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NEILSON Family History

Recorded in many spellings forms and found throughout Europe and Scandanavia, this is a surname of truly ancient origins. However spelt and there are an estimated eighty spellings including: MacNeill, O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neil, Niall, Neill, or the patronymics Neals, Neilsen, Neilson, Nielson, Neelson, Nealon, and Nelson, the origination is from the pre 7th century Gaelic name 'Niall' meaning 'champion'. This is a translation which over the many centuries has done no harm at all to its popularity both as a personal name and a later surname. It is claimed that the personal name was 'borrowed' from Ireland by the Norse-Vikings, and introduced into Scandanavia as 'Njall', before being taken to Normandy by the 'Norsemen' in the 8th and 9th centuries...

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