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
Shropshire, where they settled very early in their history.
Early History of the Irey family
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Irey Spelling Variations
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)
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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)
Irey Family Crest Products