The age-old Hebrides
islands and the west coast of Scotland
are the ancestral home of the McNelis family. Their name comes from the personal name Neil.
The Gaelic form Mac Neill
translates as son of Neil.
Early Origins of the McNelis family
The surname McNelis 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 McNelis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNelis 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 McNelis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNelis 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, McNelis 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 McNelis 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 McNelis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNelis family to Ireland
Some of the McNelis 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.
Migration of the McNelis family to the New World and Oceana
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence
, many Scots who remained loyal to England
re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan
societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McNeliss to arrive on North American shores: Daniel Macneil, who arrived in Boston in 1652; James Macneil, who arrived in Boston in 1652; Daniel Macneele, who arrived in Maryland in 1674; Hector MacNeale, who arrived in Virginia in 1700.
Contemporary Notables of the name McNelis (post 1700)
- Jade McNelis (b. 1986), Taiwanese-born, Canadian indie singer-songwriter in Montreal
Historic Events for the McNelis family
- Mr. James Mcnelis, DSM, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking CITATION[CLOSE]
HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
The McNelis 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.