McNiel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McNiel is the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.
Early Origins of the McNiel family
The surname McNiel 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 McNiel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNiel 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 McNiel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNiel Spelling Variations
Historical recordings of the name McNiel 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 McNiel 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 McNiel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNiel family to Ireland
Some of the McNiel 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.
McNiel 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 McNiel, or a variant listed above:
McNiel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Patrick McNiel, who landed in Virginia in 1745 
McNiel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Daniel McNiel, aged 56, who landed in North Carolina in 1812 
- James McNiel, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1812 
McNiel Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- George McNiel, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1913
- Archie McNiel, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1918
- James McNiel, aged 63, who settled in America from Southampton, England, in 1920
- John McNiel, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1922
- George McNiel, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1922
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McNiel migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McNiel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Archibald McNiel U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 
- Mr. William McNiel U.E. who settled in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, Leeds & Grenville, Ontario c. 1784 
- Mr. John McNiel U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 
McNiel migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
McNiel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Thomas McNiel, aged 9, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord of the Isles" 
McNiel 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:
McNiel Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. James McNiel, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th November 1852 
- Mr. McNiel, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 
- Mrs. McNiel, British settler travelling from London with children aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 
- D. McNiel, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 
Contemporary Notables of the name McNiel (post 1700) +
- Skye McNiel (b. 1978), American politician, Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
- Maura McNiel (b. 1921), American feminist
- Robert McNiel, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Washington County, 1829
- Charles E. McNiel, American politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Genesee County 1st District, 1934
Related Stories +
The McNiel 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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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
- ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th August 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord of the Isles 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/jamesfernie1854.shtml
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html