This interesting surname is a Donegal variant of "Mac Ivor" or " MacIver", itself found in Tyrone, which is a synonym of "MacKeever", which is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Iomhair", from "Mac", meaning son of, and either the Norse personal name "Ivaar" or the indigenous Irish forename "Eimhear". This name was mainly found in Oriel, an ancient Gaelic territory in Ireland, comprising the counties of Armagh, Monaghan and parts of south Down, Louth and Fermanagh. Certain O hIomhair (O - "male descendants of") families who forsook the Irish name, became part of the ascendancy and Anglicized their name as Ivers and Howard.The name may have been introduced into England through famine immigrants in the mid 19th Century. Andrew McGeever, aged 30 yrs, a labourer and his wife Katherine, aged 36 yrs., with children Mary and Frederick aged 2 yrs., and 1 yr., respectively left Liverpool on December 8th 1846 for New York aboard the "Sea". John, daughter of Michael and Mary McGeever was baptised at Kunkineely, Donegal on May 25th 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Neile MacKeever, (Secretary to Shane O' Neill), which was dated 1567, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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