Henry Neill

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Henry Neill became one of the first property freeholders in 1765 at Ballybrick, County Down.  When his descendant Samuel Neill was born in 1782, his father was Henry Neill Jr.. He had six sons and one daughter with Isabella MacAuley between 1810 and 1827. They were Samuel Jr., John, Margaret, Henry, Matthew, James, and David. Samuel Sr. died at the age of 68 at Katesbridge, Ballybrick, Drumballyroney, County Down, Northern Ireland.  In about 1823, Samuel Sr., a Prostetant of the Presbyterian Church, was banned from Ireland. We believe he departed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where it is believed he became naturalized as a U.S. citizen on 4 Jan 1825.  Soon after Samuel then returned to Ireland to bring his wife and children to America.  However, his wife refused to leave.  Samuel agreed to stay with his wife at Katesbridge, County Down, but vowed to send his sons to America to achieve a better way of life.  However his eldest son Samuel Jr. did not leave Ireland and inherited the farm property at Katesbridge.  Sons John, Henry, Matthew, and James left Ireland between 1835-1850.  John settled in Iowa, Henry in Missouri, Matthew in Kentucky, and James in Iowa.  It is believed James who had married Sarah Hare returned to possibly Scotland or back to Ireland sometime before 1860.  David went to Scotland. It is unknown what happened to daughter Margaret.  David married Mary Macaulay.  They lived at High Street, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland and had at least four children: David Neill 1852–; Samuel Neill a twin 1863–1918; Mary Neill a twin 1863–; John Macaulay Neill 1867–.

Samuel Neill Jr. who inherited the farmland at Katesbridge married Ann Bell. They had one daughter Agnes Macauley Neill.  After Samuel died, Agnes married David Simpson. She tragically died in childbirth and the baby did not survive.  David continued to live with his mother-in-law Ann at Katesbridge.  Samuel Jr. stated in his will that if in the event his daughter's death, the farm property went to nephews to work (these nephews were his brother David Neill 's sons in Scotland). David's son also named Samuel appeared to have returned to Banbridge where he worked for the railroad and may have perhaps worked the farmland with the widow Ann Bell Neill and her son-in-law David continuing to reside there.  There were other provisions stated for a couple of other nephews.  Upon widow Ann Bell Neill dying, it appears that by this time the nephew Samuel in Banbridge had also died leaving his widow Mary Macauley Neill heir to the farm.  Beyond Mary it is unknown what happened to the Neill ancestral property at Katesbridge.    

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