The ancestors of the first family to use the name MacNeir lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland
. The name MacNeir comes from the personal name John.
The Gaelic form of their name was originally Mac-Iain-uidhir,
which means son of dun John.
However, the MacNeir family of Perth traditionally derive their name from M'an-oighre,
which means son of the heir.
Experts have also theorized that the surname MacNeir may be derived from Mac-an-fhuibir,
which means son of the smith,
which means son of the stranger.
Early Origins of the MacNeir family
The surname MacNeir was first found in Perth, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Further to the south in England, the Menaire, Menear, Manhire and other variants claim descent from Walter Maenhir who was listed in Devon in 1293. The very rare variant Manhire traces back to Ellis Menheire who was listed in Devon in 1642. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Early History of the MacNeir family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacNeir research.Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1392, 1526, 1546, 1776 and are included under the topic Early MacNeir History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacNeir Spelling Variations
In medieval Scotland
, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations
were the result. Over the years, the name MacNeir has been spelled MacNair, MacNaire, MacNayer, MacNeir, MacNuir, Menair and many more.
Early Notables of the MacNeir family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacNeir Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacNeir family to Ireland
Some of the MacNeir family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacNeir family to the New World and Oceana
In such difficult times, Ireland
, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan
societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of MacNeir: John McNair, a Highland Scott, from Kilkenny
, Argyll, came to America in 1770 with his 2 surviving children and settled in Robeson County, North Carolina.