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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish McNeely family come from? What is the Irish McNeely family crest and coat of arms? When did the McNeely family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McNeely family history?

The original Gaelic form of McNeely was Mac an Fhailghigh, which is derived from the word failgheach, which means poor man.


Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the McNeely family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including McNally, McAnully, McAnalley, McAnally and others.

First found in counties Armagh and Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán) located in the Northern part of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNeely research. Another 199 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1653, 1680 and 1697 are included under the topic Early McNeely History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 79 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNeely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McNeely family in North America:

McNeely Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John McNeely, who is recorded in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania in 1831
  • John McNeely, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831
  • J. B McNeely, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • J B McNeely, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • George McNeely, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844

McNeely Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Bridget McNeely, aged 26, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1904
  • James McNeely, aged 22, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1904
  • Fannie McNeely, aged 55, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1906
  • Hattie S McNeely, who settled in America, in 1907
  • John McNeely, aged 22, who landed in America from Cloughbrack, Ireland, in 1907


  • Jim McNeely (b. 1949), American Grammy Award winning jazz composer, arranger, and pianist
  • Philip "Phil" McNeely, Canadian politician, Ontario MPP (2003-)
  • Joel McNeely (b. 1959), American Primetime Emmy Award winning music composer, known for his work on Holes (2003), The Avengers (1998) and Soldier (1998)
  • Big Jay McNeely (b. 1927), born Cecil James McNeely, American rhythm and blues tenor saxophonist
  • Thompson Ware Mcneely (1835-1921), American politician, U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • George Earl McNeely (1898-1971), American Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1924 to 1931
  • Ammon McNeely (b. 1970), American rock climber; he holds the most Speed Climbing World Records and First One Day Ascents on El Capitan in Yosemite
  • Clifton McNeely (1919-2003), American NBA basketball player and coach
  • Larry McNeely (b. 1948), American five-string banjo player, known for his work with Glen Campbell, Burl Ives and the Smothers Brothers
  • Marian Kent Hurd McNeely (1877-1930), American children's book author, awarded the Newbery Honor in 1930 for her book Jumping-Off Place



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  1. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  11. ...

The McNeely Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNeely Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 January 2014 at 08:34.

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