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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Neal is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion."


Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Neal revealed many variations, including O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.

First found in County Tyrone (Irish: Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, and County Clare where O'Neill was chief of Clan Dalvy and of Tradree, a district in the barony of Inchiquinn. In the 10th century, a branch of this family went to Limerick to assist in the expulsion of the Danes. After one victorious occasion they wore green boughs in their helmets and on their horses' heads signifying their victory.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neal research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1559, 1530, 1567, 1550, 1616, 1612, 1664, 1694, 1689 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Neal History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 205 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Neal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Neal:

Neal Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Elizabeth Neal, who arrived in America in 1620
  • Francis Neal settled in Maine in 1630
  • Peter and Walter Neal settled in New Hampshire in 1631
  • Walter Neal, who arrived in New England in 1631
  • Henry Neal, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1642

Neal Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Nicolas Neal, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Cha Neal, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Mary Neal, who arrived in New England in 1734
  • Edward Neal, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • John Neal, aged 28, arrived in New Jersey in 1775

Neal Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Arthur Neal, aged 23, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Frank Neal, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811
  • Roger Neal, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Barnard Neal, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Neal, aged 45, landed in South Carolina in 1812


  • Patricia Neal (1926-2010), Academy-Award and two time BAFTA Award winning American actress
  • David Dalhoff Neal (1838-1915), American artist
  • Diane Neal (b. 1976), American actress and former competitive ice skater
  • Alice Bradley Neal (1828-1863), American writer
  • Blaine Neal (b. 1978), American former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Elise Neal (b. 1966), American film and television actress
  • Jim Neal (1930-2011), American NBA basketball player
  • James Neal (b. 1987), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Adam Neal (b. 1990), English rugby league player
  • Dylan J. Neal (b. 1969), Canadian actor



  • The Neal, Harbison, Snodgrass, Miller, and Related Families by Thomes Howe R. Neal.
  • Lester, Neal, and Allied Families by Shirley Wimpey Ward.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  4. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The Neal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Neal 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 8 July 2014 at 08:15.

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