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A Bit of Neville Island History…
The coat of Arms of General John Neville has been adopted as the official shield of Neville Township. While the General’s specific reasoning in selecting the Bull for the Family Coat of Arms is not known, it is known that the Bull generally was chosen because it was considered a symbol of strength and virility.
The words beneath the picture on the crest, “Ne Vile Velis”, translate from Latin to the English, “Think Nothing Base”. Base, a synonym for vile in this motto would mean morally low, low minded, dishonorable or disgraceful, according to Webster’s Dictionary.
General Neville was one of two men who purchases the township, then known as Long Island, in about 1776.
At the close of the Revolutionary War, General Neville returned to his estates in Allegheny County. He was appointed as Inspector of Internal Revenue for the District in 1791, and also served as a member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.
He retired to the Island about 1794 and constructed a mansion of native timber on the Island and rented out his town home in Pittsburgh. General Neville dies at the island home in 1803.
The estate was deeded to General Neville’s daughter, Amelia, who married Captain Isaac Craig, a Revolutionary War Officer. By this time the property was know as Montours Island.
The property then went to Captain Craig’s son, John, and daughter. John is buried in the old graveyard along with other descendents of General John Neville.
Montours Island or Long Island eventually became known as Neville Island around World War I.
Information and photos from Township Of Neville Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Nineteenth Annual Report 1975
Want More Neville Island History?
Check out the book “Neville Island” by Gia Tatone and Dan Holland with Neville Green. Purchase your copy at Arcadia Publishing online.