The Earliest Known Ancestor for this family is William Harrell, b. 1740-1750 Northern Virginia (viz., Augusta Co. or Frederick Co. or Dunmore Co. or Shenandoah Co. as name changes and boundary changes dictated), d. 1822 Wythe Co., VA. It is believed that William Harrell and members of his family migrated in about 1780/1781 to an area claimed over time by VA counties Wythe, Montgomery, and Pulaski. William Harrell was married at least twice (Hannah and Martha) and his children, as identified in his 1822 Will, are Mary, John, Leah (Sarah), Reuben, Nancy, Jacob, Rebecca, William, and Elizabeth. DNA profiles were obtained from descendants of William Harrell’s sons John b. 1768-1773 and William b. 1794.
The Earliest Known Ancestor of this family is Reuben Harrell, b. 1750 Frederick County, Virginia, d. Aug 1825 Washington County, Virginia. Reuben Harrell married Rebecca Smith in 1770, Frederick County, Virginia. The parents of Rebecca Smith, b. abt 1749 Frederick County, Virginia, d. 12 March 1842 probably Prestonburg, Floyd County, Kentucky, have not been identified.
The Earliest Known Ancestor for Family #3 is John Harrell. Although proof is lacking, it is believed he was born in Northern Virginia (perhaps in Prince William County) around 1735. His parents and siblings are currently unknown. It is believed this John Harrell migrated along with other related Harrells in the early-to-mid 1780s from Frederick County, Virginia to Southwestern Virginia (probably Montgomery County) with John Harrell continuing on to East Tennessee (land grants for this region, later becoming Tennessee in 1796 with statehood, were issued by North Carolina). In one of the few documents related to this John Harrell, we see him obtaining a land grant issued by North Carolina in 1788 (Land Grant No. 285 issued to John Harrold) for 400 acres in Sullivan County on the north side of the Holston River in Carters Valley. Sullivan County was formed in 1779. Later on, this property became a part of Hawkins County (which was formed in 1786) and all evidence seems to suggest John Harrell and family lived in this same area until his death in about 1822.
The EKA for Family #4 is Jacob Harrell, reported by others to have been born in Virginia about 1761 or 1765 (1761 will be used in this narrative). His parents and siblings are unknown. Jacob 1761 first lived in Frederick County, Virginia and, based upon Frederick County tax lists 1782-1790, moved in the late 1780s to an area of Virginia that later became Kentucky – Lincoln County. The area in Kentucky (statehood in 1792) where he lived for several years was first documented as Christian County, Kentucky (formed from Logan County, Kentucky in 1797). This area then became Livingston County (formed from Christian County in 1799). Caldwell County was formed from Livingston County in 1809.
Ancestors, Birth, and Arrival in Augusta Co., VA
The earliest known ancestor (EKA) for Family #5 is Richard Harrell, who is believed to have been born in Virginia around 1700. This Richard Harrell left no Will, and no probate records were found. The maiden name of his spouse, Elizabeth, also remains unknown. There is some uncertainty about the identity of his parents and siblings, but it is generally thought his father is Richard Harrell, Jr. b. abt 1675 Lancaster County, Virginia, d. aft July 18, 1711 in Lancaster County, Virginia. These matters are discussed below.
The earliest known ancestor (EKA) for Family #6 is Ephraim Harrell about whom relatively little is known. The Harrell DNA donor/descendant of this EKA had solid information about Ephraim’s son Moses Harrell, born 1833 Knox County, IN, died 1899 Knox County, IN but did not have solid proof that Ephraim was Moses’ father. Moses lived near the town of Vincennes in Knox County and all of his children have been identified. Extensive study by the Harrell research team developed enough information to essentially prove that Ephraim Harrell was the father of Moses 1833. This narrative will first discuss what is known about Ephraim, starting with information provided by the DNA donor, followed by research results leading to what is believed to be his possible siblings and/or close relatives.
The Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) of Family#7 is William Harrell, born September 8, 1786 in Frederick Co., VA, died May 29, 1857 in North Bend, Miami Township, Hamilton County, OH. On August 21, 1806 in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, IN, he married Martha “Patsy” Bussell, daughter of Moses Bussell and Margaret Howell. The 12 children of this marriage are highlighted below and separately in the grouping of this family’s 3 generations. The burial site(s) of both William and his spouse Martha is unknown but researchers believe they could be buried in either the Berea Cemetery or the Maple Grove Cemetery, both of which are located in Cleves, Hamilton Co., OH (there are no markers or documentation in either cemetery).
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.
The parents and siblings of EKA Nathan Harrell cannot be identified from credible documents but enough circumstantial evidence has been found to support speculation. What little is known about the early years of Nathan Harrell can be found in these documents:
In September 2009, a Harrell descendant of this line took the DNA test and his results matched the other Harrell lines. The donor knew his earliest known ancestor (EKA) was Jacob Harrell b. 1818 but several others at this time had reported without proof that Jacob 1818 was the son of “James M. Harrell” (some thought “M” was “Matthew”). These assertions that were repeated over several years initially convinced the Harrell research team that James M. Harrell was the father of Jacob 1818. If so, this qualified James M. Harrell to be the EKA of Family#10.
FamilyTreeDNA tested a Harrell donor whose Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) is William Harrell b. 1785 VA, d. 1850 Paulding Co., OH; his 37 marker DNA profile matched the other Harrell families. This William Harrell 1785 married Martha Mellinger. b. 1792, d. 1851. Their children are:
The Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) of Family #12 is Moses Harrell b. abt. 1803 KY (henceforth, a birth year of 1803 will be assumed), d. July 31, 1880 Wabash Co., IN. Moses 1803 married Francis Scott on 15 June 1823 in Fayette Co., IN; the marriage was performed by Minister John Conner. Francis Scott was born abt. 1801 in Grainger Co., TN and died March 23, 1866 Wabash Co., IN; her parents were Charles B. Scott and March Whitlock. Francis Scott’s sister is Rebecca Scott who married Moses Harrell, b. 1802 Nelson Co., KY, in 1821 in Brookville, Franklin Co., IN. Moses Harrell 1802 is a known son of Noah Harrell b. 1766 who, in turn, is a son of Moses Harrell Sr. who died in Nelson Co., KY.
To better understand EKA John Harrell, it is necessary to understand Knox Co. IN where John Harrell spent much of his adult life. Knox Co. was formed in 1790 as one of the original counties of the Northwest Territory; its size was very large. In 1801 Clark Co. was formed from the eastern part of Knox Co. In 1803 Dearborn Co. was formed from an eastern part of Clark Co. Indiana became a state in 1816 having 16 counties with Knox Co. being overwhelmingly the largest. One year later in 1817, most of Knox’s land was reclassified as a “non-county” area and this change shrunk the size of Knox Co. to about the size of most of the other 19 Indiana counties. By the end of 1818, Pike and Gibson counties were formed on the southern border of Knox Co., Daviess Co. was formed on its eastern border, Sullivan and Green counties were formed on its norther border, and the State of Illinois (gaining statehood in 1818) bordered Knox Co. on its western border. These borders did not change over the years following.
This family is the newest to have been discovered having a matching DNA profile. The EKA is Robert Harrell b. Jan 3, 1844 in Wytheville, Wythe Co., VA, d. Feb 21, 1915 in Liberty Hill, Grainger Co., TN, married May 18, 1875 Grainger Co., TN to Martha Minerva Jones b. Sept 6, 1847 TN, d. Oct 5, 1912 Liberty Hill, Grainger Co., TN. The children of EKA Robert Harrell 1844 & Martha are believed to be: William Posey, Taylor, Grover, Matilda, Melvina & Lutana (twins), and Jacob Enoch Based on DNA matching and circumstantial evidence, it is strongly believed that this EKA descends from Family #1 as follows: Robert Harrell b. 1844 < Jacob M. Harrell b. abt 1815 Wythe Co., VA < Jacob Harrell d. 1821 Wythe Co., VA < William Harrell b. abt 1750 VA, d. 1822 Wythe Co., VA. The DNA donor descends from this EKA as follows: Donor: Clyde S. Harrell < Clyde E. Harrell 1918, d. 2001 < Jacob Enoch Harrell 1893 < Robert Harrell 1844. As additional information is obtained on this family, more will be provided.