Neely Family

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There are a number of variations of the spelling of Neely in the various Neely families including Neeley, McNeely, McNeeley, McNeil, Neilly and others.

The origins of the name Neely would have been Irish and/or Scottish and would generally have been McNeil or McNeely. When England finally conquered the Irish people in what is now Northern Ireland the country was inhabited by various tribes and clans with no organized central government. The English divided Ireland up into various areas that they called "plantations" in order to settle these areas with Englishmen or England supporters. Many of the Irish people were removed to Scotland.

The treatment of the Scots and the Irish by the English resulted in many Scots and Irish leaving Scotland and Ireland and going to the English colonies in North America. Most of these settlers found Pennsylvania to be the best colony to settle because of resentment from other colonists in the more northern colonies. Our line of Neelys did settle originally in Pennsylvania. Some of the sons and grandsons later moved into North and South Carolina.

Most of the Neely settlers in the United States came from Ireland. The earliest documented Neely is Thomas Neely who was born in 1695 in Ballynasaggart by Clogher, Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland. Our line of descendants from Thomas Neely may be seen here.

Our closest Neely relative is unknown. It appears that our John Ellis (b. 1772) was adopted and his name changed to Ellis. John's father would have to have been related through the Thomas Neely line according to our DNA.

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