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

Early Origins of the Meacher family

The surname Meacher 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 Meacher family

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

Meacher Spelling Variations

The spelling of one's surname was not as important as it is today. Names were recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname changed with each listing. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For Meacher some of these variations included: Maher, O'Meagher, Meagher, O'Maher, Mahir and others.

Early Notables of the Meacher family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Meacher family

Irish families fled the English-colonized Ireland in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of Meacher: Daniel, Edward, James, John, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Robert, Timothy, William Maher, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Charles, Edward, James, John, Mathew, Patrick, Thomas, Timothy and William Meagher, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..


Contemporary Notables of the name Meacher (post 1700) +

  • Michael Hugh Meacher (1939-2015), British Labour politician and academic, Minister of State for the Environment (1997-2003), Shadow Minister for Environmental Protection (1996-1997)
  • Robert Meacher (b. 1962), professional Australian rules footballer
  • Harry Meacher, British actor, director and playwright

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. George William Meacher (1879-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [3]


The Meacher 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. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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