Show ContentsNeer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Neer family

The surname Neer was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, 1 indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Nesfield, held by William de Percy, Earl of Northumberland, one the great northern Barons who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Neer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neer research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1345, 1381, 1603 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Neer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neer Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Nesfield, Nessfield, Nefield, Neefield, Nerfield, Netherfield, Netherfold and many more.

Early Notables of the Neer family

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Neer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Neer Ranking

In the United States, the name Neer is the 11,177th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Neer migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Neer or a variant listed above:

Neer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Neer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 3
Neer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H H Neer, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 3

Canada Neer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Neer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jacob Neer U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Neer (post 1700) +

  • Paul M. Neer, American politician, Mayor of Port Angeles, Washington, 1957 5
  • Marie Fisher Neer, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1952 5
  • James R. Neer, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 35th District, 1897-98 5

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook