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Board of Directors 2020

President & Genealogist: Vincent MacNeil bio

 Vincent “Vince” MacNeil, originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is the son of Edward MacNeil s/o Hector Raymond “Raymond” s/o Hector Raymond s/o Hector s/o James s/o Malcolm s/o John s/o Rory “The Piper” MacNeil (legendary hereditary piper for the Laird of Barra) and the son of Patsy MacNeil d/o Hector Joseph MacNeil s/o Francis Hector (noted genealogist and local historian from Iona, Cape Breton) s/o Hector Rory s/o Rory Mor s/o Donald s/o Ruairi MacNeil.  Rory Mor and his father Donald (of Sandray, Parish of Barra) were two of the four MacNeils who founded Iona, Cape Breton about 1802. Vince has been a menber of Clan MacNeil in Canada’s executive for over twenty years. Vince is an educator in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a student of Gaelic and currently serves as Clan MacNeil’s president, genealogist and Newsletter editor.  He also administers / co-administers three MacNeil related Facebook groups: Clan MacNeil in Canada, Clan MacNeil of Barra and Barra’s People – A Genealogical Interest Page. Vince studies the genealogy of Barra MacNeils no matter where they emigrated in the world and studies all MacNeil families who lived in Nova Scotia.  He is co-administrator of the MacNeil DNA project at Family Tree DNA.  In addition to the genealogy and genetics of the Clan MacNeil, Vince has studied the language and culture of Barra emigrants in Cape Breton through completion of a thesis entitled A study of Gaelic language and culture in Cape Breton’s Barra Gaidhealtachd 



Vice-President: Terry Myles   bio

I live in Port hope Ontario I am the 1st vice president along with being the Highland games Co- ordinator  . I attend about six highland games a season in southern Ontario . I have been a member of the clan for 11 years and also belong to Clan MacNeil in the US . We have 2 Westie dogs , Jordie MacNeil and wee Roddy plus a poodle mix called Jesse . I really embrace my Scottish heritage and attend Robbie burns dinners , Tartan day celebrations and also am on the CASSOC board

Past President: Alene M. McNeill bio

I was president of Clan MacNeil in Canada for over 25 years. I joined Clan MacNeil in Canada in 1975. My number in order of registration is number 6. I have been an executive member since 1977. I have seen the organization grow from 12 members to what it is today. I have a degree in business administration and a degree in Ultrasonic and trained at De Forrester Institute in Germany. I was on the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada Executive for over 30 years, my last few years as Chair of the organization. Editor of the An Drochaid, the newsletter of CASSOC, 1st VP of the Newmarket Horticultural society and director of the Arts Council of Newmarket, I have been doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity for over 12 years. In my spare time I teach flower arranging and walk my little dog Piper. 



Treasurer: Allan McNeil bio

 Allan McNeil is the son of Cyril McNeil born Cyril MacNeil in Cape Breton N.S.  Allan now a resident of Kitchener On. with his wife Kim a Cardiac Nurse, son Bradley and Daughter Lindsay who both attend the University of Waterloo. After graduating from the University of Waterloo Allan worked in various roles in the financial services industry and currently serves as the Director of Retail Lending for Your Neighbourhood Credit Union. In 2013 Allan and Family visited the seat of Clan MacNeil on the Isle of Barra. The trip spiked further interest in Clan MacNeil and through our association whit the Clan MacNeil in Canada we can trace our line in the family history in Canada back to 1806. 

Secretary: Debby Stevenson bio

Debby has always been interested in her culture and heritage. Although she has been involved with other dance disciplines, Highland has been her passion as a dancer, teacher and judge. With more free time, Debby has brought the chanter out of storage and is attempting to learn Gaelic.She looks forward to making that return trip to Barra… 

Webmaster: Dr. Suzanne McNeill bio

Suzanne is the daughter of Dan McNeill and Dawn Ellis, granddaughter of Clan MacNeil in Canada founder Andrew McNeill. She was born in 1988 and has a twin brother David and older sister Kristen. She enjoys being a Girl Guide leader and can play the violin. She trained as an Optometrist at the University of Waterloo and owns a practice in Hamilton Ontario. She currently lives in Cambridge, Ontario.

Newsletter Editor: Margaret Ransome bio


From North Sydney Cape Breton Island. Joined the Canadian Forces in 1975 and spent 17 yrs in service as an MSE-OP Mobile Support Equipment Operator. Where I drove and operated anything from a staff car up to and including Heavy Equipment. Taking the early retirement package I Did another 4 years with The Army Reserves, as a supply tech and Driver Instructor. Did 5 years as a Bylaws officer for the Town of Smiths Falls Ontario. Owned and operated a home Embroidery Business for 16 yrs. Finally hung up the hoops Jan 2020. I Do Volunteer work with the Smiths Falls Flying Club in various operations and in winter operating the 5 ton snow plow and other equipment for snow removal on the runway and ramps. My husband and I enjoy Kayaking Hiking and walkingDaughter of Charles and Agnes Ransome nee Ghaney. Agnes d/o Michael and Elizabeth Ghaney nee Mackinnon   Elizabeth d/o Joseph and Margaret MacKinnon Nee MacNeil   and Margaret d/o Angus and Ann MacNeil       than its all MacNeils and a few Macphee’s

Bard: Iain Mac Neill

Chaplain: Fr. Paul MacNeil

Member at Large: Sandra Holdsworth bio


Sandra Holdsworth is the daughter of Neil & Roberta MacNeil who were members of Clan MacNeil in Canada for over 30 years, and also served on the Executive. Sadly, Sandra’s Dad passed away in 2019. Sandra became interested in her MacNeil roots from hearing stories from her grandmother and Dad over the years. Sandra has attended several Clan MacNeil Events and Highland Games. In 2005, her parents and her husband, Al, who was born in Cardiff, Wales traveled to Scotland and visited the Isle of Barra. Sandra has served on the Board since 2004 as a Director. Sandra has helped to get our membership online and helps to email our newsletter. Sandra had a career in Finance for over 30 years and currently is using her lived experience as a patient & caregiver to help improve our healthcare system.



Member at Large: Wayne MacDonald bio

  Wayne’s roots are firmly found in Sydney, Cape Breton. Thanks to his grandparents, his ancestry ties are connected to Barra Glen. Washabuck, and Iona. He attended St Francis Xavier University on a four year scholarship from the Scots’ College Fund of Canada and was recipient of the 1976 Governor General’s Gold Medal. He holds a Master’s degree and completed three years of doctoral studies in sociology at Carleton University. He obtained a certificate in Evaluation Practice from the Evaluators’ Institute, Claremont Graduate University, California. Wayne’s professional career spans 40 years in international development, humanitarian assistance and program evaluation. He has held executive positions with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, UNICEF, in New York, the Geneva based Development Agency (former CIDA). Since retiring in 2012, Wayne is President of Infinity Consulting and Legal Services Inc. (ICLS). He’s on the board of the Scottish Society of Ottawa, and dedicates any spare time to publishing, golfing, boating and researching his Scottish/Irish ancestral history.