This is an anglicized variant spelling of the ancient and quite rare Irish surname Cahir also spelt Kehir and Keher. The original spelling was O' Cathaoir and the name is unusual in that it is topographical and refers to a place probably in Co. Clare formerly known but now lost as "The Chair". It is also probable that the present nameholders in England were Famine Emigrants (circa 1847 -1850), one Ann Kehr being recorded at Liverpool in 1846, whilst oddly another Ann Caher is also recorded in Liverpool in 1846 with her husband Pat, Prior to emigration to America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bernhard Keigher, which was dated 1874, married Mary Ann Mooney at Manchester Cathedral, during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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