McGrady Family History
The ancient origin of the name McGrady was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. McGrady is often a County Down variant of the name MacBrady but is also derived from the Gaelic O'Gradiagh Sept which gives us the names Grady and O'Grady. Meaning 'Illustrious', they were a Dalcassian Sept, whose territory was in County Clare and their fortress on Inis Cealtra on Lough Derg. The O'Briens dispersed them to Limerick where the present Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Vigours de Courcy O'Grady, lives at Killballyowen. During the frenetic period of the rule of Henry the Eight, an O'Grady changed his faith and his name to Brady in order to keep his lands. Since then his family has reverted to their original name. John O'Grady was Archbishop of Tuam from 1364 to 1372.The McGrady family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McGrady descendants.