From the Mag Oireachtaigh sept of County Roscommon and County Galway, whose lineage began with an Oireachtach of the O'Roduibh sept in the 12th century, descend the Mac Geraghty and Geraghty families, whose surname has appeared in records with numerous variant spellings. A number of Geraghty families still reside in the original home counties of their ancestral sept although the name is also now rather widely scattered. The tradition of surnames in Ireland developed spontaneously, as the population increased, and the former practice, first of single names and then of ephemeral patronymics or agnomina of the nickname type proved insufficiently definitive. At first the surname was formed by prefixing 'Mac' to the father's christian name or 'O' to that of a grandfather. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GARITY, GARRITY, GEARTY, GERARTY, GERATY, GERITY and GERTY, some of which have survived. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
(An Irish Sept of the same race as the O'Conors; descended from Cahir or Charles, King of Connaught. Registered at the Ulster office). Most present day bearers of the name descend from a single 11th century ancestor, a member of the Connor family of Connaught, who has settled in Roscommon.
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