This interesting name has two possible origin. The first being a derivation of the Olde German personal name Geri meaning a "spear". The surname from this source is first recorded towards the end of the 12th Century (see below). A second distinct possibility is that the name derives from the Medieval English "ge(a)ry" meaning "fickle" or "passionate" and originally given as a nickname to a capricious person. Three variant spellings of the name appear in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, dated 1273 Jery, Gery and Geri. The name Geary is fairly widespread in the Munster counties of Cork and Kerry. Here, it is an anglicized form of the Gaelic O Gadhra (a name meaning "hound" or "mastiff"). An interesting namebearer was Sir Francis Geary (1710 - 1796), Admiral of the blue (1775), of the white (1778), created baronet (1782). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Geri, which was dated 1195, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, knopwn as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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