This is one of the Anglicized forms of the ancient Gaelic surname 'Mac Fhiachra', a patronymic form of the old personal name 'Fiachra', thought to have been bestowed originally as a nickname for a dark-haired person, from 'fiach', raven. The early Anglicized forms of the name, Keaghry, Keighry and Keahery are now very rare, since they have been absorbed by the modern Anglicization 'Carey', a name which has been adopted to cover a number of other Gaelic Irish surnames. The original Irish sept of Mac Fhiachra were found mainly in County Galway, while another sept, that of the northern Ui Neill, was called MacKeaghery and MacGeaghery in the 17th Century, and has become M(a)cKeefry, now found mainly in County Tyrone. The christening of one William McKeefry was recorded at Kilrea, Londonderry, on June 12th 1866. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nemeas MacKeaghery, which was dated 1444, The Armagh Inquisitions, during the reign of King Henry V1, 'The Founder of Eton', 1422-1461. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017