Kerry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh Kerry family name comes from the name of the parish of Kerrey, which is in the county of Montgomery. The surname Kerry belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Kerry family

The surname Kerry was first found in Montgomeryshire (Welsh: Sir Drefaldwyn), located in mid-Eastern Wales, one of thirteen historic counties, and anciently the medieval kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Kerry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerry research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1559, 1555 and 1556 are included under the topic Early Kerry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kerry Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Therefore, scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Kerry has occasionally been spelled Kerry, Kerrie and others.

Early Notables of the Kerry family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kerry migration to the United States +

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Kerry

Kerry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Falentyn Kerry, who arrived in New York in 1709 [1]
  • Edward Kerry, who settled in New England in 1766

Canada Kerry migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kerry Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Kerry, aged 38 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Argo" departing 4th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [2]
Kerry Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • F A Kerry, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Kerry migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kerry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Kerry (post 1700) +

  • John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943), United States senator from Massachusetts, 68th United States Secretary of State (2013-)
  • Peggy Kerry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2004 [4]
  • Margaret Kerry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1988 [4]
  • John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943), American Democrat politician, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, 1983-85; U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 1985-; Candidate for President of the United States, 2004 [4]
  • Elizabeth Kerry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 2004 [4]
  • Diana Kerry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 2004 [4]
  • Cameron Kerry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 2004 [4]
  • Mrs. Joan Kerry B.E.M., British church warden at St George’s Church, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the community in Clun, Shropshire [5]
  • Danny Kerry, British field hockey coach at the 2012 Summer Olympics
  • Marcus Anthony Kerry (b. 1959), Australian two-time gold and bronze medalist backstroke and freestyle swimmer in the 1980s


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 82)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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