The Hickey Family

Hickey family crest

(Crest No. 171. Plate 30.)

THE Hickey family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heber. The founder of the family was Cormac Cas, son of Olliol Ollum, King of Munster, A. D. 177, and of Sabia, his consort, daughter of Con Kead Caha, or Con of the Hundred Battles, King of Ireland, A. D. 148. The ancient name was Hicidhes, which signifies “The Healer” or “Physician” and was taken from Iocaigh, a noted worthy of the sept.

The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Tipperary. After the fall of Limerick some of this family went to France and entered the French military service. One of them, Captain Hickey of Berwick’s regiment, was wounded at the battle of Fontenoy.

One of the best known of this name in Ireland in recent times was the Rev. William Hickey, a Protestant clergyman, whose efforts were devoted during his long life to the elevation and advancement of the Irish peasantry. He organized the South Wexford Agricultural Society and the Bannow Agricultural School, both of which were highly successful under his superintendence. He wrote a large number of works, mostly on agrarian and agricultural subjects, and was a contributor for years to many of the most popular periodicals of the day. He was a man of liberal views and deep philanthropy. He avoided all reference to religion or politics in his writings and labors and he was equally popular with Catholics and Protestants. Many of his writings appeared over the pseudonym of “Martin Doyle.” He died in 1875, aged eighty-seven.

Many of this name have attained honorable distinction in the United States. Among them may be mentioned the late P. V. Hickey, Chevalier of the Order of St. Sylvester, conferred on him by the Holy Father in recognition of his services to the cause of religion and Catholic literature. Mr. Hickey was the founder and proprietor of the New York “Catholic Review,” the “Catholic American,” and other publications.

The name is numerously represented in the ranks of the clergy, both in Ireland, the United States, and the British colonies. Of these the Rev. David J. Hickey of St. Francis Xavier’s Church is one of the most esteemed and successful pastors in the Diocese of Brooklyn or in the United States, and the Rev. Maurice Hickey of the same city is also a worthy representative of this name.