Raftery / Coat of Arms, Family Crest and Raftery / Family History

Raftery / Family History

The ancient origin of the name Raftery was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.

Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.

Variants of the name Raftery include Rafferty, Roarty, Raftery, O'Rafter, Raftiss and Wrafter. Raftery can be derived from the Gaelic O'Raithbheartaigh and O'Raifeartaigh which was also often anglicized as Rafferty, and can also be an anglicized form of O'Reachtaire, who were a Connaught based sept.

A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.

In Sligo the Sept was one of the 'seven pillars of Skreen', but the descendants of these have become scattered. One of the name is mentioned in the ancient manuscript 'the Four Masters'. He was the Abbot of Durrow in 1090, far away from the homeland of the sept. Raftery is notable on account of the blind Mayo folk-poet Anthony Raftery, 1784-1835. The variants Rafter, Raftiss and Wrafter are mostly located in County Mayo and also in the adjacent parts of Connacht Province, in the West of the country, as well as in County Dublin.The Raftery 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 Raftery descendants.

Meaning of Symbols & Colors on the Raftery / Coat of Arms

Ermine Associated with the robes and crowns of Royal and Noble Personages
Gules/Red 'The Martyr's colour', signifies Military Fortitude and Magnanimity.
Or/Yellow/Gold Represents Generosity.
Sable/Black Denotes Constancy and sometimes Grief.
The Fess Denotes a Military Belt or Girdle of Honour
Eagle Symbol of Power and Strength
Fish Symbol of Christ

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