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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The original Gaelic form of McNally was Mac an Fhailghigh, which is derived from the word failgheach, which means poor man.

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The surname McNally was first found in counties Armagh and Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán) located in the Northern part of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the McNally family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including McNally, McAnully, McAnalley, McAnally and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNally research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1653, 1680 and 1697 are included under the topic Early McNally History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNally Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McNally:

McNally Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh McNally, who arrived in America in 1806
  • Mathew McNally, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Henry McNally, aged 32, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jane McNally, aged 19, arrived in New York, NY in 1849
  • John McNally, who landed in Mississippi in 1849


McNally Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James McNally, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Mary McNally, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Patrick McNally, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834

McNally Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas McNally, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance"
  • Alice McNally, aged 15, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance"
  • Mary McNally, aged 28, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance"
  • Thomas McNally arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849
  • Alice McNally arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849


McNally Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James McNally, aged 36, a butcher, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • Louiza McNally arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • Michael McNally, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875
  • James McNally, aged 29, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1876
  • Ellen B. McNally, aged 19, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879

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  • Joe McNally (1952-1987), American photographer from Montclair, New Jersey for the National Geographic Society since 1987
  • John Victor "Blood" McNally (1903-1985), American NFL football player, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963)
  • Patrick McNally (b. 1991), American NHL ice hockey player
  • Shannon McNally (b. 1973), American singer-songwriter from Hempstead, Long Island
  • Stephen McNally (1913-1994), American actor
  • Terrence McNally (b. 1939), American four-time Tony Award winning, and an Emmy Award winnning playwright
  • Terrence E. McNally, American actor and radio host
  • Clarence A. McNally, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Rensselaer, New York, 1930-31, 1954-59; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960
  • D. A. McNally, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1950
  • Edward W. McNally, American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Cambria County 2nd District; Elected 1960

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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  6. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The McNally Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNally 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 8 February 2016 at 12:11.

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