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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Irish Royalty - Part 4 - Maguire Kings and My Maguire Roots

It is rather interesting to look at the spelling of the Maguire name of the 9th century.  It is indicated as MacGuire.  One might think it to be Scottish and I have been asked many times if I am Scottish.  I used to always say "no" to that question.  Now, I can't say no to it in general as there could be some Scottish back there in my line but it is looking like my McGuire side is not Scottish and I can probably say that going back about a thousand or so years.  They are, in pretty decent fact and company, Irish.

The name does originate as MacUidhir meaning son of Uidhir from County Westmeath, Ireland circa 956 A.D.  It means son of pale one.   Once again, there I go quoting the "write-ups" that accompany most heraldry information for an additional free.  That description of Uidhir about sums up my appearance except for the color I get from spending too much time out in the California sun.  I am pretty pale.

Online there is a whole lot of information about Maguire/McGuire surname.  There are DNA projects out there some of which only want males to participate.  I find the information to be rather disjointed and again does not get me to my own personal family tree.  Oh but wait, I was writing about Irish kings.  I can at least do that for grins.

The "first" Maguire king, Donn Carrach Maguire, died in 1302.  The Maguire's are indicated as the rulers in County Fermanagh (or what is Fermanagh in Northern Ireland today).  How and when they migrated from County Westmeath to Fermanagh is not something that I have on hand.  That is probably okay because it would be more detail that what I looking for at this point in time.

When I look up some factual history about the Maguire's of Fermanagh, I find that they were referred to as chieftains rather than kings.  There was a Hugh the Hospitable and several other chieftains of various names.  I came across another Hugh - Aodh Mag Uidhir (Hugh) - who died in 1600.  What strikes me to be most interesting about Hugh Maguire, Lord of Fermanagh, was that he was the leader during the reign of Elizabeth I of England.  He died fighting the crown during the Nine Years War.

Reading biographical information about those considered to be "royalty" of Ireland does give you an insight into Irish history.  It also makes you realize that the Annuals of the Four Masters are probably your best bet in understanding the "possible" ancestors of your own Irish line.  At least, it is interesting!

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