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  "The Magner Coat of Arms hereby illustrated is officially documented in Burke's General Armory.  The original description of the arms shield is as follows:

    AR. on a mount vert a swepe (or Balista) AZ, charged with a stone PPR.  A chief per fesse embattled or and GU.
    When translated the blazon also describes the original colors of the Magner Arms as:
        Silver:  On a green mound, a blue catapult charged with a stone;
        Upper third divided horizontally, gold and red, embattled below.
        Above the shield and helmet is the crest which is described as:  On a green mound an eagle rising natural colored, crowned with a gold eastern crown."

Submitted by:  Jim Magner

Sept and Clan

The terms clan and sept have often been confused.  Ireland never had a well developed clan system like Scotland.   "Sept" is more appropriate as a collective term describing a group of persons or immediate ancestors who bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory.  Clan is now used to indicate the family group.  Source:  Edward MacLysaght, Irish Families, Dublin: 1991.  Bibliography  

    The use of a clan “coat of arms” is somewhat controversial.  In some countries, such as England and Scotland, the right to bear arms is strictly regulated by law, and a coat of arms belongs only to an individual and his direct heirs.  In Ireland, however, the situation is more complicated, and “sept arms” are recognized. (A sept is a branch of a clan, such as the O’Kellys of Meath being a sept of Kelly.)

    As stated by Edward MacLysaght, the first Chief Herald of Ireland, “Briefly, then, the position is that many Irish coats of arms may be displayed without impropriety by any person of the sept indicated if he really does belong to that sept.”  The arms to which MacLysaght refers and which fall into the category of sept arms, include Dunn, Dempsey and others. 

1 John Burke and John Bernard Burke: General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London: Harrison and Sons, 1884.

The difficulty with establishing an Irish pedigree is that the Central Repository of Ireland's Public Records was set on fire and burned in 1922.  The main bulk of the State, Domestic and Ecclesiastical Records of the country were then destroyed.



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