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CAHILL Family History

Ó Cathail- meaning probably 'strong in battle' from 'cath' or 'battle'. One of the oldest Irish surnames according to Woulfe, ('Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' 1923)

Mac Cathail- either the same meaning as above, according to Woulfe; or, according to MacLysaght ('Surnames of Ireland' 1980s ed) from personal name 'Cathal' meaning 'valour'.

Mac Cathmhaoil - meaning possibly 'battle chief''.

Ó Cathail- several unrelated septs of the name, of which the most powerful were a sept of Cinel Aodha (Hugh's People) in Co Galway, and a sept of the Eoghanachta of Loch Léin in Co Kerry, and thus descendants of the legendary king Aillil Olumm. There was also another notable sept who gave their name to Ballycahill ( the settlement of the O'Cahills) in Co Tipperary; and yet another near Corofin in Co Clare.

By the time of Griffith's 'Valuation' of Irish households (1848-60) the highest number of Cahill households were found in counties Tipperary (311) Kilkenny (236) Cork (203) and Clare (88).

Mac Cathail is rarer, being found in counties Donegal, Tyrone and Cavan.

The Registrar General's Report on births in 1890 recorded most Cahill births in counties Cork, Kerry, Dublin, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Two famous bearers were:
Joseph Cahill (1891-1959) Premier of New South Wales in Australia.
Joe Cahill (1920-2004) Commander of the Belfast Brigade, and one time Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA during the recent 'troubles'

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Im trying to find information on the Cahill family in Boherbue early to late 1800s.


my greatgrandfather patrick cahill was born in co. donegal in 1838 and died in dunbar, pa. usa on june 16,1890 along with his brother william in the hill farm mine disaster. he married margaret lafferty who was born in 1847 in glasgow, scotland and died jan. 12,1904 leisenring, pa. usa.

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Areas of Origin for CAHILL

Leinster , Ireland

Munster , Ireland

Connaught , Ireland

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