Mealey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dalriadan clans of ancient Scotland spawned the ancestors of the Mealey family. Their name comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.

Early Origins of the Mealey family

The surname Mealey 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 Mealey family

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

Mealey Spelling Variations

The medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English created many spelling variations of the same name. Mealey has been recorded as MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Mealey family to Ireland

Some of the Mealey 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.


United States Mealey 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 Mealey, or a variant listed above:

Mealey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alice Mealey, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [1]
Mealey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann Mealey, aged 23, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Martin Mealey, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1854 [1]
  • Tom Mealey, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • M Mealey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1860 [1]

Australia Mealey migration to Australia +

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

Mealey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Mealey, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Fortune" [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mealey (post 1700) +

  • Rondell Christopher Mealey (b. 1977), former American NFL football running back
  • T. G. Mealey, American Democrat politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 32nd District, 1873; Member of Minnesota State Senate 32nd District, 1874-75, 1878-79 [3]
  • Stephen R. Mealey, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1928 [3]
  • S. J. Mealey, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1916 (Honorary Vice-President) [3]
  • P. Mealey, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1884 [3]
  • Natasha Mealey (b. 1982), English glamour model
  • Phil Mealey, British actor and writer, winner of two North West Comedy Awards (2005)


The Mealey 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.


  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. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 8th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Fortune 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/fortune1854.shtml.
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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