McNeillie is a very old Scottish name that may even date back to the Dalriadan tribe of Scotland's western coast and Hebrides
islands. It comes from the personal name Neil.
The Gaelic form Mac Neill
translates as son of Neil.
Early Origins of the McNeillie family
The surname McNeillie 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 McNeillie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNeillie 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 McNeillie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNeillie Spelling Variations
are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland
. McNeillie 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 McNeillie 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 McNeillie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNeillie family to Ireland
Some of the McNeillie 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.
Migration of the McNeillie family to the New World and Oceana
Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence
, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan
societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McNeillies to arrive in North America:
McNeillie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William McNeillie, aged 56, who arrived in America, in 1894
McNeillie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- W. W. McNeillie, aged 22, who arrived in America from Johnstone, Scotland, in 1903
- Charles McNeillie, aged 22, who arrived in America from Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1904
- James McNeillie, aged 28, originally from Ayr., Scotland, who arrived in New York in 1907 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Glasgow, Scotland CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXV2-MYF : 6 December 2014), James McNeillie, 22 Jul 1907; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Columbia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- James McNeillie, aged 28, who arrived in America from Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1907
- Charles McNeillie, aged 27, originally from Glasgow, Scotland, who arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "Caledonia" from Glasgow, Scotland CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX1M-SP8 : 6 December 2014), Charles McNeillie, 18 Jul 1909; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Caledonia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McNeillie (post 1700)
- Sonny McNeillie, born Jake McNeillie, American actor, known for his work on Seamless: Kidz Rule (1999)
- Hugh McNeillie, Scottish football centre of the 1960s, nicknamed " the man of iron"
- James Stuart McNeillie, Southern Rhodesian politician who participated in the 1948 General Election but failed to win a seat
- Andrew McNeillie, Welsh poet and literary editor, Literature Editor at Oxford University Press; his collection of poems Nevermore (2000) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection
The McNeillie 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.