McNearys in the United States (and elsewhere)

Gen. Intro Page

McNeary and other
Genealogical Pages 

Londonderry McNearys

Matthew of Magheramore

    b 1794

Nicholas of Magheramore

James of  Magheramore

Mettican - John&R

Matthew James of Luney

Thomas of Goran

William (pre Garvagh Bakery)

James of Limavady and Moville

McNearys - Ulster Covenant 1912

McNearys found but not linked to
known families

Other Irish McNearys
Killybeg McNearys  (John&Bridget)

(per Robin Fansler)

McNearys in Scotland

McNearys in Canada

McNeary families, in U.S.

My other Irish Families
      Wilson - Woodburn etc
      Courtney - Lennox

My Green family roots
C Clay Green

Green Ancestors
and Descendants
Paul E. 
Pennebaker <>

Peggy's  Families



This page contains a synopsis of my notes beginning April - June 1993 -  calling McNearys per phone listings as well as information from some other searches.
This page updated on Jan 2008

In recent years, census information is much more easily referenced.  That is mostly good.  But it also increases the quantity of unknowns.    Certainly it will help me build on what I have.  My focus is Ireland, followed by trying to identify the living McNearys in the US, and acquiring and sharing what information I can on their families. 

My own proven McNeary ancestors begin with Matthew McNeary 1794 of Magheramore, Garvagh, Co Derry, Ireland, who married Sarah Paul. We are aware of only one of his children, James Rentoul McNeary having children. Most of James's Rentoul McNeary's descendants in the US are documented through my generation, and I am working on getting this up to date, including those elsewhere. I will refer to our group of McNearys as the Tirkeeran McNearys, since three (now 4 or 5) generations are documented as having been born there.  The basic source of the Matthew McNeary descendants, is from 1982 work by Matthew McNeary (grandson of Matthew 1794). Jane Green McNeary and Matthew Wilson McNeary added to that, and the results of their work are the basis of  what I have posted.

We know of McNearys currently and previously in the US, about 130 phone listings (in 2000) and about that many SSDI index listings.  There were perhaps ten phone listings for McNeary in the UK, of which only about three were in Northern Ireland in 2000, a few in Scotland and the rest in England. Now there appear to be no McNearys listed in Northern Ireland. There are a few McNearys listed in or near Dublin.\ There are also just a few in Australia. There aren't very many of us, the good side of which is that we should be able to identify most of the existing McNearys, which is one of my goals. 

In August 2000, I saw the First Garvagh Presbyterian Church Visitation Lists, with reference to three McNeary households at Magheramore/Garvagh in 1796 and later years, headed in 1796 by Matthew, Nicholas and James.  This Matthew's first son is named James and youngest son Matthew (our Matthew was born in 1794 so this would be our Matthew's parent).  Nicholas's first son is also named James. This implies (to me) that the father of Nicholas and of Matthew was probably named James. So we may have discovered two more generations rather than one. No doubt of it, we have for certain learned of the father of our Matthew.

We have located one Group which I for now will label as the Newtown Limavidy McNearys, beginning with James McNeary and Elizabeth McLaughlin apparently of Limavady.  Their children included Matthew McNeary who lived in Londonderry, CO Londonderry, with children Lennox, Ronald, Dorothy and Kenneth, all born (I think) in the early 1900s. Our Garvagh McNearys were well acquainted with this group, and we think they are closely related, so we hope to learn the ancestry of this James McNeary.  Some of this family recently lived in the Enniskillen area of CO Donegal, and some have moved to CO Lietrem.

In the US there are a number of different McNeary families - I will estimate 20, although research could tie several of them together. Following is what I found. (I do not guarantee the accuracy of anything that follows).  The current U.S.A. McNeary groups I have tried to identify include the following, Garvagh, Killybegs, Sarasota Springs, Vermont, Scotch, Memphis, Arkansas, St.Louis/Overland MO, and the Lost South Carolina McNearys. Other McNeary groups will be set up as I learn of Irish and other origins. Have also recently learned of McNeary families in Dublin and in Australia but have not been able to followup. 

Among the McNearys I have not classified, because in most cases I only know of their immediate family and no relationship to another family group, nor to one of those I have classified, then I have the unclassified probably Irish McNearys

John McNeary in Virginia, with children John, Bryan, Robert Matthew and Nancy appears to be an independent line.

In New Jersey, in 1994 there was a Thomas whose father was Patrick.  That was all that Thomas would share.

One of the earlier McNeary immigrants I could identify at that time, was, according to James Joseph McNeary, John McNeary ,  who crossed in 1865 to work as an indentured laborer for three years on the railroad. John had at least one child John M who had 11 children, one of whom was James Joseph who went out of his way to communicate with other McNearys, within his family group as well as others of us. His is a large family, and I think he may have documented much about the family. However James  passed away a few years ago. Because James indicated he thought his family came from Killybegs, I did refer to this group as the Killybegs McNearys. However we have indications they they may have been from Roscommon.  This is a large family, many in Aberdeen S.D., and into Wisconsin, and Oregon and Kentucky and other. Robin Fansler, a descendant of John has a wealth of genealogical information on this family. Robin has given permission to post the descendants of John and Bridget, through their son John McNeary and Ellen Dunphy on this site. This group by several sources is said to have come from Mayo or Cork, however John indicated Kellybegs. These are three entirely different locations.  The only Killybegs I can locate is in County Donegal, in the Northwest. Mayo is on the westside, and Cork at the southern tip of Ireland. If you have anything to share on this particular McNeary family, please contact Robin at  I also welcome any information you can share with me at my address.

Another group came from County Mayo and settled in the Sarasota Springs area. John McNeary and Margaret Danaher were the parents of  William John McNeary who married Elizabeth Veronica Fox. William John was in Livery and seems to have often gone to Europe to bring in horses. His oldest son William John Jr. was born in 1901. As I have it, his children included Veronica, Charles, Edward, Winnifred, Margaret, Mary and Frederick J. McNeary. Fred J sired Fred J. Jr and William J.  Also in Sarasota Springs we have a John McNeary (possibly brother to Frederick J), married to Bridget Conden with children John P and Frank W. And also of Fred's generation a Michael J married to Mary Mohaghan. There is currently a McNeary Realty and McNearys with the names of William J and Fred active in the community.  These are the  Sarasota Springs McNearys

A fourth group, was headed by William Porteus McNeary, from Manchester VT. I'll call this the Vermont McNearys until we learn their Irish roots. William P had several children, as I understand it. William G. b1914, married to Dorothy, was one. Their children appear to be Peter S., Brian, John and Pricilla. Peter indicated his grandfather was William P. Mary Pagani was daughter of Margaret (McNeary) d1943 at age 63, who was daughter of Michael, and had brothers William and Thomas, and sisters. In a discussion reference was made to Michael's children and at that point I became thoroughly confused, and will remain so until someone in that family comes to my rescue. 

Mrs. John J. McNeary in Florida was good enough to visit with me, and said her husband's original name was MacNeary and they were from Scotland and that their sons are Brian McNeary and Allen McNeary, in New York. I'll refer to these as the Scotch McNearys. McNeary's currently in Scotland may later on be referred to by their current or root cities. 

St. Louis/Overland MO McNearys information comes from Gay Frences Cleveland Beck.  In Overland, St. Louis County, we have Bernerd James, Clement and Agnes M McNeary. Father of these is James N. McNeary, married to Laura Snell.   Clement had three children, Michael, Jerome S. McNeary and a daughter. Bernard married Marion Reynolds - daughter Eleanor Ethel married Guy Frank Cleveland and had two children Gay Frances and Harold (died young). Gay married Greg Beck.  Agnes married and had Lois, Estelle and Delores. Estelle had 4 and Delores 8.     Recently I had contact with a McNeary in Florida with St.Louis roots, and hope we will be able to put a page on his descendants..   We have other McNearys in St. Louis and will be posting as we gather more.

A number of McNearys with origins in the south, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, are scattered - some seem to have moved into the rust belt. Tending to classify by origins, I assume many many Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio McNearys came from the Memphis, Arkansas and Mississippi McNeary families.   Census information now available from the 1800s may help us find more about the southern McNearys, and others.

Memphis McNearys    Still in and around Memphis are, or were in recent years, Eddie Wilson McNeary whose father was John. Eddie had a brother Edward G. who passed on. Edward's wife Lurlean in Indiana was helpful, and indicated their son Ed was also in Indiana. 

In Chicago, I located Gertrude McNeary, daughter of George (d) and Neice both of Memphis. Here grandparents were Ivy and Sarah. Gertrude's siblings include Roger, George, Charles and Walter. Her children - Carolyn, Freda, Felicia, Sharon, Frederic and Reggie. 

Louise (85 in 1994) in Decatur married Willie, whose parents were Willie and Lena from Mississippi. Had no children. 

Shirley in Chicago has brothers Roger (TN), Clyde (MI) and Terry. 

Arkansas McNearys   In Forrest City, Arkansas, I found Annie married to Fred, born in 1922 at Middleton, TN. Fred's father was Fred. Their children are Richard, Gary Wayne, Clarence, Michael and Walter. (August 12, 1999 I read a press release that Clarence assumed the duties of Chief of Police, Forrest City, Arkansas) 

Also in Arkansas was Robert with sons Jesse and Robert Earl. I think Robert indicated he was from TN. 

I did not get into Indiana and Michigan where there are quite a few McNearys, several of whom were from the TN-AR-MS area.. 

The Lost South Carolina McNearys
In searching for the name McNeary on various search engines, I came upon an address at McNeary Street in Prosperity S. C., in Newberry Co. I was curious as to how that name came to be, and have made efforts to learn why but still don't know. I did however through more searching learn the following, put together from about four different internet sources. Here is a synopsis of the Newberry area McNeary family - all of these people lived in the Newberry area. LDS and are the sources for the S.C. McNearys.  We know nothing more about these S.C. McNearys and where they and their offspring went.

Then from a will posted in Family Tree Maker by an individual, I found this.
1  Caleb Gilbert  1748 - 1805  b: 1748  d: March 03, 1805 in Beaver Dam Creek, Newberry Co., SC
.  +Ann Buzzardt  1748 - 1815  b: 1748  d: 1815
2 Caleb,Cynthia, Joseph, Ann, Thomas and Lydia
.  2  Sarah Gilbert  1782 -  b: 1782 in Beaver Dam Creek, Newberry Co., SC
....  +Patrick McNeary (My est born about 1780 - could be father of John or of that generation, as John would be perhaps 1800-1808)   thus 

Caleb Gilbert  1748 - 1805 m Ann Buzzardt 1748-1815
   >Sarah Gilbert b 1782 m Patrick McNeary (est  b1780)

Patrick McNeary
Native of Ireland, free white person, resided in State between 18 Jun 1798
and 14 Apr 1802 and has continued to reside in state since.  Petition not
dated.  Character references: F. F. Cureton, _?_ Boyce, D. F. Willing, Thos.
Pratt, Robert Boyd, John B. Oneall, John Summers, John Worthington, John
Cappleman, Fredk. Nance and Y. (?) Maxwell.

(We don't know the connection of Patrick to John and his family which is next below, but the place and dates fit)

      >John McNeary         m. Anna (Nancy) Wise
              >Levi McNeary 1827-1894       m  Elizabeth Etheridge 
                       >Sara McNeary 1848               m  George N. C. Fulmer
                       >Mary McNeary                      m  Joe Clark
                       >JFW McNeary  1854 
                       >George W. McNeary1856     m  Dora Matthews
                       >Martha C. McNeary 1858     m  William Pierce Burr Harmon
                       >Fannie McNeary                    m  Elijah Brown
So we have four consecutive generations of McNearys tied to Newberry Co S.C.

 Nancy Wise, b. 19 Mar 1803, d. 10 Aug 1857, m. John McC. McNeary, b. 22 Nov 1804, d. 30 Oct 1872, who ran Ferry on Saluda River. Both bur. St. Mark's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Saluda Co., SC. --   from the Dutch Fork Home Page

In doing another McNeary search I located the following site -
"From the Annals of Newberry by O'Neall & Chapman, published in 1892 by Aull & Housal:
John Wise moved from Lexington District to Newberry District on Saluda River about the year 1800. He married Betsy Kelly, by whom he had six sons and six daughetrs, viz.: George, David, Jesse, Jeremiah, Joel, Levi, Elizabeth, who married first, John Derrick, then Jacob Caughman, Christiana, who married Frederick Kinard; Margaret, who married Michael Shealy; Jemima
who married George Addy; Nancy, who married John McNeary, and Sallie, who married Jacob Singely." 

I look forward to anything you may care to share genealogically. 

Thanks,   Bill McNeary                                      (posted Feb7, 2000) 


Doing searches for the name McNeary, you can find a number of references to McNearys. The location you will find most is, the site for McNeary's Arborists and (Jack) John Maxwell McNeary, my brother.   McNeary's Arborists sold their tree activities to  Bartlett Tree Experts.

Another often seen site is, the site for an insurance consulting company which my father, W.J.L. McNeary founded in 1956 as McNeary Insurance Consulting, Inc.. His business was merged into Booke and Company, and now is an independent company, McNeary, Inc.. 

If you have time, you might search for McNeary on the net, and find yourself or your kin there. Good luck. 

Places and things named McNeary -

McNeary, Arizona (I thought I saw it but have not found it again)

McNeary Hall at Edinboro University,  Edinboro, Pennsylvania, 16444

And of course McNeary Street in Prosperity, S. C. 
And McNeary Ferry Road, Leesville, S. C.
And McNeary Drive, Affton, MO

McNary Dam (on the Columbia River, I think) -  named after US Senator Charles McNary of Oregon.