I asked Robt McNeill, our local grocer, if he could help with background. His family hail from Barra, a small island in the Hebrides group off the west coast of Scotland.
I also phoned a Max McNeill; his wife told me that Max's family came from Dundalk, between Dublin and Belfast, but that the family had originally come from Barra. Both families are Protestant, so far as I know there is no connection between these branches. Mac, as you may know, is the Gaelic for "son", so MacNeill or McNeill is "Son of Neill". Robt had not traced his family history. Max's wife thinks that his line has also not been traced, but she will come back to me if his brothers have done some work. Best wishes. Jim Darlington