The Neil Family
                   and variants Neel/Neale
LINKS: Clan MacNeil homepage 
The Neil family in general stems from the MacNeils of Barra. The clan history can be found on various website including the Clan MacNeil homepage above.
I have traced our Neil line back from Tranmere, Cheshire into Whitehaven, Cumbria, although I am now almost sure that I have a link at last, to Scotland.  The parents of our
John Neil born in 1837, appears to have been  John Neel and Hannah Wilson.  I had been unable to find any Neils in Whitehaven at the time of the 1851 census until this:

Strand street, Whitehaven (HO 107/2436 Folios 359 - 450)
John Nail    age 35                     mariner                       born Scotland
Hannah  (wife)     36                                                         born in Whitehaven
Hannah  (dau)        8                                                         born Whitehaven

We know that from
John Neil's marriage certificate, that his father John was a mariner, so this seems likely to be the right family.
This page is based on that assumption, but I am still on the case and there are likely to be changes!

John Neel or John Nail would have been born  in Scotland in about 1816, parents unknown.  He married Hannah Wilson on 23rd April, 1837 at St. James,  Whitehaven.  John was a mariner and they had at least three children:

John Neil/Neel (Ship's carpenter) bp 15.10.1837 Whitehaven St. James
                                                            m 3.6.1862 Kirkdale, Walton to
Ann Dixon (b 1839)
                                                            d 20.5.1890 Tranmere
Thomas Neel/Neale  bp 25.11.1839 Whitehaven St. James
                                       d Dec 1839 Whitehaven
Hannah Nail b 1842 Whitehaven
                        m 1862 Whitehaven to
Thomas Nicholson

John, Hannah and their 8 year old daughter Hannah lived at Strand Street, Whitehaven  in 1851, but recently I also found Hannah aged 28 and three year old John living at Key Plan, Whitehaven back in 1841.  John would have probably been away at sea and it appears that Thomas may have died in infancy [need to confirm this]. Hence another Thomas Neil, master mariner that I found in later censuses married to Elizabeth would not be this Thomas.
It appears that John and Hannah may have died by 1861 as their children John and Hannah are living with John Raven, Stone Mason. However, there is the possibility that John was away at sea yet again and in the 1861 census there is a
John Neill, mate aboard the Reindeer at Collier Dock, West Indies aged 42 and born in Scotland.   There is really no way to confirm that this is the same John Neil unless we can locate all his service history.

John Neil was born in 1837 at Whitehaven, and baptised on 15th October, 1837 at St. James, Whitehaven.   He married Ann Dixon, daughter of Thomas Dixon and Mary, on 3rd June, 1862 at St. Andrew's Church, Kirkdale, Walton-on-the-Hill.  The had the following children:

John Raven Neil b 1863, bp 21.12.1863 Whitehaven
                                m 1891 Birkenhead to
Elizabeth Evans
                                d 1909 West Derby
Thomas Dixon Neil (Electrician) b 1865, bp 13.11.1864 Whitehaven
                                      m 1885 Tranmere to 
Ellen Jennings 
Simon Neil b 1867 Liverpool
                     m 1897 Tranmere to
Elizabeth Weaver 
William Robert Neil  b 1869 Tranmere
Mary Ann Elizabeth Neil b 1871 Tranmere
Joseph Henry Neil b 24.1.1874 Tranmere
                                    m 6.12.1896 Liverpool to
Pheobe Sanderson (born 1875)
Hannah Wilson Neil b 1876 Tranmere
Frederick George Neil b 1879 Tranmere
Albert Ernest Neil (Electrician's Labourer) b 1880 Tranmere
Isabelle Anne Neil b 1880 Tranmere (twins)

In 1861 John is living at  No. 6, James' Pit, Whitehaven, Cumbria aged 24 with John Raven, a stone mason and his wife Elizabeth (John's aunt). He is a ship's carpenter.
In 1871, at 15 West View, Tranmere  with his wife Annie and young children, he is 32 and in 1881, at the same address he is 45.
He died on 20th May, 1890 at 27 Beaconsfield Road, Tranmere aged 50 (again, not quite accurate)  from
cirrhosis of the liver; his son
Thomas Dixon Neil was in attendance. His widow Ann is not mentioned.

John Raven Neil, born in 1863 at Whitehaven, became a Carpenter's labourer.  He and wife Elizabeth
were living at 33 Roman Street, Seaforth, Lancs (RG13/3444/18/28/167) in 1901 with three children:
Edith Neil b 1893, Seaforth
Matilda Neil b 1895 Seaforth
John Neil b 1900 Seaforth

John Raven's youngest brother, Albert (born 1880) was living in 1901 with his brother Thomas Dixon Neil and his family at Broughton.

Joseph Henry Neil, was born on 24th January, 1874 at 15 West View, Tranmere.  He was a labourer and married Pheobe Sanderson, daughter of John Sanderson and Catherine Dunbar, on 6th December, 1896 at Liverpool parish Church.
They had the following children:

Frederick George Neil b 1897 New Ferry
                                          d 5.5.1918 in WW1, bur St Venant-Robecq, France
Joseph Henry Neil  b 1898 Birkenhead
                                     m 1924 St Peter's, Rock Ferry to
Elizabeth Williams
John Raven Neil b 1899 Liverpool
                                m ?
William Alfred Neil b 1900 Tranmere
                                   m 1927 Tranmere, St Luke to
Elsie Taylor
Florence Neil b 1902 Tranmere
                          m 1927 West Derby Reg Office to
Michael Keegan
Edith Neil b 23.6.1903 Tranmere
                   m 1925 to
William Alfred Bibby
                   d 1985 Birkenhead
Edward Neilb 1907 Birkenhead m Jane
Frederick S Neil b 1904 Birkenhead
                                             Edward Neil
b 1907 Birkenhead
                        m 1938 Holy Trinity, Hoylake to
Alice Hazelhurst
others, details unknown,  including:

Helen Neil
(died infant)
Walter Neil
b 1911 (died infant)
Arthur Neil (Able Seaman) b 1913 Tranmere
                                                m 1936 to
Georgina Blackburn
James Neil
b 1917
                                                d 4.10.1943 at Sea
Robert Neil
Harold Neil
b 1919

In 1901, Joseph and Pheobe were living at 18 Roslyn Street, Birkenhead (RG13/3398/37/18/112) with their first four children.  After this time, no details are known about the family other than the fact that Edith, born  in 1903 was born in 4 Rose Cottages where Jospeh and Pheobe lived until at least 1918 when their son Frederick George died in WW1.

Edith Neil was born on 26th June, 1903 at 4 Rose Cottages, Rock Ferry.  She married William Alfred Bibby, a merchant Seaman, in 1925.
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