O'Dotherthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Dotherthy is O Dochartaigh, from the word "dochartach," which means hurtful or obstructive and in this case, it would be termed as a nickname.

Early Origins of the O'Dotherthy family

The surname O'Dotherthy was first found in at Inishowen, in the barony of Raphoe, in County Donegal, where they were a large and influential sept, and were kin to the O'Donnells.

They were one of the principal Irish clans to resist the Norman invasion of 1170 and were known as the Lords of Innishowen directly descended from the distinguished Irish General King Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings.

The MacDevitts, who exist in large numbers in Inishowen, are descended from David O'Doherty, a chief of Cinel Conaill who was killed in 1208. Some members of the MacDevitt branch migrated to the territory of Oriel, now counties Louth, Monaghan, and south Down. There the "D" was aspirated creating the early Anglicization MacCaveat, and then the variation MacKevitt.

Expanding their territory, they came to rule the peninsula of Inishowen in the 14th century. However, the poorly-timed and disastrous rebellion against the English crown led by Sir Cahir O'Dougherty in 1608, drastically reduced the power of the once powerful sept.

Important Dates for the O'Dotherthy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Dotherthy research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1783, 1587, 1608 and 1608 are included under the topic Early O'Dotherthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Dotherthy Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname O'Dotherthy can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Dockeray, Dockerty, Dockharty, Dogherty, Dougharty, Dougherty, Doherty, Doherety, Dohertey, Docherty, Docharty, MacDevitt and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Dotherthy family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Cahir O'Dougherty (1587-1608), leader of the rebellion in 1608, the last Gaelic Lord of Inishowen. Angered by the confiscation of his lands for the Plantation of Ulster, he sacked and burned the town of Derry and killed the Governor, Sir George Paulet. He had quarreled with Paulet for some time and some claim...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Dotherthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'Dotherthy family

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Dotherthy name: Bridget Dogherty who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Alexander, Charles, Cornelius, Daniel, Edward, Francis, George, James, John, Patrick, Thomas, Doherty, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.

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