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A Small But Proud Tribe We

In the United States at least, folks with the surname of Cady may be somewhat few in number. No, our name is not among the 100 top surnames of any U.S. state. In fact, if I read the results correctly, we constituted only 0.004% of the sample population in the 1990 U.S. census. On the bright side, we ranked a solid 3,287th out of 88,799 in the most popular surnames category, and we did surpass the name Pendergrass.

Origin of the Cady Name

"Arthur, in his Etymological Dictionary of Family Names, says that Cady is derived from Ca-dia, a Gaelic word signifying the House of God. He also says that Cadie in Scottish is an errand boy, a messenger. From the foregoing it would seem that the name had its origin among the Gael of the north and nourished there later by the Scotch, from whom it found its way over the border into England, where it has long flourished; thence it came early to America, where it has taken deep root and furnished a host of worthy representatives, from the hardy yeoman to men in business centers and honored names in all the nobler professions of our land.

"This patronymic, like many other names, has undergone many changes in spelling. In the ancient Hundred Rolls it is Cade, then Caddie, Caddy, Cadye, Kadye, Cadey, and last, Cady, which form now holds in this country."

Note: The name origin text above is reprinted from the 1910 Cady Genealogy by Orrin Peer Allen (not to be confused with Jim Cady's 1991 Genealogy). Reprints of the Allen volume are published by Higginson Books.