Last name: McNamee

This famous Irish clan name recorded as MacNamee and the short form McNamee, is a nickname. It derives from the Old Gaelic 'Mac Con Midhe' which translates as 'The son of the hound of Meath'. This seems a strange naming even by Irish standards, as the clan were hereditary poets! Perhaps there was once some allegorical connection between poetry and fast moving hound dogs, although it is stretching the imagination to think what this could be. What is certain is that Ireland in the days of the Nine Kings was a land of great learning and high academic standards, far in advance of the Anglo-Saxons and the later Viking and Normans who invaded both Britain and Ireland in the 5th to the 11th centuries. The original clan was Ulster based and were close followers of the O'Neills, the principal rulers of Northern Ireland, and they suffered with the O'Neills in their support of the Catholic King James 11 of England and Ireland. Brian Mac Angus MacNamee, was chief poet to Luineach O'Neill, and died in 1595, whilst a branch of the same family was recorded in Foyle in 1606. As this was far from their original homelands, it suggests that they were exiled there after the abortive rebellions of 1598 - 1603. Amongst the many nameholders of considerable importance was Teige oge MacConmea of Neadenurry, County Clare, in 1602, and Charles MacNamee in the muster of regimental officers in the army of King James in 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Giolla Bridghe Mac Con Midhe, which was dated 1260, the annals of the poets of Ireland, during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

William Patrick McNamee

I'm a McNamee!! My great grandfather immigrated to Virginia from Ireland in 1900. He eventually ended up in Cleveland, OH. I represent AR!

Gail Filbin

My maternal grandmother married in New York to Henry Mc Namee had children named John Molly Margaret Rosalyn Henry anybody know anything about this family

Rían Ó Maol Chonaire
Actually the name Mac Con Midhe has various meanings. "Son of the Champion of Meath", "Son of the Mead Hound", and "Mead Pigs". This is similar to O'Maolchonaire which can be translated "Descendant of the Servant of (Saint) Conaire", "Descendant of the Wise Monk", and "Descendant of the Red Chieftain". Originally, both were known as Siol Ronain, until they split into Cinel Suibhne (Mac Con Midhe) and Cinel Neachtain (O'Maolchonaire) after two brothers who were their ancestors. They were professional poets and antiquarians to the High Kings, who practiced a form of poetry with many-formed meanings known as Berla na Filidh. See "The Christian Druids: on the Filidh or Philosopher-Poets of Ireland.

I am a McNamee too

im a mcnamee:)

Granmother/ Glasgow
Are you in the UK emma?

My grandfather and mother are McNamee's Leo and Patricia McNamee!

Stanley David McNamee
Hi Emma reading on the name McNamee, I myself was born in Belfast in 1958 . We moved to Canada in 1965 my father, Mother, sister Rosemary and Brothers Brian, Jim,Samuel, and little Brother Tim born in Canada. I'am always interested in my families history.

I'm a McNamee aswell. In iowa no less, along way from home it seems lol.

bradley a mcnamee
im a mcnamee to,from newcastle australia..

The O'Neills never ruled 'Northern Ireland'; the state did not exist until the 20th century. You could say they ruled over a large amount of present day Ulster.

Brad McNamee
I am looking for a family crest for Mac Con Midhe, I have found 3 for McNamee. Any help would be appeiciated

Are you in the UK Brad? My Grandmother married a McNamee.ment here...

paul mcnamee
I'm a McNamee aswell, a fiddle maker from UK!!!!!!

sarah McNamee

I'm a McNamee and an o'niel