McNea History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely. The original Gaelic form of the name McNea is Mac Neidhe, which is derived from the word niadh, which means champion.

Early Origins of the McNea family

The surname McNea was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McNea family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNea research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1037 is included under the topic Early McNea History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McNea Spelling Variations

Throughout the early history of this name, spellings of the surname in various records changed frequently largely due to the recorder's interpretation of how the name sounded at the time of the entry. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the McNea family name include MacNee, MacNea, MacNay, MacKnee, MacNeigh, MacNia, Nee, Knee and many more.

Early Notables of the McNea family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McNea Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McNea migration to the United States +

Irish families began to migrate to North America in the late 18th century in the hopes of gaining their own plot of land. The majority of these early immigrant families were relatively well off because the transatlantic passage was costly. As a result the decision to immigrate was carefully made. Those immigrants that arrived in the late 1840s differed because their decision to leave was in direct response to the Great Potato Famine. Many of the families that crossed the Atlantic during this decade were destitute, either having spent all they had on the fare or even starting with nothing, but being sponsored by a philanthropic society. Whenever, these Irish families came to North America, they were made great contributions to the developing nations of the United States and what would come to be known as Canada: the earlier settlers as land clearing homesteaders, and the later immigrants as the muscle that would build the industries and routes of transportation so critical to a powerful nation. Research into the passenger and immigration lists has shown many early and significant Irish immigrants bearing the name McNea:

McNea Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William McNea, aged 16, who landed in America from Otown, in 1900
  • Nora McNea, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Newport, in 1904

Canada McNea migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McNea Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Minnie McNea, aged 40, who immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name McNea (post 1700) +

  • Douglas Adams McNea, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 16th District, 2002, 2004


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