Family #8 – EKA Martin Harrell

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  • Administrator posted #476

    The Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) for Family #8 is Martin Harrell who was born sometime between 1770 and 1780 in VA. For convenience he will henceforth be identified as being born 1775, but no evidence has yet been found to support this date nor is there evidence supporting his birth in VA.

    As discussed below: (a) There is no reliable information that can be used to identify the parents, siblings, or spouse of Martin Harrell: and (b) Any relationship between Martin Harrell and other Harrell families within the Harrell Collaboration is pure speculation. The only information about Martin’s spouse is the 1830 Lincoln Co., MO census mentioned below. Martin Harrell’s children, however, are generally known and considerable information is available about the descendants of many of these children.

    Although it can’t be proven that he was born in VA, it is documented that he lived for a few years in Wythe Co., VA. A “Martin Herl” and a “Martain Herl” are listed in a 1793 Wythe Co. “census” and tax list, respectively, along with members of Families #1 (EKA William Harrell) and #2 (EKA Reuben Harrell). Martin’s first six of his nine known children were believed born in Washington Co., KY starting with his son William born 1797 and ending with son James born abt. 1806. The remaining 3 children were born in Lincoln Co., MO starting with Lucy born abt. 1809 and ending with Evaline born abt. 1813. From this information, it appears that Martin Harrell may have moved to Wythe Co., VA with Families #1 and #2 (or joined them in Wythe Co. after living with them in the same neighborhood in Frederick Co.) before moving to Washington Co., KY around 1797. Washington Co., KY and its neighbor Nelson Co., KY were places where Moses, James and William Harrell (sons of EKA Richard Harrell of Family #5) also lived and died. The birth of his last 3 children suggests Martin Harrell left KY sometime after 1806. There is evidence that Martin Harrell may have lived in OH sometime 1806 – 1809 before making his final move to Lincoln Co., MO. Prior to his move to Lincoln Co., MO, no other Harrells were known to have lived there. It has been reported that Martin, George, William and James “Harley” were listed among the first tax-payers in Lincoln Co., MO; George, William and James were sons of Martin Harrell.

    The only official document relating to Martin Harrell’s birth is the 1830 Federal Census of Lincoln County, MO wherein Martin “Herral” is listed with his presumed spouse and some of his family members; both he and his presumed spouse are listed as being 50 – 59 years of age which puts their birth between 1770 – 1780.

    Much of the information about Martin Harrell is attributed to the efforts of Donna Biorseth and Mary Beth Harrell (wife of Hollis R. Harrell who is a descendant of Martin’s son William). Both of these individuals along with Garland Lively spent time researching Martin Harrell and their findings are as follows (provided by Garland Lively):

    Notes for MARTIN HARRELL:

    Information provided by Donna Biorseth of Beverly Hills, Florida. It is possible Martin was his middle name and his given name was “William”. It was the practice during that time to name the first son after the father or Grandfather. Martin & each of his sons named one of their male children “William” but did not name any of their children “Martin”.

    Mary Beth Harrell researched the following information concerning Martin Harrell: (Notice the different spellings of surname)

    1. Martin Harell, regarding a bond 11 Aug 1798 Kentucky Gazette, page 221.
    2. Martin Herrill, witnessed a deed, 1799, Washington County, Kentucky.
    3. Martin Hirrill, paid poll tax, two horses, 1799, Washington Co. Ky.
    4. Martin Herald, “Second Census” of Kentucky, 1800, pg. 133, Washington Co. KY.
    5. Martin Herrell, paid poll tax, two horses, 1800, Washington Co. KY.
    6. Martin Harrell, had mail waiting in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1806.
    7. Martin Harley, Pioneer Taxpayers in 1821 Troy, Lincoln Co. Missouri (along with his sons George Harley, James Harley & William Harley).
    8. Martin Herral, on 1830 census, Lincoln Co. MO., wife also listed, both 50-60 years of age.
    9. Martin Harrell, was owed $10.75 by James Harrell, 3 February 1836, Lincoln Co. MO.

    US Census 1830, Lincoln Co. MO.: Martin Herral, 1 male 5-10, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 50-60: 1 female 15-20, 1 female 50-60. Image 37, pg. 19. Martin was living 2 dwellings from his son Page. There seems to be nothing regarding Martin Harrell after 1836.

    It is possible but not proven that Isaac Harrell of Fayette Co. Indiana and Martin Harell were related. Isaac Harrell was the son of Chester Harrell and his first wife. Isaac born 1781 Washington Co. KY. On 17 Aug 1803 he married Delilah Doom in Washington Co. KY. She was born about 1786. (Parents Jacob & Abigail Clark Doom). Isaac died about 1848 in Fayette Co. Indiana where his will is recorded. Delilah died in 1869. Both are buried in the Stevens Cemetery near Columbia, Indiana. They had 7 children; their son Martin was born about 1804, KY married 28 Mar 1826 to Nancy Ewing. (Diane 27 Apr 2006)

    Martin witnessed a deed in 1797 in Washington County, Kentucky. His name was spelled Herril.

    Family Tradition indicates that Martin Harrell was “married to an Indian.”

    Another individual, reported to be Dora Elma (Scott) Young, hand-typed her understanding of her early Harrell ancestors. She had proof of her descendancy from George Harrell, son of Martin Harrell. In her hand-typed piece (titled “HARRELL” which apparently began on a page she numbered 47) she began with this:

    “The story passed down in the William Harrell family, a brother of my great grandfather, George Harrell, is that three brothers came from England – one stayed in the north and two went south. Mary Beth Harrell, wife of Hollis R. Harrell of San Antonio, Texas states that she has discovered that John, Luke, and Samuel Harrell came in 1660 to Virginia from Suffolk Downe, England; John remained in Virginia, Samuel and Luke (sometimes called James) went to North Carolina, to Gates and Bertie Counties. I learned from the 1850 census returns for Lincoln County, Missouri that the above mentioned George was born in North Carolina in 1803, but I have been unable to learn in which county his parents resided.”

    Dora Young’s story of her early Harrell ancestors is a familiar variation of stories passed down through descendants of early Harrells who first settled in Nansemond County, VA and Bertie County, NC. Even though these oral histories are not documented, some of these Harrells can be found in early NC communities. Some stories involve 3 brothers, other stories involve 7 brothers – what is common among them is that they all immigrated to America in the mid-1600s to early 1700s. An excellent detailed description of these early North Carolina Harrells can be found at this website:

    What is supported by solid evidence (including DNA) is that those early Harrells who ended up living in Nansemond County, VA and/or Bertie and Gates Counties, NC are NOT related to the early Harrells who settled in Northern Virginia. There is no evidence that Martin Harrell ever lived in NC and his DNA profile matches the Harrells of Northern Virginia, not the Harrells who lived in and surrounding areas of Bertie Co., NC. This erroneous thinking that early North Carolina Harrells were related to the Northern Virginia Harrells was perpetuated for many years and was finally debunked in 2001 by Ron Nota, Lee Hearl and other members of their research team (see discussion of this issue in Family #5).

    In the HARRELL piece, hand-typed by Dora Young, she stated the 1850 Lincoln Co., MO census listed the birthplace of George Harrell, son of Martin, as North Carolina. This is true and probably reinforced her thinking that Martin Harrell was born in NC. But subsequent census records in Lincoln Co., MO show George Harrell’s birthplace as OH (1860) and KY (1870). Additionally, 1900 census records for some of the sons of George Harrell show him to be born in Pennsylvania. For the record, the Harrell Collaborative believes George Harrell was born KY.

    Dora Young also included information from contemporary letters written by Harrell individuals who described their particular Harrell ancestry rooted in North Carolina – but there was no link to Martin Harrell. Dora Young also included information she obtained from a St. Lewis library describing a number of early Harrells who lived in North Carolina – but, again, never linked them to Martin Harrell. Whereas Dora Young’s piece did accurately describe most all of the children and grandchildren of Martin Harrell, she did not include any useful information that could be used to even speculate on the parents/siblings of Martin Harrell.

    The given name “Martin” is not common within the Harrell Collaborative Families. A great deal of time has been spent trying to determine where this name might have come from and nothing but speculation has resulted. Within the Harrell Collaborative Families there is known to be only four individuals who were named “Martin Harrell”: (1) the EKA of this narrative; (2) a son born to Isaac Harrell and Delilah Doom in KY in 1804 – Isaac Harrell being son of Chester who is son of William who is son of EKA Richard Harrell of Family #5; (3) a son born to EKA William Harrell b. 1786 and spouse Martha Bussell in Hamilton Co., OH in 1832 – Family #7; and (4) a son born 1832 to William H. Harrell who is son of James Harrell 1762 (spouse Elizabeth Crume) who is son of Moses Harrell who is son of EKA Richard Harrell of Family #5.

    Why, in (2) above, Isaac Harrell b. 1781 named his son “Martin” in 1804 is unknown but both Isaac Harrell and EKA Martin Harrell both lived in Washington Co., KY when Isaac’s son Martin was born (the location/property where EKA Martin Harrell lived in relation to where Isaac lived is not known). The author of this narrative believes this is not a coincidence and suggests a close but unknown relationship between Isaac and EKA Martin Harrell. There has been discussion among some of the Harrell Collaboration as to whether EKA Martin Harrell may be a son of Chester Harrell, father of Isaac 1781. Chester Harrell married twice: (1) Unknown Everett (possibly “Elizabeth” or “Emyline”) who he married in an unknown year, who was born and died in unknown years; and (2) Betsy Stevens born abt 1764, died unknown, married 1789. The first wife and Chester, had at least 4 children: (1) Isaac 1781 who married Delilah Doom (son Martin); (2) James born abt. 1783; (3) Betsy 1785 who married George Kelly; and (4) Elijah born abt. 1786 or 1788. Because so little is known about “Elizabeth” Everett and Chester’s first marriage, it is possible they could have had a son “Martin” born abt. 1775 and possibly a son William Harrell born 1786 (EKA of Family #7). Lyndon Irwin did considerable research on Chester Harrell and could not verify that Chester had children other than the 4 named above. Also, none of Chester Harrell’s children named any of their sons “Martin” and none of EKA Martin Harrell’s sons or EKA William Harrell’s sons were named Chester.

    The reason why William Harrell 1786 named his son “Martin” in 1832 is also unknown and no explanation has been proposed other than the speculation that William Harrell 1832 could be a son of Chester. Same is true about James Harrell’s grandson “Martin” born in 1832. It should be noted that because so little is known about James’ grandson Martin Harrell 1832, it is possible he didn’t exist.

    It is noteworthy that both Martin Harrell 1804 (son of Isaac 1781) and Martin Harrell 1832 (son of William Harrell 1786) descended from 2 sons of EKA Richard Harrell (Family #5): Moses and William, both of whom lived in Nelson Co., KY very near Washington Co., KY. Could EKA Martin Harrell be a son of either this William or Moses Harrell? Being born 1775, EKA Martin Harrell could have been the son of either Moses or William Harrell. Martin’s sons William (first son), John (second son), James (6th son) and second daughter Mary have the same names as William Harrell’s children – but Martin’s son James is the only name that matches one of Moses’ children. In addition, not only is Martin’s first son William possibly named after Martin’s father, but there are several children named “William” who are grandsons of Martin Harrell. It should be noted, however, that Donna Biorseth’s notes above speculated that Martin’s name could be William Martin Harrell.

    From what has been documented, there are only two people named “Martin” who could have been persons whom EKA Martin Harrell was named after. The first of these individuals is Martin Cartmell who is the son of Dorothy Cartmell and brother to Sarah Cartmell. Sarah Cartmell married Thomas Chester and their daughter Susannah Chester married William Harrell, son of EKA Richard Harrell. The second person is Martin Smith who is a grandson of Thomas Chester; Thomas and Sarah Chester’s daughter Elizabeth married Benjamin Smith and Martin Smith was one of their sons. These Cartmells lived in Frederick Co., VA along with Thomas Chester and all sons of EKA Richard Harrell (Family #5). Because of the close relationship between the family of Thomas Chester and William/Susanna Harrell, it’s possible William/Susannah Harrell were close friends of Susannah’s uncle Martin Cartmell and Susannah’s nephew Martin Smith. These close relationships, however, have not been verified. Several children of EKA Martin Harrell and William/Susannah Harrell share the same names which adds to the circumstantial evidence that William/Susannah Harrell could be the parents of EKA Martin Harrell. There are no documents, however, linking EKA Martin Harrell to William/Susannah Harrell, and there are no documents identifying all the children of William/Susannah Harrell.

    The known children of EKA Martin Harrell are:

    1. WILLIAM HARRELL, b. January 10, 1797, Washington Co., KY; d. September 5, 1891, Fayette Co., TX. He married Minerva Woods on October 4, 1818 in Lincoln County, MO.

      They had 9 children

      1. Amanda Minerva Harrell b. 1819 Lincoln Co., MO;
      2. Sophronia Harrell b. 1821 Lincoln Co., MO;
      3. Milvern Harrell Sr. b. 1824 Lincoln Co., MO;
      4. Leander Harrell b. 1826, Lincoln Co., MO;
      5. Emily Harrell b. 1829 Lincoln Co., MO;
      6. Montraville Thomas Harrell b. 1831 Lincoln Co., MO;
      7. William Norman Harrell b. 1834 Lincoln Co., MO;
      8. Elizabeth Jane Harrell b. 1836 Lincoln Co., MO;
      9. Mary Harrell b. 1839 Fayette Co., TX.
    2. JOHN HARRELL, b. abt 1800, Washington Co., KY; d. 1841, Republic of Texas (probably Fayette Co., TX). He married Cordelia Cottle, daughter of Joseph Cottle.

      They had 5 children:

      1. Female Harrell b. bet. 1816 – 1820;
      2. Josiah Harrell b. 1820, Lincoln Co., MO;
      3. 3 Male Harrells b. bet. 1821 – 1825;
      4. Male Harrell b. bet. 1826 – 1830;
      5. Female Harrell b. bet. 1826 – 1830.
    3. GEORGE HARRELL, b. abt 1803, Washington Co., KY; d. aft. 1870, Lincoln Co., MO. He married Elizabeth “Betsy” McDaniels on March 1, 1829 in Lincoln Co., MO.

      They had 8 children:

      1. John N. Harrell b. abt. 1830 Lincoln Co., MO;
      2. William W. Harrell b. September 5, 1832 Lincoln Co., MO;
      3. Leah Harrelll b. abt. 1835 Lincoln Co., MO;
      4. Samuel Alexander Harrell b. 1836 Lincoln Co., MO;
      5. George L. Harrell b. 1838 Lincoln Co., MO;
      6. Charles Harrell b. 1840 Lincoln Co., MO;
      7. Nancy E. Harrell b. 1842 Lincoln Co., MO;
      8. Sidney Harrell b. 1846 Lincoln Co., MO.
    4. CALVIN HARRELL, b. abt. 1804, Washington Co., KY; d. bet. 1870-1880, Calhoun Co., IL. He married Frances “Frankie” Guinn on December 20, 1827 in Lincoln Co., MO.

      They had 10 children:

      1. Louisa Harrell b. 1828 Lincoln Co., MO;
      2. Charles W. Harrell b. 1831 Lincoln Co., MO;
      3. Armilda/Elmira Harrell b. 1833 Lincoln Co., MO;
      4. Edmond/Edmund Harrell b. 1837 Lincoln Co., MO;
      5. Jane Harrell b. 1840 Lincoln Co., MO;
      6. Susan A. Harrell b. 1842 Lincoln Co., MO;
      7. Frances Keziah Harrell b. 1844 Lincoln Co., MO;
      8. Mary Elizabeth Harrell b. 1846 Lincoln Co., MO;
      9. Resina Sophia Harrell b. 1848 Lincoln Co., MO;
      10. Ellen B. Harrell b. 1853 Lincoln Co., MO. Child (9) has been listed by some as a male under the name Reuben S. Harrell.
    5. PAGE HARRELL, b. September 10, 1805, Washington Co., KY; d. March 11, 1874, Calhoun Co., IL. He married (1) Ellen Callaway abt. 1827 in Lincoln Co., MO; (2) Malinda Carty on November 16, 1852 in Lincoln Co., MO.

      With his first wife they had 7 children:

      1. Abell Harrell b. January 8, 1828 Lincoln Co., MO;
      2. Jane Harrell b. abt. 1828 Lincoln Co., MO;
      3. Sybrant W. Harrell b. abt. 1832 Lincoln Co., MO;
      4. Elizabeth Harrell b. abt. 1835 Lincoln Co., MO;
      5. James Hamilton Harrell b. 1837 Lincoln Co., MO;
      6. Emma Elizabeth Harrell b. 1841 Adams Co., IL;
      7. William S. Harrell b. 1845 Calhoun Co., IL.

      With his second wife they had 1 child, Cary C. Harrell b. 1854 Calhoun Co., IL.

    6. JAMES HARRELL, b. abt. 1806, Washington Co., KY; d. abt. 1834 in Lincoln Co., MO. He married Amelia Mildred Norton on December 20, 1827 in Lincoln Co., MO.

      They had 1 child William Harrison Harrell b. abt. 1828 Lincoln Co., MO.

    7. LUCY HARRELL, b. abt. 1809, Lincoln Co., MO. No further info.
    8. MARY HARRELL, b. abt. 1811, Lincoln Co., MO. She married Unknown Faith/Farth.
    9. EVALINE HARRELL, b. abt 1813, Lincoln Co., MO. No further info

    The above information is essentially all that is known about Martin Harrell. All DNA donors whose EKA is Martin Harrell know nothing more. Numerous attempts to find and discuss Harrell ancestry with living Harrell descendants in Troy, Lincoln Co., MO and its surrounding towns yielded no additional information. The best guess based on what is known about Martin Harrell is that EKA Martin Harrell probably descended from William Harrell, son of EKA Richard Harrell. This belief is highly speculative and if additional clues are obtained, this Family #8 will be updated.

    A more complete listing of all known descendants of EKA Martin Harrell is provided through the first 3 generations (i.e., Martin Harrell, his children, and grandchildren).

  • nvgal222 posted #1379

    I believe my Evaline Harold born abt 1813 in VA/IA/MO is the same as Evaline Harrell, daughter of Martin Harrell. My Evaline married James Warder Thomas in Lincoln County, MO about 1833. Circumstantial evidence includes naming their first son Martin as well as daughters Ardelia, Sophronia, and Nancy. I would love to correspond with anyone researching this family.

    Susan Messler
    [email protected]

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