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The Irish Rose

Maguire Name History

Maguire Coat of Arms

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MaGuire is a surname of Irish origin, from the Gaelic "Mag Uidhir." The name means, "son of Odhar." Some historical background seems to indicate that the name Mag Uidhir, Maguire, or McGuire stems from the Magi of Éire who were the priests of ancient Ireland. See more on the McGuire Name History page.

History of Maguires

The Maguire sept is primarily associated with modern-day County Fermanagh. They possessed the entire county, also known as Maguire's Country, from about 1250 C.E. and maintained their independence as Lords of Fermanagh down to the reign of King James VI & I, when their country was confiscated like other parts of Ulster. The Maguires supplied Chiefs or Princes to Fermanagh, from about A.D. 1264, when they supplanted the former Chieftains (O'Daimhin, or Devin). They were inaugurated as Princes of Fermanagh on the summit of Cuilcagh, a magnificent mountain near Swanlinbar, on the borders of Cavan and Fermanagh; and sometimes also at a place called Sciath Gabhra or Lisnasciath, now Lisnaskea. The family was first mentioned in the Annals as early as 956 AD and have always been closely associated with the other leading septs of Ulster such as the O'Neill and the O'Donnell. They spawned several well-known branches which became septs in their own right, including Mac Manus, Mac Caffrey, Mac Hugh, and several others. The name is among the forty most common names in Ireland, among the top twenty-five in Ulster, ten in Co. Cavan, thirty in Co. Monaghan and is the single most common name in Co. Fermanagh. Maguiresbridge in Co. Fermanagh (Irish: Droichead Mhig Uidhir) takes its name from the family.

In the Nine Years' War (1594–1603), Hugh Maguire, the Lord of Fermanagh, took the rebels' side, while his subordinate kinsman Connor Roe Maguire of Magherastephana sought to displace him and was nicknamed "the Queen's Maguire" for his support of Queen Elizabeth's forces. Connor was granted the whole of Maguire's Country (Fermanagh) by letters patent in 1601, but this was disregarded by the Plantation of Ulster in 1609, which granted him only twelve thousand acres of the barony of Magherastephana. Connor's son Bryan was made Baron Maguire of Enniskillen in 1627; Bryan's son Connor, 2nd Baron supported the Confederate Ireland rebellion of the 1640s and was executed and attainted in 1645. During translation in the Ulster Plantation, various English translations of the original Mag Uidhir appeared, including Mc Guire, Maguire, Mac Guire and McGuire. In South West Donegal, the name is re-translated into Gaelic as Mac Guibhir. An unusual version is Meguiar, an American spelling best known from "Meguiar's Wax."

The Maguire clan motto is "Justia et Fortitudo Invincibilia Sunt", which is Latin for "Justice and Fortitude Are Invincible"

Variant spellings of the Irish surname McGuire include MacGuire, Guire, Guirey, Guiry, among others.

More about the Maguire family name

For more information about Maguire, see the Framed Irish Family Name History, (#1760). The Irish Rose offers many Maguire coat of arms products, from clothing to glassware to framed coat of arms heirlooms. Please visit the Irish Coat of Arms page.

Looking for a Maguire Pub in Ireland?

There is indeed a Maguire's Bar in Ireland and it can be found in Moville, County Donegal. 

If you can't visit in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

McGuire Castle in EnniskillenNotable people named Maguire

  • Baron Maguire, Two Barons Maguire of Enniskillen in the Peerage of Ireland
  • Bassett Maguire (1904-1991), American botanist
  • Cathy Maguire, Irish singer-songwriter, TV personality from Dundalk, Co Louth.
  • Charles A. Maguire (1876–1949), Canadian politician; mayor of Toronto 1922–1923
  • Chris Maguire (born 1989), Scottish professional football player
  • Clare Maguire (born 15 September 1987), British singer-songwriter
  • Connor Maguire, 2nd Baron of Enniskillen, Irish rebel of 1641
  • Darragh Maguire (born 1976), Irish professional football player
  • Donna Maguire (born 1967), Provisional IRA member
  • Eleanor Maguire, Irish neuropsychologist
  • Emily Maguire (disambiguation), multiple people
  • Father Bob Maguire (born c.1935), Australian priest and community worker; awarded the Order of Australia 1989
  • Frank Maguire (1929–1981), Northern Ireland politician and MP
  • Gavin Maguire (born 1967), Welsh international footballer
  • George Maguire (born 1990), Olivier Award-winning English actor
  • George Maguire (1796–1882), Irish-American mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Gerard Maguire (born 1945), Australian actor
  • Gregory Maguire (born 1954), American author
  • Harold Maguire (1912–2001), Director-General of Intelligence at the British Ministry of Defence
  • Hugh Maguire (violinist) (1927–2013), Irish violinist
  • Hugh Maguire (Lord of Fermanagh) (d. 1600), Lord of Fermanagh in Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth I
  • Jack Maguire (1925–2001), American professional football player
  • James G. Maguire (1853–1920), American politician; U.S. representative from California
  • Jeff Maguire (born 1952), American film screenwriter
  • John A. Maguire (1870–1939), American politician from Nebraska
  • John Aloysius Maguire (1851–1920), Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland
  • John Norman Maguire (born 1956), Australian cricketer
  • Joseph Maguire (contemporary), U.S. Navy rear admiral, Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command
  • Joseph Francis Maguire (1919-2014), American Catholic bishop
  • Josh Maguire (born 1980), Australian football player
  • Kathleen McGuire (born 1965), Australian-American musician (conductor, composer, educator)
  • Kevin Maguire (born 1960), American comic book artist
  • Kristin Maguire, American politician and former chairman of the South Carolina State Board of Education
  • Larry Maguire (born 1949), Canadian politician and activist farmer in Manitoba; representative in the Manitoba legislature
  • Leona Maguire (born 1994), Irish golfer, twin of Lisa.
  • Lisa Maguire (born 1994), Irish golfer, twin of Leona.
  • Máiread Corrigan-Maguire (born 1944), Northern Irish peace activist
  • Mark McGwire, (born 1963), American baseball player
  • Martie Maguire (born 1969), American country music songwriter and singer; founding member of the Dixie Chicks
  • Mary Maguire (1919–1974), born Hélène Teresa Maguire, Australian actress
  • Matt Maguire (born 1984), Australian rules footballer
  • Michael Maguire (disambiguation), multiple people
  • Paul Maguire (born 1938), American professional football player and sportscaster
  • Peter J. McGuire (1852-1906), American labor leader
  • Sam Maguire (1879–1927), Irish Republican and Gaelic footballer; eponym of the Sam Maguire Cup
  • Sharon Maguire (born 1960), British film maker
  • Stephen Maguire (born 1981), Scottish professional snooker player
  • Steve Maguire (contemporary), American software engineer and author
  • Tobey Maguire (born 1975), American actor; best known for Spider Man
  • Tom Maguire (1892–1993), Irish republican, commandant-general in the IRA

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