Meira History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Meira has undergone many variations in the time that has passed since its genesis. In Gaelic it appeared as O Meadhra, which is derived from the word meadhar, which means merry.

Early Origins of the Meira family

The surname Meira 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 held a family seat from ancient times.

"The O'Mearas had an extensive territory in the Barony of Upper Ormond, County Tipperary, in which O'Meara was a Chief.The name of their principal residence, Tuam-ui-Meara, is still retained in the town of Toomyvara. The Mearas or O'Mearas are still numerous in that locality." [1]

Early History of the Meira family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meira research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1619, 1614, 1681 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Meira History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Meira Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. One must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English is a daunting task at the best of times. Even today the translation is a difficult one. Accordingly, research into the name Meira revealed spelling variations, including Meara, O'Mara, Mar, O'Meara and others.

Early Notables of the Meira family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Dermod O'Meara, an Irish physician and poet, author of the first medical work printed in Dublin in 1619; Edmund...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meira Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Meira 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 Meira: Daniel, Joanna, William Mara settled in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870; Francis Mara settled in Virginia in 1774; James Meara settled in Philadelphia in 1870.


Contemporary Notables of the name Meira (post 1700) +

  • Sandra Meira Starling (1944-2021), Brazilian politician, member of the Workers' Party, she served in the Chamber of Deputies from 1991 to 1999 and the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais from 1987 to 1991


The Meira 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: Opima spolia
Motto Translation: The spoils of honour.


  1. ^ 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


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