• Healy surname history

    Healy surname history

    There is an English surname Healy, derived from the Old English heah, "high", and leah, "clearing", "wood", but almost all of those bearing the name in Ireland are descendants of one of two Irish families, the O hEilidhe, from eilidhe, "claimant", and the O hEaladaighthe, from ealadhach, "ingenious". The O hEilidhe had territory in south-east Co. Sligo, on the shores of Lough Arrow, one of the most beautiful parts of the country, where their seat was at Ballyhely. The O hEaladaighthe, whose name was originally given the more phonetically accurate equivalent "Healihy", were based in the parish of Donoghmore in Muskerry in Co. Cork, where they retained considerable power and wealth up to the seventeenth century. The surname is very common and widespread today, though significant concentrations are to be found around the original homelands in Connacht and Cork. The best-known modern bearer of the name was John Healy, of the Connacht family, renowned for his passionate defence of the rural way of life.