This Munster surname of CROTTY derives from the Thomond sept called O'Crotaigh which migrated to eastern Munster. The families of the name are today mainly found principally in County Cork and County Waterford, while some of the name are established in County Kilkenny. The names introduced into Ireland by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Ireland. The two most prominent persons of the name were noteworthy in very different walks of life, for Bartholomew Crotty (died 1846) appointed rector of the Jesuit College at Lisbon in 1790, was afterwards Bishop of Cloyne and Ross, while William Crotty, who was hanged in 1742, was a famous highwayman.
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