Skip to main content

Stella McNeal papers

Collection MS-2003-073: Stella McNeal papers


  • Creation: 1884-1953

Scope and Contents

Consists mainly of letters to and from Stella McNeal and her brother, Mark McNeal, SJ, as well as with other members of their family. Many of the other correspondents are other Jesuit priests. Mark McNeal and the other priests detail their work and travels, including in Jamaica, Japan, and the Philippines, as well as in regional Jesuit communities such as Georgetown University, novitiate in Frederick, Maryland and juniorate in St. Andrew-on-Hudson, New York. Stella McNeal and other McNeal family members send news and ask for advice, including about marriages and jobs. The correspondence covers most of Mark McNeal's lifetime, from early secondary education to his death, as well as some time afterwards.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note: McNeal family

Joshua Vansant McNeal (1846-1917, son of James and Sarah Golibart McNeal) married May Preston McNeal (1849-1913, daughter of William and Marguerite Smith Preston) in 1873. They had six children, four of whom survived into adulthood: Mark, Stella, Preston, and Marie.

Joshua McNeal worked in the insurance business before entering the service of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in 1871. He was auditor of the Indianapolis, Decatur and Springfield Railway Company from 1880 to 1893, and then returned to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company as assistant treasurer, becoming treasurer in 1899. He was then elected vice-president and treasurer in 1904, serving until his retirement in 1916.

Mark Joseph McNeal, SJ, was born in 1874. After attending Georgetown University, he entered the Maryland-New York Province of the Society of Jesus and taught as a Scholastic at St. Francis Xavier’s in New York. After his ordination at Woodstock, he taught at Georgetown University. He toured the United States giving lectures and sermons to raise funds to establish the Infant Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. He taught at the new university, as well as at the Government University in Tokyo. Poor health forced him to shorten his time in Japan, and he transferred to Ateneo de Manila, Philippines, in 1924. He later returned to the United States, where he became Professor of Rhetoric at the Juniorate of St. Andrew-on-Hudson, NY. He went back to the Philippines to be a missionary priest at Daveo, Mindanao, but caught malaria and had to return to Manila in 1934. He died at St. Paul’s Hospital, Manila, in June 1934.

Stella McNeal was born in 1878. She lived in or near Baltimore, MD, for most of her life, and she died in 1965 in North Haven, CT.

Preston McNeal was born in 1879. He married Anna Mary Watters ("Nan") McNeal in 1909, and they had one child, James David McNeal, in 1911. Preston McNeal worked as a lawyer. He died in 1954 in Harford, MD.

Marie McNeal Tittoni was born in 1885. She married Renato Tittoni in 1909, and they had one child, Tommaso Preston ("Maso") Tittoni, in 1911. She died in 1964 in North Haven, CT.


1900 United States Federal Census Roll. Roll: 613; Page: 12; Enumeration District: 0172. Accessed 2023 April 28.

Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2001, Hartford, CT, USA: Connecticut Department of Health. Accessed 2023 April 28.

Emergency Passport Applications, Argentina thru Venezuela, 1906-1925, Volume 005: Japan. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Accessed 2023 April 28.

Index to Petitions For Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906, RG21, The National Archives in Washington, DC. Accessed 2023 April 28.

"J.V. M'Neal Dead," The Baltimore Sun, September 27, 1917.

Stella McNeal obituary, The Baltimore Sun, March 9, 1965.

Stella McNeal papers, MS.2003.073, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Accessed 2023 April 28.


4 Linear Feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



Consists mainly of letters to and from Stella McNeal and her brother, Mark McNeal, SJ, as well as with other members of their family. Many of the other correspondents are Jesuit priests.


Arranged by correspondent, with McNeal family members first, and others following alphabetically after.

Other Finding Aids

This index was compiled by W.J.M., SJ, as he was creating an audio recording of this correspondence. The index includes the dates, correspondents, and locations for each letter (with some exceptions), as well as summaries of the contents of all of the letters after 1903.

Permanent link:


Gift of Stella McNeal. Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time.

Processing Information

This correspondence was once organized entirely chronologically, and each letter given a sequential number. This numbering facilitated the creation of an index to an audio recording of most of the letters. Because the chronological order could be easily recreated, the archivist in 2023 decided to add arrangement by correspondent to facilitate research.

  • 15 audio reels
Stella McNeal Papers
Elizabeth Peters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States