This name ARCHER was taken to Ireland by early settlers in the 13th century and it was an important Anglo-Norman family, one of the Tribes of Galway. County Galway acquired a seperate identity from the rest of Connacht when that province was divided and shired in 1585. The country is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the waters of Galway Bay and a land boundary with County Clare. To the north lie the counties of Mayo and Roscommon, the latter also flanks County Galway to the east. The walled city of Galway, which contained about one-tenth of the population of the county before the famine of the 1840's, was of prime importance in the county with a flourishing commercial port and the handsome dwellings of the merchants. County Galway has long remained an Irish speaking region and the language has survived as a first language in the remoter parts and in the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway Bay. Old customs too, such as the wake and keening at funerals, died out slowly in this area. In the past the fine lobsters from Connemara, abundant on the coast, were a food eaten by the poor. It was an occupational name 'the archer' a professional bowman. The small villages of Europe, or Royal and Noble households, even large religious dwellings and monastries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Early records of the name mention John le Archer, County York, during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). William Gilbert, rector of Ridlesworth, County Norfolk, was presented by Alexandrina le Archer in 1375. Edward Archere of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Thomas le Archer of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Pagan le Archier, 1379, ibid. Robert Garnett married Alyce Archer, St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1567. A notable member of the name was Thomas Archer (1668-1743) the English Baroque architect, born in Tanworth. He studied abroad, and designed the churches of St. John's, Westminster (1714) and St. Paul's, Deptford (1712). He also designed Roehampton House in Surrey and part of Chatsworth in Derbyshire. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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