MacNeary History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name MacNeary was originally written in a Gaelic form as O hInneirghe, which is derived from an adjective meaning easily roused early.

Early Origins of the MacNeary family

The surname MacNeary was first found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat at Cullentra. From here, the head of this Irish sept extended his territories into the valley of Glenconkeiny in County Londonderry.

Meilor Fitzhenry (d. 1220), was "Justiciar of Ireland, was the son of Henry, the bastard son of King Henry I, by Nesta, the wife of Gerald of Windsor, and the daughter of Rhys ab Tewdwr, king of South Wales. He was thus the first cousin of Henry II, and related to the noblest Norman and native families of South Wales. " [1]

Early History of the MacNeary family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacNeary research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1753, 1816, 1796, 1800, 1785 and 1845 are included under the topic Early MacNeary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacNeary Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname MacNeary can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include O'Henry, Fitzhenry, MacHenry, MacEnery, MacEniry and others.

Early Notables of the MacNeary family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was James McHenry (1753-1816), American (Irish-born) patriot in the American Revolution; Secretary of War 1796-1800, and private secretary to...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacNeary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacNeary family

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 MacNeary name: Francis McHenry, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1738; James McHenry, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1820; Thomas FitzHenry, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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