Origin, Meaning, Family History and Kerry Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Kerry:
This most interesting and unique surname is of ancient Welsh origin and may be either a geographical name from Kerry in South East Montgomeryshire, so called from the Gaelic or Celtic “coire, Kerry,” which means a container, Glen, or coming from the Old Welsh particular name “Cynwrig.” This given name is considered to be a combination of the Welsh components “cyn,” chief, and “(g)wr,” which means a man, hero, with the addition of quality “ig.” It may be similar to Olde English pre 7th Century “Cyneric,” a combination of the components “cyne,” which means royal, and “ric,” which means power. The following shows as “Kenricus” and “Chenricus” in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Suffolk, and in 1093, Cynwrig Hir Edeirnion freed one Gruffudd ap Cynan from Chester prison. First examples of the surname are John Kendrich in Cambridgeshire in the year 1279, John Kerrych in Suffolk in the year 1297 and Nicholas Kenewrec in Somerset in the year 1327. In November 1559, John Kerrye and Joan Morse married in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, and in January 1563, Tiche Kerry, a new-born baby, named at St. Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, London. In Ireland, Kerry is an Anglicized form of the North Leinster sept name, “O’Ciardha,” offsprings of the Dark One.”
More common variations are: Kerrey, Kearry, Kerray, Kherry, Kerroy, Kerrye, Kuerry, Kerr, Kery, Krry.
The surname Kerry first appeared in Montgomeryshire, located in mid-Eastern Wales, one of thirteen old districts, and anciently the old kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn, where they held a family seat from old times.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of William Kerie, dated about 1558, a witness at a christening at Burford, Shropshire. It was during the time of Queen Mary I, who was known to be the “Bloody Mary,” dated 1553-1558. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Kerry had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Kerry landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 20th. Some of the people with the name Kerry who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Falentyn Kerry, who arrived in New York in 1709. Edward Kerry settled in New England in 1766.
The following century saw more Kerry surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Kerry who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included F A Kerry, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kerry: England 3,958; Nigeria 3,515; United States 2593; Kenya 1,412; Australia 1,088; Pakistan 880; Canada 437; Germany 403; South Africa 402; New Zealand 308.
Kerri-Anne Kennerley is an Australian television announcer.
Kerri Hoskins was an old glamor model.
Kerri Kasem is an American radio and television presenter.
Kerri Kendall is an American model and actress.
Kerri Kenney-Silver is an American comedian, artist, musician, and author.
Kerri Sakamoto is a Canadian novel writer.
Kerry Gammill is an American comic book artist.
Kerry G. Johnson is a graphic designer and cartoon artist.
Kerry Joyce was an award-winning Los Angeles lived interior designer and product developer.
Kerry McCluggage is an administrator and president of Craftsman Films.
Kerry Packer was an Australian media magnate
Kerry Properties is a property developer in Hong Kong.
Rosemary Forbes Kerry was one of eleven children of James Grant Forbes of the Protestant Forbes family of China and Boston
Kerri Buchberger is a Canadian volleyball player.
Kerry Collins was an American footballer.
Kerri Gallagher (born 1989), is an American middle-distance racer.
Kerry Kittles is an American basketball player.
Kerry Ligtenberg is an American baseball player.
Kerry Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Kerry blazon are the crescent, eagle and bar. The three main tinctures (colors) are sa, argent and gules .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.