Recorded in many forms including MacNeill, McNeill, O'Neill, Neill, Neil, Neale, and many others, this is a surname of pre 8th century Gaelic origins. It derives from the word 'niall' meaning 'champion', a meaning which no doubt greatly assisted its popularity through Northern Europe. In a sense by a transposition of identity it can be Irish, Scottish or Norman-English. Originally the name was adopted in Ireland by invading Scandinavians who made Dublin their capital. Then in the form of "Njall", it was introuduced both to Norway, Iceland and the Isle of Man as well as into what became known as Normandy (in France) during the 9th century. Tow centuries later these former 'Vikings' now Normans, crossed the English Channel and conquered England introducing the name into southern parts after 1066. However, it was also introduced directly into North West England by Norsemen from Ireland, who conquered the region. 'Neil' as a first name was often Latinized in England as "Nigel(lus)", through an incorrect association with "niger", meaning black. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Nigelli, which was dated 1195. This was in the tax registers known as the "Feet of Fines" for the county of Wiltshire", and during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Unfortunately Richard may have been "lionhearted" in battle, but he wasusually broke as well. His expeditions to free the Holy Land and known as the Crusades, being a terrible drain on England. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Neill — is a surname, and may refer to A. S. Neill, British educator and author Alec Neill, New Zealand politician Ben Neill, American composer Bob Neill, British politician Bud Neill Casey Neill, American musician James C. Neill Jay Wesley Neill John R …   Wikipedia

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  • Neill —   [niːl], Alexander Sutherland, britischer Pädagoge, * Forfar (Tayside Region) 17. 10. 1883, ✝ Aldeburgh 23. 9. 1973; war 1921 Mitbegründer der Internationalen Schule Hellerau (heute zu Dresden), gründete 1924 seine Heimschule Summerhill in Lyme… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Neill — (spr. Nell), 1) Patrick, geb. 1777, war Secretär der Wernerian Society in Edinburg u. starb am 5. Sept. 1852 in Canonmills bei Edinburg. Er besaß bedeutende naturhistorische, namentlich zoologische Sammlungen u. schr.: A tour through Orkney and… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Neill — Neill, Alexander S …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Néill — Aodh Mór Ó Néill (englischer Name: Hugh O Neill; * um 1540; † 20. Juli 1616 in Rom) war ein irisches Clanoberhaupt (Chieftain) des späten 16. Jahrhunderts und 2. Earl of Tyrone. Hugh O Neill wird oft auch als 3. Earl of Tyrone bezeichnet, je… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Neill, A.S. — ▪ British educator and author in full  Alexander Sutherland Neill   born Oct. 17, 1883, Forfar, Forfarshire, Scot. died Sept. 23, 1973, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, Eng.       British educator and author who founded the Summerhill School and championed… …   Universalium

  • Neill — /nil/ (say neel) noun Sam, born 1948 in Northern Ireland, NZ film actor in Australia, Britain and US; films include My Brilliant Career (1979) and The Piano (1993) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Neill's Hill railway station — Neill s Hill Location Location Belfast Area County Down Operations Original company Belfast and County Down Railway Pre grouping …   Wikipedia

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