Nelson/Neilson Family Page


My father James William Callison Nelson, b 1926 served in the Royal Navy during WWII, follow the link above for details of his ship and navy service.

Origins of the Neilson name:

Neilson, Nielson, Nilson, 'son of Neil,'. There were at least two families of this name of independent origin- Neilson of Craigcaffie, Ayrshire, and Neilson of Caithness. (1) The Neilsons of Craigcaffie are said to have traced their descent from Neil, earl of Carrick, husband of Margaret Stewart, who died in 1256. Instead of the usual Gaelic prefix mac they added the word son to Neil, hence Neilson. Sometime after 1314, the lands of Craigcaffie were granted by royal charter, to John, son of Neil Carrick, who took the name of Neilson as his patronymic.

Nigellus Nelsoun had charter of lands of Cragcathy from James III in 1474. Neilsons in the reign of James V are said to have been at that time hereditary crowners of Bute for two hundred years. Craigcaffie was erected into a barony in the 16th Century and remained in possession of the family till well into the 18th. Morys Neelsoun had a safe contact into England in 1424, and Henry Nelsone merchant in Edinburgh is recorded in 1438. John Neilsone witnessed promulgation of a papal bull at Linlithgow, 1461, another John Neylsone was tenant under the bishop of Glasgow, 1510. Andrew Neleson was 'dekin of baxteris' in Sterling, 1546, and John Neilsoun was a baker in Glasgow, 1554. Gilbert Neilsoun appears in Meikfas, 1607, and John Nilsoune of Corsock, his father, 1654. John Nilsone in Tinwald was examined for the Test, 1685, and Jean Nilson is recorded in parish of Tuynhame, 1684. Nele Nelsoun had grant of lands in Creich, Gerloch, and others in the sherrifdom of Innernys in 1429 for his homage and service in the capture of his brother, Thomas Nelesoun, a rebel. William Allan Neilson (b1869), president-emeritus of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, was born in Doune, Perthshire.

Black, G. F., 'The Surnames of Scotland', Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh, 1996, p625

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If you think you may be linked to the Mauchline or any of the other Family Groups please  contact with Gordon Nelson using the following e-mail address: .