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Lacey Family History
Recorded in several forms including de Lacey, Lacey, Lacy, Lassy, and Leacy, this is an English surname but of Norman-French pre 10th century origin. Introduced into Britain after the Conquest of 1066, it is locational and derives from the village of "Lassy" in Calvados, France. The place name is from an ancient Gaulish personal name, "Lascius", of uncertain etymology, plus the locational suffix "-acum", denoting place of or settlement. Two members of the original "Lassy" family came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.
Lacey Family From Wexford
BESIDES the important Norman de Lacys, there was an old Gaelic sepu in Co. Wexford called O'Flaithghease, which became anglicised as Lacey and Leacy. O'Flaithghease derives from the Irish 'flaith' meaning prince. The name was later modernised to O'Laitheasa.
Most of the Wexford Laceys and Leacys are probably of this origin, though we find one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy bearing the Norman de Lacy cognomen (Michael de Lacy). A Jack Leacy was also involved in that historic drama. Laceys also figured in the Insurrection of 1798 in Co. Wexford, notably Walter Lacey of Enniscorthy, who was a captain in the United Irishmen. His brother was Fr. Francis Lacey, parish priest of Rossminogue. A family of Lacys lived in Johnstown (Clonegal) in the house now occupied by William Binnions. They had a mill and later a distillery in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Canon James Lacey, parish priest of Gorey from 1850 until his death on July 12, 1884, was born in Enniscorthy in 1800 and was ordained in Maynooth.
We find the name to the fore again in the War of Independence in Wexford and in the unfortunate Civil War that followed the signing of the Treaty. Denis Lacey, a captain in the I.R.A. and John Leacy were killed in one of the fiercest engagements of the civil war, near Kyle on March 23, 1923.2 Joe Lacey (brother of Denis) died in the Curragh Prison Hospital on Christmas Eve, as a result of a hunger strike. The Lacey brothers were from Killila, Blackwater, and John Leacy was from Wexford town.
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