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O’Meagher Coat of Arms from original 1890 text of Joseph Casmir O’Meagher’s Some Historical Notices of the O’Meaghers of Ikerrin, digitized and colorized, ©2006 Janet Maher

Like Mahers in the Early Wars, this entry reprints and greatly updates a portion of my 2006 website that is no longer available online. Six years ago there were not as many links to famous Mahers/Meaghers as there are today, particularly to that of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher. Here I have also included some of the many references to individuals mentioned in “the Maher Bible”—Joseph Casimir O’Meagher’s Some Historical Notices of the O’Meaghers of Ikerrin, from which I’ve compiled some additional information, cited as SHN, along with page numbers. In some instances I have connected these references back to my own previous blog essays. In particular, I have made the discovery and connection here between the death of Very Reverend James Maher, of Carlow-Graigue, 1874, with my own tombstone transcriptions of Killinane Cemetery of a previous post. It also seems likely to me that contemporary Mahers of Kildare whose ancestry has remained in place near Kilcullen had likely been related to James Maher, below, of 1673. Indeed, O’Meagher’s book was one of the resources I used to plan our trip to Ireland last summer, scouting out particular places he mentioned!

A new friend, an American Maher who had his DNA tested, was surprised that his results seemed to lead his ancestry, confusingly, to Spain. I recalled both the early origins of Ireland, and J. C. O’Meagher’s notices of the many O’Meaghers who had been defeated in their efforts to defend their homeland in the seventeenth century and were forced to relocate abroad to serve in foreign armies. The result speaks to me, rather, of possible authenticity to a long ancestral line. Might he be a contemporary descendant of the ancient Mileasians that evolved into the Meachairs and other spellings of the surname that led to the Meaghers/Mahers? I found in Naugatuck some curious references to names that seemed foreign. Might they also have been quiet clues to ancient aspects of Meagher history or to earlier family members who numbered among the Wild Geese? Such mysteries, while worth considering, are likely unsolvable and unprovable.

[Since I was advised to include a photograph of myself in my book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley, Early Irish Catholics in New Haven, County, Connecticut, I have also taken the liberty of including my own web site, currently under re-construction, on this list. Note that, unlike this blog, my book is not all about Mahers, although information about Maher families and individuals of New Haven County, among other surnames, is contained there. It is of much broader interest regarding the topics of Irish history and the origins of Catholicism in Connecticut, but it would undoubtedly be of interest to Mahers and those with Irish ancestry in New Haven County, Connecticut, especially the Greater Waterbury Region and Naugatuck Valley.]

Selected Mahers, Meaghers, in time:

  • Calendar of Irish Saints, 7 September, feast day of daughter of Meachair (SHN, pg. 14)
  • Calendar of Irish Saints, 6 January, feast day of Dermod, son of Meachair, Bishop of Airthear-Maighe, Tuath-ratha (Toorah, Co. Fermanagh), (SHN, pg. 14)
  • Saint Machar, disciple of St. Columba, Archbishop of Tours; also called Mochumma and Mauritius (name given by Pope Gregory); founded Church/See of Aberdeen (formerly Ferryhill), Pictish Kingdom (Scotland), 1366, parish church of Old Machar, north of King’s College. Near the cathedral in 1890 stood St. Machar’s Cottage and Old Machar’s Poorhouse; also three instances of Machar’s Hough, near Kildrummie and Aberdeen (SHN, pp. 14, 25, 26)
  • The First Maher Website, Jack Wilson, 1996
  • Maher Island, Antarctica
  • Alice Maher, Irish artist
  • Anne Meagher, widow, of Cloyne Castle, forced in 1653 to transplant to Connaught at the end of the Confederacy war waged by the Puritans; seventy-five people accompanied her into exile (SHN, pp. 21, 40; see also pp. 95-101) Before the war, twenty-seven castles in the barony of Ikerrin were property of O’Meaghers. See my previous post, O’Meagher Castles.
  • Anthony O’Meagher, Parke, Co. Tipperary, “Titulados” [i.e. graduate, higher education] in Ikerrin, 1659 census. (SHN, pg. 134)
  • Ashley Maher, singer-songwriter, world music
  • Bill Maher, political humorist
  • Brendan Maher, writer, Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science
  • Daniel J. Meagher, of Roscrea, Tipperary (formerly Ikerrin Barony), Co. H, 5th NY, Valorous Firefighter
  • Danny Aloysius Maher, born Hartford, CT, 1881, Jockey, National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame
  • Ellen O’Meagher, daughter, sole heiress of John O’Meagher, chief, Clonakenny, wife of Dr. Gerard Ffennell, assigned her estates in Tipperary and Galway to Jasper Ffrende, 1671; died 1681, was buried in Holy Cross Abbey. (SHN, pg. 134)
  • Francis Meagher, 1798, “included in the ‘Banishment Act,’ with Thomas Addis Emmet, Lord Edward Firtzgerald,” and others. (SHN, pg. 141)
  • George Alfred Maher, champion figure skater, Canada
  • George Washington Maher, architect
  • Gillernew O’Meagher, 11 January 1571, received a pardon after fine.
  • Inghin, daughter of O’Meagher, King of Ikerrin, 1280, married to Seaffriadh Bacagh MacGilla Patraic, the Lame (SHN, pg. 14)
  • James Maher, Fine Art photography
  • Very Rev. James Maher, DD., 24 May 1792 – 2 April 1874, Parish Priest of Carlow-Graigue (and formerly, Leighlin Bridge and Paulstown), died 1792; “This eminent ecclesiastic…had for nigh half a century been a known and honored figure in the land;” spent many years in Rome; “it is no exaggeration to say, that even in the ranks of the Irish Priesthood, none whose lives have been cast in the same era with the late Father Maher will bear a more exalted example to their brethren and to posterity. In every movement to advance the liberties, the happiness and the well-being of Ireland, which has taken place within forty years, Father Maher occupied a prominent and distinguished position…A master of great dialectic skill…Blameless as a man, honored as a patriot, loved as a priest, his death is regretted far and wide throughout the country…” His nephew was Cardinal Cullen; biography written by his grand-nephew, Cardinal Moran. (SHN, pg. 139) See my previous post, Killinane Cemetery. Also see Prof. Donal McCarthy’s article about him, hosted on rootsweb.
  • James Maher, designed the public grounds, Washington, D.C. (SHN, pg. 182)
  • James Meagher, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, 1673, “commanded forthwith after sight to appear before His Majesty’s Secretary at Dublin Castle, to answer such matters as should be objected against him;” a warrant issued the following year for his failure to appear. (SHN, pg. 134) See my previous post about Old Kilcullen Graveyard.
  • James O’Meagher, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary, son of James O’Meagher and Catherine Lloyd, born 1805; ordained 15 August 1853, Cistercian Abbey of Mount Melleray; “extensive knowledge of medicine…He was a most exemplary man during his life, and after his death his Brethren regarded him as a saint…died of consumption, 8 May 1871.” (SHN, pg. 142)
  • Janet Maher, artist/author of this blog
  • Lieut./Capt. John Meagher, Grange, Co. Tipperary, thanked by King Charles II for his “services beyond the seas” during the Act of Settlement, 1660, restored to his property in Ikerrin; John O’Meagher, Grange, Co. Tipperary, Assessor of Taxes, 1689. In 1649 he, along with Thomas Maghery, Thomas O’Meagher (Ensign, Bagnell’s Foot; also a Thomas who was Capt., Mountcashel’s Reg.), Philip (Liet., Oxford’s Foot); and William O’Meagher, were among 49 officers to the King. They were associated with Donegal, Longford, and Wicklow. (SHN, pg. 55, 133, 134, 135)
  • Captain John Meagher, “notorious ringleader of the rogues,” taken by William Wolseley near Mullingar and hanged in Maryborough, 1690 (SHN, pg. 55)
  • Private John Maher, died 1916, France, Battle of the Somme
  • Keidagh/Keddaghe O’Meagher, Ikerrin, commanded rebel forces, 1599. Spanish help arrived in 1600 in Kinsale; Red Hugh O’Donnell, Hugh O’Neill (who camped at Roscrea and Templetouhy), the third son of Viscount Mountgarrett, some Graces, and Thomas Butler (related to Sir Edward Butler) with 200 additional men, came to his aid, joining his army of “300 rogues.” (SHN, pp. 19, 54)
  • Maher Sanctuary, Barry County, Michigan
  • King Malachy of Erinn, 1012 A.D., defeated in war with the Danes in, Drinan, Co. Dublin, along with his son, Flann, and Lorcan, son of the King of Cinel Meachair
  • Mary T. Meagher Plant, “Madame Butterfly,” Kentucky, Olympic swimmer, three gold medals, 1984, bronze, 1988
  • Matt Maher, Christian singer-songwriter
  • A. Michael Maher essayThe Six Napoleons member, Sherlock Holmes club
  • Michael Maher, executive producer, film, Ondine
  • Miranda Maher, American artist
  • Molly Maher and Her Band of Disbelievers, alt-folk rock, Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Meagher County, Montana (USGenWeb Project)
  • “Release of Mrs. Meagher,” Ballingarry, Clonmel Nationalist, May 9, 1891
  • Mechair, son of Conla, Meachair, son of Forat, baptized by Saint Patrick in Muscraighethire, 470 A.D. (SHN, pp. 14, 130)
  • See my previous post, The Mahers of Kilkenny
  • “The Mighty Meaghers” in Irish America
  • Patrick Maher, Middletown (buried in St. John’s Cemetery), served in the Revolutionary War, 3rd Regiment, the Connecticut Line, from 1777; also James Maher, Hartford, same unit; Burr Maher, served in Hartford State Militia; Joseph Maher served in New London. (SHN, pg. 157)
  • Father Patrick Meagher, S. J., Waterford, brother of Thomas Meagher, mayor and member of Parliament, uncle of Thomas Francis Meagher, Brigadier- General. Served in Dublin; “his eloquent sermons, which he prepared with great care and which were remarkable for their polished language, drew crowded congregations, wherein might always be counted many literary men.” (SHN, pg. 142)
  • Major Patrick Maher, American Civil War; see my post, Mahers in the Early Wars; he is also included in a vignette in my book.
  • Very Reverend Philip Meagher, “Master of the Faculty of Divinity, Paris, Treasurer, Diocese of Cashel and Emly, Parish Priest, Fethard.” In 1738 certified the degree of John Stapleton. “There is a tradition in Fethard that one of the O’Meaghers of Drangan was a distinguished member of the Irish College in Paris.” (SHN, pp. 136, 137)
  • O’Maghers, etc., inhabiting the territory of Ikerrin, “fit for plantation” by English, 1620 (SHN, pg. 90)
  • O’Maugher, listed among those Irishmen against whom gallowglass were hired to fight at the border of the English Pale (Dublin), 1560 (SHN, pp.51, 52)
  • O’Meagher, Chief of Ikerrin, and his wife, Honoria, died, 1424 (SHN, pg. 49)
  • “O’Meagher, Meagher and Maher – and their dispersal in Tipperary,” William J. Hayes (Tipperary Historical Journal, 1993, excerpts)
  • O’Meagher of Ikerryn, listed as one of the chief Irish of Ireland in 1549 report, “What Ireland is and how much,” (SHN, pg. 51)
  • The O’Meagher, of Bawnmadrum Castle, Ikerrin (Bourney Parish, included Knockballymeagher), hosted bard Angus O’Daly in 1617. The poet had distained the Irish chieftains throughout the provinces, and at this castle, after satirizing this chieftain was stabbed by a servant. As he died he composed: “All the false judgements that I have passed / Upon the chiefs of Munster I forgive; / The meagre servant of the grey O’Meagher has / passed an equivalent judgement upon me.” (SHN, pp. 19, 20)
  • O’Meaghers in the army of King James, 1689: John Meagher, Sarfield’s Horse; Cornelius, Brian, Edmund O’Meagher, Purcell’s Horse; Daniel O’Meagher, Butler’s Foot; John, Edmund, Thomas O’Meagher, Bagenal’s Foot; Philip O’Meagher, Oxburg’s Foot; Thomas O’Meagher, Mountcashel’s Foot. (SHN, pg. 21)
  • O’Meaghers who had participated in the Jacobite war in support of King James served after their defeat and emigration in: France (Bulkeley, Clare, Galmoy, Lee regiments); Spain (Hibernia, Irlanda, Wauchop, Waterford regiments); Prussia (Von Derfinger’s Dragoons, and garrison of Custrin). FRANCE: Regiment Irlandois de Galmoy (1689): Edmond O’Meagher, Lieutenant, an invalid in 1706; another lieutenant listed in 1707; Regiment Irlandois de Lee (1683), Mountcashel’s Regiment; called Regiment Irlandois de Bulkeley 1734-1775, then incorporated with Regiment Irlandois de Dillon, after 1793 regiments were named rather than numbered: Le Major O’Meagher, and another, Le Capitaine Patrice O’Meagher (1741); Regiment Irlandois de Clare (1689), Regiment Fitzgerald (1763), Regiment de Meade (1770), incorporated with Regiment de Berwick (1774): Le Captaine Phillipe O’Meagher (1755-1764). SPAIN: Regimento de Infanteria de Waterford (1653): Don Guillermo Meagher (transferred from French regiment Berwick); Don Juan Meagher, Lieutenant-colonel reformado (1710); Don Bernardo Meagher, Lieutenant (1722); Regimento de Infanteria de Irlanda (swordsmen who had been defeated at decison of Limerick, 1691): Don Guillermo O’Meagher (1709-1725, graduated from sergeant to captain); Don Miguel O’Meagher (born 1767, graduated from cadet, 1781, to Lieutenant-Colonel of Grenadiers, 1803); 1715 transferring from French service to Regimento de Infanteria de Wauchop and Regiment de Conacia: Don Thomas Meagher, and Don Guillermo Meagher (born 1663), transferred into this regiment 1711 after eighteen years in France, Lieutenant (1715), then Captain (1725). POLAND/SAXONY: Thadée de Meagher, Lieutenant-General and Colonel Proprietor of the Swiss Guard, Poland/Saxony (1734, had previously served in France, born 1670), Chamberlain to the King; negotiated treaty of neutrality with Frederick the Great, Seven Year’s War. (SHN, pp 21, 22, 40-44.)
  • O’Meaghers ordered to transplant to lessor lands, forfeiting their homes in 1653: An O’Machar, Cloyne, Tipperary; Edmund O’Meagher, Cloughrale, Tipperary; John O’Meagher, Ann O’Meagher, Clonkenny Castle; Edmund O’Meagher, Cloghrale; Honoria Ny Meagher, Limerick City; Donogh O’Meagher, Barnane; Daniel O’Meagher, Thomas Meagher, Polinstown; Juan Meagher, Killawardy, Tipperary; Thomas O’Meagher, Lorhane/Louraine, Tipperary; Teige Meagher, Killduffe, Tipperary; Owny Meagher, Parke, Tipperary; Teige Meagher, Gortenane, Tipperary; David Meagher; Cornelius O’Meagher, “Innocent,” Thady, Esq., Drangan, “outlawed.” (SHN, pp. 92, 93, 133, 134; also see forfeitures, 95-101)
  • O’Meaghry de Ikery, chyef capytaine of his nation, 1514, listed in the Kings’ report among the Irish kingdoms recommended for suppression (pg. 49, 50)
  • Ownia/Winifrede, daughter of O’Meagher of Templemore (Ikerrin), early 1600s, married Hervé de Monte Marisco (with special dispensation) and he became the lord of Ikerrin. (SHN, pg. 27) [See more about this in my book.]
  • Shane Begge O’Meagher, Roscrea, apprehended by Piers Butler (Fitzedmond), hanged  as a traitor in Kilkenny, 1589
  • Dr. Stephen J. Maher, tuberculosis specialist, New Haven, CT
  • Tadhg O’Meachair, commander of the Kerns of Munster, 1401, at a battle that Art, King of Munster, initiated against the foreigners, the Danes in Dublin. Poet Gilla-na-naomh O’Huidrin (father of Tadhg) wrote,” Mightily have they filled the land,/ The O’Meachairs, the territory of Ui Cairin,/ A tribe at the foot of the Bearnan Eile; / It is no shame to celebrate their triumph.” (SNH, pg. 15, 16)
  • Teige O’Meagher, Chief of Ikerrin, died, 1462
  • Teige-oge O’Meagher (married to a Butler, but no children, son and heir to the O’Meagher of Clonykenny Castle), raised a regiment for O’Dwyer’s Irish Confederates Brigade called  O’Dwyer’s Foot for the Irish Civil War of 1641. The Brigade surrendered on 23 March 1652 and Brigadier O’Dwyer was allowed to leave the country with 3,500 soldiers to serve abroad, but O’Meagher, Theobald Butler and others were executed. Joseph Casimir O’Meagher believed that Teige-oge was been found guilty of uttering “traitorous or disloyal words or speeches.” In 1642 he led 1500 men, with Purcell, O’Dwyer, and others “with [colors] flying,” to block the entrance to Cashel Castle [likely in defense of the castle, see William, Coolagh, below].  (SHN, pg. 20, 21, 39, 133)
  • [Note: Tadg/Tadhg has been Anglicized as Teague, Teige/Teigue or Tim, meaning  storyteller, poet or philosopher; Teige-oge would likely have referred to “young” Teige, who would have had a father by the same name. Thadeus/Thaddeus may have been an equivalent of Timothy.]
  • The Blessed Thaddeus, 1490, appointed Bishop of Cork and Coyne (his birthplace); died of exhaustion in 1492 on his way to Rome. “A great light glreaming on the bed” at his death, “a light that did not burn.” (SHN, pg. 16, 17)
  • Thadeus O’Meagher, of Ballydine, and Anastasia Purtil, buried in Augustinian Abbey, Fethard, Tipperary, 1600; also mentioned there: John O’Meagher, who restored the abbey, his only daughter, his son, Daniel Costello O’Meagher, and his son, Rev. John O’Meagher, curate of Templemore. (SNH, pg. 53)
  • Thadeus O’Meagher, member of Parliament for Callen, Co. Kilkenny, 1689  (SHN, pg. 55)
  • Thadeus Gankagh O’Meagher, of Drunsaileach, near Roscrea, buried 19 Dec. 1627 in tomb at Dangan (SHN, pg. 55)
  • Thaddeus O’Meagher, 1798, “enlisted in the 7th Fusileers so as to avoid the consequences of a ‘fracas’ in which he had taken part, when he sided with the people against a Yeomanry Corps, drawn up at College Green.” A long military career, died 1820.
  • Theodore de Meagher, Maréchal de Campo in 1660, served under the Prince of Condé, Spanish Netherlands, having been allowed to emigrate after the failure of the Irish Civil War, 1652. (SHN, pg. 21)
  • Thomas Meagher, 1680, high sheriff of Limerick, son of Thomas Meagher, surgeon. (SHN, pg. 134)
  • Thomas O’Meagher, Fethard, son of Thomas Mor, 1841, “was at the height of his fame as a classical teacher at this period. Both father and son were noted for their scholarly attainments, in the ancient classics, modern languages, and for rigid discipline.” Along with the school of Thomas Walsh, nearby, in Killenaule, students came from all over to study with them for the priesthood. “They were boarded and lodged free in the villages, towns, and county adjacent, and many of them wee afterwards distinguished in Carlow, Thurles, Maynooth, and Trinity Colleges; the medical schools in Cork, Belfast, and Dublin; in the Sorbonne, Louvain, and Rome.” (SHN, pg. 151)
  • Thomas Meagher, 1796 -1874 (father of the Brigadier General),  born near Waterford; his wealthy father, a sea merchant, owned an estate and seven ships, trading with Newfoundland; he was the first mayor of Waterford, re-elected (1844-46); member of Parliament, 1847-1857; philanthropist; his wife was Miss Quan, daughter also of an established merchant; their children: Thomas Francis (below), Henry (J.P. Lieutenant-Colonel Waterford Artillery, lived in Kingstown, IRE), Mary Agnes, a nun (Taunton Convent, England). He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery
  • Thomas Francis Meagher, 1823- 1887, Brigadier General, American Civil War, leader of the 69th New York Irish Brigade; Secretary and Acting Governor, Montana; LINKS/IMAGES: Brigadier-General: his political and military career with selections from his speeches and writings, by W.F. Lyons;  Monument at Antitam Battlefield, Civil War Ballad,   Meagher Is Leading the Irish Brigadearticle by Rick Steves, The Amazing Life of Waterford’s Favorite SonWilson’s Almanac on Thomas Meagher and Young IrelandMeagher County, Montana, 1895 U.S. Atlas; Lithograph, Meagher At The Battle of Fair Oaks, VA, June 1, 1862Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, grave site of Mrs. Thomas Franicis Meagher, Elizabeth Townsend Meagher – requests being made for donations for a monument for Thomas; Stone at Green-Wood CemeteryChristmas Ornament issued by Capital Restoration Foundation, Helena, MT; The American Civil War Photo GalleryNeihart, Meagher County, MT, Butte-Silver Bow Public Library image; Thomas Francis Meagher: the making of an Irish American, by John M. Hearne and Rory T. Cornish; The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher, by Paul R. Wylie; The Irish Orators, A History of Ireland’s Fight For Freedom, by Claude G. Bowers (pp. 323-372); Statue outside of Montana state capitol, Webzine, Ann Telling, editor; Transcription of a letter from Prof. Paul Chrisler Phillips research file, Mansfield Library, Montana; Trial of the Irish Patriots at Clonmel; Currier and Ives image, General Meagher at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Springfield Museums Collection, MA; Craig Lancaster, blog entry visit to Fort Benton, MT, T.F. Meagher bust and plaqueWilliam Smith O’Brien and Thomas Meagher prison record, 1823, “serious treasonable practice,” on Find My Past; “Meagher of the Sword,” “The Antebellum Era,” “The Sword Speech,” The Wild Geese Today; “The Wild Geese (The Fighting Irish), Thomas F. Meagher,” John Mooney website; The Irish in the Civil War, Meagher section, Ohio Civil War 150.
  • Tibinia, daughter of O’Meagher, Ikerrin, married on 23 December 1385 (with special dispensation at a time when Irish were not allowed to marry English) Sir Almaric Grace, “for the better preservation and improvement of the peace of the country.” (SHN, pg. 15)
  • Sgt. William John Meagher, Medal of Honor, Arlington Cemetery
  • William Maher, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, 1849, County Coroner. (SHN, pg. 151)
  • William Meagher, Windgap, Co. Kilkenny, “deprived of a handsome pension conferred for his distinguished service, because of his adhesion to the national cause.” (SHN, pg. 151)
  • William Meagher, Coolagh, Co. Tipperary (after travels throughout Munster collecting Fenian lore, resided in Killamory); Irish bard, antiquary, linguist; “acquired the reputation of being the best Irish scholar of the day in that part of Ireland;” Mr. O’Neill published a large collection of his Ossianic poems; “Meagher also composed an Irish song on the occasion of the marriage of John, 17th Earl of Ormonde, brother of the Most Rev. Christopher Butler, Bishop of Cashel.” (SHN, pg. 137)

(Information about purchasing my book is here. I will give a talk and do a signing at the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut, on October 25.)

©2012 Janet Maher/Sinéad Ní Mheachair

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