details of which have been prepared at the request of
_____________BERNADETTE MACNEIL DENIS_____ who resides
______________DAYTONA BEACH FL. VOLUSIA, U.S.A._____________
Dated this _______11th_______day of______September______19____93________
MACNEIL: This clan, principally of two independent branches - the MacNeils of Barra and those of Gigha, proclaim a descent from Eoghan (Ewen) of Alleach, a son of "Neil of the Nine Hostages," King of Ireland, whose descendant Niall is said to have arrived in Barra about 1040. By such ancestry the Barra line are held 'Chiefs of the Name'. In 1427 Gilleonan MacNeil, 9th of Barra, received a charter from the Lord of the Isles granting Barra and the lands of Bolsdale in South Uist, which wew later confirmed by Crown Charter to Gilleonan Mac Roderick, 11th of Barra, in 1495, following the forfeiture of the Macdonald Lords of the Isles. The McNeills of Gigha and Taynish are said descend from Neil, brother of Murchald of Barra, whose son, Torquil of Taynish, was Keeper of Castle Sween in Knapdale circa 1449. From this period the Gigha branch followed the Macdonalds of Islay and Kintyre, while the Barra family became allies of the Macleans of Duart, and frequently the two branches found themselves fighting on opposing sides. Rory, 15th of Barra, excused his piracy of an English ship by proclaiming to James VI that he had but barried the subjects of a woman who had executed his sovereign's mother, Mary Queen of Scots. In this time the MacNeil chiefs themselves lived like kings in their sea-girt fortress of Kisimul, with its private berth for Kisimul's Galley and, as tradition relates, none dare dine before MacNeil had had his fill. Roderick, 18th of Barra, supported 'Bonnie Dundee' in 1689, and look part in the Jacobite cause in 1715. His son, the Baron of Barra was imprisoned for his part in the 1745 Rising. The island was sold by the 21st Chief in 1838, on whose death the chiefship passed to MacNeil of Ersary whose descendant, Robert L. MacNeil, 25th Chief, re-acquired most of Barra, including Kisimul Castle, in 1938. In 1700, Donald MacNeill, 1st of Colonsay, traded his estate of Crerar with the Duke of Argyll, in exchange for the Isles of Colonsay and Oronsay. In 1780, McNeill of Colonsay also bought the estates of Gigha and Taynish - Colonsay itself was sold to Lord Strathcona in 1904. CHIEF: Prof. Ian MacNeil [was confirmed in 1962 as 26th of of Barra and Chief of the Name of MacNeil] . CREST: A rock proper. MOTTO: "Vincere vel mori" (Victory or death). PLANT BADGE: Seaware. TARTANS: MacNeill (1) of Barra. (2) of Colonsay.