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McGreal Family History

This surname is one of a group which are Scottish in origin, but generally accepted today as being purely Irish. The clan descends from the MacNeills of the Western Isles, who settled in Ireland before the 15th century, apparently accepting as their overlord Con O'Neill of Ulster, in 1471. They were for centuries employed as mercenary soldiers (gallowglass), and seem to have been a mix of catholic and protestant. The usual spelling form today is Macgreal, although this is only one of many spellings including McGreal, McGrayle, McGrail, MacGrill, Mcgrull, McGeirl, McGriele, and no doubt others.

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