Non videri sed esse (Not to
pretend, but to be)
The webmaster has placed a
supplemental sheet that was inserted in the book in this position
because it seemed the most logical place to put it.
THE O'HAIR FAMILY
COAT OF ARMS
K. R. O'Hair
Supplement to O'Hair Arms 1
The James Haire coat of arms were recorded at the College of Arms, London,
England in 1845 by James Haire of Armagh Manor, County Fermanagh, Northern
Ireland. Also recorded was the statement that such Arms were to be used
exclusively by all descendants of James Haire, the grandfather of the James Haire who recorded the Arms. Such Arms were emblazoned as:
- Gules two bars on a Chief indented argent a thistle proper.
- A lion rampant supporting the Roman Fasces proper.
- In Te Domine Speravit. (In Thee, O Lord, I place my hope.)
Haire arms is listed in Burke's "General Armory," the official British listing
of Arms registered in England.
It is believed that James Haire of County Fermanagh was a descendant of some
member of the O'Heir clan who occupied part of County Armagh in the 16th century
prior to the breakup of the clan system, or he was a descendant of one of the 21
O'Hares listed in the 1659 census of Ireland as residents of County Down,
Northern Ireland. It is very probable that the first James Haire anglicized his
name by changing the spelling and dropped the prefix O from the name, O'Heir,
pursuant to English law in effect at that time.
In the 16th and 17th centuries every clan, with very few exceptions, had a coat
of arms. The practice arose in the 12th century; however, recording of arms did
not begin until 1552, when the Genealogical Office was established in Dublin,
Some pertinent information and conclusions relative to the O'Hair family coat of
In a letter dated January 12, 1970, addressed to K. R. O'Hair, Paris, Illinois,
Mr. Rodney Dennys, Somerset Herald of Arms at the College of Arms in London,
England, stated in part that: "It is possible that before the 1854
Confirmation, the family of Haire (and perhaps other families of that name)
used the Arms of which you sent me a coloured copy; but it might not be possible
to confirm this. At the time of the 1854 registration, the Arms which the family
was using without authority were slightly altered, but we do not know exactly
what amendments were made." The colored copy of the arms Mr. Dennys referred to
was a copy of the
Supplement to O'Hair Arms 2
arms displayed in the "Michael O'Hair Family" book. The slight alteration Mr.
Dennys referred to appears to have been the addition of the image of a thistle
to the shield.
Considering the foregoing and all other available information, it is reasonable
to assume that James Haire used the O'Hare arms - with slight alterations -
which the family had used prior to the date of registration of the James Haire
arms and that the original O'Hare arms were not registered because the O'Hare
family was Catholic, had not dropped the prefix o, or anglicized their names as
provided by English law, and feared English persecution because of their
opposition to England's domination of Ireland.
Mr. Dennys further stated in his letter that the O'Hair coat of arms which is
displayed in the "Michael O'Hair Family" book, published in 1957, is not
registered at the College of Arms in London, England, or at the Genealogical
Office in Dublin, Ireland.
During the reign of Henry VIII a proclamation was issued forbidding the use of
heraldic ensigns to those who could not show an original and valid right to
arms. The Ulster King of Arms has authority to give confirmation (with some
slight heraldic difference to indicate the fact of its being a confirmation) to
a claimant who can prove to his satisfaction that he, the claimant and his
family, have used the said arms and crest for a certain number of generations.
In the case of James Haire it appears probable that he used a coat of arms
previously used by the O'Heir family and to obtain registration in his name, he
effected a slight heraldic difference from the original design, which would have
had to be used by this family for a certain number of generations to obtain
No mention could be found of the Haire family in the book of "The Four Masters," or on the map depicting the old Irish families in Ireland from the 11th to the
17th centuries, or in the 1659 census of Ireland; therefore, it is reasonable to
presume that the Haire family is a branch of the O'Heir clan, also that the coat
of arms of the O'Heir clan might have been similar to the recorded Haire arms.
It is very probable that the O'Heir clan did have a coat of arms prior to 1690,
the date of the Battle of the Boyne. There is no coat of arms registered at the
College of Arms in London, or at the Genealogical Office in Dublin under O'Heir,
Supplement to O'Hair Arms 3
O'Hair. In a letter addressed to K. R. O'Hair under date of 20 October 1969, the
Genealogical Office of Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland, wrote "many old Irish
coats of arms were never registered as such, i.e. we have no record of who was
the original grantee. Indeed a number of older arms were in existance long
before the foundation of the Office of Arms in 1552. In any case it would not be
politic for Hugh O'Neill or Hugh O'Donnel - to take an example - to come to
register their arms at Dublin Castle, the seat of English administration at that
time. There are scattered throughout our manuscripts simple records, often in
trick form, of a great number of long-established basic arms associated with
various Irish families. In the case of the O'Hehir family, traditionally located
in Co. Clare, simple records (as opposed to registration) of the coat of arms
ascribed to them will be found in Manuscript No. 528, Royal Irish Academy, and
in Harleian MS No. 4039 at the British Museum. Finally it will be appreciated
that armorial bearings do not appertain to a name but to a family, in other
words slight variations due to the anglicization of Gaelic names would not
materially affect the fundamental arms properly attaching to an old Irish
family." The family names of Hugh O'Neill and Hugh O'Donnel referred to above
were names of Catholic families. The writer of the letter was calling attention
to the fact that many families did not want to admit that they were Catholic.
The coat of arms of the O'Hehir family of County Clare, Southern Ireland, is
blazoned as follows:
- Argent a stag passant proper.
- A hand coupled at the wrist proper holding a bendways sinister sable.
Motto - Dio Dom Corp (God Protect Me).
are recorded in Harlean MMS 4039 in the British Museum in London, England under
the name Hehir - a form peculiar to County Clare. This is the Arms used by the
O'Hehir clan in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and were recorded about 1670.
Since there is no definite information relative to the origin of the O'Hair coat
of arms which is displayed in the "Michael O'Hair Family" book, and no such arms
are recorded in Ireland or England, there is historical and documentary
confirmation that the O'Hare clan were descendants
Supplement to O'Hair Arms 4
of the Clanna Rory; therefore, those members of the O'Hair family who desire to
use and display a family coat of arms may use and display the arms of the Clanna
Rory which are described as follows: .
Shield - Vert a lion rampant between three escallops, or.
Crest - On a mount a stag couchant proper.
Motto - Pavente Deo (By God's Favour).
adopted by the O'Hair family in the United States is Von Videri Sed Esse (Not to
pretend, but to be). Under the rules of heraldry, anyone can adopt a motto, but
should, if possible, adher to the heraldic motto. However, mottos are very much
a matter of personal taste. The motto is usually shown on a scroll beneath the
shield, but may be displayed on its own.