Last Updated on 11 Apr 2021
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.
At this time, it was reported that James M. Harrell: was born 1790-1800 in KY; died Oct 28, 1846 Lagro, Wabash Co., IN; married “Sarah”, and had 3 children: Jacob Harrell 1818, Jesse Harrell 1822, and Sarah Harrell 1823. Additional details about these 3 children were reported as:
- Jacob Harrell, b. 1818 in what later became Decatur Co., IN, d. 1895 in Wabash Co., IN; m. Mary Ann Creamer (Cramer, Kramer) and had 7 children:
- Sarah Ann Harrell b. 1842, d. 1844;
- Daniel N. Harrell b. 1845 IN, d. 1881, m. Sarah Barnes in 1869 Wabash Co., IN
- Francis Marion Harrell b. 1848 IN, d.1865;
- Phillip Thomas Harrell b. 1849 Fayette Co., IN, d.1940 Wabash Co., IN; m. (1) Matilda Brechner 1851-1916 on 9/13/1877, and (2) Luella Williams Holt on 6/26/1918; Children of Phillip include:
- Ludlow Harrell, 1877-1957, m. 1907 Grace Oftelie b. 1886, d. 1937
- Elmer Harrell, 1879-1963, m. 1909 Anna Brubaker b. 1887, d. 1955
- Omer Harrell who died in infancy, age a few months
- Charles Harrell, 1881-1947, m. 1917 Laura Cozad b.1895, d.1981
- Jacob John Harrell, 1885-1960, m. 1909 Ruth Wilcox b. 1887, d. 1970
- Rose Ellen Harrell, 1887-1979, m. 1904 Dorsey Logan Smith b. 1884, d. 1966
- Mary Ann Harrell, 1889-1966, m. 1909 Reuben Hipskind b. 1887, d. 1962
- Franklin Gabriel Harrell, 1891-1953, m. 1916 Fern Leona Powell b. 1896, d. 1972
- Mary Etta Harrell b. 1853 IN, d. 1901, m. James H. Barnes (1838-1918);
- Martha Jane Harrell b. 1857 IN, d. 1928 Wabash Co., IN, m. John W. Burton 1884 of Chester Township in Wabash Co., IN, son of James Burton;
- James Matthew Harrell b. 1857 Wabash Co., IN, d. 1942 Wabash Co., IN, twin to Martha, m. Rose E. “Dolly” Burton 1885 Wabash Co., IN; daughter of James Burton
- Jesse Harrell b. 1822 in Decatur Co., IN;
- Sarah Harrell b. 1823 probably in Decatur Co, IN, m. Unknown Abbot;
After considerable time researching this James M. Harrell, it is now believed that he is not the father of Jacob Harrell 1818, or Jesse 1822, or Sarah 1823. In fact, the parents, siblings and children of James M. Harrell are not currently known. Previous thoughts expressed by others (many posted on ancestry message boards) that supported James M. Harrell as father of the 3 children included the following:
- One person whose husband descended from Jacob 1818 stated without proof that James M. Harrell lived in Decatur Co., IN when Jacob 1818 was born (but Decatur was not declared a county until 1821) and the supporting information came from the Huntington Library – but the source was never found. The identity of the 3 children of James M. Harrell was reported as coming from another individual without supporting evidence.
- Another person whose husband also descends from Jacob 1818 reported her info about James M. Harrell came from some Ancestry.com website but none was provided.
- And yet another person claimed the father of James M. Harrell was Moses Harrell b. 1802, son of Noah Harrell who is son of Moses Sr. In fact, Moses 1802 married Rebecca Scott in 1821 and there is no record of Moses having a son James M. Harrell.
James M. Harrell died intestate (having no Will) in Wabash Co., IN in 1846; his estate was described in probate records (death date determined from probate records). The probate records identified “Sarah” as the spouse of James M. Harrell and “Jacob Harrell” as the administrator of James’ estate. “Jacob Harrell” was NOT identified in the probate records as a son of James M. Harrell. Appraisers of the estate were Moses and William Crume, sons of Daniel Crume who is son of Phillip Crume Sr of Nelson Co., KY.
It has also not been confirmed where James M. Harrell lived before he moved to Wabash Co., IN and no document could be found that identified his birth year. A birth year range 1790-1800 was cited on one of the early internet postings but no source was provided.
No evidence has been found confirming James’ 3 children cited above (viz., Jacob, Jesse, Sarah). “Sarah 1823” is currently believed to be Sarah Creamer who married (1) James Harrell in 1842, and (2) Jordan Abbott in 1850. This Sarah Creamer is the daughter of Daniel Creamer who is also the father of Mary Creamer who is the spouse of Jacob Harrell 1818 (see 1850 Clinton, Decatur Co., IN census with Daniel Creamer as head of household). The parents/siblings of Sarah Creamer’s first husband James Harrell are not known.
The other reported child of James M. Harrell, “Jesse Harrell 1822”, is believed to be Jesse Ray Harrell b. 1822 Decatur Co., IN (or KY), d. abt 1855 IN, married Mary Ann Ward in 1842 in Decatur Co., IN. Jesse’s children are believed to be (1) Phillip Edward Harrell b. 1843, Williamstown, Decatur Co., IN, d. 1927 Argos, Marshall Co., IN; (2) Sarah Catherine Harrell b. 1844 Williamstown, Decatur Co., IN; (3) Mary Jane Harrell b. 1845 IN, d. aft 1880; (4) James William Harrell b. 1847 Williamstown, Decatur Co., IN, d. 1910 Decatur Co., IN; (5) Almira B. Harrell b. 1851, Decatur Co., IN, d. aft. 1900, m. second time to William Stiers in 1894; (6) Winnie/Minnie Annabell Harrell b. 1855 Williamstown, Decatur Co., IN, d. 1922 Argos, Marshall Co., IN. The parents of Jesse Ray Harrell are believed to be Phillip Harrell b. 1787 who is speculated to be a son of James Harrell Jr. (see discussion of Phillip Harrell 1787 in Family#5).
In spite of the many uncertainties surrounding James M. Harrell, it is believed the information about Jacob Harrell 1818 is relatively solid. Rebecca Burton, whose husband descended from Jacob 1818, identified the children of Jacob 1818 as listed above. Some of these children were also identified in the “1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County”, pg. 494-496, under “J. M. Harrell” who is James Mathew Harrell, son of Jacob 1818.
Rebecca Burton also reported that Jacob Harrell was born July 29, 1818 in Indiana in Indian held territory in the area that would become Decatur Co., IN. Jacob spent his entire life in Indiana. He learned the trade of a machinist and practiced it for many years before engaging in agriculture in 1845 when he purchased land in Lagro, Wabash Co., IN. In the 1850 Lagro, Wabash Co. census he was listed as a cabinet maker with real estate worth $500. Later on he bought a farm and in the 1860 census he was living north of Lagro (Chester area?) and was listed as a farmer with 6 children; he died there on April 13, 1895.
Jacob 1818 married Mary Ann Creamer on 13 January 1842 in Decatur Co., IN and moved from Decatur Co. to Lagro, Wabash Co., IN in 1845. Mary Ann Creamer was born September 20, 1820 in OH and was the daughter of Daniel Creamer and Anna Smysor/Smyer. It is believed Jacob and Mary Ann Creamer Harrell had 7 children, all of whom are identified in the list above. Mary Ann Creamer Harrell died on March 4, 1906. Both Jacob and his spouse Mary are buried in the Hopewell Cemetery in Lagro, Wabash Co., IN.
It is worth noting that in the 1860 Lagro, Wabash Co., IN census for Jacob “Harrall” it lists the following individuals: “Jacob 41, Mary A. 39, Danl 16, Frank M. 13, Thos 11, Mary E. 6, Matilda J. 3, Martha 3”. In this census the twins, age 3, are females and identified as Matilda J. and Martha. A reliable source descending from Jacob 1818 and one of these twins reports these twins are actually “Martha J.” and “James Matthew”. There is no other document confirming both twins are females. In addition, there is a Find-A-Grave posting showing James Matthew Harrell b. 1857 Urbana, Wabash Co., IN, d. August 13, 1942, spouse Rosa E. Harrell, parents Jacob Harrell and Mary Ann Harrell. Perhaps the most telling of documents explaining the error in the 1860 census is a marriage document between Mathew J. Harrell and Rosa E. Burton. So the twins are fraternal and in the 1860 census “Matilda J.” is actually “Matthew J. Harrell”.
Further research into Jacob 1818 has led to speculation that his father is Gabriel Harrell as discussed in Family#5. Pertinent material from Family#5 as related to Gabriel Harrell is repeated herein:
The first known mention of Gabriel Harrell is found in the “Early Ohio Settlers” book (discussed in Family#5) where it states Gabriel Harrell was living in Franklin Co., IN in 1816 (the year Indiana became a state) and purchased land in the Gore Area of Indiana. Gabriel Harrell is found as head of household in both the 1820 Laughery, Dearborn Co., IN census, and in the 1830 Decatur Co., IN census. He died in Decatur Co. on/before 1839 because his probate records were filed in 1839. From census records his birth is calculated to be somewhere between 1780 and 1790; without supporting evidence, 1789 will be his assumed birth year.
It should be noted there is another person named Gabriel Harrell who lived in Wayne Co., IN – he came to Indiana from the Nansemond, VA/Bertie Co., NC area. He was a Quaker who is referenced in an early Quaker meeting held in NC. The parents of this Gabriel are Thomas Harrell and “Amy”. This Gabriel Harrell living in Wayne Co., IN descends from a different Harrell group with roots in NC who are not blood related to Northern Virginia Harrell families (see Family#5 in the Harrell Collaborative for additional details on these NC Harrell families).
The 1820 Dearborn Co., IN census lists Gabriel with 3 males under 10 (born 1810-1819), 1 male 26-under 45 years old (b.1775-1794), and 1 female 10-under 16 years old (born 1805-1810). In the 1830 Decatur Co., IN census it lists Gabriel with 2 males 5-under 10 years old (born 1821-1825), 2 males 10-under 15 years old (born 1816-1820), 1 male 40-under 50 years old (born 1781-1790), 1 female 15-under 20, and 1 female 40-under 50 years old (born 1781-1790). In the 1840 Decatur Co., IN census it shows Rachel “Herrall” (widow of Gabriel) as head of household living with 1 male 15-under 20 years old (born 1821-1825) and 2 males 20-under 30 (born 1810-1820); Rachel was born 1781-1790. The census records do not indicate Gabriel owning any slaves.
Records show Gabriel 1789 married Rachel Toombs on 20 May 1825 in Decatur Co., IN. Rachel was the second spouse of Gabriel. Gabriel’s first wife may have been “Sarah” b. abt. 1795 IN, d. bef. 1820 but the source of this info has not been confirmed and caution is advised.
From Gabriel’s 1839 probate records, there were 3 male Harrells who purchased Gabriel’s appraised assets from his estate: Jacob, John and James. In subsequent probate declarations dealing with the estate’s final distribution, these 3 Harrells were identified as Gabriel’s sons.
Earlier records show Rachel Bridges married Conrad Tomes/Tombs/Toombs (both “natives of Pennsylvania”) about 1811 and they had 2 or 3 children; one was Joseph Tomes who eventually moved to Rush Co., IN, and another child was Sarah or Sally Ann Tombs b. 1812 OH who married Moses Crume in Decatur Co. in 1831. Conrad Toombs died about 1818 in Dearborn, IN. Moses and Sally Ann Tombs Crume had children Joseph H. A. Crume b. 1834 and William A. Crume b. 1835. In the 1850 Lagro, Wabash Co., IN census (after Gabriel had died), it shows head of household Moses A. Crume 42 with spouse Sarah A. Crume 38 and living with them were their children Joseph Crume 17 and William A. Crume 15; also living with them was Rachel Herald 67 who was born PA. Living next door was Jacob Harrell 1818 and his spouse Mary Creamer Harrell. Sarah A. Crume must have died after 1850 as her widowed husband Moses A. Crume married Sarah’s sister Mary Ann (married name Rencker) in 1853. Moses A. Crume married again in 1858, for the third time, to Rachel Taylor in Wabash Co., IN.
Without solid proof it is believed Gabriel’s son “Jacob” is Jacob Harrell 1818 who married Mary Ann Creamer. Jacob 1818 would fit the age of Gabriel’s children as listed in Gabriel’s 1820 and 1830 census records; Jacob Harrell is listed as a son of Gabriel as stated in Gabriel’s probate records, and Jacob 1818 would fit the 1840 Decatur Co. census record with Rachel as head of household living with 3 sons.
The birth date of Gabriel’s other son “John” is not documented but it seems credible that this son “John” is John H. Harrell, age 28, listed as head of household with spouse “Sarah” age 31 years old in the 1850 Clinton Twp., Decatur Co., IN census. In addition to John H. Harrell and spouse Sara, also listed in this census were their children and Elizabeth Harrell age 52 (born 1798). Their children were listed as Eliza F. Harrell 6 and Almira T. From this census, John Harrell age 28 was born about 1822 and his spouse “Sarah” born about 1819. John Harrell 1822 would fit the age range of Gabriel’s children as listed in the 1830 census. John Harrell 1822 could also be living with Rachel Harrell (head of household) in the 1840 Decatur Co., IN census.
In the 1850 Clinton, Decatur Co., IN census, Elizabeth Harrell age 52 born about 1798, living with John H. Harrell, has not been identified. Gabriel does not show a spouse in the 1820 Dearborn Co., IN census, and he married Rachel Toombs in 1825. Elizabeth 1798 could be the mother of John H. but, if so, the 3 young sons of Gabriel who were born 1810-1819 and the 1 female born 1805-1810 as listed in the 1820 census would indicate Elizabeth gave birth at a very early age and separated from Gabriel before 1820. This scenario is possible but not likely, therefore the relationship between Elizabeth and John H. Harrell remains unknown.
Nothing reliable is known about Gabriel Harrell’s other son “James” as identified in Gabriel’s probate records; and the name of Gabriel’s 4th son as identified in the 1830 census remains unknown.
Living next to this John Harrell 1822 in the 1850 census was Phillip Harrell 62 years old (born 1787/88 ), born KY, his spouse Catharine and children Nancy 31, Hannah 25, Mary A. 20, Catharine 17, and Philip 14. This Phillip Harrell 1787 is believed to be a brother of Gabriel and is one of the Butler Co., OH cluster of Harrells (viz., Phillip, William, Nancy Jane, Jesse). Living close to Phillip Harrell 1787 might indicate John Harrell 1822 could be a son of Phillip but there is no evidence that Phillip Harrell 1787 had a son named “John” (Phillip 1787 left a Will that identified all his children). To further support the idea that John 1822 was closely related to Phillip Harrell 1787, Phillip’s Will shows his daughter is Sarah Harrell Pope who is the spouse of William J. Pope. It is believed that John Harrell 1822 married Sarah Pope b. 1819 who is the sister of William J. Pope.
John Harrell 1822 was listed in the 1860 Clinton, Decatur Co., IN census as “J. H. Herrel”, 39 yrs old, with spouse “Mary” (believed to be his second wife), Almira 11, Mary 6 (surname Higgins from Mary’s first marriage), Albert 7 (Higgins), Jas 3 (Higgins), Jane Calvin 42 b. KY (Phillip Marion Harrell, son of Philip Harrell 1787, married Sarah Calvin, daughter of Jane Calvin). John 1822 is also speculated to be “John H. Harrell” in the Civil War Draft Registrations Records 1863-1865 – showing his birth abt 1823 IN, occupation “shoemaker”, living in Williamstown, Decatur Co., IN, age 40 in 1863. In the Find-a-Grave website for John H. Harrell, it shows his birth to be July 9, 1822, death December 10, 1894, spouse Mary E. Harrell, buried in Star Baptist Cemetery in Adams, Decatur Co., IN.
From Family#5, it was speculated that James Harrell Jr. was living in Laughery, Dearborn Co., IN in 1820; also living in Laughery was Gabriel and Phillip Harrell. Living in nearby Caeser Creek in Dearborn Co in 1820 was Jesse Harrell b. abt 1780-1790. Because Phillip, Jesse and William Harrell were living in Butler Co., OH before 1820, coupled with other circumstantial evidence discussed in Family#5, it is speculated that James Harrell Jr. is the father of Gabriel, Phillip, Jesse, and William Harrell (who is the EKA in Family#11). In addition, Moses Harrell 1803 (Family#12) is also speculated to be a son of James Harrell Jr. Although there is little supporting evidence, it is possible James M. Harrell (Family#10) is also a son of James Harrell Jr. or closely related to him in some way.
In summary, the father of EKA Jacob Harrell 1818 is believed to be (no solid proof) Gabriel Harrell b. 1780-1790 who is believed to be (no solid proof) the son of James Harrell Jr. (who is son of James Harrell Sr., who is son of Richard Harrell 1700 in Family#5). Being born 1780-1790 and son of James Harrell Jr., it seems probable that Gabriel was born in KY. From Gabriel’s probate records the brothers of Jacob 1818 are believed to be John H. Harrell 1822 and James Harrell (no knowledge of James’ spouse or children).