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Sherry derives from the Irish word Searraigh,

                which is the possessive form of Searrach, a young horse or foal.

American Sherrys

of non-Irish origin


As with other Irish surnames, there are multiple origins of the

Sherry : Sharry : McSherry : McSharry name.  


Records going back nearly 1000 years document events that occurred

in widespread areas of the island.  In most cases descendants bearing

the surname live nearby today.


Based on historical records linked below and on recent DNA test results,

there appear to be 5 principal family groups.  Click a shamrock for more info.

Sherrys of Monaghan and surrounding counties

McSharrys of Sligo/Leitrim

Sherrys of Dublin/Meath

McSherrys of east Ulster

M(a)cSherrys of Cork


There are small groups of Sharrys in Clare and Westmeath.  

Foley has been suggested as an anglicized version of the surname.  A concentration of Foleys exists near the McSharrys,

 and away from the main Foley lands in the south.



Irish Sources  


Due to a series of fires in castles and courtrooms, a substantial part of Ireland’s written history has been forever lost.

The links below lead to information collected from a range of records over the centuries, including the wide variety of ways the name has been recorded.  Clicking on the underlined text will take you to the records. 

For the GoogleMaps, selecting only the boxes of interest produces a less crowded map.


Annals of Ireland (1032 - 1473) - Sherry references - (Séarraigh, Serraich, Serraigh, Shearraigh, Sherraigh, Seiridh) -- GoogleMap

--- Compiled during the 1600s, these were transcriptions of prior documents that were annual compilations of events by monks in

        several places in Ireland.

Penders Census Index (1659)


Hearth Money Rolls (1663-1665) for Counties Armagh, Antrim, Donegal, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo &Tyrone - variants of Sherry  

---- Tax lists based on fireplaces for which all, farmers to lords, were assessed 2 shillings per.  Not all counties’ records survive and

      several have only partial coverage;  some individuals were exempted while others avoided the taxman; in some cases only 50-60%

      paid.  The key counties lacking for our purposes are Down, Leitrim, Meath, Dublin and most of Tyrone.  Cavan transcriptions are

      in journals and have not been added yet.

Flax Spinning Lists (1796) - Sherry, Sharry, McSharry, McSherry - parish and county

--- Lists of people engaged in the production of linen – incomplete national coverage as some areas were not active in the trade.

Tithe Applotment (1825-1840)

--- Listings related to a tax to be paid to support Church of Ireland clerics.  Names were not recorded for Tydavnet parish in Monaghan.

Griffiths Valuation (1856-1861) - geographic distribution of the Sherry, Sharry, McSharry, McSherry families in Ireland -- GoogleMap

--- Listings of a survey prepared for a property tax.

IGI extracted Irish births (1864-1881) - Sherry, Sharry, McSharry, McSherry -- additional births -- additional marriages

--- Nationwide recording of births, marriages and deaths began in 1864, but was by no means comprehensive for decades.

Irish Census, County Monaghan (1901, 1911) - Sherry, McSherry

--- Sadly, previous censuses (1841-1891) were destroyed in war and for recycling.

Online Phone Listings (2005) - geographic distribution of Sherry, McSharry, McSherry in Ireland -- GoogleMap





Irish pronunciation    searraigh  séarraigh



Questions?  Comments?



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