Recorded as McMeyler, McMylor and McMyler, and sometimes without the prefix as in Maylor, Maylour (Welsh) and Meyler, Mylor and Myler, this is usually regarded as an Irish surname. It is however one that even in Ireland is recognized as being ultimately of early Welsh origins. It has apparently been recorded in Ireland since about the 12th century, and is particularly associated with County Wexford. If indeed it was Welsh this would tie in nicely with the invasion of Ireland1169 by Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, on the invitation of his father in law, one of the Nine Kings of Ireland. The derivation according to Irish historians is from the Gaelic "maoilir", whilst the Welsh historians suggest that it is from the similar "maelor, but in any case both have the meaning of "bare." As such it was a name given to "strangers", people who arrived from somewhere else, and presumably had few possessions. It would seem that around Elizabethan times in Ireland some nameholders adopted the Mac or Mc prefix to show solidarity with their Gaelic neighbours. This was at a time when England and Scotland had adopted forms of the protestant faith, whilst the Irish remained true to the original Roman Catholic church. It is unclear when the surname was first registered, but a family called Maoilir were recorded in Duncormick, County Wexford, in the year 1201.
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