Last name: Ryrie

This unusual surname is of early medieval Scottish origin, and is an abbreviated form of the Old Gaelic "MacRuairidh", son of Ruairidh, an ancient male given name written in Gaelic as "Ruairidh, Rua(i)dri, Roithridh", and "Rotheri", and deriving ultimately from the Celtic "Roudo-rix", "red king". Ruadri, mormaer of Mar, appears as a witness in the Book of Mar, circa 1131, and as "Rotheri" he is mentioned in the foundation charter of Scone. Three kings of Ireland bore this illustrious name, the most famous being Rory O'Connor, last native High King of Ireland, who reigned from 1166 to 1175. The surname first appears on record towards the close of the 13th Century (see below). In 1298, Niaian, son of Thomas Make Rori, a Galwegian hostage, died in Carlisle prison, and Alexander Makrore was a tenant of Kilkewane, Kintyre, in 1506. Macrury or Macrory (from the Old Gaelic "MacRuaraidh") is said to be the oldest clan name in Uist, Inverness-shire. The name with the omission of "Mac" is recorded as Ririe, Rierie, Ryrie, Reary and Rearie, in Scottish Church Registers from the mid 17th Century. On March 12th 1651, the birth of John Rierie was recorded at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, and on January 13th 1779, David, son of Alexander Rearie and Isobel Steel, was christened at Echt, Aberdeenshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lochlan Macrogri, which was dated 1297, in "Medieval Records of Garmoran", the West Highlands, during the reign of the Interregnum in Scotland, 1296 - 1306. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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