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

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

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name McNamee include McNamee, McNanamy, McNammee, McName, McNanny and others.


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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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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McNamee family came to North America quite early:

McNamee Settlers in 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

McNamee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick McNamee, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Biddy McNamee, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Patrick McNamee, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Patrick McNamee, aged 9, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

McNamee Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Nicholas McNamee arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847
  • Marcella McNamee, aged 39, a housekeeper, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Standard"
  • Hugh McNamee, aged 25, a blacksmith, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • James McNamee, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"
  • Julia McNamee, aged 24, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

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  • Luke McNamee (1871-1952), American admiral and 12th Naval Governor of Guam, recipient of the Navy Cross
  • Joe McNamee (b. 1926), retired American professional NBA basketball player
  • Graham McNamee (1888-1942), American radio broadcaster
  • Eoin McNamee (b. 1961), Irish writer
  • Danny McNamee (b. 1960), Irish former electronic engineer who was wrongly convicted
  • Mrs. Eileen McNamee (d. 1912), (née O'Leary), aged 19, English Third Class passenger from Salisbury, Wiltshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Neal McNamee (d. 1912), aged 27, English Third Class passenger from Convoy, Donegal, Ireland who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Paul McNamee (b. 1954), retired Australian tennis player, winner of the 1982 Wimbledon Championships
  • Peter McNamee (b. 1950), retired Canadian professional WHA ice hockey forward
  • Jessica McNamee, Australian actress

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  1. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  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. ...


This page was last modified on 16 December 2015 at 12:17.

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