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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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McNeill, Daniel

by Carole Watterson Troxler, 1991; Revised by Jared Dease, Government and Heritage Library, December 2022

1752–5 May 1818

Daniel McNeill, Loyalist partisan fighter, was born near the Lower Little River in Cumberland County, the son of Archibald and Janet McNeill. When the American Revolution began, he owned over one thousand acres near the Cape Fear River and lived about twelve miles from Cross Creek. McNeill refused the state oath of allegiance twice in 1777 and was ordered to leave North Carolina. He hid near the Virginia border until the autumn of 1778, when he heard that British troops were moving south. Traveling overland, he joined them at Savannah in January 1779. Later he raised a company of about one hundred men for John Hamilton's Royal North Carolina Regiment.

McNeill was a guide and a fierce commander of small raiding parties in the Carolinas. He evacuated from Wilmington to Charles Town and then to East Florida and Nova Scotia with the Royal North Carolina Regiment. He took three relatives and the eight people he was enslaving with him and received 1,250 acres at the regimental settlement near Country Harbour, Nova Scotia. He married Mary Nutting and settled at Loyal Hill near Windsor.

McNeill returned at least twice to North Carolina. In 1786–87 he barely escaped being mobbed in New Bern as he obtained proof of the sale of his confiscated land, which he then took to the Loyalists' Claims Commissioners in Quebec. In 1811 he was unable to take possession of land bequeathed to him by his father in Chatham and Cumberland counties. Instead, he took enslaved people from his father's estate to Nova Scotia, where most of them escaped.


Lindley S. Butler, ed., The Narrative of Col. David Fanning (1981).

Cumberland County Court Minutes, October 1778 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Marion Gilroy, comp., Loyalists and Land Settlements in Nova Scotia (1937).

Lawrence Collection, Chipman Papers, and Muster Rolls of the Royal North Carolina Regiment (Public Archives of Canada).

Public Record Office, London, AO 12:35, 65, 13:91, 138, WO 65:65, T 64:23.

Royal North Carolina Regiment Warrant to Survey (Public Archives of Nova Scotia).

A. W. Savary, ed., Col. David Fanning's Narrative of his Exploits and Adventures as a Loyalist of North Carolina in the American Revolution (1908).

Additional Resources:

Parker, William Frederick.  "An Account of Daniel McNeill and his Descendants." Daniel McNeill Parker, M.D.: his ancestry and a memoir of his life ; Daniel McNeill and his descendants. Toronto: William Briggs. 1910. 9-30. (accessed July 11, 2013).

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