This unusual name is derived from the Gaelic MacNeilly and is more often found anglicized as Manneely, Maneely or Mineely. The name means 'The Poet' and the Sept originates from County Antrim, many members emigrating during the Irish Potato Famine of 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mac An Fhilidh. which was dated Circa 1658, The All Ireland Census. during the reign of Richard Cromwell, the Lord Protector, 1658 - 1659. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.