Cahill Family History
The ancient origin of the name Cahill
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. In Irish the name Cahill is O'Cathail, a personal name which is derived from the old Irish 'catu-ualos', meaning 'powerful in battle'. MacCahill is a variant from the Gaelic MacCathail Sept of County Donegal.
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 most important Sept of O'Cahill was located in County Galway, the head of which was Chief of Kinelea. Other quite distinct Septs were located at Lough Leane in Kerry and between Thurles and Templemore in County Tipperary. Indications of the Septs can be found in Townlands called Ballycahill in Counties Tipperary, Galway and Clare. The majority of Cahills today are to be found in Counties Tipperary, Cork and Kerry. The Cahill
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 Cahill