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Mcneill Coat of Arms / Mcneill Family Crest

Mcneill Coat of Arms / Mcneill Family Crest

There appear to be two clans of this name one of Barra and of Gigha, but the former is now recognised as the chief. Neil Og is recorded to have received lands in Kintyre from Robert the Bruce. The Clan were vassals of the Lords of the Isles, and in 1427 Gilleonan received from his overlord a charter of Barra and the lands of Boisdale in South Uist, which charter was confirmed in 1495 by James 1V after the forfeiture of the lands of the Lords of the Isles. The MacNeills of Barra subsequently supported the MacLeans of Duart, while the MacNeills of Gigha followed the MacDonalds of Isla. The Barra MacNeills were prominently concerned in the actions of the MacLeans for the next two centuries, and in the feuds of the MacLeans and the MacDonalds the two branches of the MacNeills were found often fighting on opposing sides. General Roderick MacNeill of Barra, last of the direct line, had to part with the island, which he sold in 1838. He died in England in 1863. Robert L. MacNeil of Barra re-acquired parts of the island in 1938 and has restored Kisimul Castle. When Neil, the last chief of the MacNeills of Gigha, was killed in 1530, the chiefship passed to the MacNeills of Taynish, and in 1590 Hector of Taynish repurchased Gigha, which had been sold in 1554. In 1780 Gigha was sold to the MacNeills of Colonsay who had obtained Colonsay from the Duke of Argyll in 1700, in exchange for the lands of Crerar. Colonsay remained with the family until the death of Sir James MacNeill, V.C. in 1904, when it was sold to Lord Strathcona.

Origin of name: Gaelic MacNeill (meaning champion) Plant Badge: Dryas, Seaware War Cry: BUAIDH NO BAS (victory or death) Pipe Music: MacNeil of Barra's March.

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last updated on: September 13 2018

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