Francis was born in 1812 in Armagh County in northern Ireland. He is reported to be the son of James O'Neil (b.1785, d.1817) and Nancy (?). Not much is known about his parents but when Francis was about five years old, his father died, and he and his mother moved to Scotland. As a young man, he worked as a potter while living in Scotland. At some point, he may have gone back to Ireland. In 1834 he married Rosa Hoy (b.1812, d.1854). Once again, records are unclear but he seems to have married her in Ireland and census records indicate that she was from Ireland. After their marriage, they may have lived in both England and Scotland in the 1840's (some of their children were born in Scotland).
|Francis O'Neil and Elizabeth Nevin, date unknown.|