This distinguished Irish surname is either an abbreviated form of "MacConready", itself an Anglicization of the Old Gaelic "MacConriada", son of Conriada, a personal byname composed of the elements "con", hound, and "riada", trained, expert, or an Anglicized form of "MacRiada", son of the expert one. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", male descendant of, or "Mac", denoting "son of". The above septs belonged to the province of Ulster, and were erenagh families in the barony of Raphoe, Co. Donegal, which implies that they held church property, and maintained the priest from generation to generation. M(a)cCready, with its variants McCreedy, McReedy, McGready and MacAredy, is now widespread in the three northern counties of Donegal, Derry and Antrim, and is also plentiful in Counties Down and Armagh. In 1864, the birth of John Brown McCready was recorded in Aghadowery, Co. Derry, and on July 14th 1866, one Rose Anne McCready was born at Grey Abbey, Co. Down. The family of Monsignor Charles MacCready, rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, New York, a century ago, was originally from Co. Derry. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Father Donogh MacReidy (also called MacCreedy), which was dated 1608, in "Records of the Deans and Martyrs of Coleraine", Co. Derry, Ireland, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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