Guillaume Nel (Neel) was born in Rouen, France in 1662 and was baptised the following year.  As a young protestant adult, he fled from religious persecution in France with other Huguenots about 1680 and went to Amsterdam, as the Dutch government offered Huguenot refugees safe passage to the Cape of Good Hope.  In Amsterdam he lived in the "Bethaniensteeg". He met Jeanne de la Batte who had also left France and they married in Amsterdam 3 May 1685.  Their first son David born and died early 1686. Their second son Jean (Jan) was born in 1687 and in 1689 the three of them sailed to the Cape of Good Hope. On 19 February 1688, he, his wife and two young children left for the Cape of Good Hope on board the ship De Schelde.  Their daughter Jeanne was born at sea during the trip over. They arrived in the Cape in 1690 (another source states: "They arrived in Table Bay on 5 June 1688". ) and were given land in Blaauklip and money by the Dutch East India Company to start up or work on the vineyards in the Cape.  On 9 November 1690, Guillaume (who was soon known as Willem in the Cape) purchased the farm Blaauwklip in the area of Moddergat in the District of Stellenbosch from Gerrit Jansz Visser.  In 1711, he purchased the farm Bootmans Drift in Drakenstein.  He died at the Cape of Good Hope on 17 June 1735 (some have his year of death as 1755). 
[The name Néel is] derived from Latin Nigellus.  According to notes about the Nell family on Genealogy.com, which cite the Amsterdam County Office (Gemeentenarchief) as the source, the family is descended from Guillaume Nie'l, a Huguenot refugee who fled from Normandy to Amsterdam in the late 1660's. He settled in Bethaniensteeg (which is today in the Red Light District) and worked as a tailor. There he met Jeanne de la Batte of Toulouse, who was also a refugee. They married in Amsterdam and had two children there. Due to the influence of the Dutch language, their surname soon became contracted to Nel. The family emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope in the spring of 1669 aboard the VOC vessel, de Berg China. Guillaume and Jeanne received 80 rijksdaalers (guilders) from the Dutch East India Company to settle at the Cape, and started a farm in Groot Drakenstein, where they had eight more children. According to the same notes, while studying in the UK during the 1950's, one Marius Louis Nel commissioned a study of the Nell/Nel family history. While there is no documentation to support this, apparently the Nel family can betraced back to Ireland in around 1100. The Irish branch of the family was known by the surname of O'Niell, and they lived in Tara. The family fled unrest in about 1300. Some of them fled to France, where they dropped the 'O' from O'Niell. Later they apparently dropped the second 'l' too and the surname was contracted into Niel. 
Stamvader Guillaume Neél (Nel)  is duidelik ons Franse Hugenote voorouer. . Guillaume Nel / Neel is ongeveer gebore in 1663, in Rouen, Normandie. Let wel dat hy nie familie van Estienne Niel is nie. Hy was 'n Franse Hugenoot wat in 1688 aan die Kaap aangekom het -- sommige boeke meld dat hulle op De Schelde na die Kaap gekom het, maar die moontlikheid is groter dat hulle as Amsterdammers aan boord van die Amsterdamse Borssenburg as De Schelde van Vlissingen met Vlaminge as passasiers was, saam met sy vrou, Jeanne la Batte van Saumur ("[...] wat in 1688 aangekom het, waarskynlik op "De Schelde" of "Borssenburg"  en was met sy vrou Jeanne la Batte van Saumur en hul twee kinders - Jean en Jeanne". )("Tesame met sy vrou Jeanne - gebore de la Batte- afkomstig van Saumur - en 2 kinders gaan hulle aan boord van die boot "Voorschoten"  en arriveer in die Kaap de Goede Hoop in 1688. Die gesin vestig hul in Stellenbosch waar nog 8 kinders gebore is. Hy het dan ook sy bande met syland van herkoms verbreek en sy naam na Willem Nel verander. ). Hy was kleremaker en boer.  In 1690 het hy finansieele hulp ontvang vir homself, sy vrou Jeanne de la Batte, van Saumur en hul twee kinders, Jean en Jeanne. In 1690 is die plaas Blaauwklip, Wagenmakersvallei, naby / onder Stellenbosch (wyk Moddergat) aan hom toegeken. Op 9 November 1690 koop hy van Gerrit Jansz Visser die plaas Blaauwklip, en in 1711 die plaas Bootmans Drift, Drakenstein. Reeds in 1705 is hy as Willem Nel bekend en het hy sy naam so geteken. Teen 1734 woon hy en sy vrou in die Kaapse distrik.  :
Hulle had sewe seuns en vier dogters, Dawid, Jean (Jan), Jeanne (Johanna), Esaias, Cornelia, Willem, Judith, Elias, Adriaan, Pieter Willem en Hester.  (Hy het 10 kinders gehad ):
Dawid gedoop Amsterdam, Nederland 7 Maart 1685 en klein oorlede (Boucher p. 125)
Jean (Jan) *1687 Amsterdam, x Susanna Fourie, Gevestig te Blaawklip en later Rustenburg en Keerweder, Stellenbosch. Heemraad van Stellenbosch in 1722.
Jeanne (Johanna) * x 1 Jan 1708 Pieter Peil van Bielefeld xx Barend Pieterse van Wesel
Esaias ~ 27 Mei 1691 x 11 Feb 1725 Margaretha Beyers, weduwee van Leendert Oelofse
Cornelia x Adriaan van Jaarsveld
Willem, burger van Stellenbosch x 12 Jan 1755 Susanna Lombard, weduwee van Jonathan Durand
Judith ~ 3 Aug 1698 x Willem Odendaal, van Keulen
Elias ~ 28 Jul 1701 burger van Drakenstein x 21 Okt 1731 Anna Coetsee xx 15 Maart 1733 Anna Vivier
Adriaan ~ 23 Des 1703, woon te Stellenbosch Feb 1769, x Catharina Appel
Pieter Willem x 8 Apr 1725 Aletta van Deventer
Hester ~ 1 Aug 1706 x Pieter Venter
Bronne oor Guillaume se herkoms wys dit soms aan as Dauphine (in die suid-ooste van Frankryk) en soms as Rouen (in die noord-weste van Frankryk. Saumur, waar sy vrou vandaan gekom het lê mooi tussen hierdie twee gebiede en gedagtig daaraan dat hulle in Amsterdam, Nederland getroud is (effens noord-oos van Rouen) en aan die feit dat hulle in sogenaamde Franse vlugtelingkampe gehuisves is aan die Kaap, mag ‘n mens aflei dat Guilaume oorspronklik van Dauphine is, gevlug het via Saumur, waar hy moontlik sy vrou ontmoet het, na Rouen, met die doel om via Nederland na een van die nuwe wêrelde te vlug. Dauphiné is ‘n voormalige provinsie in die suid-ooste van hedendaagse Frankryk. Die hedendaagse provinsies Isèra, Drôme en Hautes-Alpes maak rofweg die ou Dauphine uit. Die historiese hoofstad is Grenoble en ander belangrike dorpe is Vienne, Valence, Die, Gap en Briançon. Die area van die toekomstige Dauphine is voorheen beset deur Allobroges en ander Galliese stamme in antieke tye. Na die einde van die Westelike Roomse Ryk, het dit mettertyd onafhanklikheid verkry as ‘n berg-prinsipaliteit van die Heilige Romeinse Ryk. Guy IV van Viennois, het ‘n dolfyn op sy familie wapen gehad en gevolglik die bynaam "le Dauphin" (Frans vir dolfyn) verkry. Hierdie titel het met sy nageslag voortgeleef tot 1349 toe die erfgenaamlose Humbert II van Viennois sy Heerskap verkoop het aan Koning Philippe VI. Van daardie tyd af kon die troonerfgenaam die titel le Dauphine gebruik. 
Rouen, Normandië, in noord-wes Frankryk is geleë op die Seine rivier. Rouen is oorspronklik gestig deur Galliese stamme. Die naam was eers Ratumacos. Die Romeine het dit later herdoop tot Rotomagus. In die negende eeu het die Normane die dorp oorval en sedert die jaar 912 is dit die hoofstad van Normandië. In 1204 is Normandië geannekseer as deel van die Franse koningkryk. Gedurende die Honderd-jaar oorlog in 1419 het Rouen oorgegee aan Henry V van Engeland en is dit deel gemaak van Engeland. Rouen was die geboorteplek van Edward IV (1442 – 1483) koning van Engeland.  Die Franse het die stad herwin in 1449. Joan of Arc is in 1431 juis in Rouen op die brandstapel verbrand. Dit was eens een van die grootste en welvarendste stede van middel-eeuse Europa en inderdaad die setel van die belastinggaarder van Normandië gedurende die middel-eeue. Dit was een van die hoofstede van die Anglo-Normaanse dinasties wat oor beide Engeland en groot dele van Frankryk geheers het tussen die 11de en 15de eeue. Ons dink hier aan mense soos Willem die Veroweraar wat in 1066 Engeland ingeval en heerskappy geneem het. Elizabeth II is ‘n direkte afstammeling van Willem die veroweraar. Ander konings na wie verwys word in die Anglo-Normaanse dinastië sluit in Richard I (die Leeuhart in die tyd van Robin Hood) en Edward I "Longshanks" (in die tyd van Bravehart). Selfs Henry VIII het na homself verwys as "Koning van Engeland, Skotland, Ierland en Frankryk". 
Place: Quevilly  le Grand / Quevillon , Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France 
About 1685 he fled to Amsterdam in the Netherlands because of religious persecution in France. He was married there and his 2 eldest children, David and Jean (Jan), were born there.  On 9 Nov 1690 he buys the farm "Blaauwklip" (Stellenbosch) from Gerrit Jansz Visser. He sells it in 1711 to his son-in-law Barend Pieterse. In 1711 he buys the farm "Bootmans Drift" next to the Berg River and close to the town of Riebeek Kasteel. 
Date: Before  1690  from Rouen to South Africa  / Departure date: 06 Jan 1688 from Texel, Noord-Holland, Netherlands  / [on] 12 May 1688 he arrived with his wife Jeanne de la Batte and 2 children on board the ship "Borssenburg"  / aan boord die "Brossenberg" met vrou en twee kinders. 
In 1688, Guillaume Néel and Jeanne de la Batte arrived at the Cape from Amsterdam on board the Schelde (this vessel is speculation on the part of Pieter Coertzen), accompanied by Jeanne Néel and Jean Néel. 
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 10:15 AM
Subject: Nel (Niel ) Family history
I may have some information on some of the family before and after the info you have been able to get together. My great great grandfather Jan Nel, one of the 10 brothers and sisters moved to the Klein Karoo and lived on the farm Vergelegen for many years ( The farm is still in the Nel family). He in turn had a few children. One of them Jan Nel (again the family name) moved away and settled on the Farm Brandrivier (Its also one of the smallest towns in SA) close to Barrydale.
It is interesting to note that Jan Nel, was a peace judge in the Klein Karoo and also fought on the side of the English during the Boer war. Apparently the Cape rebels burnt down his farm for refusing to join their cause.
Some other interesting facts was that one of his Brothers Willem Adriaan Nel (Guillaume means William in Gaelic I believe), was the guy who went and got the rebels from the cave during the SlagtersNek rebellion (remember that little peace of history)
In any event, Jan Nel had a son Willem Adriaan who inherited Brandrivier. I have no idea how many other children he had. He in turn had two sons, Attie and Marius Louis. Attie had three sons, George, Jacobus and Willem Adriaan.Marius had three sons:, Stevanus, Willem Adriaan, and Marius Louis (Me)
The family still lives on the farm and I believe the original farmstead have been restored to its former glory. Inside the house is pictures of almost all the great uncles and aunts.
Now for the really interesting bit: While studying in the UK during the fifties my father "Marius Louis Nel paid some family tree specialist to trace the family prior to them coming to SA. I dont have any documentation to back me up but I can tell you is what he told me. Apparently the Nel family can be traced back to around 1100. The Nel family have roots in Ireland 1100. The Irish family was known as the O'niell clan. They resided at a place called Tara, the family castles can still be seen. Apparently round 1300 after some regional unrest amongst the serfs and slaves the family was forced to flee Ireland. Some of them left Tara and settled in Lyon, France where they dropped the o from O'Niell. During the years in France they also dropped the extra L and ended up with Niel. This got changed to Nel when they came to SA.
I'm amazed with how far back you have traced the family history, especially since family names only came into use in the late middle ages (and in Holland as late as Napoleon). My interest was sparked when I lived in Holland in the 90s and found an entry under "Neel" in the Municipal Archives [Bevolkingsregister 1689] to see what was there - I found the original house where Guillaime Neel lived in 1689 (ironically I arrived in Amsterdam in 1989). Guillaime Neel lived in Bethanielsteeg which is in the Red Light District today. He evidently met Jeanne de la Batte from Pijlsteeg (opposite the Palace) and they got married a year later. As far as I know both their children were born in Amsterdam, but by the time they got to the Cape the children no longer could speak French. The family worked for the VOC and was paid 80 rijksdaalders to settle in Grootdrakenstein. Curiously, the house where the De La Battes lived - demolished in 1937 - was occupied by a man called Jan Bats. The question is: is Jan Bats related to the De La Battes, and had the family lived in that house for just under 300 years?
A question: is the Neel supermarket chain in France connected in any way to the Nel's? Does anybody know? And when did standardisation of the spelling take place (the Amsterdam Bevolkingsregister gives two spellings: Neel and Niel)? Source
I am doing quite detailed research on the Nel Family history and have uncovered some astounding information. It appears as if we descend from a brother of the Norse Viking Rollo, who was the ruler of Normandy after King Charles “The Simple” of England ceded the territory of Normandy to him in the year 912.
Rollo was also the ancestral great, great grandfather of William The Conqueror who was Duke of Normandy and King of England and Scotland.
Surnames only came in to use in Europe in the 13th century. The surname Neel/Nel/Neil derives from the Norwegian first name Niall that means champion. In France, and particularly in the Rouen area of Normandy Niall became Neel or Neil.
In 938 the Neel 1 as he was known was appointed as the Baron of Saint Sauveur le Vicomte and occupied the Castle of Saint Sauveur close to Rouen. The ruins of this castle still exist today. His son, The Neel 2 inherited the title but lost it for a short while after he led a revolt against King William of England. He was, however, forgiven a couple of years later and was re-instated.
The Neel 2 had a son called Guillaume. This is the first Guillaume Neel that I can trace. The secondGuillaume Neel that I can trace was a French Huguenot who was executed by the parliament of Rouen in 1553 during the French religious wars for refusing to take Roman Catholic communion.
Guillaume Neel, who became Willem Nel in the Cape was the owner of the well known wine farm Blaauwklippen which he bought from the Dutch artisan Gerrit Janz Visser in 1690. In 1711 he sold Blaauwklippen to his son-in-law Barend Pieterse and bought the farm Bootmans Drift next to the Berg River close to the town of Riebeek Kasteel.
Willem’s father was Pierre Neel (1637) who was married to Judith Gouye on 18 April 1660. Willem’s grandfather was also Pierre Neel (1610) and his grandmother was Anne Mauger nee Neel. Willems wife was Jeanne La Bat. Her father was Jacques La Bat and her mother was Susanna Laurant.
The amazing fact is that I have managed to trace all this history and a lot more but I cannot trace my ancestry from my grandfather back to Guillaume. My Grandfather was Willem Jacobus Nel (my name also) but he died when my father was 8 years old and with him the knowledge of the family before him. My father was Jacobus Nicholas Erasmus Nel. The name Willem and Jacobus recurs in the family quite often. Other regular names in the family are Louis, Hendry and Gerhardus. All that I know is that my grandfather settled in Kempton park area during the gold rush. He apparently came from the Eastern Cape, probably East London area. Any help will be welcome.
Source: Ancestry.com Title: Public Member Trees Publication: Name: Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2006; Repository: www.ancestry.com Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.
Source: Ancestry.com Title: Netherlands, Select Marriages, 1565-1892 Publication: Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2014. Page: Database online. Data: Text: Records for HESTER NEL; for Hester Nel; for Guillaume Nel; for King Ceraint Ap Greidiol; for Guillaume Néel; for Judith Gouye
Not included: Vlag van die Dauphine; Ligging van Dauphine; Ligging van Rouen, Frankryk; ’n Kaart en enkele fotos van Rouen; 'n Middel-eeuse huis in Rouen; Rue St-Romain in Rouen; Saint-Ouen kerk by Rouen
↑Willem Adriaan van der stel succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as Governor of the Cape in 1699; Willem van der Stel abused his official position to corner an over-supplied market in farm produce. Van der Stel was jealous of Adam Tas's wealth and easy going life, and in 1706 he used his legal powers to arrest and imprison him. Tas became a Stellenbosch legend when he had this petition drawn up against incumbent Governor W.A. van der Stel and other farming officials. Tas and his fellow free burghers were protesting against the corruption and extravagant lifestyle of Van der Stel and the fact that abuse of power by officials led to unfair competition with burghers. The Tas petition was submitted to the Lords Seventeen, the governing body of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), in Amsterdam. The petition was rejected and on Sunday, 28 February 1706 Magistrate Starrenburg arrested Adam Tas. From documents in the desk of Tas, Van der Stel established the nature of complaints against him and also the names of the dissatisfied burghers. Though several more burghers were arrested and punished, they were victorious at the end, when the Lords Seventeen in October 1706 categorically prohibited officials to own land or to trade. His wife Elizabeth van Brakel tried hard to get him released; when Adam Tas was finally freed after thirteen months, he named his farm 'Libertas' (liberty). Van der Stel was recalled to the Netherlands in 1707. Sources: http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/adam-tas-arrested; http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA/2005-05/1116668205 (seen and added by Philip van der Walt with the kind help of Maria Labuschagne on Apr 3, 2017.)
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Guillaume by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Guillaume:
Néel-502 and Néel-397 appear to represent the same person because: Clear duplicate. Request that afre the merge that firstname.lastname@example.org (Project Profile) be allowed to edit the bio after this merge. Thanks!
Nel-60 and Nel-471 appear to represent the same person because: Same person, only the spelling of the LNAB needs sorting. See: My interest was sparked when I lived in Holland in the 90s and found an entry under "Neel" in the Municipal Archives [Bevolkingsregister 1689] to see what was there - I found the original house where Guillaime Neel lived in 1689 (ironically I arrived in Amsterdam in 1989). Guillaime Neel lived in Bethanielsteeg which is in the Red Light District today. He evidently met Jeanne de la Batte from Pijlsteeg (opposite the Palace) and they got married a year later. As far as I know both their children were born in Amsterdam, but by the time they got to the Cape the children no longer could speak French. The family worked for the VOC and was paid 80 rijksdaalders to settle in Grootdrakenstein. Curiously, the house where the De La Battes lived - demolished in 1937 - was occupied by a man called Jan Bats. The question is: is Jan Bats related to the De La Battes, and had the family lived in that house for just under 300 years? (Source)