Athey / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Athey
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The Irish names Athey and Athy are derived from the Gaelic Atoi sept that was located in the West of the country in Connaught Province. They were one of the famous 'Tribes of Galway'. These families were originally of Norman descent having arrived into Ireland after the twelfth century invasion led by Strongbow. Like so many of their counterparts they became completely integrated into Gaelic society having later settled in County Kildare in Leinster Province at the start of the fourteenth century. They formed a sept along traditional Gaelic lines.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The town of Athy still exists in County Kildare and commemorates this ancient family name.The Athey
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Athey