Explore the Family Name Mcnair

The meaning of Mcnair

Scottish: 1. Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Fhuibhir ‘son of the smith’, Mac an Fhuidhir ‘the stranger’s son’, or Mac an Oighre ‘son of the heir’, which despite different pronunciation have all been suggested to explain this surname. It was sometimes also Anglicized as Weir. The surname evidently arrived late in Ireland, from Scotland. 2. Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Mhaoir ‘son of the steward or keeper’. The same name in Ireland was commonly Anglicized as Weir. 3. Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Iain Uidhir ‘son of sallow John’. This form is associated mainly with Ross-shire.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Mcnair in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Mcnair has maintained a fairly steady popularity over the years. In 2000, it was ranked as the 2179th most popular surname, and by 2010, it had slipped slightly to 2191st place, showing a minimal change of -0.55%. The count of individuals with the surname increased from 15,299 in 2000 to 16,595 in 2010, reflecting an overall growth rate of 8.47%. The proportion of the surname per 100k people also showed a slight decrease of -0.71% from 5.67 in 2000 to 5.63 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k5.675.63-0.71%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Mcnair

When examining the ethnic identity linked to the surname Mcnair, data from the Decennial U.S. Census reveals a diverse array of backgrounds. Over the decade, there was a notable increase among those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander (24.32%), two or more races (34.83%), Hispanic (43.07%) and American Indian and Alaskan Native (12.00%). However, the majority of individuals with the surname identified as Black, with an increase from 52.96% in 2000 to 54.75% in 2010. Conversely, there was a decrease of 7.53% among those identifying as White, dropping from 42.79% in 2000 to 39.57% in 2010.

Two or More Races2.01%2.71%34.83%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.5%0.56%12%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.37%0.46%24.32%

Mcnair ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Mcnair is British & Irish, which comprises 48.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (17.9%) and Nigerian (8.3%). Additional ancestries include Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Eastern European, Angolan & Congolese, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish48.3%
French & German17.9%

Possible origins of the surname Mcnair

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Mcnair have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Glasgow City, United Kingdom70.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom70.00%
Merseyside, United Kingdom70.00%
Greater London, United Kingdom70.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom69.30%

What Mcnair haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Mcnair is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-S660, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Maxwell, Mcnulty, Barlow, Kendrick, Trimble, Mcgowan, Fitzpatrick, Massey, Mckenna, Hatcher.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Mcnair surname are: M, H1, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

mcnairPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Mcnair have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Mcnair" Surname 36.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Mcnair" Surname 21.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Mcnair" Surname 22.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Mcnair" Surname 21.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Mcnair?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Mcnair are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%