Recorded in various spellings including MacIvor, McIvor, MacKeever, McKeever and McKeevers, this is a Gaelic surname, found mainly in Ireland. It has at least two popular origins. The first derives from the pre 10th century patronymic "Mac Lomhair", meaning the son of Lomhair. This was a personal name which is thought to be derived from the Old Norse name "Ivarr", itself was composed of the elements "iw",meaning bow, and "herr", an army. As the Norse-Vikingscontrolled almost all the north of Ireland before the 10th century, this would seem to be a likely origin for this name. However there also reseaches which suggest that certainly as Mc Keever(s ) it may derive from "Mac Eimhir", from the Gaelic personal name "Eimhear", but this is not fully substantiated. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Owen McKeever, whose is recorded in the Hearth Roll tax registers of 1664, in Armagh City, whilst John McKeevers married Sarah Ferry at Downpatrick, County Down, on December 27th 1704. The first surviving recording was during the reign of King Charles 11nd, known as the Merry Monarch, 1660 - 1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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