Recorded in at least seventeen spellings including (Mac)Garrity, (Mac)Geraghty, Gerty, and Gearty, this interesting surname is of Irish origin. It is a patronymic, with "mac" denoting the son of, and was originally found in the form "Mag Oireachtach". This translates as "the son of a member of the Assembly (of Ireland)". The surname arose in an unusual way; at first it was O'Roduibh, but then taking the name of one namebearer Oireachtach O'Roduibh, in the 12th Century (see below), subsequent members of the clan began using this personal name as their surname. The head of the clan was one of the four Royal Chiefs under O'Conor and prominent in Connacht records, the chief also being the Baron of Athlone from circa 1585. Early examples of the surname recording include a number of emigrants who fled the country during the infamous Potato Famine of 1846 - 1851. These include Thomas Garrity, on the ship "Nonantum of Liverpool" on April 18th 1846, and Cornelius Geraghty on the ship "Dromahair", on May 25th 1847 from Sligo to New York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Oireatach O'Roduibh, which was dated circa 1390, in the "Book of Connacht", during the reign of Art MacMurrough, "King of Leinster", 1376 - 1417. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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