Docherty surname history

Doherty and its many variants - (O')Dogherty, Docherty, Dougharty etc. - comes from the Irish O Dochartaigh, from dochartach, meaning "unlucky" or "hurtful". The original Dochartach from whom the clan descend, lived in the tenth century and has traditionally been claimed as twelfth in lineal descent from Conall Gulban, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the fifth-century monarch supposedly responsible for kidnapping St. Patrick to Ireland, and progenitor of the great tribal grouping of the Ui Neill. Conall gave his name to the territory he conquered, Tir Chonaill, the Irish for Donegal, and to the subgroup of the Ui Neill, the Cineal Chonaill, the race of Conall, the collective name for the many families which claim descent from him, such as the Gallaghers and the O'Donnells as well as the Dohertys. The original homeland of the O'Dohertys was in the barony of Raphoe in Co. Donegal, with the chief seat at Ardmire in the parish of Kilteevoge.

In the twelfth century, the family became kings of Tirconnell, and virtually without interruption ruled Inishowen for almost five hundred years, until the defeat and execution of Sir Cahir O'Doherty at the start of the seventeenth century. Sean O?Doherty, Cahir?s brother, managed to survive and some of his family made their way to Catholic Spain in the eighteenth century. His descendant Dr. Ramon Salvador O? Doherty lives in Cadiz. In 1989 he was recognized as Chief of the Name by the Chief Herald of Ireland.

In 1890 the surname was 13th most common in Ireland, with 457 births of the name, almost two thirds of them in Ulster, mostly in Donegal and Derry. In 1996 it was ranked 14th.

Charles Joseph Doherty (1855-1931) was Minister of Justice in the Canadian government and represented his country at the League of Nations.

Kevin O?Doherty (1823-1905) was transported to Tasmania for his writings at the time of the Young Ireland uprising. After serving his sentence and completing his medical studies in Dublin he returned to Brisbane as a doctor and became a member of the Queensland Legislature. On an extended visit to Ireland in the 1880s he also became M.P. for north Meath.


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