Show ContentsMealy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Mealy family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. Their surname comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.

Early Origins of the Mealy family

The surname Mealy 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 Mealy family

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

Mealy 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, Mealy 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 Mealy 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 Mealy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mealy Ranking

In the United States, the name Mealy is the 17,658th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Mealy family to Ireland

Some of the Mealy 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 Mealy migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Mealy were among those contributors:

Mealy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Kath Mealy, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [2]
  • Bryan Mealy, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [2]
Mealy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Walter Mealy, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [2]
  • Edward Mealy, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1776 [2]
Mealy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Mealy, who arrived in America in 1807 [2]
  • Joanna Mealy, aged 33, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [2]
  • John Mealy, aged 18, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [2]
  • Mary Mealy, aged 34, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1850 [2]
  • Michael Mealy, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1854 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Mealy migration to Australia +

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

Mealy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Joseph Mealy, aged 35, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [3]
  • Dennis Mealy, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Bridget Mealy, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"

Contemporary Notables of the name Mealy (post 1700) +

  • Darlene Mealy, American politician, Member of the New York City Council (2006-)
  • Robert Mealy, American teacher of baroque violin at the Yale School of Music and the Department of Music of Yale University
  • Edward A. Mealy, American politician, Delegate to New York State Constitutional Convention 28th District, 1915 [4]

The Mealy 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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1854. Retrieved
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from on Facebook