Hello,Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. Let me make sure I am clear on your question.
Robert E. Neil(l) born 1846, arrived USA 1860 when he was 5 year old. If he were born in 1846 he would be 14 in 1860. This is confusing me.
Robert married Frances Ryan Robert. Do you know when and where?
Robert's father was James Neil(l) who was born in 1825 in Renfrewshire. His wife was Helen who was born in 1824 and they were married in Renfrewshire. Do you know which church? Did they come to the USA with Robert? Do you know which ship?
Why do you think they were from a Scandinavian country?
Thanks for the information.
Having spent vacations in Scotland for the past 30 years, I can assure you that all Scottish people are not light skinned and they certainly aren't all short. There are too many people well over 6 feet in my Scottish grandmother's ancestry and I see too many tall folks (men and women!) in the grocery stores there to have me buy into that generalization. People vary in coloring and height, hair color and eye color in Scotland, just as they do in the USA. You will find all tones of skin and hair.
I have the 1851 and 1861 censuses that include Robert with his parents, and the 1871 census that doesn't since he had come to the USA.
1851 Census living atXXXXX, Pollokshaws
James Neil 36 M (b abt 1815) b Galston, Ayrshire, wine merchant
Hellen[sic] Neil 27 F (b abt 1824) b Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Robert Neil 5 M (b abt 1846) b Pollokshaws
George Neil 3 M (b abt 1848) b Pollokshaws
James Neil 2 M (b abt 1849) b Pollokshaws
Susan McCormick 19 F (servant) b England
1861Census living at Pollokshaws, Eastwood, Renfrewshire
James Neil 45 M (b abt 1816) b Glaston, Ayrshire, commission agent
Helen Neil 37 F (b abt 1824) b Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Robert Neil 15 M (b abt 1846) b Pollokshaws
James Neil 12 M (b abt 1849) b Pollokshaws
John Neil 9 M (b abt 1852) b Pollokshaws
Elizabeth Neil 7 F (b abt 1854) b Pollokshaws
Helen G. Neil 4 F (b abt 1857) b Pollokshaws
Margaret Neil 1 F (b abt 1860) b Pollokshaws
Janet Rankin 16 F (servant) b England
Evidently, the son George who was 3 in 1861 (b abt 1848) died soon after the census. In the 1871 census Robert, James and John are gone, and there is another son George age 9 (born about 1862).
1871 Census, Eastwood, Eastwood, Renfrewshire
18-20 Greenbank Ser Ker St
James Neil 54 M (b abt 1817) Galston Parish, Ayrshire, commission agent
Helen Neil 46 F (b abt 1825) Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Elizabeth 17 F (b abt 1854) Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire, power-loom weaver
Helen 14 F (b abt 1857) Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire
Harriet 11 F (b abt 1860) Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire
George Neil 9 M (b abt 1862) Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire
I really can't help much to clear up your confusion about the assumptions you've made about the picture. Without identification on the back of the photo there is no way to say if the woman is even remotely related to the family. She could have been a visitor, a servant, an employee of James' wine business, etc. It just really isn't possible to tell.
You also can't determine if someone is a member of a clan or sept of a clan just by a name. You have to trace the people you know (in this case James and Hellen) back generation by generation to see where they fit in.