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A. Schuyler
A. Schuyler, Research Analyst
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Experience:  30 years in research
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Robert E Neil (Neill) born polloshaws renfrewshire, scotland

Resolved Question:

Robert E Neil (Neill) born polloshaws renfrewshire, scotland year 1846 arrived 1860 to uSA from scotland married frances ryan robert was 5 years old on arrival
father james born 1825 pollolshaws scotland married Helen born 1824 glasgow, is from what scandinavian country they came from previous to scotland, i
have gone forward need help james and helen back to scandinavia and on
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 6 years ago.


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?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i am confused also on age of robert' arrival in USA that was sent by Ken i have parish number502 andcivil parish eastwood?not sure when robert came seems to be all i have except for roll numbers, i do not under stand. robert married frances in USA she was from new york they lived in rhode island he passed young 49 or 50.may have married later as first child born, robert was 41 years old. James was in rhode island also as I saw estate paper he had signed. other info i have heard numerous times about cathcart in scotland also scottish people usually very short and they were very light and tall, on 1 visit to new york as a child saw a relatives picture do not know who it was only related had different clothing than we wear so thought of scandinavia,because of lots of intermarriage.
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 6 years ago.

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

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hi Schuyler
any help on my confusion,fathers side of famiy Main from Gunn clan go way back and he has much on that we have Scandinavian from that line. also Neilson listed as a sept of Gunn. Ifelt that was most likely original name and then the picture of older women in grand fathers home (He had already passed) As the clothes she wore were not from this country came to what seemed a logical concluson
to me.any help on that?
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 6 years ago.

Hi there,


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.


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