This is a widely known variant of the popular O'Cofey, Cowhig and Cowhey being specifically county Cork, dialectual pronunciations which derived directly from the original Gaelic O'Cobhthaigh. The name means "the descendant of the victorious one" and the clan is of the same descent as the O'Driscolls. The village of Dunocowhey in Cork is called after the CowhighCowhey branch as is Corcalaiodhe in the same County. Unfortunately during the "Troubles" of 1920 - 1922, the Irish Records Office was destroyed and many original recordings lost. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dennis Cowhig. which was dated 1852, married Catherine Quinn at Mallow, Co. Cork, Ireland. during the reign of Queen Victoria, The Great White Queen, 1837 - 1901. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.