This rare and unusual surname is of Irish origin, and is a dialectal variant of the name Coffey, itself an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O' Cobhthaigh, deriving from the prefix "O" meaning "descendant of", plus the byname "Cobhtach", Victorious. The surname is found in Counties Down and Louth. Church recordings include the marriages of Hester Covey to John Hedley on the 25th February 1602 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, and Elizabeth Covey to Thomas Chamberlain on the 29th November 1608 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. Margaret, daughter of William Covey, was christened on the 8th March 1795 at Carnmoney, County Antrim. One Helen Covey, aged 14 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Devonshire" bound for New York on the 10th April 1846. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is green, an ermine fess between three gold coons or Irish cups. The Crest is a man riding on a dolphin proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wylliam Covey, which was dated 19th August 1599, witnessed the christening of his daughter Annes at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, Good Queen Bess, 1558-1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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