McNeill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McNeill family. Their name comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.

Early Origins of the McNeill family

The surname McNeill 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 McNeill family

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

McNeill Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McNeill has been written as MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.

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

Migration of the McNeill family to Ireland

Some of the McNeill 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.

McNeill migration to the United States

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McNeill or a variant listed above:

McNeill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Neil McNeill, who landed in Cape Fear, North Carolina in 1739 [1]
  • John McNeill, who settled in New York State in 1748 with his wife Elizabeth and five children
McNeill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel McNeill, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • Thomas McNeill, who arrived in America in 1805 [1]
  • Mary McNeill, who arrived in America in 1805 [1]
  • Archd McNeill, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • Charles McNeill, aged 56, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McNeill migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McNeill Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James McNeill, aged 42, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Sarah McNeill, aged 42, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Mary McNeill, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • William McNeill, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • John McNeill, aged 11, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McNeill migration to Australia

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

McNeill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James McNeill, Scottish Convict from Scotland, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Eliza McNeill, aged 21, a dressmaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • Roderick McNeill, aged 44, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Switzerland"
  • Effy McNeill, aged 34, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

McNeill 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:

McNeill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John M. Mcneill, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [3]
  • Duncan John McNeill, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Mr. John McNeill, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "St. Vincent" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 22nd March 1865 [4]
  • James McNeill, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Henry McNeill, aged 18, a ploughman, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McNeill (post 1700)

  • Daniel T. "Dan" McNeill (1947-2017), American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2012-2017)
  • Frederick Arnold "Fred" McNeill (1952-2015), American NFL linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings (1974-1985)
  • William Henry McNeill (1803-1875), American explorer who discovered Victoria Harbour, eponym of Port McNeill, British Columbia
  • John Hanson McNeill (1815-1864), Confederate Captain in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, leader of McNeill's Rangers
  • William Hardy McNeill (b. 1917), Canadian-born, American world historian and author and is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Chicago
  • William Donald McNeill (1918-1996), American tennis player named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1965
  • Louise McNeill (1911-1993), American poet, essayist, and historian of Appalachia
  • Robert Duncan McNeill (b. 1964), American television and film actor and director
  • Archibald McNeill (b. 1849), American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons, 1808-09; Member of North Carolina State Senate, 1811-13, 1820-21; U.S. Representative from North Carolina 7th District, 1821-23, 1825-27
  • Archibald McNeill, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Cumberland County, 1804
  • ... (Another 34 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the McNeill family

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Mcneill, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [5]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. James Hope Mcneill (b. 1921), British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [6]
RMS Titanic
  • Miss Bridget McNeill (d. 1912), aged 27, Irish Third Class passenger from Trien, Roscommon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [7]

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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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  6. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
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