THE BLUFF McNEILLS
Laughlin McNeill of Scotland married Margaret Johnson. They
never came to this country. They had two sons, Hector and Neill
(black) Neill and perhaps other children. Hector McNeill married
Mary McAllister, a sister of Col Alexander McAllister, and settled
near the Bluff Church, and they were the first of the Bluff Mc-
Neills. Neill McNeill, brother of Hector, (called Black Neill),
married Grizella Campbell, Aunt of Farquhard Campbell. Their
children, as gathered from a letter from Hugh McLean, were Flora,
that married Alexander McAllister; Nedgelena that married Robert
Stewart; and Duncan that married a daughter of Parson James Camp-
bell, first pastor of the Bluff Presbyterian Church. Archibald
McNeill, who married Janet Smith (Bahn) is said not to have been
related to Hector and Neill McNeill, and not to have been of their
clan. If they were related at all it was very distant. The Bahns
were fair and handsome and heavy set; the others were tall and an-
gular, not so handsome. Archibald McNeill (Bahn), married Janet
Smith, daughter of John Smith and Margaret Gilchrist. Margaret
Gilchrist died on the voyage coming over. The children of Archibald
McNeill and Janet Smith were Malcolm and Janet. Malcolm McNeill
married Janet McAllister; one-eyed Hector McNeill married Mary
Burnside. Neill McNeill married Grizella Stewart. Margaret McNeill
married John McNeill. Another John McNeill died unmarried. Daniel
McNeill married we do not known whom, and went to Nova Scotia. He
was a British Officer during the war of the Revolution. It is not
known whether he was one of the Bahn McNeills, or was a brother
of Hector and Black McNeill mentioned above. We do not know who
the McNeills mentioned above, after Archibald McNeill who married
Janet Smith, are or were. It is not definitely known whether or
nor Neill McNeill (black)Neill) settled near the Bluff Church, or
whether he ever came to North Carolina from Scotland. In the old
grave yard at the Bluff Church, we find the following inscriptions
on graves of members of the McNeill family:
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"Duncan McNeill, the son of Neill McNeill of Kintyre, Scotland,
the pioneer friend of the Scottish Emigration to the Cape Fear Region,
was born in Kintyre, Scotland, in l728, and died near the Bluff
Church October 2nd, l79l, leaving to his children the legacy of an
honest upright character." "This tribute of filial affection to
the memory of a venerated father is erected by his youngest child
"Loveday, the wife of Duncan McNeill at the Bluff, and daughter
of Reverend James Campbell, died October 22nd, l786, aged 33 years.
her children that survived her were Grisella, James, Isabel? and
infant son Duncan."
"In memory of Isabella, daughter of Duncan and Loveday McNeill,
born February 28th, l780, died March 2nd, l859. She was the wife
of Col.Hector McAllister, and after his death she became the wife
of Thomas Gilmore".: "At Rest".
"In memory of Archibald McNeill, who departed this life May
l8th, l834, aged 45 years and 8 months."
"In memory of Hector McNeill, who departed this life May 6th,
l848, aged 6l years and 6 months."
In a Centennial address delivered by James Banks at the Bluff
Church October l8th, l858, the speaker is commenting on the distress-
ed condition of the Scotch Highlanders, after the fall of Prince
Charles Edward, makes the following reference to Neill McNeill.
"In their extremity, a leader and deliverer presented himself
in the person of Neill McNeill. Mr. McNeill was a native of
Argyleshire, Scotland, and during the rebellion of l745, traversed
the wilds of New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. In l747
he visited Wilmington, ascended the Cape Fear as high as Lower
Little River, and made explorations of the Country along its
Banks, as well as in the neighborhood of Cross Creek, then known
as Heart's Creek. In the neighborhood of Heart's Creek now known
as Fayettesville, he found William Gray, Nathaniel Platt, and ----
Russell, the former of whom had entered land as early as l732.
Whilst making his solitary explorations amongst the noble pine
forests of North Carolina, he knew nothing of the rebellion, or of
the distressed condition of his countrymen of Scotland. Yet the
tradition among his descendants is that he came to the conclusion
that if his old friends could sustain life among the rugged and
densely populated mountains of the Highlands, they would become
wealthy on the sand hills, and along the River Lands of North
Carolina. In the Spring of l749 he landed in Willmington, ac-
companied by about three hundred immigrants including men, women
and children. An importation so unusual excited the attention
of the people of Wilmington, who being struck with their unusual
dress, speech, and wild gesticulations, required Mr. McNeill to
enter into a bond for their peaceable and good behavior. This
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Mr. McNeill managed to evade, and with his pioneer companions
began the ascent of the Cape Fear River, and settled in what was
then Bladen County, in the neighborhood of Fayettesville, the
Bluff, and the Little Rivers. Mr. McNeill was tall and muscular
and well qualified in all respects for the position he had
assumed. He entered for himself and his colonists land in Bruns-
wick, Bladen, Cumberland, and Harnett, and after serving his genera-
tion faithfully and well, he was called to rest, but whether his
remains were interred in Brunswick County, on Hester's Creek in
Harnett, or near the Bluff in Cumberland, remains unknown. He
left a family of several children; one son Hector under the Colonial
Government became land surveyor and Sheriff of Cumberland. On look-
ing around today I observe the descendants of Neill McNeill in every
direction, and they are esteemed, honored, and respected by all.
One grand son and one grand daughter honor you with their presence.
(These were Duncan McNeill and Isabella Gilmore, widow of Thomas
Gilmore, the children of Duncan McNeill and Loveday Campbell,
daughter of Reverend James Campbell, heretofore in this Paragraph
referred to); and they are surrounded by his great, great, great,
grand children, all of whom feel as if there roof tree was the
Bluff, (McNeill's Bluff) so named named in honor of the leader
of the Highland Scotch from Argyleshire to North Carolina,"
At any rate, we know that Neill McNeill has one son Duncan,
who lived near the Bluff Church, and who married Loveday Camp-
bell, daughter of Reverend James Campbell, and whose children
were Grizella, James, Isabella and Duncan. We have no record of
Grisella, and do not know whether she married or died single.
Isabella first married Col,Hector McAllister, and afterwards
married Thomas Gilmore, as hereinbefore stated. James married
Catharine McAllister, and their children are also mentioned in
the preceding paragraphs.
Duncan McNeill, the youngest child of Duncan McNeill and
Loveday Campbell, lived for many years in Fayetteville, North
Carolina, and died unmarried at an advanced age, near the close
of the civil war between the States, and was buried in the same
grave with his Father in the old grave yard at the Bluff Church.
The first Elders of the Bluff Church were Hector McNeill,
Farquhard Campbell, Alexander McAllister, and Duncan McNeill. The
Hector McNeill here mentioned is supposed to have been a brother
of Neill McNeill.
On the l8th of October, l758, a bond was executed for the
payment to the Reverend James Campbell, of one hundred pounds
salary for services as Pastor at the Bluff, Longstreet, and
Barbecue Churches. This bond was signed by Hector McNeill,
(with ten others), and was signed in the presence of Archibald
McNeill, and recorded in the Records of Cumberland County.
A duplicate of this Bond was executed in l763, (or a similar
bond), and signed by Hector McNeill, James McNeill, Neill McNeill,
Torquill McNeill, (and others), and provedn by Duncan McNeill,
and spread upon the records of Cumberland County. We do not know
who Torquill McNeill was, nor have we any record of who Archibald
McNeill was, unless he was the Archibald McNeill who married
Janet Smith (Bahn) hereinbefore mentioned, or he may have been a
son of that Archibald McNeill.
The foregoing compiled by David S. McAllister, July 22nd,
l870, and additions since by Edwin R.MacKethan, of Savannah, Ga.
D. S. McA.
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