Neeley 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 Neeley 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 Neeley family

The surname Neeley 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 Neeley family

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

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

Neeley Ranking

In the United States, the name Neeley is the 3,305th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Neeley family

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Neeley family in North America: Captain James Neale (1615-1684) who arrived about 1635 in Maryland and received 1,000 acres of land, many of his descendants became Jesuit priests; Edward Neal settled in Boston in 1849.

Contemporary Notables of the name Neeley (post 1700) +

  • Melvin Earl Neeley, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Galena, Kansas, 1956-1957 [4]
  • Paul Neeley (b. 1926), United States federal judge
  • Melissa Neeley (b. 1972), American radio news anchor
  • George Arthur Neeley (1879-1919), American politician, U.S. Representative from Kansas
  • Teddie Joe "Ted" Neeley (b. 1943), American rock and roll drummer, singer, actor, best known for performing the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973
  • W. Walter Neeley (b. 1908), American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State Senate 13th District, 1971-78 [4]
  • John Lawton Neeley, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, 1915, 1915-21 [4]
  • Jim Neeley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1996, 2000 [4]
  • George Arthur Neeley (1879-1919), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Kansas 7th District, 1912-15; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Kansas, 1914; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1916 [4]
  • Charles H. Neeley, American politician, Mayor of Paris, Texas, 1998-2000 [4]

Suggested Readings for the name Neeley +

  • Borrer: Descendants of Elijah Borrer and Celia Williams Borrer and their Related Families by William Otis Hallmark.
  • Neely, 200 Years in America by Marie Davis Wiles.

  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. ^
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook