This uncommon name is of Gaelic Irish origin, and is a variant from of the more familiar surname Hanratty, the Anglicized form of the ancient Gaelic "O'hAnrachtaigh", derived from "anrachtach", unlawful. The sept was, and in fact still is, found chiefly in the old territory of Oriel, comprising Counties Armagh and Monaghan and parts of south Down, Louth and Fermanagh. It was descended from Ionrachtach, a scion of the Maguires, and the chiefs of the O'Hanraghtys (the earlier and now obsolete form of anratty), of whom several are mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters between 1019 and 1161, held a large territory in the northern part of the modern County Louth.After the invasion of Ireland by the Normans under Strongbow in 1170, the O'Hanraghtys were forced to move westwards into County Monaghan, and in the 12th Century they settled near what is now the town of Castleblaney. The modern forms of the surname are Hanratty, Hanretty, Henratty and Henretty, and examples from Church Registers in Ireland and Scotland, where it is found chiefly in Lanarkshire and Midlothian, include: the marriage of Daniel Henretty and Sarah Bryan on March 11th 1825, at Downpartrick in County Down, and the birth of Catherine, daughter of John Henretty, in Edinburgh, on April 18th 1859. The family Coat of Arms depicts a gold griffin passant, wings elevated, on a blue shield, and the Crest is a dolphin naiant on a helmet in profile, visor closed, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aodh O'Hanratty, "King of Ui Meith", which was dated 1107, in the "Annals of Loch Ce", during the reign of High Kings "with opposition", 1086 - 1142. 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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