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Surname McNab - Meaning and Origin

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McNab: What does the surname McNab mean?

McNab is a Scottish surname derived from the Gaelic "mac an Aba", meaning "son of the Abbot," or "son of the priest." It first appeared in monastic names referring to people from the local abbot or priest's family. Later, it became more widely adopted as an Anglicized version of the surname.

In the thirteenth century, the surname was used by families living in the Argyll region of Scotland, where the McNab lands were located. The McNabs were powerful clan chiefs, their lands stretching from the islands of Bute and Jura to Loch Fyne. There were several families of McNab, the most important of them being founded by Duncan Macnab in the early sixteenth century.

The name McNab is associated with military service in Scotland, with many McNab families having served in the military over the centuries. Many of them kept their lands despite the clans' declining power during the 17th century.

In the modern day, the name McNab is still used throughout Scotland and around the world. The name is thought to have spread through Scotland during the Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when many people were displaced from their lands to make way for profitable sheep farming.

Today, McNab is seen as a proud Scottish name symbolising strength, courage, and loyalty.

Order DNA origin analysis

McNab: Where does the name McNab come from?

The McNab surname appears to have origins in Scotland and is most commonly found in the United Kingdom. In Scotland, there appears to be a higher concentration of McNabs in the Glasgow area.

The United States is also home to many McNab descendants. Although the exact numbers are not known, surname distribution data shows that the surname is most prevalent in the states of California, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

McNab is also found in abundance in Canada, with the majority of McNabs living in rural communities, particularly in the prairies. The largest concentration appears to be in Alberta, followed by British Columbia and Ontario.

Interestingly, McNab is not limited to just Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It has spread across the world, with the most significant other populations in Australia and New Zealand. McNab is also found in smaller concentrations in various countries in Europe, South America, and Asia.

Overall, the name McNab appears to have spread widely from its origins in Scotland. It is now found in many countries around the world, most famously in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the Commonwealth.

Variations of the surname McNab

The surname McNab is an ancient and noble name commonly found in Scotland. McNab is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac an Aba, which translates to “son of the abbot” or “son of the priest”. The name has evolved over the years to take many different forms and variations.

Common variants of McNab include McNabb, McAnabb, McNabbe, McAnab, McNaboe, McAnaboe, Macnab, MacAnab, Macnabb, MacAnabb, Macnabbe, MacAnabbe and Macnaboe. The surname can also be seen as Macnab, Mac Nab, Mac Nabbe, Mac Naboe and MacNabbe.

Other spellings include Macanab, MacAnabbe, Macanabb, MacAnaboe, McNabbs, McNabbes, MacNabbes and MacNabbs.

It is also important to note that variants of the surname McNab can be found in other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Ireland.

In the United States, some of the variants and spellings include McNeb, McNeve, McNabey, McNabney, McNabi, McNau, and Nabb. In Canada, the most common variants are McNabs, McNabbes, and McNeobs. In Ireland, McNab is usually spelled Mac an Aba, which is the original Gaelic version of the name.

Overall, the surname McNab is an ancient name that has gone through many changes over the centuries, resulting in a wealth of variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin.

Famous people with the name McNab

  • JD McNab: Canadian hockey player
  • David McNab: Also a Canadian hockey player
  • Bobby McNab: English footballer
  • Alan McNab: Former British Army General
  • Stephen McNabb: American actor
  • William McNab: Pioneer in Western Australia
  • Lawrence McNab: American businessman and societal leader
  • Gertrude McNab: American artist
  • Mark McNab: Scottish composer and conductor
  • Gregg McNabb: American author and speechwriter

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