- This is one of the many alternative or variant surnames which derive originally from the Norse-Viking personal name "Njall" (the modern Neil or Niall) and meaning "The Champion". In this case the surname is a patronymic created by dialectual pronunciation and found as Neales, Nialls, Niles, Nills or Neilus, although all are quite rare. The recordings include Edward Niles 1710 St. Giles Cripplegate, London, Francois Neelz (a French Huguenot), Threadneedle Street French Church (1705) and William Neales, 1761, Christchurch, Spitalfields. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Neluies (as spelt), which was dated 1793, married John Bedford at St. Katherines, Creechurch, London, during the reign of King William III of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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.