Éide Armais
Here are (in no particular order) some extracts pertaining to the origin of the "Hosey" surname taken from some of what I perceive to be the better reference works dealing with the subject of Irish surnames. The coat of arms illustrated above was found in Captain Patrick Kelly's "Irish Family Names, With Origins, Meanings,Clans, Arms Crests and Mottoes." The book gave no explaination as to its origin -- my own guess is that it belonged to Bonaventure Ó hEodhasa [born Giolla Brighde Ó hEodhasa] who was a cleric and master of the Irish tongue. For more information on Irish heraldry, take a look at the website for the Oifig Phríomh Aralt na hÉireann (Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland). Please consider reading as well the few notes I have collected on John Davidson Hosey, who is believed to be the progenitor of our American line.


Ó hEodhasa
Ó hEodhusa

O Hoasy, O Hosey, O Hossy, Hosey, from the Gaelic eo(d)hach, meaning musical. This was a literary family which had its orign in the Cinel Eoghain in Ulster. Their leaders were once lords of Cinel Tigearnaigh but later became bards to the Maguires of Fermanagh. In the south this name retained approximately its original Gaelic form but in the north it became confused with the Norman Hussey and was sometimes even written Oswell.

from Captain Patrick Kelly's "Irish Family Names, With Origins, Meanings, Clans, Arms Crests and Mottoes." reprint of 1939 1st edition. Detroit: Gale Research, 1976.





Ó hEodhasa, Ó h Eodhusa -- I -- O Hoasy, O Hosey, O Hossy, Hosey, Hussey, (Oswell, Oswald);
'des. of Eodhas"; also written Ó hEoghasa, q.v.; the name of a family of Cinel Eoghain, in Ulster, who were chiefs of Cinel Tighearnaigh, but afterwards migrated to Fermanagh, where they becames bards to the Maguires. The family produced several distinguished literary men, among them Eochaidh Ó hEodhasa and Bonaventure Ó hEodhasa [Giolla Brighde Ó Heoghasa]who flourished at the beginning of the 17th century. The name is now very rare in Ulster, having, according to O'Donovan, been changed to Oswell, which apparently has been more recently further changed to Oswald. Before the end of the 16th century, it had spread to Leinster and Munster, but its angl. forms in these provinces cannot now be distinguished from the Anglo-Irish surname, Hussey.

from Rev. Patrick Woulfe's "Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall : Irish Names and Surnames." Dublin: M.H. Gill & Son, 1923.





The chiefs and clans of Tir Eogain [i.e. Tyrone], and the territories possessed by each in the twelfth century, are collected from O Dugan as follows: .... 16. O'Maelfothartaigh, and O'h-Eodhasa, or O'Hassey, chiefs of Kinel Tighearnaigh. ....

extracted from the topographical appendix in the Rev. Geoffrey Keatings's "Foras Feasa Ar Eirinn" or "The History of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the English Invasion."





O'Hosey, Hussey.
It is very usual for Gaelic names to be given common English surnames of somewhat similar sound as their anglicized equivalent; Hussey is one of the few examples of a Norman name being so adopted. It is not very common in Ireland to-day: the Husseys are a branch of the Norman family of Houssaye in France, first called de Hosé and de Hosey here and later Hussey. The first of these to settle in Ireland came with Strongbow and acquired through Hugh de Lacy extensive lands near Dublin, including Galtrim in Co. Meath whence comes the Palatine title of Baron of Galtrim: Sir Hugh Hussey, Kt., was sumoned to the Irish Parliament of 1294, as such and his heirs for many generations were so styled, but it was not recognized as a peerage by the English crown. In 1878 large estates were owned by Husseys in Co. Meath and Co. Kerry, but the only line of this family which has survived in any considerable numbers is that which migrated to Dingle about 1550. The Husseys of Connacht are presumably of the sept Ó hEodhusa, hereditary bards to the MacGuires of Fermanagh. The last of these was Eochaidh O'Hussey (c.1574-c.1630). Another distinguished Gaelic writer was Bonaventura O'Hussey [Giolla Brighde Ó Heoghasa], O.F.M. (d. 1614), born at Clogher and died at Louvain where he was an original member of the Franciscan College. The name Ó hEodhusa presents an example of the absurdity of the anglicized equivalents sometimes adopted during the period of Gaelic submergence: even the Norman name Hussey was not English enough for some families who became Oswell, and their descendants are still in Ulster under that guise.


from Edward MacLysaght's "Irish Families : Their Names, Arms and Origins." (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co., 1957).
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