McNeil Family CrestThe Irish and Scottish name McNeil is of patronymic origin. The name is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Néill, a patronymic from the personal name Niall , meaning “champion.” The McNeil family in Scotland is associated with the regions of Barra and Gigha in the Hebrides, The first McNeil immigrants to Ireland came as Gallowglasses (mercenary soldiers) and it is recorded that they were employed as far west as the borders of Connacht as early as 1346.  The first written reference to the name is shown to be that of Gilbert McNeill, which was dated 1329, "Great Seal of Scotland" in Robert the Bruce's reign.

 

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