Recorded as Terry, Torrie, and Torry, the first being "British" and the two latter spellings being generally regarded as Irish, this is a surname of French origins. It derives from the Norman and Old French pre 7th century personal "Thierri", which is ultimately from the German "Theudoric", a compound of the elements "theudo" meaning people or race, and "ric", meaning power. Theodoric was the name borne by the Ostrogothic leader (circa 454 - 526) who invaded Italy in 488, and established his capital at Ravenna in 493.As Theodricus, Tedricus and Teodericus the personal name, there were few, if any hereditary surnames at that date, appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, whilst in 1166, Terri Vsuarius was noted in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk. The surname first appears on record at the end of the 12th century and early examples include: John Terry of Warwickshire in the year 1221; Thomas Therry of Somerset, in 1243; and Hugo Tyry of Bedfordshire in 1250. A family called Terri came to Ireland in the wake of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1169 - 1170, and have been closely associated with the city and county of Cork, whilst as Torrie or Torry the name is usually associated with County Waterford. It is said that Terry can also be a form of the Old Gaelic name "Mac Toirdealbhaigh", a personal name meaning "One who is like Thor", the latter being the Norse god of Thunder. In Scotland Johannes Terry is recorded in the register of the abbey of Arbroath, Scotland, in 1485. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Teri. This was dated 1199, in the "Register of the freemen of the city of Leicester", during the reign of King Richard 1st of England and known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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