Hickey is a common surname of Irish origin.

The Hickey name in Irish history

The surname Hickey is one of the most ancient Irish surnames (O hIcidhe or O'Caigh "descendent of the healer"), with the clan holding the position of court physicians to the powerful O'Brien royal family of Thomond.

Surnames were only introduced in Ireland around 1,000 C.E. This ancient Irish family claims to be descended from Heber, a son of Milesius, King of the Gauls who colonized Ireland many centuries before the Christian era.

In a genealogical article, The O'Hickeys by Lt Col J. Hickey M.C., it is stated that the O'Hickeys are descended from Cormac Colchin, second son of Cathan Fionn, 14th King of Munster who was said to have converted to Christianity in C.E. 420, having been baptised personally by St. Patrick. His great grandson Aodh Caomh, 17th King of Cashel and Munster is recorded to have built the first Christian church in Ireland, in Killaloe, County Clare.

Most of the following history is explained in greater depth in Lt. Col. Hickey's article.

The Hickey ancestral home

Their traditional home was in the north of County Clare, Ireland, where there is still an area called Ballyhickey ("Baile O hIcidhe" , or The Town of the O' Hickeys). They are also associated with the neighbouring townland of Drim, and other townlands around Quin, Co. Clare.

Before the invasion of the Anglo-Normans at the end of the 12th century, the home of the family was located near Killaloe in County Clare.

Documents held in the British Museum (Collectanea de Rebus Hibernies Vol 1 p641) record that "in the last year of the reign of Connor O'Brien - na Srona - (of the nose) King of Thomand an obstinate battle was fought ...against Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, the Lord Deputy of Ireland near the castle of Ballyhickey." (C.E. 1496). The Earl of Kildare first used artillery in 1485 and it is assumed he later obliterated Ballyhickey Castle as no trace of it is shown in the Down Survey map of the County of Clare from 1658.

In the General Confiscation of 1654, the entire O'Hickey lands were taken by the English Crown.

The Hickey clan as physicians

In ancient times the Hickeys were hereditary physicians to many of the prominent families, including the O'Briens, the Kings of Thomond, a territory that embraced the present counties of Clare and Limerick. The activities of such healers in Celtic Ireland (before the Norman invasion of 1169 CE) can be viewed as similar to that of a shaman or druid

As Lt Col Hickey states, from the 5th to the 10th centuries Gaelic culture was at its peak. Latin was commonly spoken so medical knowledge passed easily from abroad. In addition case records were maintained and passed from father to son which established clans of Hereditary Physicians such as the Hickeys.

By tradition, the O'Hickeys were noted for brain surgery, especially the art of trepanning with silver plates the skulls fractures and other head injuries sustained in battle.

Ireland was an especially miserable place to practice medicine. The soft moist climate encouraged all forms of bacteria while rarely being cold enough to kill them off. The constant damp cold sapped human resistance to disease and whole ruling families were often wiped out. Extreme famine was a regular occurrence despite the fertility of the land. The 8th century brought famine and pestilence, the 9th brought another famine and a plague for cattle. In 1080 plague killed 75% of Ireland's population. The O'Hickey's medical tradition survived through these.

Doctors in the Hickey family were famous for their study of medicine and translated many Latin and Greek Medical texbooks over the centuries. In 1403 Nicholas O'Hickey (with Boulger O'Callahan) wrote a commentary on the Aphorism of Hippocrates, a fragment of which is still preserved in the British Museum, London.

In 1489 Donough O'Hickey translated, into Irish, the works of contemporary European surgeons, an example being the work of Pietro d'Argeloto, the Chirurgia.

The British Museum also holds two further medical works of 1589 by Thomas O'Hickey of Clare and one by Donal O'Troy for the O'Hickeys.

The best of the work is set forth in the Book of the O'Hickeys, now in the National Library of Ireland.

The Hickey crest and motto

The generally accepted form of the Hickey family crest can be described as Lion passant guardant Or (that is, a gold lion walking, with the right forepaw raised and facing the viewer), on an Azure background, ensigned or crowned with an ermine fur of sable (that is, black) fleur de Lys with a sable bent. The less familiar motto is the Latin "Honour virtutis praemium", roughly translated as "Honour is the reward for virtue".

An Ancestral coat-of-arms for Hickey is a shield divided into eight triangles, all meeting at a point in the center of the shield. The triangles are colored alternately black and gold: upon each black triangle is a golden acorn and upon each golden triangle is a black oak leaf.

Hickeys in the arts and entertainment

Hickeys in sport

Hickeys in politics and law

Hickeys in science

Hickeys in history and current affairs

  • Colonel James Hickey (soldier), in charge of the US Special forces team which captured Saddam Hussein
  • James Cardinal Hickey Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in the USA
  • Marilyn Hickey, American televangelist
  • Mary Augusta Hickey, Kennedy family matriarch
  • Thomas Hickey (soldier), executed for mutiny during the American Revolutionary War
  • Monsignor R.M. Hickey Major born in Jacquet River, New Brunswick, Canada. Msgr. Hickey was six years Army Chaplain in WW II. He won the Military Cross on D-Day at St. Aubin, France, and was invested by the late King George VI at Buckingham Palace on July 5, 1945. He is the author of three books, "Scarlet Dawn', "My Hobbies Three" and "D-Day Memories".
  • Brian C. Hickey, a captain in the FDNY, lost his life on September 11th, 2001 due to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
  • Hickey's Bengal Gazette was the first printed newspaper to be published in the Indian sub-continent.
  • William Hickey, who died in 1727, left a bequest to build houses for the poor which still stand today in Richmond, Surrey, UK. Details are in this document from the local council.

Slang meanings of Hickey

In North American slang, Hickey has more than one meaning:
  • Love bite or other bruise apparently orginating in Wales, or so Wilfred said.
  • Hickey is also a placeholder name used in the northeastern United States, a shortened form of the placeholder name doo-hickey.
  • A hickey is also a spot or discoloration on a press sheet due to specks of dust on a plate.
  • To "look like a right Mary Hickey" was traditional Dublin, Ireland slang for somebody, male or female, who was dressed inappropriately. This term has fallen into disuse.
Love-bite or hickey is a temporary mark or bruise on one's skin (medically, a minor hematoma) resulting from kissing or sucking or biting forcefully enough to burst blood vessels beneath the skin. It could also be called a "love-mark", a "passion mark" or a "slag tag".
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A family name, surname, last name, patronymic, or metronymic, is the part of a person's name indicating the family to which the person belongs. The use of family names is currently widespread in cultures around the world.
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Northwest of continental Europe with Great Britain to the east.

Geography <nowiki/>
Location Western Europe <nowiki />
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O'Brien is a common surname of Irish origin.

The name is Gaelic, and its original language version is Ua Briain or Ó Briain (pronounced: Ew-Breen/Oh-Breen), meaning 'descendant of Brian'. It carries the sense ‘eminence’, i.e.
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Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan, meaning North Munster) The region of Ireland associated with the name Thomond is County Limerick, north County Tipperary and east County Clare, effectively most of north Munster.
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In Irish mythology Míl Espáine (Latin Miles Hispaniae, "Soldier of Hispania"; later pseudo-Latinised as Milesius; also Miled) is the ancestor of the final inhabitants of Ireland, the "sons of Míl" or Milesians, who represent the Goidelic Celts.
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Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius[2], Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. Patrick was born in Roman Britain.
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Cashel (Irish: Caiseal Mumhan, meaning Stone Fortress of Munster
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Munster (Irish: An Mhumhain, IPA: [ənˈvuːnʲ], Cúige Mumhan or Mumha) is the southernmost of the four provinces of Ireland.
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Killaloe may refer to:
  • the town of Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland
  • the Diocese of Killaloe which takes its name from the Clare town
  • Killaloe, Ontario, Canada
  • Killaloe March, Regimental music of the Royal Irish Regiment

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County Clare (Contae an Chláir in Irish) is in the Irish province of Munster. It is located on the west coast of Ireland, northwest of the River Shannon and bordering Lough Derg. Area: 3,147 km² (1,215 square miles). Its capital is the town of Ennis.
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The Mysterious Mr. Quin

Dust-jacket illustration of the first UK edition
Author Agatha Christie
Cover artist Not known
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Detective fiction short stories
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Killaloe may refer to:
  • the town of Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland
  • the Diocese of Killaloe which takes its name from the Clare town
  • Killaloe, Ontario, Canada
  • Killaloe March, Regimental music of the Royal Irish Regiment

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The Lord Deputy was the King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Kingdom of Ireland.
  • Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare (1477 -1494) (1496 -1513)
  • Leonard Grey, 1st Viscount Grane (1536 - 1540)

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The Down Survey, also known as the Civil Survey, is the title of the mapping of Ireland carried out by William Petty, English scientist in 1655 and 1656.

The survey was apparently called the "Down Survey" by Petty because the results were set down in maps;
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Celts, normally pronounced /kɛlts/ (see article on pronunciation), is widely used to refer to the members of any of the peoples in Europe using the Celtic languages or descended from those who did.
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Normans were a people from medieval northern France, deriving to a large extent their aristocratic origins from Scandinavia (the name is adapted from the name "Northmen" or "Norsemen").
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11st century - 12nd century - 13rd century
1130s  1140s  1150s  - 1160s -  1170s  1180s  1190s
1166 1167 1168 - 1169 - 1170 1171 1172

State leaders - Sovereign states
Birth and death categories
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Shamanism refers to a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world. There are many variations in shamanism throughout the world, though there are some beliefs that are shared by all forms of shamanism:

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druid denotes the priestly class in ancient Celtic societies, which existed through much of Western Europe and in Britain and Ireland until they were supplanted by Roman government and, later, Christianity.
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Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group which originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man. Their language is of the Gaelic family, a division of Insular Celtic languages.
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Trepanation (also known as trepanning, trephination, trephining or burr hole) is a form of surgery in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the skull, thus exposing the dura mater in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases,
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Hippocrates of Cos II or Hippokrates of Kos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) - Greek: Ἱπποκράτης
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The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms. For further information see Heraldry. For Japanese usage, see mon (badge).

Coat of arms elements
A crest
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lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolizes bravery, valor, strength, and royalty, since it is traditionally regarded as the king of beasts.


The following table summarizes the positions of a heraldic beast.
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sable is the tincture black, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures, called "colours". In engravings and line drawings, it is sometimes depicted as a region of crossed horizontal and vertical lines or else marked with sa. as an abbreviation.
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The fleur-de-lis (or fleur-de-lys; plural: fleurs-de-lis) is a stylised design of an iris flower which is used both decoratively and symbolically. It may be purely ornamental or it may be "at one and the same time political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic and
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Coat of arms elements
A motto (from Italian) is a phrase or a short list of words meant formally to describe the general motivation or intention of an entity, social group, or organization.
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coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short), in European tradition, is a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people) and used by them in a wide variety of ways.
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Cheryl Hickey (born in Owen Sound, Ontario) is host of ET Canada, an entertainment news magazine for Global Television Network which launched on September 12, 2005.
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