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Negley Coat of Arms / Negley Family Crest

This surname of NEGLEY is of two fold origin. It was a universal nickname for a large man. The name was derived from the Hungarian word NAGY (big). It is also a name used to describe the older of two bearers of the same name. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The name is also spelt NAGELE, NAGEL, NAUGEL, NEAGLE and NANGLE. This surname seems to have made enormous strides in the United States. Martin NEAGLE sailed for Virginia in 'The Rebecca' in the year l679. Other records of the name in England mention James Nagle and Mary Rowson who were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair in 1749. James Nagle and Margaret Hughes were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1796. The name is also a Munster surname, found mostly in County Cork where it was derived from the Norman name de-Angulo. On May 29th, 1862, General James NEGLEY commanded an expedition, starting from Columbia, Tennessee immediately in front of the city. On June 7th and 8th, and after a march of 192 miles reached the heights opposite Chattanooga - the first Union troops ever in front of the city - in the afternoon of June 7th, 1862. This preceded the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, October 8th 1862 in which the 79th Pennsylvania lost thirty-seven percent of those engaged. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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