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


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.

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name McNamee revealed spelling variations, including 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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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 McNamee name:

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. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The McNamee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNamee 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 6 May 2016 at 21:41.

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