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The ancestors of the Barra family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The family name comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.

Barra Early Origins



The surname Barra was 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.

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Barra Spelling Variations


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Barra Spelling Variations



Historical recordings of the name Barra include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.

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Barra Early History


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Barra Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barra 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 Barra History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Barra Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Barra Early Notables (pre 1700)



Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Nigel M'Nele, Laird of Blarekanne c. 1370-1380; Alexander Makneyll, a notary public in Edinburgh in 1526; Richard Neile (1562-1640) was an English churchman, Archbishop...

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barra Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Barra In Ireland


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Barra In Ireland



Some of the Barra 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 and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Dalriadan families proliferated in North Ameri ca. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Barra or a variant listed above:

Barra Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Barra, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jose Barra, aged 40, landed in New Orleans, La in 1831

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Contemporary Notables of the name Barra (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Barra (post 1700)



  • Mary Teresa Barra (b. 1961), née Makela, an American business executive, first CEO of General Motors in January 2014
  • Robert D. Barra, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly 21st District, 2001-
  • Caesar B. F. Barra (b. 1880), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1916-20
  • Ian Roderick MacNeil of Barra, 46th Chief of the Clan, feudal baron of Barra, and professor of law. Kisimul Castle, the ancient home of the MacNeils, located on a rocky islet just off the coast of Barra has been re-purchased and restored by the Clan in recent times

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Motto


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Motto



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.


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Barra Family Crest Products


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Barra Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
    2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    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. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
    8. 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.
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Barra Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barra 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 15 January 2016 at 13:17.

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