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

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

Surnames of Irish origin have experienced many changes in their spellings and forms. Before being translated into English, McNemar appeared as Mac Conmara, which means "hound of the sea" or "warrior of the sea."

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Many variations of the name McNemar were found in archives from the Middle Ages. These variations can be somewhat explained by the challenge of translation of Gaelic names into English. Hence, the spelling and language in which the people's names were recorded was often up to the individual scribe. Variations of the name McNemar found include McNamara, McNamar, McNamarra, McNamard, Sheedy and many more.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where MacConmara or MacNamara was chief of the territory of Clan Caisin, now the barony of Tullagh. The family was also sometimes styled chiefs of Clan Cuilean; derived from Cuilean, one of their chiefs in the eighth century. This ancient family have traditionally held the high office of hereditary marshals of Thomond.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNemar research. Another 271 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1402, 1426, 1402, 1797, 1768 and 1826 are included under the topic Early McNemar History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNemar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name McNemar or one of its variants:

McNemar Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Eliza McNemar, aged 52, who settled in Dekalb, Illinois, in 1911

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  • Quinn Michael McNemar (1901-1986), American psychologist and statistician, creator of McNemar's test


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  11. ...

The McNemar Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNemar 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 3 April 2014 at 10:55.

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