Gara History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name Gara is "O Gadhra," which is derived from the word "gadhar," which means "dog."

Early Origins of the Gara family

The surname Gara was first found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they were Chiefs of Coolavin aad Sliabh Lugha. [1] The surname also spelled Gara, O'Gara, and Gerry is descended from Tiachleach, Lord of South Leyney who was killed in 946 A.D. The Geary family was closely associated with the O'Haras from an early time and the chiefs of the two septs alternated as rulers of Luighne. [2]

Important Dates for the Gara family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gara research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gara History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gara Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were typically recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname spelling changed with each record. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Gara family name include Geary, Gara, O'Gara, O'Geary, Gearie, Gearey and many more.

Early Notables of the Gara family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gara Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gara migration to Canada

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Gara or one of its variants:

Gara Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Peter Gara, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1898
  • Olena Gara, who arrived in Canada in 1899

Contemporary Notables of the name Gara (post 1700)

  • Les Gara, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alaska, 2008 [3]
  • Isaac B. Gara, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Erie, Pennsylvania, 1869-76 [3]

Citations

  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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