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Surname O'Rafferty - Meaning and Origin

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

The Irish surname O'Rafferty is derived from the Gaelic surname Ó Raithbheartaigh. It is an Anglicized form of the name, meaning “descendant of Raithbheartach.” Raithbheartach is an old Irish personal name, composed of the elements “rai” or “rei”, meaning “ruler”, and “bheartach”, meaning “one who dispenses good counsel”. Thus, the name is understood to mean “descendant of a wise leader”. This surname originated as a patronymic - a surname based on the father’s given name, used by people in Ireland to define their lineage and prove it to the Irish and the English governments.

From the earliest times, the O’Raffertys were a strong and noble sept from the parish of Glenties, County Donegal. These same O’Raffertys migrated to Germany and Austria in the 18th Century, where they adopted the German spelling of the surname. The Irish families of the O’Rafferty have also settled in Canada, Australia, and America.

The O’Rafferty surname is most commonly found in County Donegal, where the residents have the strongest ties to their Irish ancestry. O’Raffertys have a long and proud family history, with many prominent members of the family distinguished as lords, Judges, and leaders. Today, the O’Rafferty surname is proudly carried by individuals all around the world - a testament to the legacy of their wise ancestor and the respect for the O’Rafferty name.

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

The last name O'Rafferty is most common in Ireland today. Ireland has a strong heritage of people who used the Gaelic O'Rafferty surname. This name was also used by many individuals in Wales and Scotland, but generally throughout the British Isles as a whole.

The O'Rafferty surname derives from the Irish Gaelic name Ó Raithbheartaigh, which was derived from the Old Irish ráth (fort) and beartach (eminent). The name is believed to have originated in the Connacht and Munster regions of Ireland.

In modern times, the O'Rafferty surname is common throughout Ireland, as well as in counties Mayo, Meath, Galway, Cork, Kerry, and Limerick. It is also found in parts of England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

The O'Rafferty name is often linked to art, music, and literature, as there are a number of famous Irish writers, poets, painters, and musicians with the O'Rafferty surname.

Today, the number of people all over the world who bear the O'Rafferty name is estimated to be nearly half a million, spread across the globe in places as far as the United States, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. As such, the name continues to thrive and remain an integral part of Irish culture today.

Variations of the surname O'Rafferty

The surname O’Rafferty is an Irish surname, with its roots in County Donegal in the province of Ulster. The surname evolved from the original Gaelic O’Raithbheartaigh and is derived from the Old Gaelic words ‘rath’, meaning a ringfort, and ‘beartach’, or prosperous.

The O’Rafferty surname can appear in several spellings. An old spelling of the name is O’Raifteirí and the variant spelling of O’Raftery is also common. This spelling is also frequently seen in its Latinized version, O’Raffarty. Other spellings are O’Rafferty, O’Raftry, O’Raughtray, O’Rafferte, O’Rafverty, and Rafferty.

Surnames pertaining to the same origin include the following: O’Raffarty, O’Rapheard, Rafferdy, Raftry, Raffute, Raughlay, Raughtery, Raverty, Reford and Raferty. Traditionally, the O’Rafferty surname refers to an ancient clan in County Donegal, Ireland, known as Clan Mulrony, as well as the Ui Cuirnin, a branch of the Cenél nEogain.

The surname is common to Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In America, the spelling O’Rafferty is often simplified to Rafferty, as is the case with many Irish surname anglicizations. Today, the spelling O’Rafferty is most commonly seen in Ireland and its descendants.

Famous people with the name O'Rafferty

  • Peter O'Rafferty: Irish actor best known for his role in the film, Calvary, starring Brendan Gleeson.
  • Frank O'Rafferty: American professional golfer who competed on a number of professional tours including the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.
  • Martin O'Rafferty: Irish politician who served as Member of Parliament for Leitrim-Roscommon from 1987 to 1997.
  • Fergal O'Rafferty: Irish racing driver who competed in the World Rally Championship.
  • Olivia O'Rafferty: Irish singer-songwriter based in Dublin.
  • Brian O'Rafferty: Irish singer-songwriter best known for his work with the pop band, The Scaffold.
  • Robert O'Rafferty: American film and television actor, best known for his work in the television series, The Great Escape.
  • John O'Rafferty: American ice hockey player who played for a number of teams in the National Hockey League.
  • Sinead O'Rafferty: Irish painter and printmaker best known for her abstract work.
  • Sean O'Rafferty: Irish folk singer and songwriter who has released a number of successful albums.

Other surnames

O BoeyO BoweÓ CanainnO CarrollO ConaillÓ ConchobhairÓ CuinÓ CuinnÓ DaimhínÓ DálaighO DalyÓ DómhnaillÓ DonnchadhaÓ DubhdaraÓ DuibhínÓ DuibhirO DuireO DuvireÓ FeoreO FlanaganÓ FuereÓ FureyÓ FuryO GaraO GuineyO GuinidheO GuinyeO HanlonÓ HANNÁINO Hart

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