THE NEIL FAMILY of Tranmere & Cumbria

 See also the Neil Census transcripts

Neil family photographs

Neil Family Tree



Early History:

The Neil family is a sept (a division) of the MacNeils of Barra,  Scotland, who in turn were descended from Naill of the Nine Hostages.  Nial was high King of Ireland in 379 and was the progenitor of the O’Neill dynasty. In about 1030 a branch of the O’Neills; Niall XXI son of Aogh Aonrachan, left Ireland and settled on the isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides of Scotland.

There are numerous spellings over time and ‘Neil” as it is now spelt is a reduction of either the Scottish McNeil (from the Gaelic Mac Néill, “son of Niall“),  or a variant of  Neill, (from the Irish Ó Néill).  More details can be found at the Clan/Family Histories – MacNeil, Clan MacNeil or NcNeil Genealogy  or the publication The Clan MacneilClann Niall of Scotland by Robert Lister Macneil, 1923 (if you can find a copy!)



I have traced our Neil line back from Tranmere, Cheshire into Whitehaven, Cumbria, although I am now almost sure that I have a link at last, to Scotland; perhaps West Linton, Peebleshire.  The parents of our John Neil born in 1837, were  John Neel and Hannah Wilson.  I had been unable to find any Neils in Whitehaven at the time of the 1851 until I found the family transcribed as Nail 2.  John Nail/Neil was born in Scotland in about 1816, according to the census, but without knowing exactly where in Scotland, I may have hit a brick wall as to his ancestors.  However, there are a few possibilities that I found on ScotlandsPeople.  One is John Neel/Neil born 11th May, 1817 at West Linton whose parents are William Neil and Elizabeth Patterson 1,9Interestingly, My mother-in-law gave me a scrap of paper given to her by a cousin, with the names Patterson, together with Neil, Dixon and Raven.  We know that Dixon is from Ann and  the name Raven comes from John’s (b 1837) uncle and perhaps guardian (see further below), so if Patterson is also correct, perhaps this is the right John.  [If only he had married a few months later, I would know his father’ name for sure!]  If this is the right John, then he would have had an uncle James, a master mariner and an uncle Alexander, both of whom I found in the 1841 census – see the family tree] He would also have had a brother Robert born in 1811 at Penicuik, Midlothian plus twin siblings Jean and Robert both born in 1814 at West Linton 9.  I have added this generation to the family tree as a possibility but I am not sure how I will ever be able to confirm it. 

Whoever his father is, we do know that John Neel/Nail, born about 1816/7 in Scotland, married Hannah Wilson, daughter of Thomas Wilson and Hannah Mawson, on 23rd April, 1837 at St. James, Whitehaven. 1 John was a mariner and they had at least three children:

John Neil/Neel (Ship’s carpenter) bp 15.10.1837 Whitehaven St. James 1                                                                                                                                                                                  m 3.6.1862 Kirkdale, Walton to Ann Dixon (b 1839)                                                                                                                                                    d 20.5.1890 Tranmere
Thomas Neel bp 25.11.1839 Whitehaven St. James                                                                                                                                                                                 d Dec 1839 Whitehaven
Hannah Nail b 6.9.1842 Whitehaven St James 16                                                                                                                                                                                    m 8.1.1862 Whitehaven St.James to Thomas Nicholson 16                                                                                                                                      d 1897 Whitehaven


The baptism register of Whitehaven St James have John and Thomas listed as “Neel” and Hannah as “Nail”.   John, Hannah and their 8 year old daughter Hannah lived at Strand Street, Whitehaven at the time of the 1851 census 2, but recently I also found Hannah aged 28 and three year old John living at Key Plan, Whitehaven back in 1841 (almost next door to her sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law John Raven).  John was probably away at sea at the time; I found a 25 years old mariner; John McNeil born in Scotland, and living at Temple Lane, Liverpool which looks promising 2.  The name variant could have been interchangeable which makes it so much harder to be sure.   [There is also another John Neil, mariner based in Whitehaven at the same time, but he married an Elizabeth Dawson in 1832, and was away in both 1841 and 1851 – see family tree]. 

It seems that Thomas may have died in infancy in 1839 6 , however, I cannot find a burial for him in any of the Whitehaven burial registers.  As yet, there is no sign of their son John, born in 1837 at the time of the 1851 census (apart from one possible apprenticeship – see further below).

It appeared as though John and Hannah may have died by early 1861 as their children John and Hannah are living with John Raven, Stone Mason, their uncle (John Raven married Hannah’s sister, Elizabeth Wilson in 1831).  However, there is the possibility that John was away at sea yet again as in the 1861 census there is a John Neill, mate aboard the “Reindeer” docked at Holyhead, Anglesey aged 42 and born at Queensferry, Scotland 2.   There is really no way to confirm that this is the same John Neil unless we can locate all his service history.  I have no idea if John was Royal Navy or Merchant Navy (I suspect the latter) and am having a hard time trying to find records for him.  [It cannot be the other John Neil mentioned above as he had died by this time and his widow Elizabeth had remarried]. If this was him in 1861, I am not sure if it is the same John baptised at West Linton, as previously mentioned as this is almost 40 miles sway, but possible.  Either way I can find no burials for either John or Hannah in the Whitehaven registers after 1851. 



John Neil was born in 1837 at Whitehaven, and baptised on 15th October, 1837 at St. James, Whitehaven 1.   There was no sign of John in the 1851 census, but at the time of the 1861 Census John and his sister Hannah were living at No. 6, James’ Pit, Whitehaven, Cumbria aged 24 with John Raven, a stone mason and his wife Elizabeth (John’s aunt). He is a ship’s carpenter.  This got me thinking that he may have been away in 1851 doing an apprenticeship – and if this is the case then there is one John Neil aged 14 living at Crooklands, Preston Richard in Westmoreland (near Kendal) at the time of the 1851 census. He is the right age and a wood turners apprentice living with several others of the same with farmer William Davidson 2.  The one fly in the ointment here is that fact that he says he is born in Glasgow, Scotland and not Whitehaven (but then his sister Hannah later says she is also born in Scotland when clearly she was at least baptised in Whitehaven – the censuses were never 100% free from errors).  

John married Ann Dixon, daughter of Thomas Dixon, blacksmith and Mary, on 3rd June, 1862 at St. Andrew’s Church, Kirkdale, Walton-on-the-Hill 3.  The had the following children:

John Raven Neil b 1863, bp 21.12.1863 Whitehaven                                                                                                                                                                                      m 17.7.1891 Birkenhead St Mary to Elizabeth Evans 1                                                                                                                                        d 1909 West Derby
Thomas Dixon Neil (Electrician) b 1865, bp 13.11.1864 Whitehaven St. James                                                                                                                                                                    m 10.8.1885 Tranmere St Catherine to Ellen Jennings 1                                                                                                                                            d 1925, bur 10.12.1925 Burnley Cemetery 12                                                                                          Robert Neil bp 23.2.1867 and bp 16.6.1867 St. Catherine, Edge Hill, Liverpool 7                                                                                                                           d 1867, bur 6.12.1867 Bebington Cemetery 10                                                                                                                                      Simon Neil bp 23.2.1867 and bp 16.6.1867 St. Catherine, Edge Hill, Liverpool                                                                                                                           m 3.2.1897 St Paul, Bebington to Elizabeth Weaver 7                                                                                                                                                d 1931
William Robert Neil b 13.5.1869, bp 24.6.1869 St. Catherine, Tranmere                                                                                                                                                         m 12.8.1894 St Gabriel, Toxteth to Elizabeth Jane Graham 7                                                                          Mary Ann Elizabeth Neil b 15.10.1871, 31.12.1871 St. Catherine, Tranmere                                                                                                                                                            m 2.4.1893 St. James, Toxteth to William Henry Lavin 7
Joseph Henry Neil b 24.1.1874 Tranmere, bp 18.4.1874 St. Mary Birkenhead  7                                                                                                                                          m 6.12.1896 St. Peter, Liverpool to Pheobe Sanderson (born 1875)                                                                                                                       d 1929 Birkenhead
Hannah Wilson Neil b 17.6.1876, bp 16.6.1876 St. Catherine, Tranmere                                                                                                                                                         m 10.8.1897 St. Leonard, Bootle to James Albert Timms 7                                                                                    Frederick George Neil b 25.7.1878, bp.28.7.1878 St. Mary, Birkenhead                                                                                                                                                              m 6.4.1902 St. Matthew, Toxteth Park to Mary Ann Evans 7                                                                                                                              d 1964 Liverpool
Albert Ernest Neil (Electrician’s Labourer) b 27.10.1880, bp 20.11.1880 St. Catherine, Tranmere                                                                                                                                                    m 30.3.1907 St. Chrysostom, Everton to Eliza Ann Tysoe 7                                                                                                                                      d 1960 Liverpool 6     
Isabelle Anne Neil b 27.10.1880, bp 20.11.1880 St. Catherine, Tranmere                                                                                                                                                   d 1882 Birkenhead


John and Ann moved from Whitehaven to Liverpool sometime between November 1864 and February 1867. They were living at 122 Lovat Street, Edge Hill, Liverpool at the time of the baptism of their first twins Robert and Simon. For some reason both were baptised twice on 23rd February and again on 16th June.  Whether or not it had something to do with the fact that Robert was poorly (he died in December 1867) I do not know.

By early 1869 they were in Tranmere – possibly the fact that Robert was buried in Bebington cemetery suggests that they were there by December 1867?  At the time of the 1871 census they were living at 15 West View, Tranmere with his wife Annie and young children, he is 32 and in 1881, at the same address he is 45 2.   John died on 20th May, 1890 at 27 Beaconsfield Road, Tranmere aged 50 (again, not quite accurate)  from cirrhosis of the liver; his son Thomas Dixon Neil was in attendance. His widow Ann is not mentioned.  Ann died in early 1891 and at the time of the 1891 census William Robert was the head of household with all his younger siblings at 68 Old Chester Road, Tranmere.2



Hannah Nail/Neil born in 1842, was living with her uncle John Raven and her brother John in 18612 .  She married Thomas Nicholson, a blacksmith on 8th January, 1862 at Whitehaven St James 16.  At the time of the 1871 census, however, she was found to be still living with her uncle John Raven, stone mason and her aunts Elizabeth and Mary (nee Wilson).  She was noted as married, so I am presuming that Thomas was away working. She also had four children by this time.  Hannah and Thomas had the following children : 


Elizabeth Jane Nicholson bp 9.3.1862 Whitehaven
William Brown Nicholson bp 21.2.1864 Whitehaven 
Thomas William Nicholson bp 25.11.1866 Whitehaven 
Mary Hannah Nicholson bp 28.2.1869 Millom 
Elizabeth Hannah Storey  b 1872 Bassenthwaite                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 1890 Bootle Cumberland to Francis (Frank) Turner
Richard Storey  b 1878  Millom


The latter two children appear to have the surname Storey and I am not sure where this comes from – perhaps they were adopted? It would explain why there are two Elizabeths. At the time of the 1881 census, Thomas and Hannah were living at 27 Boswick Rise, Millom, Bootle and Hannah is recorded a being born in Scotland and not Whitehaven. They were at the same address at the time of the 1891 census, Hannah still born in Scotland 2

Hannah died in 1897 and Thomas in 1898.  I have not been able to trace their burial places.  After the death of their parents, brothers Thomas and Richard were living with their sister Elizabeth and their brother-in-law Frank Turner at the time of the 1901 census, at Myrtle Cottage, 49 Mains Gate Road in Bootle Cumberland  15




John Raven Neil, born in 1863 at Whitehaven, became a Carpenter’s labourer and later a Ship’s Steward.  However, at the time of the 1881 it seems that he was lodging with a Thomas family at 184 Peel Street, Birkenhead and described as an apprentice Baker 2.  The first record we have of him at sea was on the 26th July, 1884  when he signed up to serve on the Britannia from where he was discharged 13th November, 1884 11.  He signed up again on the same ship 20th February, 1886 until 27th May, 1886. He was a steward on the Oruba from 25th June, 1889 until 25th September, 1889. His address was stated as 117 Borough Road, Birkenhead 11.  He was not at this address, however, at the time of the 1891 Census and I found him to be back on board the Britannia; from 8th November, 1890 until 17th February, 1891 and then from 28th February, 1891 until 28th May, 1891 11

He married Elizabeth Evans, daughter of John Evans on 17th July, 1891 at St. Mary, Birkenhead 1.  They were living at 7 Ruthven Rd, Litherland at the time of Edith’s baptism in 1893, and 25 Date Street at Matilda’s in 1895.   At the time of John’s baptism and the 1901 census they were living at 33 Roman Street, Seaforth, 2 with three children baptised at St. Thomas Seaforth 12:


Edith Neil b 16.3.1893, bp 20.4.1893 St. Thomas, Seaforth
Matilda Neil b 12.5.1895, bp17.5.1895 St. Thomas Seaforth
John Raven Neil b 13.7.1899, bp 25.10.1899 St. Thomas, Seaforth                                                                                                                                                                d 16.4.1915 Tacoma, Pierce, Washington, USA 17

John Raven Neil died in 1909 at Seaforth .



 Thomas Dixon Neil, born in 1864 was an electrician. He married Ellen Jennings, daughter of John Jennings on 10th August, 1885 at St. Catherine, Tranmere 1.   At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 75 Borough Road, Tranmere where Thomas was Locomotive Engine Fireman 2.   They had three children including twins by the time of the 1901 census where they were living at 13 Howell Street, Broughton with his youngest brother Albert, an Electrician’s labourer 2. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at 26 Clarence Street, Burnley with a further five children. Thomas was an Electrical fitter.   They had the following children: 2


Annie Neil b 1897 Bootle                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alice Georgina Neil   b 1897 Bootle                                                                                                                                                                                Emily Ellen Neil b 1899 Bootle                                                                                                                                                                                Josephine Neil b 1904 Colne                                                                                                                                                                                            Isabella Neil b 1905 Colne                                                                                                                                                                                            Nora Neil b 1906 Colne                                                                                                                                                                                                                             d 1925 Victoria Hospital, bur 2.7.1925 Burnley Cemetery 12                                                                                                    Thomas Neil 1908 Colne                                                                                                                                                                                              Albert Ernest Neil bp 7.9.1911 Christchurch Colne 12                                                                                                                                        Fred Neil b 1911 Colne


Thomas died in 1925 aged 61 at 73 Elm Street, Burnley and was buried on 10th December 1925 at Burnley cemetery 6 , 12.  He shares the grave (number NE2540) with his daughter Nora who died the earlier same year.  


Simon Neil the surviving twin born in 1867 and baptised twice, was a tram labourer.  He married Elizabeth Weaver on 3rd February, 1897 at St. Paul, Bebington 7.  At the time of the 1901 census they were living at 10 Verde Street, Seaforth and then in 1911 at 84 Henley Street, Seaforth 2 .  They do not appear to have had any children.   Simon died in 1931 6.


William Robert Neil born in 1869 was and engine cleaner.  He married Elizabeth Jane Graham on 12th August, 1894 at St. Gabriel, Toxteth7.  At the time of the 1901 census they were living at 22 Audley Street, Walton on the Hill, with their 2 year old daughter Elsie and Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Graham. William was now a dock labourer 2. I cannot find the family after this time. 


Joseph Henry Neil, was born on 24th January, 1874 at 15 West View, Tranmere.  He was a labourer and married Phoebe Sanderson, daughter of John Sanderson and Catherine Dunbar, on 6th December, 1896 at Liverpool parish Church 3.
They had the following children:


Frederick George Neil b 19.4.1897 New Ferry, bp 20.6.1897 New Ferry                                                                                                                                                              d 5.5.1918 in WW1, bur St Venant-Robecq, France 
Joseph Henry Neil (Seaman) b 30.4.1898 Hood Street, Bootle, bp 22.6.1898 St Leonards, Bootle                                                                                                                           m 1924 St Peter’s, Rock Ferry to Elizabeth Williams                                                                                                                                          d 1982 Birkenhead
John Raven Neil b 6.9.1899 Liverpool, bp 8.10.1899 St James, Toxteth                                                                                                                                                   m 1935 Birkenhead to Emily L Kenny                                                                                                                                                                      d 1981 Birkenhead
William Alfred Neil b 9.11.1900 8, bp 27.1.1901 St Mary, Birkenhead                                                                                                                                                             m 1927 Tranmere, St Luke to Elsie Taylor                                                                                                                                                             d 1949 Birkenhead
Florence Neil b 12.2.1902 8 Rock Ferry, bp 28.5.1902 Rock Ferry                                                                                                                                                         m 1927 West Derby Reg Office to Michael Keegan                                                                                                                                              d 1977 Surrey
Edith Neil b 23.6.1903 Roslyn Street Birkenhead, bp 2.8.1903 Birkenhead                                                                                                                                  m 1925 to William Bibby
Albert Neil bp 30.11.1904 St. Barnabas Rock Ferry                                                                                                                                                                              m 1929 Birkenhead to Agnes Jane Kerr                                                                                                                                                                   d 1995 Elsemere Port
Nellie Neil bp 9.12.1906 St Luke Tranmere                                                                                                                                                                                            d 1908 Birkenhead 7                                                                                                                                                                            Edward Neil b 11.11.1907, bp 11.3.1908 St. Barnabas Rock Ferry                                                                                                                                                         m 1927 Birkenhead Evelyn Betty Warren                                                                                                                                                            d 1991
George Neil b 4.1.1909 Birkenhead 8, no bap found                                                                                                                                                                              m 24.8.1932 Congregational church, Tranmere to Alice Edna Connell 3                                                                                                             d 1977 Birkenhead
Walter Neil b 1911 Tranmere, bp 18.12.1912 St Luke Tranmere                                                                                                                                                         d 1913 Birkenhead
Arthur Neil (Driver/Able Seaman) b 17.1.19113, bp 9.2.1913 St Luke Tranmere                                                                                                                                                                        m 1936 Birkenhead to Georgina Blackburn                                                                                                                                                         d 4.10.1943 at Sea
James Neil bp 9.12.1917 St. Mary, Birkenhead                                                                                                                                                                                      m 1936 Birkenhead to Lily Thomas                                                                                                                                                                             d 2001 Birkenhead
Harold Neil b 24.4.1919 6, bp 8.6.1919 St Mary, Birkenhead                                                                                                                                                                d 1981 6


It appears that Joseph and Phoebe moved about a bit between the Wirral and Liverpool.  In 1897 when their first son Frederick was born they were in New Ferry and then the following year at 48 Hood Street, Bootle.  The year after that in 1899 when John Raven was born they were living at 111 Warwick Street, Toxteth.  By the time of the 1901 Census, they were living at 18 Roslyn Street, Birkenhead with their first four children 2.    Edith, was born in 1903 4 at 4 Rose Cottages and  Joseph and Pheobe lived at this address until at least 1918 when their eldest son Frederick George died in WW1.

Frederick had joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the First World War and unfortunately died on 5th May 1918 aged only 20.   His grave is at St. Venant-Robecq Road British Cemetery, in the village of Rebecq, Pas de Calais, France (See Record from CWGC) 5 .  By this time Joseph was a Coal merchant with his own horse and cart.


Son John Raven Neil, born 1899, went to live in New York at some point, but did not stay there.   From the Ellis island  website, I found a  John Neil born 1899 that looked promising; arriving in New York on 19th December, 1919 on the ship ‘Baltic’, his residence is listed as Lower Tranmere.  Looking at the detailed ship’s manifest, he was born on 6th September, 1899 at Birkenhead, he was a ship’s Trimmer, was 5ft 9ins tall and his permanent address was 4 Rose Cottages, Lower Tranmere. This latter address confirms that he is the right John Neil. 

Joseph Henry Neil 1898

     Joseph Henry Neil b 1898

He married Emily L Kenny in 1935 at Birkenhead and was guardian to his nephew Frank (son of James Neil).  At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 44 Grassville Road, Birkenhead 8.

On the same the same ship, the Baltic, but arriving on 24th August, 1919, is a Joseph Neil aged 21, also a Trimmer, 5ft 7in tall.  This manifest does not give us the home address, so we cannot confirm that this is definitely John’s brother, Joseph Henry from this alone. However, he is also found on the ‘Ortega’ leaving for Valparaiso, Chile in March 1917 and returning to Liverpool in April where his address is confirmed as 4 Rose Cottages 11.  His identity is also confirmed by the Identity Certificate (No. 474982) found alongside Joseph’s Mercantile Marine War Medal that also states him as being a Trimmer. A photograph was also attached.

He later married Elizabeth Williams at St. Peter’s  Church, Rock Ferry in 1924 6


William Alfred Neil was born on 9th November, 1900 at Birkenhead 8 (possibly at 18 Roslyn Street, where the family were living in 1901?).  He married Elsie Taylor in 1927 at Tranmere 6.  They had 5 children between 1929 and 1941.   At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 74 Cabden Street, Birkenhead, William was Coal porter 8. Thanks to one of his grandchildren Evelyn Comerford, I know have a photo of William (Bill) Neil in around ..    He died in Birkenhead in 1949 6


Florence Neil, born on 1902 married Michael Keegan, a painter in 1927 at West Derby Register Office, Liverpool.    At the time of the 1939 Register they lived at 48 Russel Street, Birkenhead 8.  They had children blanked out by the 100 year rule, but I have been unable to be certain of how many – there are no Keegan children born in Birkenhead with the mother’s maiden name of Neil. Strange 6.   We believe that they moved away from Cheshire to Hampshire where Michael appears to have died in 1866 in the Aldershot area. Florence died in 1977 in Surrey 6. This is only confirmed by his age at death and her birthday.   



Edith Neil (1903 - 1985)

     Edith Neil (1903 – 1985)



Edith Neil was born on 23rd June 1903 at Birkenhead.  She married William Alfred Bibby in 1925 at Tranmere United Reformed Church 3 See the Bibby family for more on Edith.   







Albert and Agnes Neil

 Albert and Agnes Neil with son Norman

Thanks to Frank Neil from Chester, we now know a little about Albert Neil, born on 23rd September, 1904 (Frank’s father). Albert married Agnes Jane Kerr in June 1929 in Birkenhead and had 7 children between 1929 and 1952 all at Birkenhead.  However, I cannot find their whereabouts at the time of the 1939 Register.

 Thanks to Frank for the photo of Albert and his wife Agnes (right).



Edward Neil born on 17th November, 1907 was a Motor Driver and married Evelyn Betty Warren in 1927 at Birkenhead 6 . They had four children between 1927 and 1935 at Birkenhead 6.  At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 4 Rose Cottages, Birkenhead that had been the home of his parents 8.     Edward died in 1991. 


George Neil was born on 4th January, 1909 at Birkenhead 6 , 8.  He married Alice Edna Connell on 24th September, 1932 at the Congregational Church, Tranmere 3 .  At the time of his marriage he was a Builder’s Constructor’s Motor Lorry Driver.  They had five children between 1934 and 1951 6.  At the time of the 1939 Register Alice was living at 50 Oriel Road, Birkenhead with their first two children 8 .   Meanwhile George was away working as a Contractors Dumper Driver at Magor and St Mellons, Monmouthshire, South Wales 8.  He died in 1977 at Birkenhead 6.   



 Arthur Neil was born on 13th January, 1913 8.  He was a motor driver when he married Georgina Blackburn in Birkenhead in 1936 6 and at the time of the 1939 Register when they were living at 88 Seafield Road, Bebington 8.  They had four children between 1936 and 1944.  

However, there is no sign of the first two children being at home on the night of the 1939 register [children; ie those born less than 100 years ago will not show up but are blanked out].   Arthur Neil joined the RAOC during World War 2 and served ferrying Liberty Ships between New York and Britain. He was caught by gunfire from a German plane while on the SS Samite and died aged 30 on 4th October, 1943 5.  (See Arthur’s CWGC record).   After his death Georgina struggled and all four of their children were given up for adoption in 1944 and took on separate identities from their adoptive parents.  They were re-united 34 years later in 1978! 


James Neil was born on 30th July, 1917 at Birkenhead.  He married Lily Thomas in 1936 at Birkenhead 6.  At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 65 Booth Street, Birkenhead. James was a motor driver and they did not appear to have any children 8.  However, it appears that they had a daughter Lilian in 1937 who died the following year 6.   They then had a son James in 1939.  James Neil died in 2001 at Birkenhead aged 82 6.


Harold Neil born in on 24th April, 1919 at Birkenhead. 


Joseph Henry died in 1929 aged 55 at Birkenhead.  Phoebe was living at 14 Mersey Road, Birkenhead at the time of the 1939 Register with a lodger 8 . She died in 1963 aged 88 at Birkenhead 6.  



Frederick George Neil (1879 - 1964)

Frederick George Neil (1879 – 1964)


Frederick George Neil was born 25th July, 1878 at West View, Tranmere. He was an apprentice electrical engineer’s linesman at the time of the 1901 census,  where he was living at 276 Picton Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, boarding with Mark Broughton and his family 2. He  married Mary Ann Evans (daughter of William Evans) on 6th April, 1902 at St. Matthew’s Toxteth Park and they had a daughter Charlotte Ellen Neil in 1903 6.  At the time of the 1911 census, Frederick and Mary Ann were living at 5 Garden Lane, Bootle where he was now a  Tramway Trollywire linesman working for Bootle council 2.  Thanks to Graham Thomas, I have a photo of Frederick  at the wedding for Graham’s grandparents Charles Evans and Martha Emily Wildgoose which took place on 22nd April, 1914 at st. Luke’s church, Walton. Frederick was a witness 3.  

And now, thanks to Neil Mackenzie, I have a further photo of Frederick and his family (see the Neil Photos) plus a little more information on his life. He was given his first job after demonstrating his ability to make electrical junction boxes on polished marble and apparently played a major part in the designing of the Birkenhead and Liverpool tramways. He was offered jobs designing tramway systems in Cape Town and Naples, but his wife refused to move 14

During WW2, Liverpool brought him out of retirement to locate the junction boxes that needed repairing after the Blitz.  He won medals for boxing and cycling and owned one of the first motorbikes which used a leather drive belt.  Their house had been full of antiques that had been acquired through his wife’s brother Charles, who ran an antiques business. When his wife Mary died, Frederick left never to return and his daughter and son-in-law sold the house and entire contents 14 . Frederick died aged 85 in 1964 at Liverpool 6.





Back to top 

1 Parish records from

2 Census returns from

3 marriage certificate

4 birth certificate

Commonwealth War Graves Commission  

6 Freebmd

7 Find a Grave7 baptisms, marriages, burials on

8 1939 Register at

9 Scottish parish records at ScotlandsPeople

10 baptisms, marriages, burials on

11 Crew/Passenger Lists

12 baptisms and burials from Lancs opc

13 Email from Frank Neil 2014

14 Emails from Neil Mackenzie 2014

15 Census returns from UKCensus online

16 Whitehaven Baptisms and Marriage Indexes at Cumbria Archives Online

17 Find a Grave for John Raven Neil d 1915



One Response to “Neil”

  • Neil Mackenzie:

    Hello, Juliet
    I have just had another look at your Neil family tree. It is most informative. Thank you for all your hard work. However, I have seen an error that you might wish to correct.
    You might remember that I sent you some information about Frederick George Neil b. 1897, Tranmere. I notice that you have him among the war dead 5th May 1918. This must the wrong as you later notes show. George Frederick married Mary Ann Evans and had a daughter, Charlotte, my grandmother. In 1901 census his boarding at 171 Wellington Rd, Liverpool, (electrical engineering linesman) In 1911 census his shown as living in 5 Garden Lane Bootle with Mary Ann and Charlotte (tramway trolleywire linesman).

    Best wishes

    Neil Mackenzie

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