The Irish surname Hickey is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó hÍceadh meaning ‘descendant of Ícidhe,” a byname meaning “doctor, or healer.” Bearers of the name were in successive generations a medical family who were physicians to the clans of the Dál gCais, as well as other premier families of Munster and Leinster. Their home territory was Ballyhickey ("Baile O hIcidhe" , or O Hickey's settlement), its neighbouring townland of Drim, and other townlands around Quin, Co. Clare. Prior to the 13th century they resided near Killaloe. By tradition, the Hickeys were noted for brain surgery, especially the art of trepanning with silver plates the skulls fractures and other head injuries sustained in battle. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1768 when James Hickey arrived in Boston. Today there are approximately 29,000 bearers of the name Hickey living in the United States.
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