Derived from "O'Midhir" in the original medieval Irish-Gaelic spelling, "Meere" is today a relatively rare name even in its homeland of Co. Clare. The name translates as "the descendant (O') of the Merry One" from meidhur meaning "mirth", the "modern" spelling being an anglicization of a type which is quite normal today. The Meeres were the Erenaghs of Drumcleeve, a form of lay lord responsible for the upkeep of the church properties and lands. It was a secular hereditary position which could continue even after the original establishment had become ruinous, or until the church re-claimed the holding after several centuries. The name is also sometimes "anglicised" to "Myers" or even "De La Mere", an illustration that names are often not what they seem! Early recordings in Ireland tend to be erratic or non-existent, the long periods of war and civil unrest making the registration difficult. This was particularly so, the further away from Dublin; West Coast registrations are hardly even existent before 1864. An example is Thomas Meere, christened at Crusheen, Co. Clare, on April 25th 1864; he was the son of Thomas Meere and (the former) Bridget Kearney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Miriam Meir, which was dated November 12th 1775, married Martin Lynch at Limerick Cathedral, during the reign of King George 111, known as "Farmer George" 1760 - 1820. 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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