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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Meagher family come from? What is the Irish Meagher family crest and coat of arms? When did the Meagher family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Meagher family history?

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Meagher is O Meachair, derived from the word "michair," which means "hospitable" or "kindly."

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Many variations of the name Meagher were found in archives from the Middle Ages. These variations can be somewhat explained by the challenge of translation of Gaelic names into English. Hence, the spelling and language in which the people's names were recorded was often up to the individual scribe. Variations of the name Meagher found include Maher, O'Meagher, Meagher, O'Maher, Mahir and others.

First found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they traditionally belong to the barony of Ikerrin. The family has retained this area as their homestead as over 50% of them come from here. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meagher research. Another 239 words(17 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Meagher History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meagher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Meagher or one of its variants:

Meagher Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edmund Meagher, who arrived in America in 1807
  • Patrick Meagher, who arrived in Mississippi in 1857
  • Charles, Edward, James, John, Mathew, Patrick, Thomas, Timothy, and William Meagher, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Ed. Meagher, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Cecil John Meagher, aged 2, who settled in America, in 1896

Meagher Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • George Meagher, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1902
  • Dealia Meagher, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Tuam, in 1903
  • Catherine Meagher, aged 56, who landed in America from London, in 1904
  • Fred Meagher, aged 47, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Edward Meagher, aged 22, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1906


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  • John Francis "Jack" Meagher (1896-1968), American football player and coach
  • Mary Terstegge "Mary T." Meagher Plant (b. 1964), American three-time Olympic gold medalist champion and former World Record holding swimmer
  • John Meagher, Irish architect, partner in De Blacam & Meagher
  • Lorenzo "Lory" Ignatius Meagher (1899-1973), Irish sportsperson
  • Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), Irish nationalist, leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848
  • Aileen Aletha Meagher (1910-1987), Canadian bronze medalist athlete at the 1936 Summer Olympics
  • Jim Meagher, founder of Meagher Electronics in 1947 who provided sound for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Pop Festival (1967) and The Fillmore
  • John Meagher (d. 1876), Irish-born, Canadian merchant and politician in Canada East
  • John Francis Meagher (b. 1948), Australian Thoroughbred Melbourne Cup winning trainer
  • John William Meagher (1917-1996), United States Army soldier, Medal of Honor recipient (1945)

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In periculis audax
Motto Translation: Bold in danger

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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  11. ...

The Meagher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Meagher Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 January 2013 at 21:51.

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