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Surname O'Gary - Meaning and Origin

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

The last name O'Gary is of Irish origin. This surname is derived from the Gaelic surname "O'Gairmheach," meaning "son of Gairmheach." The root word "gairmheach" translates literally to "speaker," indicating a speaker or religious leader.

The O'Gary family originally hailed from County Wicklow in Ireland. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the O'Garys were involved in Irish politics, serving as chieftains and sheriffs in Wicklow, among other places.

In later years, O'Garys immigrated to places like England, the United States, and Australia during the 19th century, either as refugees or to follow the steady stream of work opportunities that were available in the New World.

Today, the O'Gary surname remains common in Ireland and throughout the world. Many O'Garys still work in public service, such as the US Navy, while others are successful in business, management, and a variety of other professions. The name O'Gary carries a proud and meaningful legacy.

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

The last name O'Gary is most commonly found in the United States, particularly in the States of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Washington. The name is also significant in some parts of Ireland and Scotland.

In the United States, the name is most commonly found on the East Coast, primarily the states of New York, New Jersey, and Florida. New York, Brooklyn, and Jersey City especially have historically large concentrations of the O'Gary name. The O’Gary name in Scotland is much rarer, with its highest concentrations being found in Central and South West Scotland.

In terms of origin story, the O'Gary surname is derived from a Gaelic phrase ó Gadhra, which can be translated as "descendent of the fierce one" or "descendent of Gadhra". This would have been the name of a tribal leader from the line of the ancient Celtic kingdom of Connacht in Ireland.

In Irish and Scottish families, generally the surnames of O'Gary (male) and O'Farry (female) have been used for generations as the same family last name. This is because of long-standing traditions and Ancient Irish laws that prevent Irish women from changing their family name after marriage.

Overall, the last name O'Gary is mainly found in the United States, particularly the East Coast states. It is a surname with Irish and Scottish origins, deriving from a Gaelic phrase ó Gadhra. The name is also prominent in Ireland and Scotland, albeit with fewer instances than the United States.

Variations of the surname O'Gary

The Irish surnames O'Gary and O'Garry are variants from the same origin. Both names are derived from the Gaelic surname Ó Gadhra (anglicized ‘O’Gara’). The origins of the surname are thought to date back to the Mohammedan invaders who arrived in Ireland in the 12th century.

O'Gary and O'Garry are both anglicised versions of the Irish O’Gadhra and other modern versions of the surname include O’Gara, Gara, Garry, Garri, Gorry and Gara. The Irish name is derived from the Gaelic word ‘Gadhar’, which translates to ‘brave’ or ‘brave man’.

In Scotland, the name was spelled Garrow, Garra, Garrie, Garye, Garvy, and Garwie. In England, it was Ulby and Wilby, while in Wales there were variations such as Gere, Gerrie, Gerrard, and Gery.

The O’Gary coat of arms was first recorded in 1606 and was issued to family members by the Chief Herald of Ireland. It featured a black boar’s head and a boar’s head with a red tongue as the crest.

Despite having numerous spelling variations, all listed names can be traced back to the common origin of the O’Gadhra name.

Famous people with the name O'Gary

  • Sinead O'Garra: is an Irish singer, songwriter and TV presenter who is best known for her renditions of traditional Irish music.
  • Seán O'Garra: is an Irish musician, songwriter, composer and actor who has composed music for movies, TV and radio.
  • Erin O'Garra: is an American journalist, presenter, and author who is best known for her reports on major news networks.
  • Patrick O'Garra: is a former Irish international rugby league player who captained Ireland in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup.
  • Niall O'Garra: is an Irish professional football player who currently plays for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.
  • Mark O'Garra: is an Irish Paralympic athlete, who has won silver and bronze medals in the athletics events at the 1996 and 2004 Summer Paralympics.
  • Bernie O'Garra: is an American comedian, actor, producer, and writer who co-created the hit comedy series "Two and a Half Men".
  • Siobhan O'Garra: is an Australian film producer, director, singer, composer, and songwriter who has created several major productions.
  • Bobby O'Garra: is an American football defensive back who played in the NFL for five seasons.
  • Joe O'Garra: is a professional American MMA fighter currently signed to the UFC and fighting in the Welterweight division.

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