Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo- Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Iredge, were formed from the names of a place or a geographical landmark where the person lived, held land, or was born. The earliest Anglo-Norman surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names that referred to where they actually resided. Therefore, English places were used for names when the Normans lived in England, and then Irish places when the Anglo- Normans had been settled in Ireland for some time. Originally, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French. However, this type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or it was eliminated entirely. The Iredge family originally lived in the counties of Armagh or Antrim. As one might expect, the surname simply refers to a person from Ireland.
Early Origins of the Iredge family
Shropshire, where they settled very early in their history.
Early History of the Iredge family
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Iredge Spelling Variations
Ireland were often inconsistently spelt: 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 Iredge revealed many spelling variations including Irish, Irishe, Ireys, Irysh, Iris and others.
Early Notables of the Iredge family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Iredge family to the New World and Oceana
In the late 18th and the 19th century, Irish immigrants left their homeland for new lands. Leaving from such ports as Belfast, Dublin, and Cork, some went as far as Australia and many more traveled across the Atlantic to British North America or the United States. The early settlers left not out of necessity but rather to fulfill their dream of owning a tract of land to work solely for themselves. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in the late 1840s, immigration away from the island skyrocketed. Hunger and disease were rapidly taking the lives of many Irish people, and to escape these conditions hundreds of thousands left Ireland en masse. The established population in North America generally did not give these destitute Irish a very warm welcome, but this mass of people were highly prized, if not highly paid, by the people behind the major industrial and construction projects of the times. These Irish provided the cheap labor required by the factories, the mines, and the many construction projects of the time. The Irish immigrants that arrived in the United States and Canada provided these now rich and powerful nations with inestimable contributions, both physical and cultural. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Iredge: John Irish, who sailed to New England between 1620 and 1650.
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