The surname Terry is distinct in origin from the forename Terry. The surname
is from the Germanic Theodoric; the forename from the Latin Terentius or
Terence. As a family name, Terry, which is rated Irish and English, had a
circuitous development. The source Theodoric (people-rule) was picked up
by the French, turned into Thierry and passed along to the British in the
11th century. In Britain it underwent the usual changes. In 1086 it was Tedric,
in 1200 Tericus, in the 1400's Terrick and in the 1600s Terye. By the 18th
century it has settled on Terr(e)y. The name turned up in Ireland about the
12th-13th century as Therry, Tyrry and Tirry, especially around Kilkenny
and Cork. For the last several centuries it has been spelled Terry.
8/11/2011 at 7:33 PM
Terry, have you located the Surnames area yet? You can visit http://www.geni.com/surnames/terry to write a description of the history of the surname and what it means. Thanks for sharing -- I didn't know about the name's roots before now!