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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McNeese family come from? What is the Scottish McNeese family crest and coat of arms? When did the McNeese family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McNeese family history?

The ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland spawned the name McNeese. It is derived from the personal name Naos, which is a dialectal form of Aonghus or Angus. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Neis, which is derived from the earlier form Mac Naois; both of these mean son of Angus. Thus, the name McNeese is a cognate of MacAngus and MacInnes.

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In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McNeese has appeared as MacNeish, MacNeice, MacNish, MacNess, MacKness, MacNeece and many more.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNeese research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) covering the year 1522 is included under the topic Early McNeese History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McNeese Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McNeese family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McNeese were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McNeese Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Thomas McNeese, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States from Moy, Ireland, in 1913
  • Elizabeth McNeese, aged 40, who landed in America from Moy, Ireland, in 1914
  • Felix McNeese, aged 8, who emigrated to the United States from Moy, Ireland, in 1914
  • James McNeese, aged 46, who landed in America from Moy, Ireland, in 1914
  • John McNeese, aged 7, who settled in America from Moy, Ireland, in 1914


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  • Barbara Ann McNeese (1930-2011), birth name of Barbara Stuart, American actress, known for her work on Bachelor Party (1984), Airplane! (1980) and Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964)
  • John McNeese (1843-1914), American educator in Lake Charles, Louisiana, first superintendent of schools of Imperial Calcasieu Parish, eponym of McNeese State University


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Animo non astutia
Motto Translation: By courage, not by craft.

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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. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  11. ...

The McNeese Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNeese 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 27 April 2015 at 15:06.

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