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Surname Nealy - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'N'

A voyage into the Celtic Roots of the Nealy Name: An iGENEA DNA Analysis Memoir

My experience with iGENEA DNA analysis uncovered the Celtic origins of my family name, Nealy. The journey traced my lineage back to ancient Irish nobility, mapped out my ancestors' migration and extended my family tree.

T. Nealy

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Nealy: What does the surname Nealy mean?

The surname Nealy is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name Ó Néill, meaning “descendant of Niall.” It is a patronymic surname, often indicating that the original bearer is a descendant or offspring of a person named Niall. The personal name Niall has several connotations such as "champion," "cloud," or "passionate." This surname has many variations, including O'Neill, Neal, Neill, Neilson, and others, depending on geographical location and anglicization. It was first used in the northern regions of Ireland, where the family was established with territories and descendants recognized as The O'Neill Dynasty. The surname Nealy, along with its variations, is now widespread globally due to immigration from Ireland during the Great Famine in the 19th century.

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Nealy: Where does the name Nealy come from?

The last name Nealy is most common in the United States today. According to the 2020 U.S. census, there are around 5,497 people in the U.S. with the last name Nealy. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them live in the South. In fact, the top states for Nealy’s are Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama, respectively.

In addition to its prevalence in the Southern states, the name Nealy is also quite common in the Midwest region of the U.S. The states with the largest concentrations of Nealy’s in the Midwest include Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

The name Nealy is relatively rare in other English-speaking countries throughout the world. In the United Kingdom, the name Nealy is very rare, and there are only a handful of people in the entire country who share this name. It is similarly rare in Canada and Australia.

In conclusion, the last name Nealy is most prevalent in the United States, with a high concentration found in the southern and midwestern parts of the country. Additionally, the name is quite rare outside of English-speaking countries.

Variations of the surname Nealy

The surname Nealy is an Americanized variant of the Irish surname Ó Niadh. Commonly, O'Neal and O'Neill are used in place of Nealy. These surnames are derived from the Gaelic personal name ‘Niadh’, meaning ‘champion’.

The spelling of Nealy can vary, depending on the time period, country and/or linguistic difference. Variants of Nealy include Neally, Nealie, Nealey, Neale, Niall, Nial, Neall, Neele, NeIll and Neyll. On some occasions, the spellings may take on an archaic form, such as Nielli or Neelley.

In Irish records, the surname Nealy is represented by O’Neill and O’Neal. O’Neill is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic "Ui Néill'' which most likely derived from ‘niadh’.

The many variants of the surname Nealy can be found in other parts of the world. Even though their origin is rooted in Ireland, those bearing the surname have moved to places like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Along with the variants of Nealy, many families have adopted different spellings of their names. Bornys, Nelly, Nihell, Nealis, Nelye, Neallye, Neallybe and Neisi are some examples of alternative spellings of the surname.

Famous people with the name Nealy

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known affectionately as AOC, is an American politician and activist of Puerto Rican descent who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district.
  • Kayleigh McEnany is an American political commentator and the 31st White House press secretary.
  • Joseph Nealy is a former American basketball player who played three seasons in the National Basketball Association.
  • Tee Grizzley is an American rapper and songwriter signed to 300 Entertainment.
  • Robin Nealy is an American actress and filmmaker.
  • Christian Nealy is an American football player for the Los Angeles Rams.
  • Vivian Nealy is the co-founder and CEO of Curion Talent Solutions.
  • Lucille Nealy is an American attorney and former legal analyst on Court TV.
  • Sterling Nealy is a professional lacrosse player in the National Lacrosse League.
  • Sherilyn Kenyon Nealy is the former Executive Vice President of the American Bible Society.

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