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From McCorry to Curry: The Evolution of a Surname

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 21, 2005


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by Paul Richmond

"My Curry ancestors had their roots in a townland called Gloonan, just outside historic Gracehill village, near Ballymena in County Antrim. My interest in family history was nurtured by my grandfather, Edmond Curry, who died in June 1998 not long after he had given me some details about his parents and grandparents.

However, the information I had on the family was still scant, and it took a number of years of research before I could build up a more detailed picture of the family and their story. The process was hampered by the family’s constant migration throughout County Antrim during the nineteenth century and also by their frequent adoption of different variants of the surname.

The ‘Curry’ surname was the end product of a long process of gradual modification as, from the 1830s until the early 1900s, it had evolved from ‘McCorry’ to ‘McCurry’ to ‘Curry’ and to make it even more complicated some members of the family later deliberately adopted the ‘Currie’ spelling. Furthermore, registrars and census enumerators had frequently recorded the surname incorrectly as ‘Corry’, or even ‘Corrie’.

This created a great obstacle for the inexperienced family historian, but it was eventually overcome by determination and a lot of luck."

In this article, the author looks at his family, their history, and how their surname evolved from McCorry to Curry.