Recorded in the spellings of Cogley, Kegley, Quigley, Quigly, Quigg, Quig, and Twigley, this is an Irish surname of medieval origins. It derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic "coigeal" which translates as untidy or messy, plus the prefix O or Mac. These describe either "the descendant of or the son of, the unkempt one"! The origin of almost all Irish surnames originates from the (nick)name of the first chieftain. In this case it has to be assumed that this man was particularly untidy, at a time when that description would have fitted many people. The form with O or Mac was used up to about the year 1800, but subsequently the prefix was dropped. The Quig(ley) sept were originally located in County Mayo - but spread to counties Sligo, Donegal and Derry towards the end of the 16th century. In the census of Ireland in the year 1659, O'Quig is listed as being one of the principal surnames of the barony of Coleraine, County Derry. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic charters of the period include James MacQuigge, a poet resident in Ulster about the year 1795, and Manus Quig, an early emigrant from the infamous Potato Famine of 1846-1848. He is recorded as landing at New York on April 16th 1846. Another interesting name bearer was Dr James Edward Quigley, (1840 - 1915). He was the bishop of Buffalo, New York,and an active supporter of the trade union movement. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Teag O'Quigley, of the Inishowen Peninsula, Ulster, during the reign of the Commonwealth of England 1649 - 1659.
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