McNamara History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McNamara family

The surname McNamara was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) 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.

Early History of the McNamara family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNamara research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1402, 1426, 1402, 1797, 1768 and 1826 are included under the topic Early McNamara History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McNamara Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Most names were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McNamara family name.Variations found include McNamara, McNamar, McNamarra, McNamard, Sheedy and many more.

Early Notables of the McNamara family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNamara Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McNamara migration to the United States +

Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name McNamara or one of its variants:

McNamara Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter McNamara, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [1]
McNamara Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George McNamara, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1838 [1]
  • Charles McNamara, aged 27, who arrived in Missouri in 1841 [1]
  • Stephen McNamara, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1845 [1]
  • John McNamara, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1846 [1]
  • Eliza McNamara, aged 26, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McNamara migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McNamara Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Matthew McNamara, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752
  • Mr. David McNamara U.E. who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Patrick McNamara U.E. who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • Augustine McNamara who arrived in St. John's Newfoundland in 1794 [3]
McNamara Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward McNamara, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • James McNamara, aged 30, a gardener, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick, Ireland
  • Mary McNamara, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Eweretta" in 1833
  • John McNamara, aged 30, a sawyer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway, Ireland
  • Honor McNamara, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McNamara migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McNamara Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • C. McNamara, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839 [4]
  • Mr. John McNamara, Canadian Convict who was convicted in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • John McNamara, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [6]
  • Patrick McNamara, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [6]
  • Terence McNamara, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McNamara migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McNamara Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Bridget McNamara, aged 16, a farm servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Miss Bridget Mcnamara, (b. 1857), aged 2 years 6 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Regina" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1859 [8]
  • Mr. Michael Mcnamara, (b. 1829), aged 30, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Regina" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1859 [8]
  • Mrs. Chatrine Mcnamara, (b. 1833), aged 26, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Regina" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1859 [8]
  • Mr. James McNamara, (b. 1826), aged 36, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Edward Thornhill" arriving in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in 1862 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McNamara (post 1700) +

  • Margaret Craig McNamara (1914-1981), American founder of the nonprofit children's literacy organization Reading is Fundamental, wife of the United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Eileen McNamara, American Pulitzer Prize (1997) winning metro columnist for the Boston Globe, journalism professor at Brandeis University
  • Mark Robert McNamara (1959-2020), American professional basketball player who was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Michelle Eileen McNamara (d. 2016), American crime writer
  • William West McNamara (b. 1965), American actor
  • Sean Patrick Michael McNamara (b. 1962), American film director, film producer, actor, and screenwriter
  • Patrick Vincent McNamara (1894-1966), American politician, United States Senator from Michigan (1955-1966)
  • Maggie McNamara (1928-1978), American actress
  • Robert Strange McNamara (1916-2009), American business executive, the eighth United States Secretary of Defense and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • John Joseph McNamara Jr. (1932-1986), American banker, athlete, and author, who won a bronze medal for sailing in the 1964 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Bernard Joseph Mcnamara (1925-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Pauanui, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [10]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Francis Frank Mcnamara, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was listed as missing and presumed killed [11]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Hooghly.htm
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1840
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constance.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate