McNear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McNear is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from the personal name John. The Gaelic form of their name was originally Mac-Iain-uidhir, which means son of dun John. However, the McNear family of Perth traditionally derive their name from M'an-oighre, which means son of the heir. Experts have also theorized that the surname McNear may be derived from Mac-an-fhuibir, which means son of the smith, or Mac-an-huidhir, which means son of the stranger.

Early Origins of the McNear family

The surname McNear 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. [1]

Important Dates for the McNear family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNear research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1392, 1526, 1546, 1776 and are included under the topic Early McNear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McNear Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. McNear has appeared MacNair, MacNaire, MacNayer, MacNeir, MacNuir, Menair and many more.

Early Notables of the McNear family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McNear family to Ireland

Some of the McNear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McNear migration to the United States

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the McNear name:

McNear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Seward P. McNear, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1894
McNear Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harrison Alex McNear, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Harrison A. McNear, aged 40, who landed in America from Gibraltar, Spain, in 1911
  • Geo McNear, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1911
  • George W. McNear, aged 15, who immigrated to San Francisco, Cal, in 1913
  • Louise McNear, aged 19, who settled in Petaluma, Calif., in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McNear (post 1700)

  • Howard Terbell McNear (1905-1969), American film, television and radio character actor, best remembered as Floyd Lawson, the barber in The Andy Griffith Show
  • William McNear Rand (1886-1981), American track and field athlete at the 1908 Summer Olympics

Citations

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
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