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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Neal McNeill, son of Archibald and Nancy (Roy) McNeill was born in Cumberland County, N. C., February 7, 1811, and is one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Lawrence County. His father, Archibald McNeill, was born either in Scotland or North Carolina, but it is not certain which, as no record of his birthplace has ever been kept. He spent his entire life in North Carolina, where he was twice married, the first time to Miss Flora Campbell, who was a native of that State. By her he became the father of two children, John and Dora C. Mr. McNeill was married the second time to Miss Nancy Roy, daughter of Hugh and Catherine (Baker) Roy, both natives of North Carolina, where they lived and died, Mr. Roy at the age of eighty, and Mrs. Roy when about the same age. Grandfather and Grandmother McNeill were both from Scotland. By the second marriage Archibald McNeill became the father of two children, Neal and Archibald; the last named died from the effect’s of a severe wound he received when a boy, and from which he never recovered. Neal McNeill left North Carolina when in his twenty-fourth year, immigrated westward and settled in Tennessee, having made the trip across the country in wagons, not being blessed by our modern railroad conveniences. He lived in Haywood County, Tenn., for just one year, and during that time was married to Miss Flora Black, and when leaving that country for Missouri was accompanied by Hugh and Christina (McNeill) Black, father and mother of his wife. They were of Scotch descent, having moved from North Carolina to Tennessee at a very early date. By his union with Miss Black, Mr. McNeill became the father of ten children, only two of whom are now living, John A. and William D. Those deceased were named Catherine, Ann C., Hugh K., Flora E., Malcom, Jane, Neal D. and Evan P. Mr. McNeill moved to Lawrence County, Mo., in 1836, and entered the land where Mr. Sullivan now lives, and there remained for about three years, when he purchased the place where now resides. During the war Mr. McNeill went to Texas, and there remained for five years. Three of his sons, John A., Hugh K. and Malcom, served during the late war in the Confederate army. Hugh died in Arkansas, and Malcom in Texas. At the time when Mr. McNeill first moved to Missouri the country was very sparsely settled, and there was not a house of any description between his farm and Springfield, and but one store in the town which now has a population of 30,000. His nearest neighbor, James Burrow, lived three miles away, and his next neighbor, John Williams, lived seven miles away. There were yet Delaware Indians in the county, which was then known as Barry County, and it was a number of years before any schools were taught, and then nothing better than a subscription school. Mount Vernon was then unknown; the county seat was then Mount Pleasant, twenty-five miles from where he now lives. Mr. McNeill owns 158 acres of land, 120 under cultivation. Both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, he having been a member for forty-five years, and she for thirteen years. He has just given the ground and $100 for the building of a new Methodist Episcopal Church.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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