When the Anglo- 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 Irey, 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 Irey 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 Irey family
The surname Irey was first found in Shropshire
, where they settled very early in their history.
Early History of the Irey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irey research.Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Irey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Irey Spelling Variations
Scribes and church officials generally spelled a name as it sounded; as a result a person's name could be spelt innumerable ways in his lifetime. Different spelling variations
of the Anglo-Norman surname Irey were found in the many archives researched. These included Irish, Irishe, Ireys, Irysh, Iris and others.
Early Notables of the Irey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Irey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Irey family to the New World and Oceana
A great number of Irish families
left their homeland in the late 18th and 19th centuries, migrating to such far away lands as Australia
and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off and but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship, or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Irey:
Irey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Irey (post 1700)
- Elmer Lincoln Irey (1888-1948), United States Treasury Department official and director of the Internal Revenue Service's lead investigative unit during the prosecution of Chicago mobster Al Capone' his "T-men" unit would continue to prosecute over 15,000 people for tax evasion and had a 90% conviction rate