This is a surname of Northern Irish origins, but also well recorded in Scotland. It has a similarity in sound to McCoffey or Coffee, but the roots are quite different. The Gaelic spelling was originally Mac Eachaidy, and whilst the precise translation is uncertain, it is probably "the son of the youthful one", with the word eachaidh being equivalent in meaning to a lad, or youth. As such it was probably a nickname for the first chief of the sept. Many spelling forms exist including: McCaghy, McCaughey, McGaughay, McGaughey, McGaughie, McGauhy, McGahey, McGahy, McGaffey, Megahey and Gaffey, and despite their varied spellings, all have the same origins. It is said that as MacCahee, the clan was recorded in County Tyrone in 1685, however, in early surviving registers the recordings include: James M'Gachy, of Aughnacloy, County Tyrone in 1709, Elizabeth McGahy in 1711, John McGaihy in 1719; John Caghy in 1791; Jennet McCaughey in 1816; Lettitia McGaghey in 1829; and Margaret McCaughey, of Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, on August 5th 1868. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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