Recorded in many spellings including O' Towie, O' Tuohy, O' Towey, Tuohy, Twohig, Twohy, Twoohy, Toohy, Tuhy, Tooey, Toohey, Towey, Towhey, Touey, Touhig, and possibly others, this is an Irish surname. In its many and varied spellings it is the modern form of the ancient pre 10th century Gaelic surname O' Tuathaigh meaning 'The male descendant of the chief'. This chief who ever he was, ruled over a "tuath," meaning a tribal territory. The clan are from the gathering known as Ui Maine, and were formerly of South Galway, but are now mainly associated with County Clare, and were renowned for their musicians and particularly their pipers. Patrick Twohey was a famous piper in late Victorian times, and he was the son, grandson, and they say great grandson, of equally proficient pipers. Early examples of surviving church register recordings include those of John Touey, who was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on July 22nd 1610, whilst Mary Tooye was christened at Derry Cathedral, Templemore, Londonderry, on May 13th 1676. Jane Towey, was christened on March 7th 1724, at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, and Patrick Towhey married Catherine Long on August 1844, at St. Leonard's Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Teag O' Tuathaigh in the Annals of the Four Masters, in about the year 1447. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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