Origin of the Name Rafferty
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Rafferty
include Roarty, Raftery, O'Rafter, Raftiss and Wrafter. Originally belonging to the adjacent counties of Donegal and Sligo, the O'Raffertys are now found in many parts of Ireland , though not in large numbers. 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. There were three O'Ravertys on the Hearth Money Rolls of 1663, O'Raverty being derived from a number of Gaelic names. Raftery, sometimes confused with Rafferty, is quite a different name. It is O'Reachtaire in Gaelic and belongs exclusively to Connacht. It 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 Rafferty coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Rafferty descendants.