• 147 members

About us

Welcome to the home page of the McNamara surname DNA project.
The Irish surname McNamara, or in Irish Mac Conmara (son of the hound of the sea), is, according to MacLysaght, that of the most important of the Dalcassian septs after the O'Briens, to whom they were marshals. It is most common in County Clare, but also numerous throughout North Munster and in all parts of Ireland.
In its County Clare homeland, Mack is often used to represent McNamara in speech, but the full name is normally retained for formal and legal purposes. Nevertheless, Mack is sometimes found in written records, especially among the diaspora.
The 1911 census of Ireland included 6,645 McNamaras, about a third of them (2,228) born in County Clare.
A brief history of the surname can be found on the Clare County Library website.
The most extensive history of the surname is probably The Story of an Irish Sept by Nottidge Charles Macnamara, first published in 1896 and reprinted in 1999 under the title The Origin and History of the MacNamaras. More details of the book and an order form can be found here.
This project (as McNamarra, a rare spelling variant) was originally hosted by, which closed down in May 2018.
As of 23 May 2018, the project administrator is genetic genealogist Paddy Waldron (grandson of a McNamara). Paddy Waldron's personal website has a great deal of useful additional reading on genetic genealogy, such as How to get the most out of your DNA results and Interpreting Y-DNA results.
  1. If you are not already a project member and you have any ancestor with the surname McNamara (or a variant spelling), then please JOIN the project by clicking on the JOIN button to the right of the castle in the banner photograph above. However, if you are not yet an FTDNA customer but have submitted a DNA sample to one of the other DNA companies, then you may be able to copy your data to via the free Autosomal Transfer and should do this before joining any projects.
  2. One of the principal reasons that male FTDNA customers participate in projects is for guidance on their place on the Y-DNA Haplotree. If you allow project administrators to view your Y-DNA match lists, then they will often be able to predict with considerable confidence a more recent place for you on the haplotree than the automated predicted haplogroup given by FTDNA. You will then be assigned by the administrator to the relevant subgroup on the Y-DNA Colorized Chart in the DNA Results area of the project website. As of May 2018, in order to allow administrators to view your matches, you must take action to give them "Limited Access" to your kit. This must be done here. For each project that you have joined, click the orange Edit button and select "Grant Limited Access" in place of "Group Project Access Only" from the relevant dropdowns, then click Accept and then click Confirm. If you belong to more than 10 projects, then they will be split across multiple pages.
  3. In order that you and the other members can benefit from your membership of the project, it is imperative that you squeeze in names, dates and places to the 50 characters allowed for both your Direct Maternal (i.e. matrilineal) and Direct Paternal (i.e. patrili