the Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, and was formerly the Chief Herald of Ireland. He was the preeminent authority on Irish surnames and heraldry. I don't think a person with these credentials would compromise his scholarship by contriving anything.

And yes, there was nobility in Ireland. There are registered titles for the Gaelic-Irish as well as the Norman or Anglo-Irish. Also, The Irish were the first people in Europe to use surnames.

It's possible the American Caveys are of Norman extraction instead of Irish. Or, maybe they are of Anglo-Irish extraction. But there is no proof for this . However, the fact that so many people of past generations, including all my aunts and uncles, believed they were Irish, a belief which they obviously carried from generations preceding them, means something. Considering the prejudice at the time, especially during the middle and later nineteenth century, it would have been more prudent for them to have claimed that they were English, even if they were not. But they didn't.

True, this is not documented proof, but it is more proof than the English-Norman hypothesis has, which is based on pure conjecture.


Ronald D. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 5 October 1997

An interesting note about the Cavey coat of arms.

According to J. B. Rietstap's "Armorial General" and the accompanying Rolland's "Illustrations to Armorial General", the Cavey coat of arms (ascribed to Norman) is composed of the three ermines across the top, with the three cocks below in an inverted triangular formation.

There is no heart with the flanking roses. Perhaps the one in the Armorial General predates the one registered to Claude de Cavey. If so, why were the additions made?

By the way, J. B. Rietstap's "Armorial General" is printed in French.


Ronald D. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland)  5 October 1997

I now have access to some of the exhaustive genealogical research done on the Cavey family here in Maryland. There are documented records for my line of the family going back to my great, great, grandfather in 1791. This first generation is as follows:

Joseph Cavey (Born 11 Feb 1791; Died 25 Jan 1880) was married on 11Feb 1812 to Sarah Knight (Born 17 Oct 1793: Died 23 Apr 1873).

They had 12 children: 1)Louisa; 2)Miranda; 3)Beal; 4)Basil; 5)Cornelius; 6) Reubon (My great grandfather); 7)William; 8)Nathaniel; 9)Nancy; 10)Sarah; 11)Joseph; 12)Mary. More later.

The Woodstock, Maryland Caveys were the main branch of the family. When the census was taken during the early eighteenth through early nineteenth century, the name was sometimes misspelled at various times as Cavy, Keavy, and even Cary. This is because many people back then could not read or write, and couldn't even write their name, and the census taker spelled it the way they thought it sounded. Those, who were literate got the name spelled correctly. I have spoken to other people who ran into the same problem when they were doing genealogical research into their family.

The earliest documents found here show a marriage between Robert Cavey and Elizabeth Ingram on 10 April 1710 at All Hollows Church.

I can assure Dan that to the best of my knowledge none of the above data has been "contrived", and Samhain is nigh. :- )


Michael R. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 1 October 1997

My explanation for the spelling of Cavy on the 1850 census return is (again conjectural) but quite simply, the semi-literacy of the census taker or the lack of a standardized spelling. I do know that Beal Cavy was the father of a James H Cavey, my great-great grandfather, so that speaks for the pronunciation Kay-Vee (gallicized, Qu'est-vie). Beal Cavy was listed on the terutn as himself illiterate, with a 27 year old wife in second grade (onzieme classe: seconde anne de l'ecole) and so would not have been able to verify the correct spelling of the name for the census taker. so I think we're still on "square one" as far as that's concerned.

Thanks, Jean-Luc, for forwarding Sharon's message. She lives around the corner from me and I am almost certain of a connection.


Jean-Luc Cavey
(France - Paris) 1 October 1997

Re-reading the message Michael sent to us yesterday, I was disconcerted by this piece of sentence :" own ancestor, Beal Cavy (spelling as on 1850 census)...".

The reason is that "Cavy"" sounds "Cavee" in French while Cavey sounds like "Cavay" as I have recorded it on cavey.mpeg file on the site (see How does Cavey sounds in?).

The question is : how do you pronounce Darey ? Carey ? or other last names with a final "ey" ? Did you say "Daree", "Caree" also or "Daray", "Caray" ?

Did Cavey always sounds Cavee or sometimes Cavay (in this case there may be two branches of Cavey) ?

If some Cavey came from Cavy the theory of Ronald and Sean Ruad may be a consistent possibility :

McDavid => McDavy => McCavy => Cavy => Cavey (see Caveys in Ireland (Eire & Ulster)).

This may be true : remember that Sean Ruad wrote "Cavey, when originating in Ireland (which is rarely)..."

Here are my conjectures for the present time.


Michael R. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 30 September 1997

I've written Dan Cavey concerning my opinion on the Irish connection. I have a hard time seeing how Cavey traffic across the Channel can be in any other direction than that from Normandie to England-Ireland, beginning with the Conquest and then climaxing during the 100 Years War.

Certainly, though, the discrepancy between Irish and Norman versions of the origin of the name needs to be ironed out.


Michael R. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland)  30 September 1997

Dear Dan,

This is in reply to several points you make in the [below] message, but also to reintroduce myself and to offer some assistance.

I believe you and I spoke once by phone when I lived in Princeton. At that time I vaguely remember helping you with one or two pieces of the puzzle. But I again saw your name when I was told of Jean-Luc's home page, and I offered him my assistance with the editing of the English-language content of the page. He recommended I get in touch with you on that score. My main selling point as a proofreader is that I recently completed a PhD and thus have just come from spending a lot of time on self-critical proofreading...not to mention the fact that I am a career high school history and English teacher.

As to the points I would like to respond to:

First, I concur with your contention about Irish origins. The philological arguments used by that camp lack any connection to dates or location: there is no triangulation of any sort. Also I sense that the Norman connection via the Conquest and subsequent history possibly all the way to 1588 is the right path to investigate.

Second, as to the earliest Caveys in America, I can point to an even earlier date than you suggest with my own ancestor, Beal Cavy (spelling as on 1850 census), born 1815. There are other Caveys in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, who date from as early as the 1720s, and though I sense the connection between them and the 1850 ancestor, I have not established it conclusively.

Anyway, Dan, it's good to touch base with you again. Let me know if I can be of any further help.


Dan Cavey
(U.S.A. - Florida) 30 September 1997

To all,

I hate to be so critical, but there is very little fact to base an ancestry from Ireland. I have not seen anyone with a record of an immigrant from Ireland or a record of someone who changed their name to Cavey from an Irish name. I know the stories. My father is also believes the Irish story but has no facts. Ronald's book has some interesting linguistics, but this type of thing is easy to contrive. The other interesting thing is I have never seen a Cavey that looks remotely Irish from their Cavey side features!

We need to find out what happened in the 1700's with the Cavey name. Somewhere there is a French-English-Irish-American connection that happened in the 1700's!!!!

From what people have written the only facts we have of the earliest Caveys in America is: John Washington Cavey born in 1837 son of Levi Cavey born about 1811. Levi was born in Maryland and settled in Ohio after a brief stop in Pennsylvania. Levi and John apparently started the large Ohio branch of Caveys. Apparently, Levi's parents and siblings contributed to the Maryland branch.

This is a fun mystery. I believe we will complete the puzzle soon, but it might take one of us traveling to Ireland and Southern England!

Good Luck. (Ronald...I will be just as fun to be of French ancestry as it is to be of Irish! At least we can claim some nobility!)


Ronald D. Cavey
(U.S.A. - Maryland) 15 September 1997

I have been able to visit the web site several times since I last wrote to you. I was very impressed, and think you have done a wonderful job in its creation. I know you have had some help with this project, however, without you it wouldn't exist.

I sent e-mail to Tom Cavey, encouraging him to try to log onto the web site, and to send you information on his location so you can include him on the map. The map is a great idea, by the way. I intend to start my own, and hang it on the wall in the den

You are correct when you say I should provide more documentation, and I am in the process of doing just that. Memory is not perfect, and mine is no exception. I made an error concerning the date when the Cavey clan began in Ireland. In the book "More Irish Families" by Edward MacLysaght it states as follows:

"MacDAID, MacDavitt, Davitt, Cavey Mac Daibheid (son of David), variously anglicized as above, is a name of an Inishowen sept whose eponymous ancestor was David O'Doherty (d. 1208) a cheif of Cenel Eoghain.

The surname Cavey is the anglicized form of Mac Dhaibhidh which is a variant of Mac Daibhidh or MacDaibheid the initial D being aspirated."

I would like to find one more source confirming the 1208 date, but if it holds and since the earliest documented Cavey in France is a Nicolas Cavey registered in the year 1288, there may still be a direct Irish/French connection, with the genesis in Ireland. What do you think?

The above book reference also shows why MacCavey was the closest to the original Irish when MacDaibheid was anglicized. For instance in the same book, another family name in the Irish is spelled O'suileabhain. However, when it was anglicized, it became O'Sullivan. So, if in MacDaibheid, the D is aspirated and the "BH" has a "V" sound and the final "d" is silent you would get the anglicized form MacCavey.

If you have access to an Irish-English, Gaelic-Engish dictionary you will find that most Irish words are not pronounced the way they appear in English. I would interested to know what you would find in an Irish-French dictionary. I do not read or write in the Irish language, but I am familiar with the disparity between the Irish word and the anglicized version through reading books on Irish history and historical novels based in Ireland. These books usually have many words in the text in the Irish (usually italicized).

Usually, in the footnotes or in parentheses next to the Irish word they have the anglicized version. The anglicized version is hardly ever anything like it is spelled in the Irish,because many letter combinations have a completely different sound and some consonants are silent or aspirated.

I am going to try to get in contact with the people who did the definitive research on our branch of the family back to 1790, and send you what they found from documents.

I hope this information has been helpful, especially the correction I had to make because of my faulty memory.


Last update : Jun-20-2021 16:29:22 CEST

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