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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Origins Available: Irish, Scottish
Where did the Scottish McNeil family come from? What is the Scottish McNeil family crest and coat of arms? When did the McNeil family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McNeil family history?The ancestors of the McNeil family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. Their surname comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, McNeil has been spelled MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.
First found in on the islands of Barra, Gigha, Colonsay, and Oronsay. According to traditional records in 1049, Niall, a direct descendent of King Niall of the Nine Hostages, landed in Barra and founded the Clan MacNeill of Barra. However, another kinsman, some believe to be the younger brother of Niall named Anrothan, married a Princess of the Dalriadans, an ancient race from which sprang most of the early Scottish Kings. Legend has it that Anrothan started the MacNeill house of Colonsay through his son Torquil of Taynish. This latter branch acquired the lands of Gigha, Colonsay and Oronsay, beyond the Firth of Lorne. For the next two centuries it appears as though these two great houses were developing independently of one another.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNeil research. Another 721 words (52 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1730, 1370, 1380, 1526, 1562, 1640, 1631, 1640, 1612, 1613 and 1686 are included under the topic Early McNeil History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNeil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the McNeil family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name McNeil were among those contributors:
McNeil Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
McNeil Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
McNeil Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
McNeil Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
McNeil Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
McNeil Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
McNeil Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Vincere vel mori
Motto Translation: To conquer or die.
The McNeil Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McNeil 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 14 September 2015 at 10:35.