McNeil History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

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.

Early Origins of the McNeil family

The surname McNeil 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.

Important Dates for the McNeil family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNeil research. Another 361 words (26 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 and printed products wherever possible.

McNeil Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the McNeil 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 McNeil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McNeil family to Ireland

Some of the McNeil 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.

McNeil migration to the United States

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
  • Hector McNeil, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • Malcolm McNeil, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
McNeil Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Neil McNeil, who arrived in Cape Fear, North Carolina in 1718 [1]
  • Margaret McNeil, who arrived in New York in 1738 [1]
  • Mary McNeil, who landed in New York, NY in 1739 [1]
  • Dugold McNeil, who landed in North Carolina in 1739 [1]
  • Anne McNeil, who landed in New York, NY in 1740 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McNeil Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas McNeil, who landed in America in 1803 [1]
  • William McNeil, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • Jane McNeil, aged 27, who landed in Maine in 1812 [1]
  • Henry C McNeil, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • Angus McNeil, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McNeil migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McNeil Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Hugh McNeil, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Major. McNeil U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was Passenger number 419 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [2]
  • Mr. Neil McNeil U.E. who settled in Carleton, [Saint John West] New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Archibald McNeil U.E. who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman Mariner in 1785, was also a member of the Loyal Artillery in 1795 [2]
  • Mr. Charles McNeil U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McNeil Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John McNeil, who was a soldier on record in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1812 [3]
  • Robert McNeil, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Samuel McNeil, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Andrew McNeil, aged 18, who landed in Quebec in 1834

McNeil migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McNeil Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Christian McNeil, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1839 [4]
  • Peter McNeil, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1839 [4]
  • Esther McNeil, aged 28, a housemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [5]
  • Jane McNeil, aged 22, a housemaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [5]
  • Allen McNeil, aged 43, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Confiance" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McNeil migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McNeil Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John McNeil, aged 45, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Catherine McNeil, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Eliza McNeil, aged 13, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • Alexander McNeil, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • John McNeil, aged 1, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McNeil (post 1700)

  • Brigadier-General Edwin Colyer McNeil (1882-1965), American Chairman of Board of Review, Office of the Judge Advocate-General (1936-1937) [7]
  • Lori McNeil (b. 1963), African-American tennis coach and former professional tennis player
  • Freeman McNeil (b. 1959), former professional American football player
  • Don McNeil, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 12th District, 1986
  • Dennis McNeil, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State Senate 5th District, 1926
  • Deborah McNeil, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 2008
  • Clarence W. McNeil, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Laredo, Texas, 1895-99
  • Cecil McNeil, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1956
  • Archie McNeil, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 8th District, 1910
  • Archibald McNeil Jr. (b. 1884), American Democrat politician,Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bridgeport, 1908; Member of Connecticut State Senate 22nd District, 1911-14
  • ... (Another 39 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the McNeil family

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Eric Albert Dunbar Mcneil (1914-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [8]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Roland  McNeil, Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Mr. M.  McNeil, Scottish Seaman aboard the SS Curaca from Barra, Scotland, United Kingdom who died in the explosion [9]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Pius McNeil (1885-1914), Canadian Miner from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [10]

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Orleana.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Monday 27th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Edward Parry 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/siredwardparry1854.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 13th September 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/confiance1854.shtml.
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) Edwin McNeil. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/McNeil/Edwin_Colyer/USA.html
  8. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  9. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  10. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
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