This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic name O'Dochartaigh, the Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant (of)", plus the personal name Dochartaigh, from "dochartach" meaning "hurtful" or "obstructive". The leading sept of the O'Dohertys (the usual anglicization of the name) belonged to Co. Donegal where they became Lords of Irishowen in the 14th Century. The earliest recording of the name in Ireland is 1208, the year which David O'Doherty, a chief of Cinel Conaill was killed. There is an earlier recording of the name in the Isle of Man (see below). Today, the name Doherty with its variant forms Docherty, Docharty, Dougherty, Doggart, O'Doherty etc., numbers fifteenth in the list of the most widespread names in Ireland. The spelling Daugherty first appears in Donaghcloney, co. Down on October 9th 1847 when one James Daugherty married a Jane Scott in that parish. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donnall O' Dochartaigh. which was dated 1119, in the "Manx Names" by A.W.Moore. during the reign of High King of Ireland "with opposition" 1022 - 1166. 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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