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Surname O'Gora - Meaning and Origin

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

The last name O'Gora is derived from the Gaelic Ó Górda, meaning "descendant of Gofraidh”, with Gofraidh being a personal name of uncertain origin. The name is an anglicized version of the Irish name, and historically, the O’Gora sept was of the ancient Uí Néill dynasty from the historic Connacht province of Ireland.

The family first originated in Galway, and they were a part of the Clann Ó Mórdha. The Clann Ó Mórdha was prominent in the 16th century and were known for their military prowess and connections to powerful families all across the region. The O’Goras were one such family, maintaining their power though their military and political affiliations.

The O’Goras split into two distinct branches during the 14th century. One retained their ancestral home in Galway, while the other moved to Mayo. The Mayo branch of the O’Gora’s eventually went on to become an important branch of the O’Malley family. This branch of the family is widely believed to have eventually moved across the Atlantic and eventually settled in North America.

Various spellings of O’Gora are recorded in history, including Gora, O'Gore, and Gore, with the latter two variants being more commonly seen in America. Today, the O’Goras hold a proud history in Ireland and remain present in Irish life.

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

The last name O'Gora is most commonly found in families of Irish origin, although the name has been known to exist in a few different countries. In Ireland, the name is most commonly found in County Galway and County Mayo, which were historically part of the ancient kingdom of Connacht. This area is known for its cultural and traditional ties to Gaelic, which is the language commonly associated with Irish culture.

In the United States, the surname O'Gora is fairly rare, with most of the bearers seemingly locating to New York, or elsewhere in the Northeast in the late Nineteenth century. Records from the 1880 census indicates that nearly 20 families of the name were located in New York City alone. As the Irish Diaspora has grown in the United States, the name O'Gora appears to have spread somewhat more thinly throughout the US over time.

The name appears to be much more common in some Latin American countries such as Mexico and Guatemala, and various remaining areas of the British Empire. In Mexico, the name appears to have been adopted by those fleeing the Potato Famine in Ireland during the 19th century.

In general, the most populous areas of the world with the name O'Gora tend to be those with strong historical ties to Irish culture, and those which have over the centuries opened their doors to Irish immigrants seeking a new life abroad.

Variations of the surname O'Gora

The surname O'Gora is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic surname Ó Górdha, meaning “son of Górdha”. O'Gora is most commonly found as a variant in County Galway. Variants of this surname include O'Gorra, Gorrin, Goore, Gorrity, Gora, Gorrayan, Gorrie and O'Goriaghan.

Spellings for this surname often vary significantly depending on the region in which it is found, and in some cases, on the spelling of the original Gaelic name. For example, Ó Górdha is also found as O'Gorrah, O'Gourry, O'Gurry, O'Garrity, O'Gara, O'Garraighan and O'Gowree.

Surnames of similar origin, although not necessarily the same origin, to O'Gora, include Gordan, Gordanier, Gorden, Gordiner, Gordis, Gordley, Gordy, Gordyn, Gordyn, Gorka, Gorman, Gormen, Gorman, Gormley, Gormly and Gormley.

In addition, O'Gora is also found with slight regional and surname prefix variations, such as O'Gaora and Gaora. Variations on this name are found in the United States, especially in the Midwest. Variants such as Gaure and Gaury are also found in the United States but are variations of Gaelic origins that also appear in other countries such as Scotland, Ireland and England.

In addition to earlier aforementioned surnames, O'Gora is also found in other surnames such as Goyer, Goyne, Gowan, Gowans, Gowdy, Gowler, Gowling, Goy and Goyne.

Overall, the surname O’Gora has many variant spellings and forms of similar origins, which can be found all over the world, but particularly in North America and the British Isles.

Famous people with the name O'Gora

  • Cathal O’Gara: actor and writer from Ireland
  • Eoin O’Gara: Irish rugby player
  • John O’Gara: notable New York political leader in the 1800s
  • Mary O’Gara: former model and wife of John Wayne, the actor
  • Seán O’Gara: hurler for Tipperary
  • Tom O’Gara: American professional baseball player
  • Sean O’Gara: professional soccer player in Scotland
  • Miceál O’Gara: former American basketball player
  • Marc O’Gara: Irish actor
  • Brian O’Gara: American professional golfer
  • Peter O’Gara: Vice-President of Global Media at Guinness
  • Pádraig O’Gara: Gaelic footballer
  • John O’Gara: Scottish professional footballer
  • Thomas O’Gara: Irish Australian journalist and author
  • John O’Gara: retired Australian medical practitioner
  • Patsy O’Gara: Irish dramatist
  • Tomás O’Gara: Irish medical doctor

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