Kneil History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Kneil is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion." 
"Of the very great antiquity of this distinguished name and family there can be no doubt." 
Early Origins of the Kneil family
The surname Kneil was 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.
Early History of the Kneil family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kneil research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1530, 1550, 1559, 1567, 1612, 1616, 1664, 1689 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Kneil History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kneil Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations of the surname Kneil can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.
Early Notables of the Kneil family
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Sir Niall O'Neill who distinguished himself at the Battle of the Boyne; Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone (c.1480-1559) King of Tir Eogain; Shane O'Neill (c.1530-1567), Irish king of the O'Neill dynasty of Ulster; Hugh O'Neill (c. 1550-1616), Earl of Tyrone, also known as the Great Earl...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kneil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kneil family
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Kneil family came to North America quite early: Captain James Neale (1615-1684) who arrived about 1635 in Maryland and received 1,000 acres of land, many of his descendants became Jesuit priests; Edward Neal settled in Boston in 1849.
- MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.