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FitzGerald dynasty: Wikis


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Saltire demo.svg
Place of origin Wales
Connected families De Barry family, Butler family, MacCarthy family

The surname FitzGerald is a translation of the Norman fils de Gérald, or son of Gerald (Gerald meaning "rule of the spear"). Variant spellings include Fitz-Gerald and the modern Fitzgerald. The name can also be used as two separate words Fitz Gerald


Peers of Ireland

Arms of the Dukes of Leinster, c. 1790

Among the most celebrated families of Ireland and Great Britain, the FitzGeralds are a Hiberno-Norman or Cambro-Norman dynasty, and have been Peers of Ireland since at least the 13th century. The main branches of the family are the FitzGeralds of Kildare (Earls of Kildare, later Marquesses of Kildare and now Dukes of Leinster and Premier Peers of Ireland) and the FitzGeralds of Desmond (Barons Desmond, later Earls of Desmond); see the articles on those titles for lists of people who have held them. The dynasty is also sometimes referred to as the Geraldines, and the name Geraldine can be a derivation of this adjective. Elizabeth FitzGerald (1527-89) was known as the "Fair Geraldine" from her surname. The most famous members of the dynasty include:


One possibility is that the FitzGeralds descend from the ancient Gherardini family of Florence, Italy, due to the similarity of the surnames and legends first recorded centuries after their arrival in Ireland. Alternatively, the earliest recorded patrilineal ancestor of the FitzGeralds, Otho or Other, was a Saxon baron,[1] whose son Walter fitz Otho is recorded in the Domesday Book holding lands in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, and Middlesex.[2] The family appear to have been quickly assimilated by the invading Normans.

Moreover, the FitzGerald dynasty has origins in Wales, in the marriages of Walter fitz Otho to Gwladys ferch Ryall, and his son Gerald de Windsor to the Princess Nest ferch Rhys of Deheubarth Thus three out of four of the grandparents of Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan were Welsh people of the highest social rank, and so it is here that the actual dynasty begins and why it is most accurately described as having Welsh origins. Related to these earliest FitzGeralds were the De Barry family and Gerald of Wales, a grandson of Gerald de Windsor. A cousin, Raymond Fitzgerald, became the ancestor of the Grace family.


  1. ^ Otho at
  2. ^ Walter fitz Otho at

Notable FitzGeralds

Those with the surname (except for those holding peerages, for which see above) include:

See also



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