O'Marra History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name O'Marra 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 O'Marra family

The surname O'Marra 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 O'Marra family

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

O'Marra Spelling Variations

One name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer because one must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English is a daunting task at the best of times. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the O'Marra family name include Meara, O'Mara, Mar, O'Meara and others.

Early Notables of the O'Marra 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 O'Marra Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States O'Marra migration to the United States +

The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of O'Marra or one of its variants:

O'Marra Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary O'Marra, aged 46, who arrived in America, in 1897
  • Michael O'Marra, aged 46, who arrived in America, in 1897

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Marra (post 1700) +

  • Ryan O'Marra (b. 1987), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player

The O'Marra 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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