My earliest NEILL ancestor is a John NEILL who was born ca. 1810 in Ireland and most likely lived in or around Newtown Limavady and environs in County Derry. John supposedly had more than twelve children. I only know of two, Joseph and Samuel. Samuel was my great-great-grandfather. Some information I have already obtained follows.
Additions, corrections, and comments are welcome. I'd love to hear from relatives still in Ireland. These areas are the only ones where I have information on the NEILL family. Please do not email me about NEILLs in Virginia in 1750--I don't have the information.
From the "Quarterly returns of Marriages 1862 Ireland Vol. 9," LDS microfilm roll 0101440, page 375.
Joseph and Samuel migrated to Hancock County, Illinois, settling near West Point. What brought them there is a story well post later to this blog.
What follows is an abstract. My attempts to interpret illegible handwriting are in brackets.
On 16 January 1862 at the Derrymore Presbyterian Church, Joseph NEIL[sic] and Ann BRYCE[sic] were married by Wm. [JAMISON?], with witnesses of Wm. MC INTOSH and John ARCHIBALD. Joseph was of full age and was a bachelor who lived in [Taques] Hill in the parish of Drumachose. Joseph was a servant, and was the son of John NEIL[sic] who was a laborer. Ann was a spinster of full age and was a servant living in White [??] in the parish of Drumachose. Her father was James BRYCE, a laborer.
Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J. & J. COOKE Line and the McCORKELL Line, Brian MITCHELL, Genealogical Publishing Co., Balto., MD. 1988.
p. 158 listing of passengers who sailed to St. John in 1864 mentions Samuel NEILL (aged 22 from Limavady) and the family of Joseph NEILL (aged 26), Ann NEILL (aged 30) and Sarah Ann NEILL (aged 1). They were also from Limavady as well.