The surname FitzGerald is a translation of the French-Norman fils de Gérald, or son of Gerald (Gerald from "ger", spear, and "wald", rule). Variant spellings include Fitz-Gerald and the modern Fitzgerald. The name can also be used as two separate words Fitz Gerald. Its current head is Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Duke of Leinster.
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 14th century.
The main branches of the family are:
the FitzGeralds of Kildare (Earls of Kildare from 1316, later Marquesses of Kildare and from 1766 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.