Rafter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Rafter 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 Rafter family

The surname Rafter 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 Rafter family

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

Rafter Spelling Variations

Names written in official documents were generally spelt as they sounded, leading to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion in records of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Rafter that are preserved in documents of the family history are Rafferty, O'Rafferty, Raferty, Raffhery, Raffthery, Raftery, Raverty, Roarty and many more.

Early Notables of the Rafter family (pre 1700)

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

Rafter Ranking

In the United States, the name Rafter is the 18,030th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Rafter migration to the United States +

Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Rafter:

Rafter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dennis Rafter, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [2]
  • Michael Rafter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [2]

Canada Rafter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rafter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Rafter, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1816
  • Patrick Rafter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1838

Contemporary Notables of the name Rafter (post 1700) +

  • Mark Rafter, American entrepreneur, speaker, author and technology consultant
  • John Cornelius "Jack" Rafter (1875-1943), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • William A. Rafter, American politician, Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention, 1867 [3]
  • L. L. Rafter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1956 [3]
  • James E. Rafter, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1920, 1921 [3]
  • Seamus Rafter (1873-1918), Irish founder of the Gaelic League in Enniscorthy, Wexford and commander in the Wexford Brigade of the Irish Republican Brotherhood; he was incarcerated in England and sentenced to death but his sentence was later commuted to five years' imprisonment, eponym of the Rafter bridge in Enniscorthy, built in 1991
  • Orlaith Rafter, Irish actor, novelist and playwright
  • Kevin Rafter, Irish journalist and academic
  • Thomas Athol Rafter (1913-1996), New Zealand teacher and nuclear chemist
  • John Rafter, British actor, voice actor, professional narrator, and playwright
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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