It’s official, I am Jeffrey A. McNeil. I have received my new social security card, drivers license, passport and my name at work has changed all to Jeffrey A. McNeil. Every now and then when I pick up the phone I need to make a conscious effort to say McNeil. I even have to think about it when i write my signature for all my credit card charges and what not. I sometimes slip up and write the old name, but they are becoming more infrequent. It is interesting to hear Mr. McNeil at work or over the phone. I relish the times I can say “Mr and Mrs. McNeil,” that is always makes me giggle a little inside.
I am so excited to begin my new life with my lovely wife Jenn. I am happy to be taking her family name and the lineage that comes with it. I will be proud to have McNeil as my future son’s or daughter’s name (no plans for one in the immediate future). In the past few weeks Jenn and I have been tracing our family trees back to the 1600’s using ancestry.com It is truly a fun endeavour to see where your families arrived in the United States and how they got to be where you know them today. I think it would be interesting to take a trip to Scotland and visit Jenn’s McNeil roots. It would be fun to find old McNeil owned lands and maybe a castle.
My old family name didn’t have a coat of arms. I always wanted to have one, so here is my new family coat of arms. There are many coats of arms in daily use today. The Seal of the Office of the President of the United State of America is one such example. Even the pope has a seal as well. Coats of arms identified armies in battle in the medieval times. When a sovereign married he combined his family coat of arms with hers creating a whole new look that would unify both sides of the family. The lion mimics the Royal Standard for the King of Scotland, the castle and water represent Kisimul Castle which has been in the McNeil family since the 16th century. The ship stands for the seafaring nature of the McNeil clan, I guess that is where Jenn gets her love of travel. Finally the red hand symbolizes Naill of the Nine Hostages. Naill was a Scottish lord and was denied the throne by his stepmother’s son. Naill left the clan and began to form a band of men who took over 9 other clans before returning to claim the head of the McNeil clan. From each clan Naill took one royal hostage to keep as tribute, hence the nine hostages