McNie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely. The original Gaelic form of the name McNie is Mac Neidhe, which is derived from the word niadh, which means champion.
Early Origins of the McNie family
The surname McNie 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 McNie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNie research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1037 is included under the topic Early McNie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNie Spelling Variations
The scribes and church officials of the Middle Ages who recorded names in official documents spelled the names as they sounded. This led to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations and thus resembling more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McNie that are preserved in archival documents of this era include MacNee, MacNea, MacNay, MacKnee, MacNeigh, MacNia, Nee, Knee and many more.
Early Notables of the McNie family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McNie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNie family
Many Irish families did not fare so well within the English-ruled Ireland. Besides racial and religious discrimination, many families were renting out small tracts of farmland from absentee landowners at often unreasonable rates. Beginning in the late 18th century, moderately well off Irish families decided to emigrate to British North America or the United States in order to own their own plot of land. A radical change occurred in the 1840s, however, with the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Up to this point, the island's population had been increasing rapidly and a steady demand over the years for grain crops had depleted soil. Two failed crops and one poor one caused widespread disease and starvation. Thousands boarded ships looking for opportunities elsewhere. North America welcomed them as a source of cheap labor required for the many industrial and infrastructure projects underway, and as a means to quickly occupy the western regions. Research into immigration and passenger ship lists indicates that people bearing the name McNie were among the earliest settlers to arrive in North America: Alexander McNay settled in San Francisco in 1852; Martin, Lawrence, John and James McNee settled in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870. Members of the family settled in Newfoundland, where William Knee was born in 1821..
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