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Joseph, Marie, Grace and Thomas Haffey circa  1896
Haffey or Haughey is considered a varient of the gaelic O hEachaidh meaning Grandson of Eachaidh (rich in cattle).  Other variations include Hoy, Haughey and Haghey.  All of the different spellings are found iinthe Ulster area especially in the Donegal and Oriel country around counties Armagh and Monaghan.  MacLysaght in The Surnames of Ireland states that the variant Haffey is exlusive to the Armagh area.

The sept of O hEachaidh was of such importance in early times that its chiefs were Kings of Ulster until the end of the twelfth century when their kinsmen the MacDonlevys superceded them in that dignity.

Another possible origin for a person who cannot connect with the Armagh Haffey's could be a corruption of the Scottish Gaelic name Mahaffey (Mac Dhuibshithe) meaning a black haired man of peace (soith).  This name has been anglecized to MacAfee, MacHaffy and MacFie as well as Mahaffey and is present in County Donegal.  Although many of the Irish dropped the O from their names in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it is less common to drop Ma or Mac, however, it is possible that a family coming to the US or Canada might have done so.

Unlike most Irish and scottish names there are no family arms for the Haffey Family. but there was one family, that of Henry Haffey formerly of Armagh, that was awarded arms in the nineteenth century. Those arms were described as,  a lion rampant gu on a chief az two crosses patee or - Crest: a demi lion rampant az armes and langed in dexter paw a cross pattee or and Henry's  motto was " Avise la Fin (Consider the end).

Known Family: 

John James Haffey 1819 Armagh, Ireland - 1884 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Alice Theresa 1844-1911
  • James 1846-1909
  • Joseph 1848 Adjala, Ontario, Canada - 1917 Bay City, MI
    • Joseph
    • Marie (Ree)
    • Grace
    • Thomas
    • Isabel Louise 1897 Bay City, MI - 1989 Sun City, AZ  m. Francis Martin Madden 1921 Bay City, MI
  • Ellen 1850 -   m. Michael O'Reilly
  • Thomas Keenan 1853-1925
  • John Joseph 1854-1937
  • Elizabeth 1856 - ? m. Thomas Langley
  • Peter Joseph 1859-1920
  • Francis Xavier 1862-?
Haffey Gedcom File  (Includes unrelated Haffey families)
Haffey Family Genealogy John James Haffey and descendants - 4 generations

Armagh, Ireland
Adjala, Ontario, Canada
Bay City, Michigan

Link to Haffey Documents, News items and Pictures

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