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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
In ancient Scotland, Neilson was a Strathclyde-Briton name for someone who lived in Ayrshire. The Neilson family name is also a Scottish patronymic name created from the personal name Neill. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Néill meaning "descendant, or son of Niall."
In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Neilson has been spelled Neilson, Nielson, Nilson, Nylson and others.
First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Neilson research. Another 170 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1474 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Neilson History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Neilson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Neilson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:
Neilson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- James Neilson, who came to Virginia in 1696
Neilson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- George Neilson, who came to Maryland in 1716
- Rachel Neilson, who arrived in New England in 1720
- James Neilson, who came to Boston in 1738
- Richard Neilson, who came to Carolina in 1743
- Hugh Neilson, who came to North Carolina in 1760
Neilson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Elizabeth, James, Jane, John, Joseph, and Norman Neilson, who all arrived in Baltimore in 1803
- Elizabeth Neilson, aged 12, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
- Jane Neilson, aged 14, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
- Jno Neilson, aged 27, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
- Joseph Neilson, aged 26, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
Neilson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Aron Neilson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1759
- Moses Neilson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1759
Neilson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Alexander Neilson, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
- Mary Neilson, aged 40, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
- John Neilson, aged 10, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
- Ann Jane Neilson, aged 6, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
- Susan Neilson, aged 5, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
Neilson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- James Neilson, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
- Andrew Neilson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Woodstock" in 1851
- Robert Neilson, aged 24, a carter, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
Neilson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- James Neilson, aged 27, a farm servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
- Thomas Neilson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
- Charles Neilson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
- Elizabeth Neilson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
- Margaret Neilson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
- Mrs. Frances Neilson (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- Mr. Henry Neilson (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- Mr. Charles H. Neilson (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- John Neilson (1944-2000), American movie and TV actor
- William Allan Neilson (1869-1946), American (Scottish born) educator, professor of English at Harvard (1906-17)
- John Neilson (1776-1848), Scottish-born, Canadian newspaper editor and politician in Quebec and early Canada
- James Beaumont Neilson (1792-1865), Scottish engineer
- Miss Violet Neilson, Norwegian 3rd Class passenger from Norway, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
- Miss Gerda Theoline Neilson, English 3rd Class passenger from Durham, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
- Mr. Cornelius Neilson, British Greaser from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
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: His regi servitium
Motto Translation: With these we render service to the king.
- Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
- Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
- Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
- Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
- Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
- Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
- Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
- Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
- Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
The Neilson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Neilson 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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.
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