Board of Directors
President: Alene M. McNeill bio
I have been 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.
1st 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
2nd Vice-President: Rod Mac Neill bio
Roderick MacNeill is a resident of Kitchener, ON. He holds a B.A. Hons. Philosophy from the University of Waterloo, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in philosophy at McMaster University.
His 3rd-great Grandfather, John McNeil, came to Canada from Barra in the mid-19th century. He was married to Mary McNeil, who was from Inverness. Their son, Roderick McNeil, settled in Ingersoll, marrying Catherine McPhee, who was from South Uist. Their son, Daniel Joseph McNeil, moved to Vancouver and married Dorcus Morgan. There, they had three sons, one of whom, Daniel Morgan MacNeill, was a musician who travelled across Canada. After serving with the HMCS Swansea—Canada’s most successful U-boat hunter during WW2—Daniel Morgan MacNeill settled in Toronto, marrying Helen Nora (June) Mullane. They had five children: Barra, Murray, Iain, Donald, and Glen. Donald married Nancy Mazepa, settling in Kitchener and having one child, Roderick. Roderick and his wife Robyn currently have two children: Aonghas and Lilidh.
Recording Secretary: Trish MacNeil
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.
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 & 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 is an educator in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a student of Gaelic and currently serves as Clan MacNeil’s 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
Representative to CASSOC Oighrig Keogh bio
Oighrig Mac Neil Keogh, born in 1930, is the daughter of Cpt. Angus MacNeil of Bogach, Isle of Barra. She is a native Gaelic speaker having spent her childhood days in the Outer Hebrides. Well known as a Gaelic singer in Scotland and later in Canada to which she emmigrated in 1953.With a variety of careers from forestry, social work, investment counselling, teaching, high school guidance counselling, post-secondary institute recruiting, text book photo-researching etc. she still teaches Gaelic
every Saturday.She has a B..A. in psychology, an M.Ed.in
and a great love of life !
Bard: Iain MacNeill bio
Hello, Ciamar a tha sibh!! Greetings!! My name is Iain MacNeill I have accepted the temporary mantle of Clan MacNeil Bard. I see this position as a temporary one for me and a great opportunity to generate interest among of our people to come out and get involved when and where you can. There is another name for this position….Its the Scottish Gaelic name for Bard…..I will have to consult Oighrig as she is the one who first spoke the name to me. I was just today contacted and asked to submit a bio for the benefit of the Clan membership whereupon I immediately wondered what lies I could tell (ha ha ha)……so let me keep it short and true.
I was born in Toronto 1952. Blessed to be a Baby Boomer at the time when life was good to be a Baby Boomer. I think I was 3 when our first TV set was brought into the house. It was a new used one and up until then the neighbourhood kids would watch after school TV at the homes of kids whose parents had a TV….wall to wall kids in someone’s living room with some kids waiting to get in…..only to be scooted out at supper time. You had to be a child of the 50’s to really appreciate it. No words can adequately describe it. Everything was new….and better with no end in sight. Cars, appliances, music, schools except teachers it seems. It took a while to get brand new teachers. I had a wandering bug as a child and had no fear of walking away from home. If something was missing anywhere people usually came looking for me….not that I was one of criminal intent….I wasn’t. As a child I usually laid claim on things that I liked without fully comprehending the notion of ownership and property rights. BTW I get it now. We played in the streets and everyone went home when the lights came on. I fell in love with motorcycles the first time I saw one. I had a reddish coloured molded rubber motorcycle guy on a motorcycle with white wheels that actually spun around. It disappeared along the way.
Anyways, anyways, anyways I grew up in Ontario. We lived in Port Credit and Cooksville before the great Mississauga amalgamation where my mom operated a restaurant and then we moved to a place just outside Orillia where she had bought a second restaurant and it was here that I at 10 years of age and my brothers lived for a while in the country attending a one room school…SS Number Nine with Mrs Carrick presiding. It was here on November 22 1963 that I heard about President Kennedy being assassinated. We moved into Orillia that weekend and from there on Orillia became my adopted home town. I remember watching the Beatles for the first time play on the Ed Sullivan Show. I really loved the mid to late 60’s…..I’ve never experienced anything like it ever and about 200 million kids my age were in total agreement. I had some scrapes with the law, I got married went to University, had 3 children, found lasting employment in Social Services, got divorced, raised my 3 children as a single parent and recently retired after 27 years with the Region of Waterloo. Along the way I learned to play guitar, rode motorcycles (still ride), took up photography and expressive poetic writing at a very young age and painting with oils when time permitted the opportunity, I did concert and event planning, collected and sold antiques and developed a love for ancient to modern military history. I have always been active in the family search for our people. Who are we….where did we come from…..how did we get here…..where are we going always fascinated me. I’m involved in the MacNeil DNA project up to and including the BIG Y study and just recently I’ve signed up to the L165 study and also as of late am learning Gaelic. At the moment I am nursing a toe that I bumped in such a way last year that I could lose it and its keeping me from getting on with life as I intended to live it.
I am always the ever reluctant participant but what ever I do you can be assured that as your Bard I will as always do my very best….to keep you amused and informed. May we all have a hand in it.
Chaplain: Rev. Ronald H. Johnson bio
Pastor Ron Johnson graduated from Owen- Withee High School in 1964. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin River Falls, obtaining his B.S., with a double major in History and Psychology in 1974. In 1979, he obtained his M. Div., through Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota.
Pastor Ron and his wife Deborah, are currently serving Our Father’s House Christian Community Church in Chili WI where Ron serves as senior pastor. They have 6 children and 10 grandchildren.
Ron’s heritage on his mother’s side is Celtic. The story passed down through the family says that Ron’s mother’s ancestors came from the Isle of Barra, Scotland. DNA evidence shows that Ron is a Dalriadic Scot which has strong roots from Ireland. God has given him a burden and ministry to the Celtic people. As a child he belonged to a Presbyterian church that was full of Buchanans, Menzies and McNeils. He serves as the Chaplain for the Clan Macneil Association of America and also Chaplain of the Clan Macneil Association of Canada. His family’s Christian music has a decided Celtic influence which resulted in the formation of MPK Christian Celtic Band in 2006. He serves as the Master of Ceremonies of the band, weaving the Gospel throughout each concert. He uses the history and cultural background of the Celtic people to illustrate the Gospel message.
Commissioner: Dr. A.C. MacNeil
Members at large: Neil Aresenault, Robyn Mac Neill, Kim McNeil bio
Kim McNeil, nee Patey, is a Cardiac Nurse in Kitchener On. She the spouse to CMIC Treasurer Allan McNeil. Kim is the proud mother of Bradley and Lindsay McNeil who both attend the University of Waterloo. Kim is active in the community volunteering her time in support of numerous initiatives including Operation Christmas Child and Toasty Toes. In her spare time Kim enjoys time walking the family black lab, Audie. In 2013 Kim organized the family trip to Scotland punctuated by a stay in Barra. With a plane landing on the beach and the whole of Kisimul Castle to explore on their own the time on Barra was a highpoint of the vacation. Sandra Holdsworth bio
Sandra Holdsworth is the daughter of Neil & Roberta MacNeil who has been members
of Clan MacNeil in Canada for over 30 years. Sandra became interested in her
MacNeil roots from hearing stories from her grandmother and Dad over the years.
Sandra has attended Clan MacNeil Events and Highland Games over the years. In
2005, her parents and her husband traveled to Scotland and visited the Isle of
Barra. Sandra has served on the Board since 2004 as a Director and recently
took on the role of Member at Large. Sandra had a career in Finance for over 30 years
and currently is working part-time as an Events/Fundraising Coordinator for