Amongst all the rare and unusual surnames of the world Erangey, also recorded as Eringey, Erangy, Earingey, Earngy and Earengey, will have a pride of place near the top. The 'modern' form is clearly Irish, all early recordings being found in that country, and almost entirely in Limerick, with just the odd one in Waterford. None of the recognised works on Irish or Gaelic surnames mention 'Erangey' in any spelling form, which is either because it is very rare (which it is), or because it is of 'foreign' origins, and they simply don't know. What is certain is that the composition of the spelling appear to bear no resemblance to any other Gaelic surname, or indeed to any other name in any European language! Furthermore all surnames at their point of origin had a meaning or translation, 'Erangey' seems to have neither. The fact that all early recordings are in one particular Irish city, may be the pointer. Limerick, Waterford, and Belfast, were prominent points of entry for Huguenot refugees fleeing France in the 17th and 18th centuries. It seems curious that (mainly) Catholic Ireland should prove a haven for Protestants, but that is the way with Ireland. It is our opinion that the surname is of French origins and an Anglo-Irish dialectal of the medieval French job descriptive surname 'Haranger', a word which describes a producer or merchant of smoked fish, specifically herrings. Unfortunately the relative church registers which may have proved this origin were apparently burnt in the destruction of the Public Records Office in Dublin in 1922. Surviving recording examples include Thomas Erangey who married Margaret Horan at the church of St Johns, Limerick, on January 11th 1803, and Julia Arangy who married William Adamson at the same church on May 6th 1821. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Erangey, which was dated November 11th 1797, married at St Johns Church, Limerick City, during the reign of King George 111, of Great Britain & Ireland, 1760 - 1820. 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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