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Maher




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Surname:  Maher
Branch:  Maher
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  This important sept is akin to the O'Carrolls of Ely. Unlike so many Irish septs, they were not driven from their homeland after the Anglo-Norman invasion. Name is derived from the word meachar, meaning hospitable.




Motto:  In periculis audax, Bold in danger.
Arms:  az. two lions, rampant, combatant, supporting a sword, in pale ......, in base, two crescents.
Crest:  Crest, an eagle, with wings, expanded.


View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.




Maher, also written Meagher, is in Irish O Meachair, derived from the word meachar, meaning hospitable - Maher is a word of two syllables, not pronounced Marr. Of the same stock as the O'Carrolls of Ely it belongs to the barony of Ikerrin in Co. Tipperary - in fact fifty per cent of the eight thousand people of the name come from Co. Tipperary. Maher territory was near Roscrea, at the foot of the famous Devil's Bit Mountain and , unlike some Gaelic septs, they were not ousted by Norman invaders but remained in possession side by side with the Ormond Butlers. Though this is a genuine Gaelic O name it is rarely, if ever, met with in its English form with the prefix. One of the adventurous and ill-starred rapparees of the seventeenth century was Capt. John Meagher, who was captured and hanged in 1690. Father Maher (1793-1874) was a distinguished ecclesiastic; and Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), known as "Meagher of the Sword", was one of the most prominent of the Young Irelanders. He was later leader of the Irish Brigade in the Federal Army in the American Civil War.

Name Variations:  Maher, O'Meagher, Meagher, O'Meachair, O'Maher, Mahir.

References:
One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.

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