Image © RMK Research
"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:
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.