FitzRedmond surname history

Redmond is a Norman surname, derived from the personal name Raymond or Raimund, which is made up of the Germanic roots ragin "counsel", and mund, "protection". The first of the name in Ireland was Alexander Redmond (or "FitzRedmond"), who was granted the Hook area of Co. Wexford in the first wave of the Norman settlement. His descendants Robert and Walter built the castellated mansion known as "Redmond's Hall" in the early fourteenth century, and the family became known as the "Redmonds of the Hook and the Hall". The descent of the senior lines of this family is very well documented down to the twentieth century, although they were dispossessed of much of their property, including Redmond's Hall in the upheavals of the seventeenth century. It is now known as "Loftus Hall", after the grantee, Nicholas Loftus. Other lines of the family, descended from the numerous younger sons, flourished and multiplied, to the point where Redmond is now an extremely common name throughout Co. Wexford. Many other branches have now also established themselves throughout Ireland.

There is also a native Irish family of Co. Wexford, the MacDavymores, who adopted the surname of Redmond in the early seventeenth century, taking it from their fourteenth century ancestor, Redmond MacDavymore. This family were descended from Murchadh na nGael, brother of Dermot MacMurrough, the king of Leinster whose alliance with the Normans resulted in the Norman invasion. Their adoption of the surname Redmond seems to have been an attempt to retain their lands by associating themselves with the Anglo-Irish family of the name. In any case, they were based in the north of the county, while the Norman Redmonds are most strongly associated with south Wexford, where they first settled.

The arms illustrated are those of the Norman family. The crest, a flaming beacon, represents the oldest lighthouse in Ireland, off the peninsula of the Hook, the area most closely linked with the family; in the Annals they are described as Clanna Reamainn Tighe Solais, "the Redmond family of the lighthouse". The arms themselves commemorate Alexander Redmond's defence of Redmond's Hall against Cromwell's army, in which woolsacks were used to protect the defenders.

The family motto translates "To live piously and to love God and our country".

. The most famous bearer of the name was John Edward Redmond (1855-1918), leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the British House of Commons until the party was eclipsed by the rise of Sinn Fein. His immediate family, which claimed descent from the old Norman stock, .was remarkable for the number of politicians it produced; no fewer than seven others became M.P.s in the U.K. parliament or T.D.s in the Irish Dail after independence.

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