McGrail History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McGrail is the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.
Early Origins of the McGrail family
The surname McGrail 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.
Early History of the McGrail family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGrail research. Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1730, 1370, 1380, 1526, 1562, 1640, 1631, 1640, 1612, 1613, 1686 and are included under the topic Early McGrail History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGrail Spelling Variations
Historical recordings of the name McGrail include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.
Early Notables of the McGrail family (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 McGrail Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name McGrail is the 15,744th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the McGrail family to Ireland
Some of the McGrail family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGrail migration to the United States +
Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name McGrail, or a variant listed above:
McGrail Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Richard McGrail, who landed in Mississippi in 1860 
McGrail migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McGrail Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Michael McGrail, aged 37, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
- Bridget McGrail, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
- Francis McGrail, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
- Hugh McGrail, aged 11, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
- John McGrail, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McGrail (post 1700) +
- Stephen John McGrail, American politician, Member of the Massachusetts Senate (1973-1977)
- Joseph John "Joe" McGrail (b. 1964), former American NFL football nose tackle
- Walter McGrail (1888-1970), American film actor who appeared in more than 150 films between 1916 and 1951
- Pat McGrail, American politician, Mayor of Keller, Texas; Elected 2011 
- Frank J. McGrail, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 4th District, 1940, 1944 
- Chris McGrail (b. 1989), English footballer
- Janet McGrail Spillane, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1996 
Related Stories +
The McGrail 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.
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html