Doherty Family History
The ancient origin of the name Doherty
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The names Doherty and Dougherty are derived from the Gaelic O'Dochartaigh sept that was located on the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal. The sept name is taken from the Gaelic word 'dochartach', meaning 'hurtful'.
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.
They settled in the lands around Inishowen in the fourteenth century, but as a result of an ill-timed rebellion by Sir Cahir O'Doherty in the year 1608, their gains were greatly reduced. From David O'Doherty, a Chief of Cinel Conaill who was killed in the year 1208, descend the MacDevitts who are also numerous in Inishowen. The name Dorrity is an occasional variant spelling of Doherty in Oriel. The O'Dubhartaigh sept of County Tipperary usually anglicized their name as Doorty but also occasionally changed their native name to Doherty, especially in County Cork.The Doherty
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 Doherty