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The ancestors of the Neelly 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.

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The surname Neelly 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.

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, Neelly has been spelled MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neelly research. Another 721 words (52 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1730, 1370, 1380, 1526, 1562, 1640, 1631, 1640, 1612, 1613 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Neelly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Some of the Neelly family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North Ameri ca. 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 Neelly were among those contributors: Daniel Macneil, who arrived in Boston in 1652; James Macneil, who arrived in Boston in 1652; Daniel Macneele, who arrived in Maryland in 1674; Hector MacNeale, who arrived in Virginia in 1700.

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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.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
    4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
    5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    7. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
    8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
    10. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Neelly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Neelly Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 27 May 2013 at 13:59.

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