History

The Maguire sept is primarily associated with modern-day County Fermanagh. They possessed the entire county, also known as Maguire’s Country, from about 1200 C.E. and maintained their independence as Lords of Fermanagh down to the reign of James 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.Maguire Family Crest
After the seventeenth-century confiscation caused by the Flight of the Earls in 1607, Connor Roe Maguire obtained re-grants of twelve thousand acres of the forfeited lands of his ancestors, and was created Baron Maguire of Enniskillen in 1628, a title which was also borne by his successor. 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 Neills and the O Donnells. They also spawned several well-known branches which became septs in their own right, including MacManus, Caffrey, MacHugh, 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, (Gaelic: Droichead Mhig Uidhir) takes its name from the family.
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. The most 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”