The Irish name Gerrihay was originally written in a Gaelic form as Mag Oireachtaigh, which is derived from the word "oireachtach," referring to a member of an assembly. Translating the name into English produces no less than seventeen different synonyms. But the origin of the name is most intriguing. In the 12th century, the name was simply O Roduibh but a Oireachtach O Roduibh at that time caused the name to be shortened to Oireachtach, their present form.
Early Origins of the Gerrihay family
The surname Gerrihay was first found in counties Roscommon
(Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht
, located on the west coast of the Island, where they were one of the Hi Maine Septs in Kelly's country. They were direct descendants of the O'Connors, Kings of Connacht, and the Chief of the Clann was one of the four royal chiefs under the O'Connor. The tree on the Coat of Arms illustrates their descendancy from the O'Connors.
Early History of the Gerrihay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gerrihay research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1585, 1744 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Gerrihay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gerrihay Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations
of the surname Gerrihay were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Gerrity, Gerty, Gerighty, Gerighaty, Gerety, Gerahty, Garraty, Geraty, Jerety, McGerity, MacGeraghty, MacGartie, MacGarty and many more.
Early Notables of the Gerrihay family (pre 1700)
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gerrihay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gerrihay family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Gerrihay family relocated to North American shores quite early: Robert Gerity who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858; Patrick Gerrity, also Peter and Phillip, all arrived in the 1860's; Sally McGarty arrived in New York State in 1847.