Rafferty History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Rafferty was O Raithbheartaigh, which was modified to O Raifeartaigh. The surname is derived from the words rath bheartach meaning prosperity wielder.

Early Origins of the Rafferty family

The surname Rafferty was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel.

Early History of the Rafferty family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rafferty research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the year 1090 is included under the topic Early Rafferty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rafferty Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Rafferty revealed spelling variations, including Rafferty, O'Rafferty, Raferty, Raffhery, Raffthery, Raftery, Raverty, Roarty and many more.

Early Notables of the Rafferty family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Rafferty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rafferty migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government and landowners. Many of these Irish families sailed to North America aboard overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to North America occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Rafferty:

Rafferty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Rafferty, who landed in Connecticut in 1811 [1]
  • William Rafferty, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Patrick Rafferty, aged 21, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • James Rafferty, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Simeon Rafferty, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rafferty migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rafferty Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Rafferty, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Biddy Rafferty, aged 29, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • John Rafferty, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Ms. Mary Rafferty, aged 26 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 [2]
  • Miss. Mary Rafferty, aged 19 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sarah" departing 29th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 19th July 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Rafferty migration to Australia +

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

Rafferty Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Edward Rafferty, a shoemaker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Catherine Rafferty, aged 18, a housemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [4]
  • Catherine Rafferty, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Peter Rafferty, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"
  • Peter Rafferty, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rafferty migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Rafferty Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Rafferty, British settler arriving as the 1st detachment of Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps travelling from Tilbury, Essex aboard the ship "Ramillies" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th August 1847 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Rafferty née Broomwell, British settler travelling from Tilbury, Essex aboard the ship "Ramillies" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th August 1847 [5]
  • James Rafferty, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Rafferty (post 1700) +

  • John Rafferty Jr. (b. 1953), Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Thomas Michael Rafferty (b. 1954), retired American NFL football offensive lineman
  • William "Bill" Rafferty (b. 1944), American comedian
  • Frances Rafferty (1922-2004), American actress
  • Max Rafferty, American Dean of Troy State University in Alabama
  • John C. Rafferty Jr., American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 44th District, 2003-04 [6]
  • John C. Rafferty, American Democrat politician, Member of New Jersey State Senate from Hunterdon County, 1856-58; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1860 [6]
  • James J. Rafferty, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Philippine Islands, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1940 [6]
  • Emily Rafferty, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Arizona, 2012 [6]
  • Dale Rafferty, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1956 [6]
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania


Suggested Readings for the name Rafferty +

  • 3470 Raffety's (Rafferty's) in America by Charles E. Rafferty.

  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. 52)
  3. ^ 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. 93)
  4. ^ South Australian Register Monday 27th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Edward Parry 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/siredwardparry1854.shtml
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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