Roots: The Mighty Mahers

O Meagher coat of arms

By Tara Dougherty, Editorial Assistant
October / November 2008

The Irish surname Maher, appearing also as O’Meagher, Meagher, O’Maher and Mahir, originated in County Tipperary. The name stems from the surname O’Meachair, a derivation of the word “meachar” meaning hospitable.

Over fifty percent of Mahers can trace their family history back to County Tipperary, where the ancient clan held control of the territory near Roscrea at the foot of Devil’s Bit Mountain for centuries. Ui Cairin, modernized as Ikerrin, was a barony in the north of Tipperary and was a division of the ancient kingdom of Ely. The Mahers held control of Ikerrin, even against Norman invaders in the 10th century. It was not until the Cromwellian period that many Mahers would disperse from north Tipperary to southern baronies and further afield to France and Spain with the Irish Brigades.

Among the most famous of this clan was Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867). This Irish nationalist was a prominent leader in the Young Ireland Party. His speech advocating the use of force to liberate Ireland from British occupation earned him the nickname “Meagher of the Sword.”  He was part of the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848 and was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. Meagher escaped and eventually made his way to America, where he would later become an American Civil War general as leader of the Irish Brigade in the Federal Army. A gravestone was unveiled In Meagher’s honor at a ceremony held at the Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn this April.

Another clan member who is a rebel in his own right is subject of this issue’s cover story, Bill Maher, who has become a household name due to his work in television. The native New Yorker began working as a stand-up comic while attending Cornell University. He became a regular on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which ignited his television career. Maher later developed his own round-table current affairs talk show called Politically Incorrect, for which he received 11 Emmy nominations. He now hosts Real Time with Bill Maher, a similar discussion program on HBO.

Australian actor Ray Meagher secured a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being one of the longest-serving actors on an Australian drama. He is best known for his role as Alf Stewart on long-running Australian soap opera Home and Away. In 1987, he was selected by his peers as the recipient of a Penguin Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama for his performance in the tele-movie Male Order Bride. During his 25 years working in show business, Meagher has been featured in over 60 television productions, 29 films and 20 theatre productions.

Sharing in his kinsmen’s love of the stage, Joseph Maher (1933-1998) was a Broadway character actor best known for his work in Joe Orton’s plays often as absurd, off-beat characters. Maher was nominated three times for a Tony Award for the Best Actor in a Featured Role. He did not limit himself to stage work, however, crossing over into both film and television, guest starring on Seinfeld and playing memorable film roles in Heaven Can Wait and Sister Act. Born in Westport, County Mayo, Maher became a naturalized American citizen before he succumbed to a brain tumor in 1998.

The Maher family name is recognized in the world of horse breeding thanks to JJ Maher’s contribution around the turn of the 20th century. His family of thoroughbred mares from Ireland would produce two Grand National winners.

Among the most well known athletes in America at the end of the 19th century was Irish-American Peter Maher, who won Heavyweight Championship of the World in 1895 when he beat Steve O’Donnell. The world champion was born in Galway and raised in Dublin where he began boxing. His biography, The Irish Champion Peter Maher, written by Matt Donnellon, chronicles his career and looks into his high-society social circle, which included the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, William McKinley and Wyatt Earp.

Continuing the Maher legacy in sport, Kevin Maher is a London-born Irish soccer player. He began his career with the Tottenham Hotspurs, training with the team for nearly three years. After he was released from Spurs, he was club captain of Southend United for six years before joining Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2008.

In the world of music, Brent Maher is among the most acclaimed country music producers and songwriters in Nashville. Maher discovered the talents of Naomi and Wynonna Judd and has produced all of the duo’s records, and co-wrote many of their hits including “Why Not Me.” Now that the Judds have retired from music, the Grammy award-winning producer has founded his own independent production company called Moraine Music Group. Moraine Music has worked with Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw and countless other country music names.

137 Responses to “Roots: The Mighty Mahers”

  1. Tony Maher says:

    Our Maher family in Australia is descended from William John Maher (1877-1969) and we believe we have a connection with Thomas Francis Maher (1823-1867). We don’t have any info on the preceding generation.


    Tony Maher

    • Zach says:

      Tony, I have some more information regarding our family 🙂

      Shoot me an email.

    • Jeanne Maher says:

      Hi. I just found your and others’ comments under Irish America: The Mighty Mahers. I would love to connect with anyone who may have information on my great grandfather’s (Edward/Edmond/Edmund Maher) family. HIs father was John Maher. I know he was from Thurlesbeg, Tipperary, Ireland & born about 1875. I have been unsuccessful finding him and his family in Ireland. He emigrated from Ireland before 1894 into the Port of New York, as far as I know, and settled in Brooklyn, NY. He worked in the cotton industry for at least most of my grandfather’s first 15 years (1901 – 1915). He married Anna/Anne Walsh from Ballydine House near Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland in Brooklyn. They knew each other from home. Four of their six children survived to adulthood – Edward Maher, John Maher, Helen Maher and Margaret Maher Conboy. The two that did not survive were Joseph and ( Mary?) Agnes Maher. I am descended from John Maher. I have provided all the names I know because my branch of the family names their children for other family members. There are other Mahers earlier in the Walsh family tree. I don’t know if they are related to my branch. The Walsh tree also has many repeated names from one generation to the next. Anna Walsh Maher’s brother, Patrick Walsh, was the first Irish born and 2nd Catholic Fire Commissioner of NYC (under LaGuardia). Thank you.

      • Christine H Pike says:

        Hi Jeanne,
        I believe we may have connected a few years ago on ancestry. At the time, you had just lost a family member- possibly your father in law?
        At any rate, Anna Walsh was my great grandmother’s sister. I can share quite a bit about the family tree as well as a few current members. I live in Massachusetts.
        cpike44@yahoo.com– feel free to email

        Christine Pike

  2. Kieran White says:

    My great uncle John Francis Meagher (still living) and our family claim relation to Tomas Meagher of the sword.

  3. Kieran White says:

    My great uncle John Francis Meagher (still living) and my fathers side of the family claim to be related to Tomas Meagher of the sword. Hopeing to work on a family tree.

  4. Evie Maher says:

    Hi all. Looking for any information on John Henry Maher born 1888 somewhere in Ireland. Anything would be a great help. Cheers all

  5. Lindie Chandler says:

    Have some information on my family line having gone to Adelaide, Australia and later to Melbourne. While in Adelaide, he was known as James Maher (married Catherine Carthy) and later changed this surname to COUNTY. Do you have an records of Maher/County’s?

  6. Philip Brendan maher says:

    All my family hail from borrisoleigh co Tipperary

    • For anyone searching for Mahers in Thurles tipperary most of my family is buried here. Also the Callanans marriedbthe Mahers , you will see Cornelius Callanan shortened to Con was my great grandfather. Daniel Maher was my other great grandfather who had a son Daniel Maher(not buried at Kinan but HolycrossAbbey, search Holycross Abbey graveyard) lots of Bridgets, Honoras Johannas etc

      • Karen Maher Fuller says:

        My ancestor Thomas Francis Maher was b. in Thurles 1821, m. Elizabeth Carroll b. Jul 1824, they arrived in New York in 1851. I have no insight into who these people were (parents, siblings) when they were in Ireland. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. There is a family story that much of the family died before they emigrated.

        • Daniel Maher says:

          Do you know if your ancestor Thomas Francis had a son also named Thomas Francis, born in June, 1856 in Manhattan? He is my 3rd great-grandfather, and NYC census data from this period has no (or conflicting) information. The oldest confirmed census form for him isn’t until 1900, and there are no names of his parents, just that they were both born in Ireland.

          • Karen Maher Fuller says:

            My ancestor Thomas Francis Maher had a son born in Manhattan in October 1861 named Matthew Jerome Maher. I *believe* there was an older sibling named Mary. It has always seemed odd to me that they would have been in this country for over 10 years without having any children. Elizabeth was 37 years old when she had Matthew. Seems unusual for that day and age. They had no children when they arrived here and finding census records for them until Matthew was born are seemingly impossible.

            There was a family story that had me on a wild goose chase for years that Matthew was an orphan – born in Ireland and brought here by family friends when his parents and 8 brothers and sisters died of tuberculosis in Ireland. (Matthew married a society girl and was disowned by her family, Matthew’s son died as a young father and HIS family didn’t like the wife’s family. So a lot was lost in all the feuding). Then I discovered his birth certificate and his parents’ death certificates. There may be some truth somewhere, but the story was certainly twisted.

            There are so many Thomas Francis Mahers, such a popular name! I will add your info into the mix and see if I can find him anywhere. I’ve found grossly misspelled versions of Maher, so I suspect that is where many of the problems lie.

          • Karen Maher Fuller says:

            Thomas F. Maher
            New York, New York City Municipal Deaths
            Name Thomas F. Maher
            Event Type Death
            Event Date 22 Dec 1925
            Event Place Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
            Address 255 Harrison St.
            Residence Place Brooklyn, New York City, New York
            Gender Male
            Age 69
            Marital Status Married
            Race White
            Occupation Retired Engineer
            Birth Date 12 Nov 1856
            Birthplace New York City
            Burial Date 24 Dec 1925
            Cemetery Holy Cross Cemetery
            Father’s Name James Maher
            Father’s Birthplace Ireland
            Mother’s Name Margaret Downey
            Mother’s Birthplace Ireland
            Spouse’s Name Julia Maher
            Thomas F. Maher
            New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940
            Name: Thomas F. Maher
            Event Type: Marriage
            Event Date: 09 Jul 1896
            Event Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
            Event Place (Original): Manhattan, New York
            Gender: Male
            Age: 39
            Birth Year (Estimated): 1857
            Father’s Name: Denis Maher
            Mother’s Name: Mary Mclaughlin
            Spouse’s Name: Margaret James Cassidy
            Spouse’s Gender: Female
            Spouse’s Age: 33
            Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated): 1863
            Spouse’s Father’s Name: Hugh
            Spouse’s Mother’s Name: Sarah E George

        • Ruairi Costello says:

          Check the graveyards that i posted online for similar names

        • Daniel Maher says:

          Thank you! I think mine was actually spelled Thomas Frances (second great-grandfather). The earliest NYC census form is from 1870, but it only lists that he lived with a John Maher (b. 1822) and a Kate Maher (b. 1840), both born in Ireland. I’m not sure if Kate was his wife, an 18 year age gap seems extreme, but it’s possible. I also wonder if my Thomas Frances was an orphan, or if his parents perished on the way? He resided with John and Kate, and siblings Mary, John, Millie, and Kate (Junior). He married Mary Quigley in 1875 and had a TON of kids, one of which was my great-Grandfather, Vincent Aloysius, born Jun 16, 1893, Manhattan.

          I did a Y-DNA test, and I am distantly related to many Mahers, so I do know he wasn’t an orphan taken in by the Maher family. If any are interested, I’m I-M223, which is one of two pre-Ice Age European Haplogroups. It’s quite possible that my most distant Maher ancestor was one of the first people to cross the Ice Age era land bridge from Scotland to Ireland!

      • Ruairí Maher says:

        Hi Ruairí. My grandfather was a Daniel Maher who is buried in kilinan graveyard. He passed in 2012. Don’t know if that’s anything to you as his father had a different name, Conor I think.
        I grew up nearby in Leugh with a clear view of the Devil’s Bit from the garden.

      • Matthew Costello says:

        My great Gr grandmother was Johanna Maher from Borrisoleigh in Tipperaryas are my Costello family

        • Louis Maher says:

          I have a Cornelius Maher in my background. I wonder if it could be from the mixing of the families. Thomas Maher, born in Ireland, and I am assuming in Callan,is as close as I can to getting his birthplace, who came to America and settled in the US state of Indiana. His Child was William Cornelius Maher. William Cornelius Maher’s chile was Thomas Louis Maher, my grandfather.

    • David Morehouse says:

      Philip, my Meagher/Maher ancestry traces back to Borrisoleigh (Knockshearoon) and Drombane. Left for the US in late 1840s.

  7. Yvonne Kallunki says:

    I am a Maher,many this was really cool learn about my heritage

  8. fritz maher says:

    I am looking for my irish roots. Thomas Maher, born in Ireland, came to the USA sometime around 1840. I would like to know his roots in Ireland. Please tell me how to find out. Aren’t there parish books that someone who would leave would have written something down? He ended up in Indiana, USA.

    • Mandy Maher says:

      What part of Indiana? My ancestors came from Ireland about that time and settled in Indiana (Terre Haute and St. Mary of the Woods area). I don’t know the man’s name or specific date he was born. His wife was named Mary and she was born in Ireland in 1795.
      I also would like to know more about my Irish roots and having a hard time finding information.

      • Sheelagh Dunne says:

        Try parish records from Tipperary as that is where most Mahers come from or also Irish census of population

        • Fritz Maher says:

          May I suggest that all Maher’s get DNA tested. I got mine at 23andMe. If we get these all collected, we can start to see who is related.

          I get some possible relations from Australia. That is most interesting.

          But in Indiana, I get some possibiilities from north of Indianapolis. But most I get is from the city of Washington in Daviess County. They had a farm and it got flooded. Thomas and son William died soon after that.

          I am starting to understand that that came from Callen, Ireland. Of course, I’m not sure. I just think I am getting closer.

          The Ann as a wife is Ann Dant. She is from the USA, not from Ireland.

          Let me know.


          • Richard Maher says:

            Just discovering this site, and replying to Fritz: where do you suggest we put DNA kits ? I got mine years ago via Ancestry.com, but have put it on GEDmatch as kit A792695 . Most of my Mahers started in or around Boonton NJ in the 1850s — but I have no info as where they came from in Ireland. This would be George Maher (1833 ? – 1916) and Catherine Cusic/Cusick ( 1832 ? – 1922). Thanks.

      • fritz maher says:

        Hi Mandy, I don’t know why i didn’t reply before. But if you had someone from Ireland at about that time, it would be interesting to know who it was. He could have been the father of my Thomas. I don’t know. It almost would make some sense. Do you know of any more information?

  9. Karen Maher says:

    We have a family history that says my great grandfather Matthew Jerome Maher was born in 1861 in Tipperary. His father’s name was Thomas and his mother was named Elizabeth Carroll. Supposedly his parents and 5 siblings died of TB and he was brought to NYC at an early age by family friends. The people who brought him over died, too and her was raised in an orphanage. I have found nothing to back up any of this story.

    • Karen Maher says:

      Correction here. Found Matthew Jerome Maher’s parents death certificates (bad photocopies) in some family records. They both died in Brooklyn NY.

      Thomas Francis Maher was born in Ireland about 1821, died in NY in 1874, came to US about 1853 with his wife Elizabeth Carroll Maher. She was born in Ireland about 1824 and died in NY in 1897.

      Regardless, Matthew married a society girl who was then disowned by her family. I’ve put the info on familysearch for those of you who want to look up those Mahers.

  10. Lukas Maher says:

    My grandfather James Joseph Maher was a chemical engineer who developed the epoxy resin that that now use on space shuttles and rockets. I was wondering if you have any information on him.

  11. Sheelagh Dunne says:

    My great grandfather was a brother of Peter Maher (boxer) his name was Patrick would love to make contact with Peters decendents they had another brother James(Jem) who also went to America and we have already made contact with them

    • Nancy Mulford says:

      Dear Sheelagh:
      It was quite by chance that I ran across your entry. My Husband, Edward Phillip Mulford, Jr’s great grandfather was Peter Maher (boxer). We live in Dover, Delaware. The boxer Peter, had a son named Peter who was a professional photographer. He married Lillian Estelle Draper from Baltimore, MD. They had two children, Peter Maher and Winifred Estelle Maher (my husband’s mother). Winifred married Edward Phillip Mulford, Sr. They had 4 children, Edward, Jr., Patricia Ann Mulford FIsher, James Leroy Mulford (who is a Roman Catholic Priest currently in Cancun, Mexico), and Timothy Joseph Mulford(Jim and TIm are fraternal twins). Edward and I have 2 daughters, Amy Lyn Mulford Logsdon, and Ali Marie Mulford Doucette Rank. Amy has no biological children. Ali has two daughters: Jada Elaine Lehman, and Marissa Amy Doucette. Patricia married Stephen Fisher. They formerly lived in Baltimore, Md, and now live in Wesley Chapel, Florida. They have no children. James spent many years in Italy before his priestly duties recently took him to Mexico. Timothy has two sons; Timothy Michael and Patrick Joseph Mulford. Both reside in Maryland. Patrick has a son named Logan James Mulford. I hope this will help to add some information to your family tree. We would love any other information that you are able to gather, and would also be interested in contacting the descendants of James Maher.

      • Thank you so much Nancy Mulford for the reply you posted on the mighty mahers . I am so excited to learn so much on Peter Mahers family I will be so excited to be able to add all these new found relations to my family site. I had the pleasure a few years ago to meet one of James (Gems) great great granddaughters on a visit to Chicago her name is Kimberly Wolfort and now lives in Iowa her father and fathers sister live in North Carolina and Kim’s sister Kathleen in savanah . I am now in touch with them through face book and e- mails which is lovely . If you or your husband would be interested in joining our family site to suss out the huge extended family he has here in Ireland please feel free to email me privately and I can add you as a member to my site my e-mail address is sheelaghdunne@gmail.com
        I am married to Maurice Dunne we have four children and 11 grandchildren ..so lovely to hear from you and many many thanks for helping us solve the mystery of what happened to Peters family
        Thanks again your new found Dublin cousin
        Sheelagh x

        • Patrick Boyle says:

          Hello Sheelagh and Nancy.
          I also just came across this thread. My great-great-grandmother was Mary Maher Peter’s sister. My family is from Port Richmond which is now Incorporated in Philadelphia

          • Sheelagh Dunne says:

            My great grandfather was Patrick Maher who was a brother to Peter Michael and James there was also four sisters so your relatives were also siblings if you wish you can email me and I can add u to my family site so u can catch up on your extended family

      • Lori Quinley says:

        Hi Nancy,
        My father is Michael Maher, son of Peter Leroy Maher (b. 1931, d. 1994) and Margaret Ann Maher, and grandson of Peter J. Maher (b. 1902, d. 1960). He would be Winifred Maher’s nephew and your husband’s first cousin. I would love to learn more about Peter (boxer), James, and Patrick – especially whether or not Peter had any other children. Could I contact you through FaceBook? or do you have any e-mail address you can share with me?

        • Sheelagh Dunne says:

          Hi Lori
          If you wish to contact me with regard to your husbands Irish family you can contact me by email or face book my name is sheelagh Dunne and am great granddaughter of Patrick Maher (Peter Mahers brother) I am living in Dublin Ireland and have done a lot of work on my family site . Would love to hear from you and help in your research on Maher family history

      • I have just wasted half an hour writing an up=date on our Maher research and this site lost it all just because I forgot to put .com at the end of my email address is there anyway I can retrieve it very frustrating
        Sheelagh Dunne

      • Hi Nancy
        Not sure if you are still interested in continuing with your family tree re Peter maher and his family if so could you please email me sheelaghdunne@gmail.com I would love to fill you in on our recent trip to their birthplace in Kilbannon Tuam co Galway etc
        sheelagh Dunne

    • fritz maher says:

      Hi, did you know where Patrick lived?

      • Fritz I’m not sure which Patrick Maher you are referring to but my great grandfather Patrick was born in Tuam Galway and moved to Dublin Ireland. Two of his brothers went to USA

        • Fritz Maher says:

          would your Patrick have a brother Thomas? And what year are we talking? Thomas came the the USA in about 1840.
          Thank you for your helkp.

          • He didn’t have a brother Thomas but he may be a relation I know my cousin Clare is researching a Thomas Maher for a lady called Jackie Maher in London she said she was always told she had an uncle called Peter Maher the boxer but she is decended from a Thomas Maher who she assumed was a brother of Peter I really don’t think so as all our research shows that our family had four boys and four girls .He may have been a cousin or something as we did find him living near one of the brother s Michael in Glasnevin Dublin if this is any help

    • John J Maher says:

      My family, john j maher had relatives with the same names, john j maher had 2 brothers peter, martin they moved to Philidelphia pa. My grandfather married Margret Fitzpatrick from Virginia.

    • Helen Duffy (maiden name Helen Mary Maher) says:

      My grandfather, Patrick Maher, worked in Guinness Brewery I. .
      during the 1920s (ish.) I recall him telling me he had a brother, named Peter, who emigrated to New York in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Beyond that, I have no further information. However, boxing was a very popular subject of conversation (hmmm) in our house in Dublin, during the 1970s..as far back as I can go



  12. Richard Maher says:

    My grandfathers family originated in Tipperary. I’m not sure when they came to the US. My grandfather, born on 1900
    Was nick named, James, and carried the nickname, Tamber. He had two brothers Tobin and John. He may have had a sister
    Also. The family settled in Yonkers where John was a City official for a number of years. Family legend has it that the brothers worked for Dutch Shultz during prohibition. They operated a brewery in Yonkers or nearby which transported beer to Westchester Co.and pumped beer to some speakeasys in the Bronx…. My grandmother and my aunt told this tale, but my grandfather never talked of it . He went his own way after the death of Spoke of it. An old timer that picked me up back in the 60’s told me he knew my GF as one of the toughest kids in Yonkers and GFwas known to box in the smokers. I’m making a trip to Ireland in July and starting to research whatever possible in a short time. My GF married Catherine Oconnor, a daughter of Andrew Oconnor. They arrived at Ellis Ireland in the the late 1890s.

  13. Kelly George Maher says:

    I’m interested to know why some of us pronounce our last name as “MAR” and other as “Ma-Her”. I think it would be interesting to see how this happened. I do know that if I meet a person saying “MAR” they’re family is most likely from the east coast and someone saying “Ma-Her is most likely Midwest, any ideas?

    • fritz maher says:

      About the pronunciation of names, I think some could be the spelling Meagher, which would be pronounced Ma-Her, versus the Maher, pronounced MAR. Same line and all. Someone in Dublin told me the Meagher’s had money and the Maher’s didn’t.

  14. Mark Gilbert says:

    Can someone help me get in touch with John Francis Meagher in Leyland UK?

    We are a NZ branch of the family descended from Mick Meagher (b 1763 in Ballinlassa) & Mary Bohan (b 1771 in Killea)

    John sent me a card recently but his email address does not go through and he did not include his full address.


  15. Erin Maher says:

    Hi, My Maher family (on my Dads side) dud an amazing history of my Great, Great, Great Grandfather who came to the US in 1845. Martin Maher came not to New York but New Orleans which was the 2nd biggest port in the US at that time. Some how or why he made his way to Michigan and became a farmer. Ill go get the book and add more soon

    • Mark Gilbert says:

      Erin, thanks for that. We have a Martin Meagher coming to San Francisco in 1844 and marrying Kate Wallrath

    • fritz maher says:

      i know that my Thomas arrived in Indiana about 1845 ‘ish. But i have no idea how he immigrated. Are there records for the New Orleans port?

      • fritz maher says:

        and, Thomas had a name, Cornelius, that he named his son. William Cornelius Maher. It is an odd name. It should have soe value in looking up ancestors.

  16. Tom Maher says:

    James and Catherine (Fannan) Maher (Catherine’s father was named Patrick Fannan) from County Tipperary, purportedly landed in New Orleans around 1849 and moved to Springfield OH in 1850. From there they moved to Greenville OH in 1864 where my great grandfather, William Maher was born. William moved to Dayton OH and had a son, my grandfather, Charles Sylvester Maher. My father, Thomas Edward Maher Sr. was born in Dayton in 1917. Anyone know anything about any of these folks?

    • Fritz Maher says:

      we could be getting close to ancestors. I had a Thomas Maher land sometime in the world, and ended up in Indiana in the 1840’s. One of his children was William Maher. He married a woman named Tessa Higdon. She was from Kentucky.

  17. Kandi Wyatt says:

    Hi, my dad’s family is Maher. My great-aunt did some research, but she stopped on the Maher line and moved to the Houghton side. I’ve done a bit of research and can trace back to Patrick Maher (1791-1863) of Westerlo, NY. He married Pheobe TenEyck (1800-1844). I’d love any further info. I know he had 8 kids, including Alexander (my great-great-grandfather) who married Lucia Houghton.

  18. kerrie hansen says:

    I am from the Maher family that was originally in Midwood, Brooklyn, New York. Thomas F. Maher (1874-1940) born in New York who was married to Lillian Irene Mack (possibly Mcilureith) (1878-1950) born in New Jersey.

    I understand Thomas F. Maher’s parents are John Maher and Maragret O’Neill.

    I am having such problems getting any further back. If anyone is working on this branch of the family tree please contact me.

    • Kandi Wyatt says:

      Hi, Kerrie, It looks like we’re tracing the same branch. I believe I’m looking for John’s father, Patrick who came over from Ireland. My dad’s family traces back to Alexander from Westerlo, NY. I can’t seem to find my info that tracked Thomas, but it sounds familiar. Here’s where I found out about John. It may or may not be the exact one, but it may be a starting point. http://albanyhilltowns.com/wikiBio/index.php?title=Category:Biography&from=M

      • Can’t make a connection between your Mahers and ours but I live in Dublin Ireland and you might find it helpful to look up Irish census of population or there is another site called Ireland .net which has a huge list with photos of graves from all over the country ,hope this helps also if you knew what county they came from you could try Irish parish records. Most mahers came from Tipperary but ours came from Galway.

        • Kandi Wyatt says:

          Thanks, Sheelagh. I’ll take a look. Unfortunately, all I have to go on is an 1850’s or so census in the US that gave me Alexander’s dad’s name as Patrick from Ireland. To make matters worse, Patrick is a very common name. I know he was born 1791 and by 1825 had moved to Westerlo, NY and had a son, my grandpa’s great-grandpa, Alexander.

          • There is one entry on census 1821 which might be of interest it is a Patrick Maher born 1791 living in Roscomroe Kings county Ireland age 30 relation ship to householder son occupation labourer

          • Kandi Wyatt says:

            Wow! Thanks. I’ll have to look into it. I wasn’t finding the ireland.net. I’ll see what I can find when I look up that specific census. Thank you so very much. I understand why my great-aunt who created the family genealogy didn’t go past Ira Maher–her dad. She has a mention of Alexander and that Patrick is Alexander’s dad. If this is this difficult now, I can’t imagine what it would have been like in the 60’s!

          • It’s not easy but it is addictive best of luck with your continued search

          • Kandi Wyatt says:

            It is addictive. Thanks again.

        • fritz maher says:

          Some people in Dublin told me to go to Thomastown, south of Kilkinney. I’m not sure why, but I went there. I just have no idea how to find the relatives from Ireland. So it was a good start. And you telling me that it could be from Dublin is good. I do suggest that all of us get DNA tested and then put that into GEDmatch.com it would help understand things.

  19. David Maher says:

    My wife and I are going back to the homeland at the end of this month. This was very interesting website here. What was incredible was speaking with distant Maher’s during our visit to County Tipperary back in 2014. Lots of businesses with the Maher last name.

    • fritz maher says:

      Hi, If you are taking requests, I’d like to know things that only a person there could find out. Please let me know at my mail site. And good luck in your travels.


      wE HAVE NOT MUCH TO GO ON only got as far as grandfather Stephen francis maher 1890 Clerihan co Tipperary died Belgium 1917 father Stephen Francis Maher mother Catherine nee Ryan.
      married 1910 Husbands father Stephen Maher Wifes father William Ryan
      Stephen Maher was sergeant of the Connaught Rangers.

    • Kathy says:

      David, did you gather any information about the Tipperary Mahers? My g-g-grandfather was Malachi Maher from Tipperary. I may have found Griffith Valuation from 1850. It puts him in Galbooly Little. He married Catherine Hickey in 1827(I think). I can’t find either of their families. We are traveling there in October with hopes to find out more. Any information you might have would be helpful.

      • Bob Maher says:

        Hi Cathy
        I’ve been looking for the same information with no success, Malachi is my 3rd great-grandfather.

  20. I am looking for any information on Meagher’s born in Ballinlassa – please contact me if you have anything – thanks!

    Richard P. Meagher

    • Mark Gilbert says:


      Our guys came from arouund there to NZ in 1860s. Email me and I will send you a family tree. I have one that covers a large number of US bound relations as well.

      Mark Gilbert

  21. Lukas Misenhimer says:

    The Mahers in New England came from Mahers Newfoundland, which was founded by irish immigrants.

  22. Erin Maher says:

    I am researching my Maher branch. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot to go on. My 3rd great grandfather was Patrick Maher born abt 1839. He was married in 1861 in New Orleans, Louisiana & died in 1886 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He had a son Thomas Francis Maher born abt 1861 & died (& is buried) in Utah. There is also another Thomas Frances Maher born abt 1835 who lived in the adjacent ward putting them within a mile or so of each other. He lists his year of arrival as 1851. I have located the Maher tomb where Patrick & Thomas Francis are both buried. The inscription under each reads “Native of Dublin”. Can anyone please advise where to go from here?? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • Fritz Maher says:


      I don’t know where my ancestors came into the USA. But I have a Thomas who started in the USA in Indiana. It is possible they came into this country through New Orleans. Thomas was born in 1821. He married when he got here in 1848. I met someone who traced their Maher’s to Dublin. Now, I need to remember who that was!

      Fritz Maher

  23. I’m James Francis Maher (5th), I’m a retired Nurse Practitioner from Maryland suburb of D.C. born in 1961 in Cheverly, Maryland at Prince Georges General Hospital. I have two daughters Christine Elizabeth Maher born 1981 in Washington DC at Providence Hospital, now living in Frederick, Maryland, and Catherine Ann Maher born in Silver Spring, Maryland at Holy Cross Hospital in 1987 now living in Baltimore. Sister Susan born 1949 in New York, New York, now living in Maryland, and sister Linda born 1953 in New York, New York, now living in West Virginia. My father is James Francis Maher who married Elizabeth Carolina Kerber in 1947. He was born in 1926 to James Francis Maher who was a Chief Engineer on an oil tanker sunk in the North Atlantic during WWII and when he was young was a jockey and was a friend of Willy Shoemaker, and his wife Willa Mae Gillette, and died in 1997. James Francis Maher, he was an esteemed architect in Washington DC, worked for WC & AN Miller. Designed homes for coach Vince Lombardi and astronaut, Senator John Glenn, among many other Washingtonians of the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
    As a child, I remember visiting family in New York and New Jersey frequently. Going to the Bronx and Brooklyn and visiting Little Mary and Papa Joe. Both of my parents are from New York, I know they stayed with family in Charleston SC in the 50’s. I also remember visiting my father’s cousin in Virginia. I believe his name may have been Owen and he worked for Bell Telephone.
    My father had 2 younger brothers, William James Maher who married Jewel and had three daughters Cindy, Sheryl and Theresa and Francis James Maher (Frank). Frank Maher graduated St Johns Military Academy in Washington DC. He lived in a mountain cabin outside of Winchester, Virginia and was an artist. He also worked as a carpenter. He moved to Ireland in the late 80’s or 90’s. I’ll check with my sister Susan. She knows more about the family than I do. If anything is familiar to anyone else, please let me know.

  24. Peter Selar says:

    I am following my grandmothers line Wilhelmina Scanlan (nee Maher) – born in Australia in 1890. Her parents were married in Australia in 1884, father Daniel Maher (1860-1922) and mother Catherine Maher (nee Conlon). They lived most of their lives in Brunswick (Melbourne Victoria AUS

    Daniel Maher’s father was Patrick Maher and his mother Mary Maher (nee Donoghue?). I am trying to find if Patrick was born in Ireland as am struggling to get further information and am looking to get the family line to back to Ireland

    We will be travelling to Ireland in Jul18 and looking to explore some of the Maher site’s and make the trip even more interesting.

    Looking for any assistance – Thanks

  25. Donna Maher says:

    I have been told that there has been a Thomas Francis Maher in our ancestry for as far back as anyone knows, usually named after a brother of Thomas Francis Maher: my brother was named after for my Uncle Tom, & he for hes uncle, etc. How far back would this go?

    • fritz maher says:

      I have a Tom Maher born 1821. I don’t know about Uncle Tom. It seems to be a slur in America. But, i’ll give you that.

      IF anyone knows about Tomas Maher born 1821, please let me know.

    • Thomas Francis Maher, Jr. says:

      Hi Donna, Thomas Francis Maher Jr, here; son of Thomas Francis Maher, Sr. who is the son of Francis Thomas Maher. No kidding. My grandfather (Francis Thomas Maher) was born in NYC in 1901 and ended up in the Gardner Mass. area. His father was John Maher born in NYC in 1877. Not sure about his birth place since I was told that he was born in Ireland and that he was single. I am unable to locate John Maher’s wife. In addition to Francis Thomas, John Maher had a daughter Katherine and another son Vincent all born in NYC in 1902 and 1905. Apparently, John Maher was a widower. Any clues?

      The Irish do have a sense of humor and I’ve definitely inherited it. My son’s name is Thomas Francis Maher III.

      My family and I were all born and raised in NJ and moved to Raleigh, NC 30 years or so ago.

      • Kathleen Meager says:

        With regards to your Irish ancestor, look under the following surnames Meagher, and Meager. All names are pronounced Mah-her. There have been changes over the years due to various reasons and the movement of irish families around the world. Sometimes the inability to read and write meant the name was spelt as said.

        • Thomas Francis Maher, Jr. says:

          Thanks Kathleen, I’ll add those surnames to my search on the Ancestry website. I have no idea why by people insist on pronouncing my (our) name as “mayer” or “mayor”. We all know the correct pronunciation.

    • Thomas Francis Maher, Jr. says:

      Hi Donna, Thomas Francis Maher Jr, here; son of Thomas Francis Maher, Sr. who is the son of Francis Thomas Maher. No kidding. My grandfather (Francis Thomas Maher) was born in NYC in 1901 and ended up in the Gardner Mass. area. His father was John Maher born in NYC in 1877. Not sure about his birth place since I was told that he was born in Ireland and that he was single. I am unable to locate John Maher’s wife. In addition to Francis Thomas, John Maher had a daughter Katherine and another son Vincent all born in NYC in 1902 and 1905. Apparently, John Maher was a widower. Any clues?
      The Irish do have a sense of humor and I’ve definitely inherited it. My son’s name is Thomas Francis Maher III. My family and I were all born and raised in NJ and moved to Raleigh, NC 30 years or so ago.

  26. Kathy says:

    I am looking for any information on my 2nd great grandfather Malachi Maher born in 1799 in Kilusty, Kiltinan, Tipperary. He married Catherine Bridget Hickey in 1829. My grandfather is Michael Maher norn in Fethard Parish, Tipperary, in 1844. They all settled in Bridgeport , Michigan, USA and are buried there. We are planning a Fall 2018 trip to Ireland and would like to retrace my roots. I don’t have any clue wjo my 3rd greats are and where they lived. Sny help would be appreciated.
    Kathy Longo

    • Bob Maher says:

      Any information you come up with, I would be very interested in if you’re willing to share.
      Bob Maher

  27. Daniel Maher says:

    Hello, all!

    I’m looking for information on Thomas Frances Maher, b. Jun 1856 in Manhattan (according to census data, but it’s possible he was born in Ireland). There were two TF Mahers born in NY State the same year, and NYC census data around that time was sketchy for Irish folk, so cementing his parents has been tough. I think they were John (1822, Ireland) and Kate Maher (b. 1840?!, Ireland). Other records indicate his father was a Martin Maher from Ireland.

    Thomas Frances Maher married Mary Quigley in New York City and had a ton of kids, one of which was my Great-Grandfather, Vincent Aloysius Maher, b. Jun, 1893, Manhattan. He married my Great-Grandmother, Sabina Koch, b. 1892, Manhattan, who had three children, including my Grandfather, Thomas Michael Maher, b. Jun 1922. Oddly, my father was born in June, as was I. What’s going on there?

    Thank you!

    Daniel Michael Maher

  28. Whilst we are Meager’s, our family originally from Tipperary/Offaly were originally Meagher. The H was removed due to some member being hanged for treason. We have family in Melbourne and in UK. Father was Edward Meager one of some 13 children. It is his brother who emigrated to Australia. Would love to know aqny conections and history.

  29. Eva maher says:

    My Great Great grandfather John Maher came from Tipperary county he had 3 Brothers
    Thomas, Patrick, Michael they arrived in 1854

    • fritz maher says:

      hi! we may be related. My GGGrandfather moved to Indiana. Is this close? There must have been several similiar names, but these are like mine.

    • Karen Maher Fuller says:

      My GGGrandfather Thomas Francis Maher and his wife Elizabeth Carroll Maher arrived in NY from Tipperary on the Rappahannock in 1851. Thomas was born in 1821 and Elizabeth was born in 1824.

      I know nothing of the family in Ireland – parents, siblings, nothing.

    • Daniel Maher says:

      Eva, I think we may be related! Are you on Ancestry or FTDNA?

  30. Tom Maher says:

    My Great,great Grandfather was James Maher. His wife was Catherine Fannan. James was born in County Tipperary. He immigrated to the US in either 1849 or 1850 landing in New Orleans. In 1850 he moved to Springfield OH and then to Darke County OH in 1864 where he bought a farm. He died in 1872 and Catherine in 1907. His son, my Grandfather, was William and he moved from Greenville OH to Dayton OH where he met and married my Grandmother, Loretta O’Connell.

    • fritz maher says:

      we seem to be getting close. I wonder how many Irish came into New Orleans and went upstream to Indiana? My GGF was Thomas and was married here in USA to Ann Dant. They were married in 1848. My GGF was William Cornelius.

  31. William Maher says:


    My name is William Maher. I’m looking for information regarding my 2nd Great Grandfather named John Maher who was married to Mary (Topin) Maher. John was born circa 1819 in Ireland. Mary was born around 1814 in Ireland also. They had a son named Edward Maher born January 06, 1837 in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland and migrated to America sometime during his lifetime. He is buried now in St Patrick’s cemetery in Pierce City, Mo, USA.

  32. Timothy Maher says:

    Born in Cashel , County Tipperary, Ireland .
    I live in Los Angeles , also lived in England & Australia,
    Bean in LA 50 hearts.
    Advice go to the parishes Reckords in Ireland and the graveyards,
    I have first cousins who spell the Name Meagher . I belive Maher is the result of the English occupation of Ireland . Meagher is much closer to the Irish . Tipperary is Maher & Ryan County. My father family have relations Graces ,O Carrolls ,Wall, My Mother is Butler . I have a large Family in Ireland England And Australia, Pierce Carrol My Fathers First cousin ,left Ireland at 16 years old joined the US Air Forse. He is the ther original founder of Midway Airport In Chicago. He is the most famous. I have another Maher who was the chief engineer for the Mini Minor in Coventry England.
    I make a living In Sales, I have My Wife Janet who was Born in Chicago of Italian Irish German mix She is American.
    3 boys Brendan Conor Pierce & Caitlin My Daughter
    I have first Cousen living in New Zeland Michael Meagher. His Brother Live in Australia Name Richard Maher & Sister Marian Powell Also lives in Australia. I have cousins of My dad who My have bean a bootlegger who was killed . My mother and father fought in the war of independence in Ireland & originally wear on different sides at the beginning of the Civil war in 20 Ireland. I one of 8 ,6 sisters and my brother Matthew.
    I dint know why I telling you this.
    I recommend a great book to read . The Imortal Irishman, It is the best I read on Thomas Francis Meagher , Meagher of the Sword.
    It will make you proud of your Irish Roots.
    It ties our Irish disporia together , Ireland ,England,Australia & America.
    He was an Amazing Man

  33. Julia Anne (Maher) Melcher says:

    My great-grandfather was Patrick Maher born April 25in either 1825 or 1830 in County Tipperary. His wife’s name was Margaret Ryan (b. 1838 in County Tipperary). They immigrated to the U. S. in the 1850’s. They may have had a child or two in Cappawhite, County Tipperary, Ireland. Children born in Madison County, Iowa near St. Patrick’s Irish Settlement were John Henry (b. 1860), Mary Ann (b. 1862), James William (b. 1863?), Ellen (b. 1865), Katherine ( b. 1867), Daniel (b. 1868), Patrick (b. 1870), Margaret (b. 1874), and my grandfather, Michael Matthew (b. 1876). Somewhere between 1880-1885 they moved to another farm in Jasper County, Iowa near Bondurant, Mingo, and Colfax, Iowa.
    Patrick’s brother, James (b. 1840 in County Tipperary) and his wife, Mary (b. 1850 in Ireland), immigrated at the same time. Their children were also born near St. Patrick’s Irish Settlement in Madison County, Iowa (5 children). Does anyone have info on Patrick and Margaret’s parents?

  34. Julia Anne (Maher) Melcher says:

    James and Mary Maher’s children were Johanna (b. 1871), John (b. 1873), Mary (b. 1876), Kate (b. 1878), and Bridget (b. 1880). Any information anyone can provide will be most appreciated. I live inWest Des Moines, Iowa. I know there remains a contingent of Maher’s in the Colfax-Mingo Iowa area, but I’m lacking a contact with them due to the age gap in Patrick and Margaret Maher’s children. Contact has been lost. Thanks much!

    Julie Melcher

  35. Vick Matthews says:

    My 3X grt-grandparents were John Maher (b/. 1839 in Ireland) & wife, Ellen (Laughlin or McLaughlin, b. also Ireland). They came to central PA (Rush Twnshp in Centre Co). Their daughter, Julia Maher (m. John Estep) and husband are not on the 1900 census, but their daughter, my great-grandmother, Annie, is. She is found in her grandparent’s Maher household age 13, which “jives” with her stories of beng raised by a maiden aunt named Ellen Maher (also found in this household on the 1900 census.) If this seems related to anyone else’s story, I’d love to hear/make contact to learn more.

  36. James says:

    Hi All,

    Just wondering if anyone is related to a Maurice Maher.
    Lombard Street
    Born 1893.
    Lots of Maurice Maher’s in the family. Go way back in Dublin.

    Peter Maher in the same family. Fulham relative. Tierney and Lindsay.


  37. Jennifer Maher says:

    I am doing research and found myself stuck on a particular ancestor. Tobias Maher Sr. born Abt. 1841 in Tipperary Ireland and died sometime after 1911. His son, Tobias Thomas Maher Jr. (1885 – 1970) was born in Tipperary but left Ireland for Pennsylvania in the mid 1900’s. I can not find much information on Tobias Maher Sr. or anything on who his father may be. We are doing a DNA test in a few weeks. Is there a book or anything that I can look into or does anyone have a tree with these people on them?
    Thank you

  38. Pamela Skule says:

    Hello! I am looking for the geneology of Mary Ann Maher born 1485 who married Patrick Condon, Lord of Condons? I can not find anything anywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    • Daniel Maher says:

      How on Earth did you manage to trace your Maher line back that far? Irish records are seemingly awful, I can’t find anything concrete prior to my ancestors arriving in New York City in the early 1850s?! I know more about my distant Scottish/ English ancestors who arrived in Virginia in 1604 (mennonites, they kept excellent records, and were also descendants of the House of Stewart/ Stuart, which helps too).

      Also, this is unrelated, but have any other Mahers done haplogroup testing? I came back I-M223, which is somewhat rare for Ireland, and along with my matches, indicates my most distant Maher ancestor had been there for at least 2000 years, likely pre-ice age!

  39. Anne Evola says:

    Good afternoon! Just found this site. I haven’t found anyone mentioning the following Maher family so I hope maybe someone who may recognize it.

    My g-grandmother was Anne Maher (b. 1862). Her parents were James Maher and Bridget Costigan. They were married in 1858 and raised at least nine children in Bourney in the Clonakenny area between Roscrea and Templemore. The townlands where they lived are mentioned in records are Shanakill and Skehanagh.

    Anne married William Greene in 1884 and eventually came to America as did her brother John (Jack). I have traced some of the other children and have met with many of their descendants. 🙂 I am having a hard time finding out what may have happened to Patrick (b. 1858), Mary (b.1860), James (b.1864). I do not know if these three stayed in the area or not.

    If this family sounds familiar to anyone, I’d love to compare notes. Thanks!

    • fritz maher says:

      hi! if you ever find anyone who had people enter the USA in the 1840’s into the state of Indiana, please let me know. Good luck in your search!

  40. Sean Aguirre-Maher says:

    My family hails from County Sligo and County Tipperary. My Great-Grandmother came from Sligo circa 1930 to New York City via White Star Lines to Ellis Island. Her name was Winnie (Winifred), Durkin. She had 3 sisters who all came with her and one brother, James, who stayed to tend to the peet farm (Which is still there and owned by my family). My mothers Father and Mom were both Irish. Named Veronica Maher (Hart) whose father was Joseph Hart, and Edward G. Maher. On Edwards side, the Mahers, Hailed from Tipperary, his mother was named Florence Maher(Mckenna), and his father also named Edward Maher. MY sister and I are really wanting to find out more about our families history, and just recently discovered our Uncle was FDNY Commissioner, and or was possibly a bootlegger. If it helps I have six cousins an Aunt, and an Uncle living in Dallas, Texas, Several distant relatives in New York, Wisconsin, and County Sligo, If you have any possible relation, or any more info, please respond! Thank You! P.S My families crest is the same as the top, without the bird though! PPS, My father is from Mexico so we are trying to do family history there too! (But we don’t need help on that!

    • fritz maher says:

      I have an cousin from Dallas Texas that was a car dealer. Could that be the same person?

    • Jane Maher says:

      In New Orleans Mahers are “May-ers.”

      • Sean Aguirre-Maher says:

        I know a couple of people that say it that way.

        • Tom Maher says:

          My understanding is that our ancestors arrived in New Orleans and then one headed north to Ohio. We have always pronounced Maher as May er.

          • fritz maher says:

            Tom, are we related? To Thomas Maher from Washington, Indiana, circa 1848?

          • Tom Maher says:

            Certainly possible.

            My understanding is that John Maher (great great grandfather I think) came to Springfield OH and then moved to Darke County, near Greenville OH.

          • fritz maher says:

            Tom, it is close, maybe Thomas and John were close. It is interesting of coming into New Orleans and going up the Mississippi.

  41. Charles says:

    I was born Dec 9th 1965 in Long Island, N.Y. My given birth name was Christopher Raymond Maher . I was given up for adoption to the Catholic Charities and adopted in April of 1966. Just inquiring about the family name , history and if maybe someone out there knows anyone who might well be related . This is all about curiosity God blesses me many times over , life is good.


    • Daniel Maher says:

      Not a lot of Mahers settled in NYC, most immigrated to Boston. My great-Grandfather (born in NYC in the late 1800s) was one of maybe 14 or 15 kids. My family settled in Jersey, though my Great-Grandfathers siblings would have likely settled in Long Island as well. You’re around the same age as my youngest Uncle, are you on Ancestry?

      • fritz Maher says:

        It is an odd thing to read. I am not sure who you are asking or who you are asking. But we need to be together. I have no idea how my ancestors came from Ireland, and I’m pretty sure around Callan, to America, in Indiana. But someone came to New York. And around the Buffalo area. But keep in mind, We are all your Uncles.

      • Sheelagh Dunne says:

        Most Mahers came originally from co Tipperary in Ireland my great grandfather came from tuam in Galway His brothers peter and James emigrated to America his brother Peter was a boxer
        You would need to have the names of your birth parent and their dates of birth to start your search if u need me to check anything here in Ireland I will do my best to help you good luck

  42. Shawn Brock says:

    I see lots of terrific info and sharing here. So here goes. My Patrick Maher (b1815) shows up in Philadelphia before 1855. He is married to Bridget Carmody/Cobley. 3 sons reach maturity, John J (b1855 Phila), Michael Joseph (b1856 Phila) and Thomas Francis (b1860 Phila). One daughter, Margaret (b1858- Phila). John marries Julia Lane and they appear to live their entire lives in Phila. Michael marries Mary Agnes Bigley moving at times between Phila and Camden NJ. Thomas marries Rose Messick and they live their lives also in Phila.
    The local pronunciation is May-Ur but remembers the Ma-Hur pronounciation. I’ve had little luck in identifying Patrick’s history before 1855. If any of this is familiar a response is welcomed.

    Stay Safe

  43. Doken says:

    Paul Cormac Maher buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago in 1965. A very educated man but I can find no trace of him or descendants. A little help here please.

  44. Monica Mattioli says:

    My Grandfather, John Meagher, lived in Deseronto Canada. Married Julia Quirk of Fulton NY. They returned to Canada and had 11 children. The first eight born in Canada, the last 3 born in Fulton NY. 8 girls, 3 boys. He died in 1910. I’m interested to know if he was born on Canada or in Ireland. My mother’s name was Agnes Ginevra Meagher (Gray).

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