AuthorRev Patrick Woulfe
SourceIrish Names and Surnames

Mac GEARAILT—VM'Garilt, M'Gerald, FitzGerald, Fitzgerald; 'son of Gerald'; the Irish form of the Norman surname FitzGerald. The Fitzgeralds rank with the Burkes and Butlers as one of the most illustrious of the Anglo-Norman families in Ireland. They derive their name and descent from Gerald, Constable of Pembroke, whose wife was Nest, daughter of Rhys Ap Tewdwyr, King of South Wales. Gerald flourished in the early part of the 12th century. His son, Maurice Fitzgerald, was one of the companions of Strongbow, and from him are descended all the families of the name in Ireland. He received large grants of land which continued in the possession of his descendants down to recent times. Members of the family frequently filled the highest offices under the English Crown. The head of the Leinster branch of the family for centuries bore the title of Earl of Kildare, later Duke of Leinster, while the head of the Fitzgeralds of Munster was Earl of Desmond.

« Mac Gealáin | Contents Page | Mac Géaráin »

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames