While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Leerey is O Laoghaire, which was originally derived from Laoghaire, one of the most well-known personal names in ancient Ireland.
Early Origins of the O'Leerey family
The surname O'Leerey was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the O'Leerey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Leerey research.Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early O'Leerey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Leerey Spelling Variations
Many variations of the name O'Leerey were found in archives from the Middle Ages. The spelling and language in which the people's names were recorded was often up to the individual scribe. Variations of the name O'Leerey found include Leary, O'Leary, O'Leery and others.
Early Notables of the O'Leerey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Leerey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Leerey family to the New World and Oceana
The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families
immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of O'Leerey or one of its variants: Daniel, Denis, George, Jeremiah, John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas and William Leary, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; other Learys arrived in the ports of Boston, New York, San Francisco, Quebec..
The O'Leerey Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Laidir isé lear Righ
Motto Translation: Strong is the King of the sea.