This surname has its origins in the Old (Irish) Gaelic "O'hleidhe", which translates literally as "the descendant of the healer". The name is found in a wide variety of Anglicized spellings including O'Hickey, Hickey, O'Hickee, and Hicky. The name has ancient antecedents, the original nameholders being hereditary doctors to the O'Briens, the Kings of Thomond, whose reign covered the Counties of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. It is known that some Hickies, like many Irish and Scots merchants, established trading points particularly in the Baltic in the 17th and 18th Centuries, although the early records have apparently been destroyed. Early recordings include Marie Hickie, who married John Mortell at Christ Church, Cork, on December 4th 1665, and Catherine Hickie, who married Edmond Grandwater at St. Munchin's, Limerick, on June 18th 1764, in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catherine Hickie, which was dated July 15th 1658, marriage to Charles Bardon, at St. John the Evangelist, Dublin, Ireland, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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.