Raftery History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of Raftery 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 Raftery family

The surname Raftery 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 Raftery family

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

Raftery Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Raftery include Rafferty, O'Rafferty, Raferty, Raffhery, Raffthery, Raftery, Raverty, Roarty and many more.

Early Notables of the Raftery family (pre 1700)

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

Raftery Ranking

In the United States, the name Raftery is the 16,764th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


United States Raftery migration to the United States +

In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Raftery:

Raftery Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jane Raftery, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Galway, Ireland, in 1892
  • Bridget Raftery, aged 26, who settled in America from Ballyhannon, in 1898
Raftery Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Hariet Raftery, who landed in America from Castlesea, in 1900
  • Bdgt. Raftery, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Ballymahon, in 1904
  • Ellen Raftery, aged 18, who landed in America from BallyhAunis, in 1905
  • John Raftery, aged 30, who landed in America from Manchester, in 1906
  • Kathleen Agnes Raftery, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States from Claremons, Ireland, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Raftery migration to Australia +

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

Raftery Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Raftery, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Storm Cloud"

New Zealand Raftery 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:

Raftery Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Raftery, (b. 1854), aged 23, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Oamaru" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 13th January 1878, for Bluff [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Raftery (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Francis Raftery (1881-1954), American Major League Baseball right fielder
  • Adrian E. Raftery (b. 1955), Irish and American statistician
  • Bill Raftery (b. 1943), American basketball analyst and play-by-play announcer and former college basketball coach
  • Patricia ‘Pat’ Raftery, Irish captain of the All Ireland Camogie Championship winning team in 1950
  • Tom Raftery (b. 1933), former Irish Fine Gael politician and university professor
  • Barry Raftery (1944-2010), Irish archaeologist and Celtic scholar
  • Mary Raftery, Irish filmmaker and writer
  • Patrick Thomas Raftery (b. 1925), English former footballer


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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