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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish McNamee family come from? What is the Irish McNamee family crest and coat of arms? When did the McNamee family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McNamee family history?

The original Gaelic form of McNamee was Mac Conmidhe, which means hound of Meath.

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The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name McNamee revealed spelling variations, including McNamee, McNanamy, McNammee, McName, McNanny and others.

First found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNamee research. Another 386 words(28 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNamee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McNamee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the McNamee name:

McNamee Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick McNamee, aged 25, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • John McNamee, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845
  • James McNamee, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Francis McNamee, who landed in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1852
  • Bernard, Charles, Francis, Hugh, James, John, Michael, Patrick, and Thomas McNamee all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

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  • Graham McNamee (1888-1942), American radio broadcaster
  • Joe McNamee (b. 1926), retired American professional NBA basketball player
  • Luke McNamee (1871-1952), American admiral and 12th Naval Governor of Guam, recipient of the Navy Cross
  • Danny McNamee (b. 1960), Irish former electronic engineer who was wrongly convicted
  • Eoin McNamee (b. 1961), Irish writer
  • Anthony McNamee (b. 1984), English left-midfielder
  • David McNamee (b. 1980), Scottish professional footballer
  • Bernie McNamee, Canadian co-host with the CBC
  • Jessica McNamee, Australian actress
  • Peter McNamee (b. 1950), retired Canadian professional WHA ice hockey forward

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  1. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

The McNamee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNamee Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 February 2014 at 10:06.

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