The Strongbownians added their own naming traditions to the eastern region of Ireland
to which they arrived. The impact of this new tradition was not extremely disruptive to the pre-existing Irish tradition because the two had many similarities. Both cultures made significant use of hereditary surnames
. And like the Irish, the Strongbownians often used prefixes to build patronymic
surnames, which are names based on the given name of the initial bearer's father or another older relative. Strongbow's followers often created names that were built with the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius
, both of which mean son. They also used diminutive suffixes such as "-ot," "-et," "-un," "-in," or "-el," and occasionally even two suffixes combined to form a double diminutive such as "-el-in," "-el-ot," "-in-ot," and "-et-in," to build patronymic names. The surname Fitzgera is derived from the Norman personal name
Gerald, which consists of the Germanic elements "geri" or "gari," which mean "spear," and "wald," which means "rule." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix fitz, which means son of in Anglo-French. This is derived from the Old French word "fils," which ultimately comes from the Latin word "filius." The Gaelic form of the surname Fitzgera is "Mac Gerailt."
Early Origins of the Fitzgera family
The surname Fitzgera was first found in Munster
, where they were granted lands by the Earl of Pembroke during his invasion of Ireland
in 1172. Otho Geraldino, one of the chief commanders of Williams the Conqueror landed in England
at the time of the Conquest and was created a Baron
for his efforts. As Norman constable of Pembroke, South Wales
, he went into Ireland
in the Anglo- Norman invasion
. Two generations later, Maurice was the first to use the name Fitzgerald. He was granted lands in Munster
in the south of Ireland
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Early History of the Fitzgera family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzgera research.Another 663 words (47 lines of text) covering the years 1333, 1411, 1316, 1716, 1513, 1537, 1411, 1809, 1883, 1534, 1612, 1660, 1634, 1664, 1660, 1660 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Fitzgera History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fitzgera Spelling Variations
Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Fitzgera revealed many spelling variations
including Fitzgerald, Geraldines, Desmond, Gerald, Geralds and others.
Early Notables of the Fitzgera family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Gerald Fitzgerald, ninth Earl who was impeached of high treason and died for his causes at the Tower of London 1534; George FitzGerald, 16th Earl of Kildare
(1612-1660), known as the "Fairy Earl", for no... Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fitzgera Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fitzgera family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families
often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Fitzgera: Redmond Fitzgerald landed in Virginia in 1635.
The Fitzgera Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Crom aboo
Motto Translation: Crom for ever.