The Max family of Co Tipperary


The Rock of Cashel in Tipperary, the Irish city that was home to the Maxes and Prossors. (Picture: Eddi Laumanns, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The connection

Prudence Max b 1755 in Dublin, Ireland, is Will’s 3x great grandmother. Her great grandfather was Simon Max of Gaile, who died in 1732 in Co Tipperary. 

The name

Look on a map at the north of Cambridgeshire and you will see the village of Maxey. We believe the Maxes held the manor there. Variants include Maxe, Maxie and Maxey. 


Various family histories contain fragments of Max/Maxey family histories. Some in the Royal College of Arms in London, above, and elsewhere go back to the time of Henry VII. (Picture: Andreas Praefcke, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)


The church in the village of Maxey, on the border of Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. This is where we believe the family name originated. A cluster of Maxes in Northants can still be seen in the 1600s although after that the name is spread far and wide. (Picture: Terry McKenna via


The rolling countryside of Tipperary meant the Maxes could easily make a living from farming. Mary Max’s fortune is estimated to have been equal to £5m today. (Picture: Tipperary Tourism Company)

Odds and ends

• One branch of the family appears to have become Catholic, possibly on marriage.

• A member of the Max family lived at Maxfort, Thurles, as late as 1907. We understand that people with the Max surname still live in the area.


• The Maxes might have gone from England to Ireland as merchants, with a son possibly acting as an agent for his father. We have found no connection to the Norman, Elizabethan, Cromwellian or later invasions of Ireland.
• In 1777 Prudence Max was a young woman about to get married when her 16-year-old cousin Mary was kidnapped after a ball, taken abroad and forced into marriage . . .  but was she a willing victim? Did the two young women contrive over the incident or did it come as a shock to Prudence?

Read on . . .

Find out more about the Max family

Max family history
Max family wills
Mary Max kidnapping
Max family gravestones

 A set of wills transcribed by the late Martin Callanan of Thurles, Co Tipperary, helped us to trace the family. Other Tipperary researchers may find this list of use.


Prudence Max's mother was Prudence Griffith b c 1728. Her marriage licence bond says she is from the parish of Shronell. This tiny village had been packed with Protestants as part of the British attempt at colonisation of the south of Ireland. (Picture: Tipperary Tourism Company)


The Max family gravestones are mostly in Gaile graveyard but Simon Max, the patriarch of the Irish family, was buried in Ballytarsna. He had been born in 1666, possibly in London, and lived to the age of 66. (Picture by permission of the Royal Irish Academy © RIA)

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