Neal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Neal is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion." [1]

"Of the very great antiquity of this distinguished name and family there can be no doubt." [2]

Early Origins of the Neal family

The surname Neal was first found in County Tyrone (Irish: Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, and County Clare where O'Neill was chief of Clan Dalvy and of Tradree, a district in the barony of Inchiquinn. In the 10th century, a branch of this family went to Limerick to assist in the expulsion of the Danes.

After one victorious occasion they wore green boughs in their helmets and on their horses' heads signifying their victory.

Early History of the Neal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neal research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1559, 1530, 1567, 1550, 1616, 1612, 1664, 1694, 1689 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Neal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neal Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Neal revealed many variations, including O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.

Early Notables of the Neal family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Sir Niall O'Neill who distinguished himself at the Battle of the Boyne; Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone (c.1480-1559) King of Tir Eogain; Shane O'Neill (c.1530-1567), Irish king of the O'Neill dynasty of Ulster; Hugh O'Neill (c. 1550-1616), Earl of Tyrone, also known as the Great Earl...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Neal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neal World Ranking

In the United States, the name Neal is the 271st most popular surname with an estimated 96,993 people with that name. [3] However, in Australia, the name Neal is ranked the 760th most popular surname with an estimated 5,128 people with that name. [4] And in New Zealand, the name Neal is the 443rd popular surname with an estimated 1,535 people with that name. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Neal as 568th with 11,434 people. [6]


United States Neal migration to the United States +

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Neal:

Neal Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Neal, who arrived in America in 1620 [7]
  • Francis Neal, who settled in Maine in 1630
  • Peter and Walter Neal, who settled in New Hampshire in 1631
  • Walter Neal, who arrived in New England in 1631 [7]
  • Henry Neal, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1642 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Neal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicolas Neal, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [7]
  • Cha Neal, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • Mary Neal, who arrived in New England in 1734 [7]
  • Edward Neal, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [7]
  • John Neal, aged 28, who arrived in New Jersey in 1775 [7]
Neal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Neal, aged 23, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [7]
  • Frank Neal, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [7]
  • Roger Neal, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [7]
  • Barnard Neal, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [7]
  • Joseph Neal, aged 45, who landed in South Carolina in 1812 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Neal Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Edwin C. Neal, (b. 1866), aged 34, Cornish stonecutter, from Penryn, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lucania" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 18th August 1900 en route to Barre City, Vermont, USA [8]
  • Mr. William T. Neal, (b. 1884), aged 20, American miner returning from Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th April 1904 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [8]

Canada Neal migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Neal Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Neal, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Wilm Neal, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Charles Neal, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Francis Neal, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Fras Neal, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Neal Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Neal, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1802
  • Michael James Neal, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1805
  • Jane Neal, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Richard Neal, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • Catherine Neal, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Neal migration to Australia +

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

Neal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Neal, (O'Neal, Neile, Neale, Neil), (b. 1783), aged 31, Irish blacksmith who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for life, transported aboard the "Canada" on 5th December 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1862 [9]
  • Mr. John Neal, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Richard Neal, British Convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. Patrick Neal, (Neil), (b. 1796), aged 24, Irish labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for house robbery, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Patrick Neal, (b. 1793), aged 27, Irish labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Neal 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:

Neal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Amelia Neal, aged 25, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • William Neal, aged 9, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • George Neal, aged 6, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Charles Neal, aged 4, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Ellen Neal, aged 2, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Neal (post 1700) +

  • Idotha "Bootsie" Neal (1953-1954), American politician and developer in Dayton, Ohio, USA, member of the Democratic Party
  • William Elmer Neal (1875-1959), American Republican politician, Chair of Cabell County Republican Party, 1917; Mayor of Huntington, West Virginia, 1925-28 [13]
  • Joseph H. Neal (1950-2017), American politician, Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1993-2017)
  • James Foster Neal (1929-2010), American trial lawyer who prosecuted labor leader Jimmy Hoffa and top officials of the Nixon Administration in the Watergate scandal
  • Jacqueline "Jackie" Neal (1967-2005), American blues singer who was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend
  • Gary Neal (b. 1984), American professional basketball player
  • Charles Lenard "Charlie" Neal (1931-1996), American Major League Baseball second baseman who played from 1956 to 1963
  • James Ellerbe "Daddy" and "Jim" Neal (1930-2011), American NBA basketball player
  • Elise Neal (b. 1966), American four-time Image Award nominated film and television actress
  • Diane Neal (b. 1976), American actress and former competitive ice skater, known for her roles in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), Dracula II: Ascension (2003) and Dirty Movie (2011)
  • ... (Another 100 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Ronald W Neal (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Basford, Nottinghamshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Edward R Neal (b. 1915), English Supply Assistant serving for the Royal Navy from Swindon, Wiltshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Henry Neal, aged 25, English Baker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 13 [15]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Tom Dick Neal, American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]


Suggested Readings for the name Neal +

  • The Neal, Harbison, Snodgrass, Miller, and Related Families by Thomes Howe R. Neal.
  • Lester, Neal, and Allied Families by Shirley Wimpey Ward.

  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dorothy
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  15. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  16. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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