1. CHARLES2 MCNEIL (UNKNOWN1MC NEIL)1 was born 1679 in probably County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and died July 17, 1737 in Sable Island, near Nova Scotia, Canada1. He married MRS. CHARLES MCNEIL Bef. 1700 in Scotland or Ireland. She died July 17, 1737 in Sable Island, near Nova Scotia, Canada1.
Notes for CHARLES MCNEIL:
The following information was provided to me by a cousin, Rod McNeil, in October 1999, from his own records, and from the research of Donald Southworth McNeil.
Charles died, along with his brother, Archibald McNeil of Ballycastle, Antrim, North Ireland, and other family members, aboard the "Cathrine," off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, July 17, 1737.
From Suffolk County (Boston, MA) probate records, for September 12, 1737: On (this) day, less then two months after the tragedy at Sable, Adam McNeil of Boston, Mariner, declared that, "Charles McNeil of Ballycastle in the county of Antrim, Ireland, gentleman, was on board the snow Cathrine of Workington, and with others was cast away and drowned on the Isle of Sable on the 17th day of July last past."
An order that day by Probate Judge Josiah Williard appointing Archibald McNeil of Branford administrator of the estate began: "To Archibald McNeil of Branford in the Colony of Connecticut, shopkeeper, Greeting. Whereas your father Charles McNeil late of Ballycastle, in the County of Antrim in the Kingdom of Ireland, gentleman deceased, having while he lived, and at the time of his decease, goods, chattels, rights or credits in the county aforesaid . . ."
From these records several conclusions may be drawn:
1) Although the two bought land in Litchfield, CT, Archibald McNeil of Branford, shopkeeper, was a different man from Archibald McNeil of Litchfield, the eldest surviving son of Archibald McNeil of Ballycastle.
2)Charles McNeil and Archibald McNeil, both of Ballycastle, both of whom died at Sable Island, were closely related, probably brothers.
3) Because an administrator for the estate of Charles McNeil was appointed in Boston, but there is no record there of an estate for Archibald McNeil of Ballycastle, it is likely that the estate (for Archibald of Ballycastle) was probated in Ireland.
It has not been documented when Charles left Scotland for Ireland, but it is estimated in some accounts to have been around 1700.
From the "Boston Weekly News-letter"
for Thursday, August 11 to Thursday, August 18, 1737:
(note from Kathy Beaudry: I have left the verbiage as written, but the information in parenthesis has been added by me for clarification.)
"We have the following melancholy account of a shipwreck of a vessel from Ireland, which lately happen'd at the Isle of Sable, as related to us by one of the freighters (believed to have been Adam McNeil), whose life was saved.
"On the 4th day of June past, the snow* Cathrine of Workington, in Ireland (Workington is actually in England), burthen about 110 tuns, Robert Walker, Commander, Messr. Adam McNeil and David Thompson, freighters, sail'd from North Rush in Ireland, bound for Boston in New England, having on board 202 persons, men, women and children. (* a "snow" is a type of square-rigged vessel, similar to a brig but having a tri-sail close behind the main mast)
"They had the prospect of a good passage, till they came to the Isle of Sable, when on Lord's Day, the 17 of July past, they had very thick hasy weather, the wind blowing very hard at S SE, and a very high sea beating over them; their tiller being lash'd close down was broke in two by the force of the sea against the rudder, and by stress of weather in the night, the vessel was drove upon a reef of sand, about a mile distant from the high land at the east end of the said Island; but bearing over that, the wind and strong current sorting against her, and broke over her, and first carrying away her main mast, in a few minutes after stove her in pieces, and left the whole company to the mercy of the waves and the broken pieces of the wreck. Very pitiful were the crys of the poor people for mercy, in that distressing moment.
"Ninety-eight persons perish'd in the mighty waters, among those of notes were Messr. Archibald and Charles McNeil and their wives; Mrs. Margaret Snell, and two wealthy cloth merchants who were coming hither to set up the manufacture of diaper.
"The remaining 104 person were washed ashore by the surf and sea, some being much bruis'd by the waves and pieces of the vessel and others much spent by the fatigue. Three or four of them dyed soon after. After daylight appear'd, they all got together on the lee side of a hill, and having took up the main sail, which happen'd to be cast ashore, they made a sort of a tent to shelter them from the inclemencies of the weather, and cut open a great number of feather beds that were also drove ashore, and with the tick cover'd themselves. Most of the dead bodies were wash'd on the shore and buried by the spar'd company.
"The long boat being rendered very leaky and unfit for service, on Monday they went to work upon her, having sundry tools providentially drove ashore in the carpenter's chest, and with pieces of board and staves, with some canvas, so patch'd her up, that on Wednesday the 20th of July, the Master, Mate, Freighters, and five more of this sorrowful company, ventur'd in her to Canso, which is about 32 leagues distance, where they arriv'd on Friday the 22nd about five o'clock in the afternoon, and waiting on Governor Cosby and some other gentlemen there, and relating to them the circumstances of their late sad disaster, they compassionately receiv'd them, and very readily administered to their relief, presently fitting out Capt. Richards in a schooner, to bring off the distressed people from the desolate island.
"They sail'd on Lord's Day the 24th, and the next day got there, to the great joy of those poor creatures, and having took them all aboard brought them safe to Canso, tho some remaining weak, and others much wounded, were put under the doctor's care. About half the number that were saved came in a schooner to Piscataqua on Friday last, most of whom went from thence to Londonderry or Nutfield, and three or four of them came hither by land.
"The loss of so many lives in such an instantaneous and awful manner must needs be very affecting to every tender hearted Christian, but will certainly be more so to the near friends and relations of the deceased.
"We are also inform'd that the substance was very great which was lost by this disaster, most, if not all, of the estates of several persons and families being on board, with themselves, and 'tis thought, by a moderate computation, that only the silver and gold on board in plate and specie, amounted to above 3000 pounds sterling, she being accounted the richest vessel that ever sail'd from the North of Ireland."
(end of Boston account)
Child of CHARLES MCNEIL and MRS. MCNEIL is: