NEYLON another Irish surname, in its original form Ó Nialláin, pronounced Oh Neelawn.
Neylon appears in the Hull civil register in the 1840s.
The 1851 census has a John Neylon, living with an Irish family named Cunningham in the Groves, East Hull. John was a cotton weaver, aged 16, born Ireland. He may have been related to the Cunningham family, and been employed at the Hull Flax and Cotton Mills in Cleveland Street. The Groves was an area that accommodated a substantial number of Irish and cotton mill workers. There were other Neylons in Hull at the time, but I have no record of them.
My next Neylon notice is of another John – or was he the same John? This John Neylon was a stevedore and beerseller living at 64 West Street in the West End (Directory). There was a Neylon’s Place in West Street in 1869, but this was probably a temporary name, and may have just been given to a row of houses the first of which was occupied by someone called Neylon. The West End, as I’ve noted in connection with other Irish surnames, was the main area of Irish settlement in West Hull.
My next notice is from the 1881 census –
Edward Neylon, head, married, 50, boatman, born Roscommon, Ireland
Charlotte Neylon, wife, 51, born Hull
William Neylon, son, unmarried, 24, born Hull
James Neylon, son, unmarried, 22, born Hull
Henry Neylon, son, unmarried, 15, born Hull
Catherine Neylon, daughter, 11, born Hull
Thomas Neylon, son, 7, born Hull.
All at Pickwell Court, Albion Street.

A John Neylon and an Edward Neylon were listed among a group of Irishmen who signed nomination papers of Charles Norwood MP, Liberal candidate for Hull Central at the 1885 general election. This was the election at which the Irish parliamentary party, led by Parnell, had decided to support the Tories instead of the Liberals. The breaking of ranks by some Hull Irishmen led to some expulsions from the local branches of the Irish National League (Eastern Morning News, 21st November 1885).

Neylon, as previously stated is an English language version of the Irish name Ó Nialláin, which belongs historically to County Clare. The earliest reference to the name in the Irish annals is to one “Aillill Ua Niallain”, a leading churchman who died in 1089 (Chronicon Scotorum).Other mediaeval references suggest the the O Niallans were a clerical family, holding positions in the church. Some later O Niallans were medical men, medicine was an hereditary profession in Gaelic Ireland.
The Irish chronicle known as the Annals of the Four Masters has the following entry under the year 1599 –
“Master O’Nialan (James, son of Donnell the doctor, son of Auliffe, son of Donough O’Nialan” died at Baile Uí Alle. This is of interest for the ‘doctor’ reference, but also for the name Baile Uí Aille, or Ballyally. This was the home of the O Niallans at the time.
Brian Ó Cuiv, in his “New History of Ireland” (vol.iii, p.519), mentions an Irishman, James Neylon, who graduated in Arts and Medicine at Oxford in 1545 and 1549*. Ó Cuiv goes on to suggest that this may be the James Nealan, physician, who is recorded in official documents as being given protection in 1560. He might also be the James who died at Ballyally in 1599.
Later, in the 1690s Edward Nealan, Daniel Nealan, and James Neilan, all of County Clare, were outlawed as Jacobites in the wake of the defeat of King James II’s forces, and the accession of William and Mary.

*The date, 1549, is a correction (17.6.2013). I had written 1599 in error.


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