The surname of REDMONDS was derived from the gaelic REAMONN. This surname, a form of Raymond which developed in Ireland is of Norman origin, having come to Ireland at the end of the 12th Century as Raymond, with the Anglo-Norman invasion. About half of the Redmond families are found in County Wexford and County Wicklow, and the large majority of the rest are found in the capital. County Wexford was where their ancestors settled, in particular the barony of Forth. 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. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people.
A notable member of the name was John Edward Redmond (1856-1918) the Irish politician, born in Dublin, the son of a Wexford MP. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1886, and entered parliament in 1881. A champion of Home Rule, he became chairman of the Nationalist party in 1900. 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 associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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