07 March 2013
My Irish Origins
By ancestry, I am one-eighth Irish. It is the part of my ancestry about which I know the least. Maybe this blog post will "catch" someone who is also working on this family. This is all I have on the Irish origins of my Neill line.
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. I only know of two of John's children with an unknown wife. Those two children are sons Joseph and Samuel. Samuel was my great-great-grandfather. Family tradition has it that there were other siblings, but I have no information on those individuals. The Neills settled near West Point, Hancock County, Illinois, in the 1870s near where Joseph's wife already had family.
My earliest information on the Neill family comes from two sources:
From the "Quarterly returns of Marriages 1862 Ireland Vol. 9," LDS microfilm roll 0101440, page 375.
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.
Samuel Neill and Annie Murphy obtained a marriage bond in New Brunswick in 1865.
I'd like to know more about the Neills in Ireland, but so far my attempts at locating additional information "across the pond" has not been successful. Both Joseph and Samuel moved to Hancock County, Illinois, where they are living in 1870 and where they live until their deaths in the early 1900s. Exhaustive searches in Hancock County, Illinois, have located no additional information on the Irish origins of the family--particularly Annie Murphy, Samuel's wife.
Samuel Neill died on his farm near West Point, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1912. His son Charles Thomas Neill (1875-1948--both in St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois) is my great-grandfather. Charles' son Cecil Neill (1903 near Stillwell, Hancock County, Illinois-1968 Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa) is my grandfather.
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