I laid down the challenge to guess what the next name I examined would be and no-one guessed – so here it is.
The 2nd most recurring name on www.ireland-genealogy.com is DOHERTY or ÓDochartaigh in Irish.
A very small number of the alternative spellings O’Doherty, Dougherty and Docherty can also be found on the site. Other alternatives are O’Dogherty & Daugherty – however I have not come across either of these variations.
It turns out that when I add all of the alternatives to the more common spelling there are hundreds and hundreds of Doherty applicants.
This actually makes Doherty the most recurring name on the site and relegates Kelly to number 2. I wonder how often this will happen as I analyse the most popular names and discover their alternatives.
In Ireland “Docherty” would not be a common name and is regarded as the more Scottish form of the name, so when I discovered that there were some Docherty’s on the site I decided to take a closer look.
There are only 11 applicants that have given this particular variation as their surname but in each and every case the application has been made from Scotland. When the search has been made of the 1841 or 1851 census and the results recorded, it shows that not one of the families actually spelled their name “Docherty” at the time of the census. It once again proves the need to know and check all variations of a name.
As with the Kelly’s, I decided to see where the Doherty’s were living in the middle of the 19th century. The vast majority were in Donegal and, unsurprisingly as they are right next door, Londonderry and Tyrone accounted for another few hundred. In fact almost five hundred of the applicants were living in Ulster.
One of the most famous holders of the name is Sir Cahir O’Doherty who was the last Gaelic Lord of Inishowen, Co Donegal.
Although allied with the English and himself knighted under the recommendation of Sir Henry Dowcra, the Governor of Derry, he subsequently had a falling out with Sir George Paulet, Dowcra’s successor. Paulet who was contemptuous of Sir Cahir punched him in the face and the resulting retaliation caused the death of Paulet, the burning of Derry & Strabane and a revolt that threatened to spread as factions of other families came out in rebellion.
It also ultimately led to his own death as he invaded mid-Ulster. A counter attack by the Kings Marshal resulted in the city of Derry being recovered and Sir Cahir being killed.
Although the rebellion spluttered on, it was eventually quashed by the combined efforts of the King’s Marshal and Sir Arthur Chichester, amongst others, with great loss of life. Sir Arthur Chichester afterwards received a grant of O’Doherty’s lordship of Inishowen and later that year following O’Doherty’s rebellion, the Summer Assizes of 1608 had judged that almost all of the counties of Tyrconnell (Donegal), Coleraine (Co. Londonderry), Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan were in the king’s hands….