Show ContentsMahr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 Mahr is O Meachair, derived from the word "michair," which means "hospitable" or "kindly."

Early Origins of the Mahr family

The surname Mahr was 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]

"The O'Meaghers were formerly powerful Chiefs possessing the Barony of Ikerrin, in County Tipperary, of which O'Meagher was Lord. The Meaghers or Mahers are principally found in County Tipperary at present." [2]

Early History of the Mahr family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mahr research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1551, 1635 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Mahr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mahr Spelling Variations

One must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Even today the translation is a difficult one. Names, therefore, often had many spelling variations. The variations of the name Mahr include: Maher, O'Meagher, Meagher, O'Maher, Mahir and others.

Early Notables of the Mahr family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Mahr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mahr Ranking

In the United States, the name Mahr is the 13,012nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Mahr migration to the United States +

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Mahr:

Mahr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Georg Bemhart Mahr, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [4]
Mahr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martin Mahr, who landed in Texas in 1845 [4]
  • Joh Phil Mahr, who arrived in America in 1852 [4]
  • Catharina Mahr, who arrived in Brazil in 1854 [4]
  • Francis CH Mahr, who landed in Mississippi in 1856 [4]
  • Joh, II Mahr, who landed in America in 1857 [4]

Canada Mahr migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mahr Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andreas Mahr, who landed in Canada in 1800

Contemporary Notables of the name Mahr (post 1700) +

  • Joe Mahr, American investigative journalist who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
  • Timothy Mahr (b. 1956), American composer and conductor, professor of music at St. Olaf College, Minnesota
  • Coraminita Mahr, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1996 [5]
  • Christian Mahr, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1900 [5]
  • Tony Mahr (b. 1986), Swedish footballer
  • John Mahr Rothman (b. 1949), American film, television, and stage actor

The Mahr Motto +

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

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook