This interesting surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Dubhuidhe", composed of the elements "O" meaning male descendant of and "Dubhuidhe" a personal name deriving from "dubh" dark or black plus "buidhe" sallow and would have originated as a nickname for one with dark hair or sallow skin. The O'Devey sept was one of the "Seven Septs of Leix", the chief man being transplanted to Co. Kerry in 1607. This transplantation had little success since the name is not located in Co. Kerry now, nor was it in 1659. It has always been associated with Leix and ajoining midland counties. As regards the Gaelic form of the name, the sept was placed from time immemorial in the barony of Maryborough and when surnames came into existence it took the form of "O Duibh" which, in due course became the well known Leix names of Devey, Devoy, Deevy and Deevey. On September 30th 1667, Thomas Devey married Mary Hills, at St. James Dukes Place, London, and the marriage of Elizabeth Devey to John Jeffreyes took place on August 14th 1688, at the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O'Duibh, Lord of Creamhthainn (Maryborough), which was dated 1071, Annals of the Four Masters, during the reign of Kings with opposition, 1022 - 1166. 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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