Recorded as Delahunt and Delahunty, this interesting and unusual surname is Irish. It derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' Dulchaointigh, meaning the male descendant of the satirist! The vast majority of Irish clan names do originate from a nickname for the first chief of the clan, and this seems to be another example. However we were surprised to find that satirists existed seven centuries or more ago. A more likely explanation is that the original chief was a preacher of some sort, but not a churchman. In former times the surname was also recorded as O' Dolleghenty and O' Dolochanty, and in these spellings appears in what was Kings county until recently, but is now known as Offaly. This is in the register known as the Survey and Distribution of Ireland, in 1670. The name is particularly well recorded in the Hearth Money tax rolls of North Tipperary in the late 17th Century and three officers called Dolleghenty were listed in a regiment of James 11's Irish army in 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O' Duleghyntie, and dated 1445, in the "Ormond Deeds of Counties Kilkenny and Tipperary", during the reign of King Henry V1th of England and known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1485. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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