Family #11 – EKA William Harrell 1785

Last Updated on 5 Apr 2021

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:

  1. Elizabeth Harrell b. 1810 OH, d. abt. 1838 OH, m. John Harter;
  2. Jesse Harrell b. 1813 OH, d. 1900 OH, m. Sarah Marcellus;
  3. John M. Harrell b. 1815 OH, perhaps died early;
  4. William M. Harrell b. 1817 OH, d. 1857 OH, m. (1) Catherine Primer; (2) Hannah Kendle;
  5. Lydia Harrell b. 1820 OH, d. 1892 OH, m. John Campbell;
  6. David M. Harrell b. 1823 OH, d. 1860-1868 OH, m. Sarah G. Kretzinger;
  7. George M. Harrell b. 1826 OH, d. 1909 MI, m. (1) Amanda J. Hughes, (2) Mary A. Fought;
  8. Jane Harrell b. 1830 OH, d. 1890 MI, m. John Robart;
  9. James M. Harrell b. 1833 OH, d. 1916 MN, m. Phoebe Kilgore;
  10. Martha Harrell b. 1837 OH, d. 1919 OH, m. Moses German.

This William Harrell 1785 has an interesting migration path:

    (a) He was born 1785 somewhere in VA;
    (b) He married Martha Mellinger in 1809 in Miami Co., OH and had an early son Jesse born 1813 in Butler Co., OH;
    (c) He was in Shelby Co., OH in 1820 (census); and
    (d) He moved north to Paulding Co., OH in 1828 where he died in 1850.

Except for William Harell 1785, there is no record of any Harrell family living in or near Paulding Co., OH.

Records in Butler Co., OH show the following cluster of Harrells living there during 1805-1825: Philip b. 1787 KY, Jesse b. abt 1780-1790, William b. 1785 VA, and Nancy Ann b. 1796 KY. These Butler Co. Harrells are discussed in Family#5, Family#10 and Family#11, and all but Nancy Ann 1796 are speculated to be sons of James Harrell Jr., son of James Harrell Sr. (who is a son of Richard Harrell b. 1700). There is no solid information, however, proving James Harrell Jr. is their father. The Y-DNA donor of EKA William Harrell 1785 could not identify William’s parents or siblings or where William was born in Virginia. Information about William Harrell 1785 was gathered from (a) the male Y-DNA donor, (b) Pam Harrell Whiteside (deceased in 2010) who is a descendant of William Harrell, and (c) the Harrell research team aided by others.

Martha Mellinger was born 1792 in Boone Co., KY, and married William Harrell in 1809 in Miami Co., OH. Jesse Harrell, their first son, was born 1813 in Butler Co., OH. William Harrell 1785 moved from Butler Co., OH to Shelby Co., OH and is listed in the 1820 Federal census for Shelby Co. William Harrell then moved to Paulding Co., OH in 1827 and was one of the original settlers of Washington Township (the first settler being Joseph Mellinger in 1826). From the “Historical Atlas of Paulding Co. OH” (1892) it was stated that the “first white child born in the township was Martha Harrell”, daughter of William Harrell and Martha Mellinger. One of the villages of the township was Murat and it was laid out in 1853 by Jesse Harrell. In another reference book “History of Northwestern Ohio & History of Paulding Co.” (1882) similar references to William Harrell were found including an article on Jesse “Harroll”, son of William 1785.

Pamela Harrell Whiteside (dec’d), who descended from William’s son David M. Harrell, posted information on GenForum beginning in 2000 that indicated William Harrell 1785 came to Paulding Co. with 3 sisters: one sister marrying Mr. Crane, another sister marrying Mr. Floods, and the third sister marrying a Mr. Whitecotten. Pamela Whiteside said the source of this info was a “Paulding County history book” which has not been found after repeated attempts made by the Paulding County Genweb Coordinator. However, an 1819 deed in Butler Co., OH was found involving Richard W. Crane and Mary Crane and witnessed by William “Harel”. Pamela Whiteside also posted that sons of the 3 sisters “also went to Paulding Co. and the Crane parents were killed by Indians”. All attempts to identity these 3 sisters and who they married have been unsuccessful.

From census records, William 1785 was listed as being born in Virginia. Being born 1785 VA makes it possible (likely) William 1785 descends from (possibly a grandson of) one of the 6 sons of Richard 1700 (discussed in Family#5). It is likely that of these 6 sons, William Harrell 1785 descended from either James Sr., William, or Moses Sr., each moving from VA to Nelson Co., KY in or after 1780. Naming William Harrell’s first son “Jesse” (b. 1813) could suggest a close relationship with the Jesse Harrell b. abt 1780 who lived in Butler Co., OH with William 1785. It has been speculated in Famlies#5 & #12 that Jesse 1780 and William 1785 and Moses Harrell 1803 (discussed in Family#12 and whose first son was also named Jesse) are all sons of James Harrell Jr., who is son of James Harrell Sr. Other sons of James Harrell Jr. are speculated to be Phillip Harrell 1787, Gabriel Harrell b. abt 1789, and possibly James M. Harrell (Family#10).

Most of the documented information about Jesse Harrell comes from Federal Census records and a marriage document. On October 15, 1812 in Butler Co., OH Jesse Harrell (spelled “Herret”) married Hannah Frakes with J. Mills as the J.P. Also married in Butler Co. about the same timeframe was Phillip Harrell, Nancy Ann Harrell, and Hannah Harrell (daughter of Chester Harrell). Judging from this cluster of marriages in Butler Co., OH occurring about the same timeframe, one might speculate a close relationship existed between Jesse, Phillip, Nancy Ann, and William Harrell.

Jesse “Harrall” is listed as head of household in the 1820 Caesar Creek, Dearborn Co., IN census with 2 males less than 10 years old, 2 males 26-45 years old, 1 female under 10 and 1 female 16-26. In the 1830 Decatur Co., IN census it shows “Jessee Herrel” with 1 male under 5, 3 males 5-10 years old, 1 male 40-50, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 10-15, and 2 females 15-20. Jesse could not be found in census records after 1830 suggesting he died before 1840. It appears as though his spouse Hannah was not living with Jesse in 1830. From this census info, Jesse Harrell was born 1780-1790 and lived in the same area of Decatur Co. as did Phillip Harrell and Gabriel Harrell. Apparently, Jesse Harrell did not own any slaves.

No documents have yet been found identifying all the children of Jesse and Hannah Frakes Harrell. The following information about their children is admittedly sparse: William – Death Certificate and Find-A-Grave; Elias – Marriage and Death Certificate; Lucinda – 1870 and 1880 Morgan Co., IN census records. From this limited information, the children of Jesse and Hannah Frakes Harrell are believed to be (1) William Harrell b. 1817 Decatur Co., IN, d. 1900 Waverly, Morgan Co., IN, married “Mary”, children: William b. 1843, and Abram C. b. 1845; (2) Elias Harrell b. 1824 Decatur Co., IN, d. 1910 Harrison, Morgan Co., IN; and (3) Lucinda Harrell b. 1830 IN. If Jesse’s first known child was named “William” and William Harrell 1785 of Butler Co. named his first child “Jesse” – this suggests a close relationship.

As stated previously, there was a very close relationship between the Crume family, headed by Phillip Daniel Crume Sr. 1724-1801, and the Harrells who moved from VA to Nelson Co. in the early 1780s. All the early Harrells who lived in Nelson Co. (viz. Moses Sr., James Sr. and William) lived close to Crume family members. The Crume family also lived very close to these Harrells in Frederick Co., VA several years before moving to Nelson Co., KY. It is possible Phillip Harrell 1787 who lived in Butler Co. with Jesse Harrell b. 1780-1790 was named after Phillip Daniel Crume 1724.

Phillip Crume Sr. 1724 had at least 17 children (12 children with first wife Sarah Margaret Withers b. 1730, d. 1787, m. 1749; and 5 children with second wife Anna Barrett b. 1769, d. 1848, m. 1788). Children with Sarah Margaret Withers include (1) Elizabeth Crume b. 1762, d. 1801-1810 (spouse of James Harrell 1762), (2) Daniel Crume b. 1758, d. abt. 1824 who lived in Butler Co. with Jesse Harrell, Phillip Harrell, William Harrell, and Nancy Ann Harrell, and who sold property to Phillip Harrell 1787 in Decatur Co., IN (3) Jesse Crume b. 1760, d. 1824 Nelson Co., KY, and (4) Rev. Moses Crume b. 1766, d. 1839 in Butler Co., OH. Because they lived so close to each other for so long, it would not be surprising if Jesse Harrell of Butler Co., IN was named after Jesse Crume.

Judging from Jesse’s birth range 1780-1790, he could be a son of either James Harrell 1762 (son of Moses Harrell Sr.), James Harrell Jr. (son of James Harrell Sr.), or William (son of Richard Harrell 1700) of Nelson Co. No evidence, however, has been found that James Harrell 1762 and William/Susannah Harrell had a son named “Jesse”.

Lacking additional information, it is speculated that the father of Jesse Harrell is probably James Harrell Jr. who is also believed to be the father of Gabriel 1789, Phillip 1787, Moses 1803, William 1785, and possibly James M. Harrell (discussed in Family#10).

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