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Surname O'Garry - Meaning and Origin

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O'Garry: What does the surname O'Garry mean?

The surname ‘O'Garry’ is derived from the ancient Irish language and is a derivative of the Gaelic ‘O'Garbháigh’. The ‘O’ prefix of the surname indicates that the family is borne from a patriarch with the first name ‘Garbhach’ or ‘Garbhán’.

The given name 'Garbhach' is composed of two ancient Gaelic terms, ‘garbh’, which translates to ‘rough’, and ‘ach’, which translates in to ‘little’ or ‘diminutive’. Together, these terms begin to unravel the meaning of the surname, ‘O'Garry’ which in English translates to ‘son of the rough little one’.

The exact origin of the name is uncertain, though it is thought to have been most commonly used in County Clare and County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland, and County Tyrone and County Donegal in Northern Ireland. It is also thought that some branches of the O'Garry family may have originated in Scotland.

Today, O'Garry is an uncommon surname of Irish and Scottish origin and features amongst the hundreds of Gaelic surnames that were scribed in the works of ancient Irish manuscripts. This means that the name is deeply embedded in Irish and Scottish heritage, and stands as an insightful testament to Irish and Scottish culture and identity.

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O'Garry: Where does the name O'Garry come from?

The surname O’Garry is believed to have derived from the Irish surname O’Garraigh (O’Garra, O’Geraghty). It is common today in many parts of Ireland, particularly in counties Kerry, Cork, Clare, Waterford, Sligo, Mayo, and Donegal. It is also found among Irish families in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In the United States, the surname O’Garry is most commonly found among Irish-American families who have descended from Irish immigrants who began arriving during the early part of the 19th century. Today, many of these families have settlements in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, as well as in states such as California, Texas, and Florida. In Canada, the surname O'Garry is primarily prevalent in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

The meaning behind the surname O’Garry is unclear, although it is speculated to be related to a word that translates to “lover of battles” or “chieftain”. In addition, several Irish clans have incorporated the name as their own, including the Galway O’Garry and Ulster O’Garry clans. The O’Garry surname can also be seen on many gravestones and monuments throughout the country, silent reminders of the family’s long history in Ireland.

Variations of the surname O'Garry

The surname O'Garry is generally accepted as being of Irish origin and is most often found as either O'Garry, Garry or Garry. It is sometimes spelled as O'Garr.

The traditional Gaelic form of the name is Ó Garrai which suggests that the root of the name is probably Garrai which occured as a personal name in early Irish history. A possible meaning for the name is 'lover of spears', or 'brave with spears'.

Variants of the name include Garry, O'Garry, Garvey, and Geary. The Garry form is likely to have derived from an anglicised version of the name, while the other variants are re-Gaelicisations of the surname.

In modern times, the surname has produced many unusual spellings, including O'Garra, O'Garraigh, O'Gara, Gara, Garri, Garrity, Garrety, Garra, O'Geraghty and O'Gyara. These are likely to be distinct forms of the original surname, arising as a result of the family being located in areas where English or a near variant was spoken.

The most common current surname variants or spellings are Garry, Garvey and Geary. Garry is the most common among these variants, found particularly in County Cork, County Kilkenny, County Mayo and County Wexford. Garvey is mainly found in County Mayo while Geary is most often associated with County Galway.

Famous people with the name O'Garry

  • Garry O'Gara: a professional Gaelic footballer
  • Paul O'Garra: an Irish actor and director
  • Dean O'Gara: an Australian rules footballer
  • Jenny O'Garra: an Australian country music singer
  • Denis O'Gara: an Irish former amateur boxer
  • Fintan O'Gara: an Irish Gaelic football player
  • Alison O'Garra: an Australian actress
  • Mark O'Gara: a former professional association footballer
  • Seamus O'Gara: an Irish Gaelic football player 10.Troy O'Garra: an Australian radio and television presenter and actor

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