This most interesting and unusual surname is a rare variant of "MacGorry", itself not found widespread. This is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacGothraidh", and was the name of a branch of the O'Reillys in County Cavan. The surname is composed of the Gaelic prefix "Mac", son of, and the personal name "Gothraidh", from the Old Norse "Gothfrith, Godefrid", meaning God-peace, said to have been introduced into Ireland by Norsemen. Variants from this source include Gohery, Geoghery, Gohary, Godfrey, MacGoffrey, Goffrey and Godfrey. The first recorded namebearer appears during the reign of Elizabeth 1, which is relatively late due to the fact that some Irish records have been destroyed, and are not as comprehensive as English ones. In the Tipperary County Hearth Money Rolls (1664 - 1666) Gohery, Godfry and Godfrey are all listed. John McJury married Mary Hamilton on April 22nd 1816, at Killinchy, County Down, while their son, William, was christened on January 30th 1817, at the same location. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of MacGoffrie (no known personal name), "Chief of his name", which was dated 1591, in the "Fiants of County Fermanagh", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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