Family #6 – EKA Ephraim Harrell 1797

Last Updated on 11 Apr 2021

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.

It was first thought Ephraim Harrell died or disappeared shortly after his son Moses 1833 was born but this was found to be incorrect; Ephraim was found in the 1840 Knox Co., IN census (listed under “Herseld”). There is no known record of his birth, death, parents, or siblings. No Will or probate records have been found. Using the 1840 census, which is the last known record of Ephraim Harrell, his death is assumed to be sometime before 1850. A marriage record exists, however, showing Ephraim married Eleanor Rogers in Nelson Co., KY on August 1, 1819.

Ephraim Harrell was found only in the 1830 and 1840 Knox Co., IN census records. He has not been found in any 1820 census. From these census records his birth is estimated to be 1791-1800. The DNA donor speculated Ephraim was born about 1797 which will be used in this narrative. His spouse Eleanor “Ellen” Rogers Harrell, born about 1801 VA, is listed as head of household in the 1850 Knox Co., IN census living with some of her children including Moses.

The 1819 marriage record of Ephraim and Eleanor Rogers is very important because it places Ephraim in Nelson County, KY at the same time as certain sons of Richard Harrell Sr. (Family #5); viz., William, Moses Sr., and James Sr. As shown later, census information pertaining to specific sons of Ephraim/Eleanor shows Ephraim was born in Kentucky and Eleanor was born in Virginia. Living in the same area of Kentucky as Richard’s 3 sons is a strong clue supporting the belief that Ephraim probably descended from of one of these sons.

Ephraim is not a common name in Harrell families. The earliest known Ephraim Harrell is a son born June 11, 1816 to EKA John Harrell (born 1785) and Sarah Batman of Family #13. This John Harrell is believed to be the son of James Harrell b. 1762 who is a son of Moses Harrell Sr. There is another Ephraim Harrell born 1855 to William Chester Harrell who is son of Isaac Harrell who is son of Moses Harrell Sr. There is no known Ephraim Harrell in the families of William Sr. and James Sr. who are brothers of Moses Sr.; however, not much is known about the children of James Harrell Sr.

Sons of Ephraim Harrell

From primarily census records, it is believed that Ephraim and “Ellen” Harrell had (at least) the following children, all of whom except for Christopher were born in Knox Co., IN:

  1. Christopher Columbus “Lum” Harrell, b. 1819/1820 KY, d. abt 1852, married Nancy Ann Smith in 1841;
  2. William D. Harrell, b. abt 1826 Knox Co., IN, married Emily E. Harvey abt 1845;
  3. Isaac Harrell, b. 1829 Knox Co., IN, d. after 1880 in probably IN, married (1) Elizabeth Lynville in 1849, and (2) Elizabeth Delk in 1865 in Knox Co., IN;
  4. Henry Harrell, b. 1830 Knox Co., IN;
  5. Moses Harrell, b. 1833 Knox Co., IN, d. 1899 Knox Co., IN (buried in Hamline Chapel Cemetery), married Minerva Sampson in 1851;
  6. Ephraim Harrell, b. 1834 Knox Co., IN, d. 1900 Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN, married (1) Anna Teague in 1852, and (2) Sarah A. McHolland in 1864;
  7. Mathias Harrell b. 1840 Knox Co., IN, d. 1904 in Knox Co., IN, married (1) Harriet Julia Sampson in 1866, and (2) Hannah A. Skeen in 1876.

Some of these children can be found living with Ellen Harrell, head of household, in the 1850 Knox Co., IN census; viz., Henry, Moses, Ephraim and Mathias. The other children, William, Isaac and Christopher, were listed as heads of their household in the 1850 Knox Co., IN census records.

Christopher, Son of Ephraim Harrell

The name “Christopher” is most uncommon among the Harrell families and to be called Christopher Columbus “Lum” Harrell suggests his name was not selected from a close relative/friend. From the 1850 census, Christopher was born 1819/1820 in Kentucky (Christopher Herold 31 yrs in the 1850 Knox Co. census), and died about 1852 in Knox Co., IN. The source of his middle name(s) and death date comes from a posting on Christopher married Nancy Ann Smith on March 8, 1841 in Hamline Chapel, Knox Co., IN. She was born abt 1822 in Claremont, Belmont Co., OH and died abt 1855 in IN. Christopher’s 1819/1820 birth in KY, shortly after Ephraim and Ellen were married, is the last known record of Ephraim Harrell living in Kentucky. Christopher’s children, all of whom were born Knox Co., IN, are: (1) William H. Harrell b. abt 1841; (2) Ephraim Perry Harrell b. abt 1846, d. 1862 Knox Co., IN; (3) James “Henderson” Harrell b. 1847 Vincennes, Knox Co., d. 1929 Thomas Co., NE, married (1) Mary Elizabeth Scott in 1870, and (2) Viola Wyatt in 1913; (4) Sarah Ellen Harrell b. 1849, d. 1926 Knox Co., IN, married George Joel Chamberlain in 1869.

William, Son of Ephraim Harrell

William D. Harrell, the known next oldest child of Ephraim and Ellen Harrell, was born abt 1826 in Knox Co., IN. His birth year is about 6 years later than Christopher which suggests there could have been additional children born between 1821–1826. William married Emily Harvey abt. 1845 in Hamline Chapel, Knox Co., IN. Children of William and Emily Harrell, all of whom were born and died in Knox Co. are: (1) Ellen Harrell b. abt 1846; (2) William H. Harrell b. abt 1849; (3) Sarah Harrell b. 1851; (4) John Henry Harrell b. 1853, d. 1886, married Eliza Jane Bowman in 1874; (5) James A. Harrell b. abt 1857; (6) Mary P. Harrell b. 1860.

Isaac, Son of Ephraim Harrell

Isaac Harrell was born about 1829 in Knox Co., IN and died sometime after 1880 as he was listed in the 1880 Harrison, Knox Co., IN census (last known record of Isaac Harrell). He married (1) Elizabeth Lynville in 1849 in Daviess Co., IN, and (2) Elizabeth Delk in 1865 in Knox Co. (Elizabeth Delk was first married to Leonard Jerrell in 1853). The known children of Isaac and Elizabeth Lynville, all of whom were born Knox Co., are: (1) Sarah E. Harrell b. abt 1850; (2) Emily Jane Harrell b. abt 1852, d. abt 1877, married James Henry Adams in 1869; (3) Harriet Harrell, b. abt 1854, (4) Mathias Harrell b. abt 1856; (5) Mack Harrell b. abt 1858, married Eliz Marcey in 1878; (6) Samuel Harrell b. 1861, d. 1946 MO, married Caroline Morning in abt 1882 in MO, divorced and remarried her in 1933 in Missouri. The known children of Isaac and Elizabeth Delk are: (1) Sherman Albert Harrell b. 1868 Knox Co., d. 1953 Knox Co., married Lillie May McCormick in 1898; (2) William Harrison Harrell b. 1869, d. 1958, married Mary “Aunt Dutch” Helderman in 1893; (3) Ephraim Harrell b. abt 1874 Knox Co., d. aft 1910; (4) Mary Catherine Harrell b. 1875 either Knox Co. or Pike Co., IN, d. aft 1940, Knox Co., married Jacob Albert Wilson in 1894.

Isaac Harrell was also listed in the 1870 Knox Co., IN census (with second wife) but his last known record is the 1880 Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN census where he is listed as “Harrold” with spouse Eliza and children Sherman, William, “Ephrahan”, Katharine, and stepson John Jerrell. In this 1880 census, it’s suspected the census taker mistakenly lists Isaac’s father as being born VA and mother born KY (switching mother’s and father’s birth state).

Henry, Son of Ephraim Harrell

Henry Harrel was born 1830. Nothing more is known about him.

Moses, Son of Ephraim Harrell

More is known about Moses Harrell than any other child of Ephraim and Eleanor “Ellen” Harrell. He was born March 16, 1833, died March 11, 1899, and never left Knox Co., IN. He married Minerva Sampson in 1851 Knox Co., IN who was also born Knox Co. in 1832 and died Knox Co. in 1908. Their known children, all of whom were born in Knox Co., are: (1) Rebecca Harrell b. 1854, d. 1871, married Peyton Johnson Colvin Jr. in 1871; (2) Hiram Monroe Harrell b. 1856, d. 1935, married (1) Isolina Jane Rose in 1878, and (2) Laura Mirana Soden in 1925; (3) Harriet Harrell b. 1860, d. bef 1870; (4) Mary E. Harrell b. 1862, d. 1949, married Elijah Warner in 1885; (5) Minerva Harrell b. 1863, d. 1940, married John Lewis Ray in 1878; (6) Lavina Harrell b. November 1863, d. 1949, married John W. Kitterman in 1887; (7) Rolla Martin Harrell b. 1867, d. 1942, unmarried; (8) Tabitha Belle Harrell b. 1869, d. 1937, married Dallas McCoy in 1900; (9) Emery Harrell b. 1871, d. 1871; (10) Ida Belle Harrell b. 1872, d. 1941 Chicago, Cook Co., IL, married William Eber Osborn in 1896.

Moses Harrell (Harrold) is listed in the 1880 Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN census showing his father being born KY and mother being born VA.

Ephraim, Son of Ephraim Harrell

Ephraim Harrell was born 1834 in Knox Co., IN and died 1900 in Harrison, Knox Co., IN. He married twice. He married his first wife Anna Teague in 1852 and they had one child – Alford A. Harrell who lived most/all of his life in Knox Co., IN, b. 1852, d. 1903, married (1) Sarah Alice Stafford in 1871, and (2) Margaret Unknown in 1891. Ephraim married his second wife Sarah McHolland in 1864 and they had 5 children, all born in Knox Co., IN: (1) Mary E. Harrell b. 1866, d. 1943, married Mason F. Sherman in 1883; (2) Martha J. Harrell b. 1867; (3) James A. Harrell b. 1872, married Maude J. Currell/Carrell/Carrol; (4) John H. Harrell b. 1877; (5) Dora Harrell b. 1883.
He is listed in the 1900 Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN census as being widowed and living with a son James and a daughter Dora.

Mathias, Son of Ephraim Harrell

Mathias Harrell was born 1840 in Knox Co., IN and died 1904 in Knox Co., IN. He married twice, both times in Knox Co., IN, and all his children were born in Knox Co., IN. He married his first wife Harriet Julia Sampson in 1866 Knox Co., IN and they had two children: (1) Harriet Etta Harrell b. 1867, d. 1928 Knox Co., IN, married Thomas C. Stroud about 1887; and (2) William T. Harrell b. 1869, d. 1940 Knox Co., IN, married Matilda Louise “Tillie” Cooper in 1890. Mathias married his second wife Hannah A. Skeen in 1876 and they had 2 children: (1) Alford A. Harrell b. 1878, d. 1935 in Memphis, Shelby Co., IN, married Alice Mary Rose in 1897, divorced before 1920; and (2) Mary J. Harrell b. 1880, d. at a young age in Knox Co., IN.

Mathias is listed in the 1900 Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN census with his spouse Hannah A. Harrell, son Alford Harrell, and his daughter-in-law Alice Harrell. In this census Mathias lists his father as born KY and mother born VA.

The known sons of Ephraim in order of their birth are Christopher, William, Isaac, Henry, Moses, Ephraim (Jr.), and Mathias. William, Isaac and Moses are very common names found in the descendants of Moses Sr. Ephraim is not a common name in Harrell families but, interestingly, the earliest known “Ephraim” Harrell descending from Richard Harrell 1700 is Ephraim Porter Harrell b. 1855 to William C. Harrell b. 1812 who is son of Isaac Harrell b. 1777, d. Todd Co., KY, who is son of Moses Harrell Sr. It may be more than coincidence that the father, grandfather, and ggrandfather of Ephraim Porter Harrell 1855 (viz., William, Isaac, Moses) are in almost exactly the same order as the order of birth of the children of Ephraim Harrell 1797.

Complicating this picture of Ephraim Harrell is a Nelson Co., KY court record acknowledging that Noah Harrell, son of Moses Sr., had an illegitimate son born to Susannah Curtsinger on April 13, 1794. There is no name given to this child in the court record and his whereabouts are unknown. Noah is known to have had (at least) 12 children with his only known spouse, Elizabeth Blue, who married Noah Harrell on December 1, 1795. Their first known child was born 1796. If Noah Harrell’s illegitimate son is Ephraim Harrell, he would have been born April 13, 1794. Ephraim’s 1797 birth year is merely an estimate from the DNA donor; the census info shows Ephraim being born 1791-1800. It is interesting that the names of Noah’s sons with Elizabeth Blue are Uriah, Moses, Noah, Blue, William, Isaac, James, Blackford, John, and Michael. This suite of names includes those found in the families of the early Knox Co., IN settlers William, Isaac, John, and Ephraim of Knox Co., IN.

Possible Close Relatives of Ephraim Harrell

It is known that Ephraim was in Kentucky in 1820 and left thereafter for Knox Co., IN. Yet no record of Ephraim, other than his marriage in 1819, has been found in Kentucky – the 1820 KY census does not list him. He may have lived with his parents in 1820 or he may have been enroute to Knox Co., IN in 1820 when the census was taken. In what follows, information is presented and discussed that offers insight as to possible relatives of Ephraim Harrell.

It is possible Ephraim Harrell is related to John Herrel, Isaac Herrel, and William Herrel who are listed in the 1820 Knox Co., IN census (August 7, 1820), Palmyra Township. From this census and info in Family#5, Isaac was born 1781-1790, John was born 1785, and William was born abt 1793, and all had relatively young families. John Herrell is shown with 6 children: 5 males under 10 years old, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 26-45 (spouse). Isaac Herrel is listed with 5 children: 2 males under 10, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 26-45 (spouse). William Herrel has 3 children: 1 male under 10, 2 females under 10, 1 female 16-26 (spouse). Their speculated ages in 1820, their estimated marriage dates and locations, and with all of them living in Palmyra, Knox Co. in 1820, raises suspicion they could be closely related and possibly related to Ephraim Harrell 1797.

Isaac Herrel/Harrell of the 1820 Knox Co., Census

Isaac Harrell married Phebe Mahuron/Mahurin in Shelby Co., KY on September 24, 1806. Phebe was born about 1788 and her death date is unknown. Phebe’s parents were Silas Mahurin b. 1744 NJ, d. 1822 Grayson Co., KY and Sarah Unknown (Note: Within the family of Moses Harrell Sr. there are relationships with the Mahurins.). Shelby Co. adjoins Nelson Co. and was formed from Jefferson Co. in 1792 (Nelson Co. was formed from Jefferson Co. in 1784). Also in 1792, Washington Co. was formed from Jefferson Co. and both Washington Co. and neighboring Shelby Co. were situated on the northern boundary of Nelson Co. It is important to understand that both William Harrell, his brother Moses Harrell Sr., and perhaps their brother James Sr., all sons of EKA Richard Harrell (Family #5), owned land and lived in this area of Nelson Co./Washington Co. in this time period.

From his marriage date of 1806 and the 1820 census information, it is estimated Isaac was born 1781-1790 (one unsourced piece of information indicates he may have been born 1782). Isaac apparently lived in KY after his 1806 marriage in Shelby Co. until at least 1818 when his son “John” was born (discussed below). No record of Isaac Harrell was found after the 1820 Knox Co., IN census thus suggesting he either died before the next census was taken in 1830 or he moved elsewhere. The death date of his wife Phebe is unknown but she was shown as living with her son John Harrel in the 1850 (Subdivision 61) and 1860 (Steen) Knox Co., IN census records. There is a Kentucky marriage record of Phebe Mahuron to David Graves on April 26, 1821 – it is not known if Isaac Harrell’s spouse married twice but this marriage record may indicate Isaac died shortly after the 1820 census.

In the 1820 Knox Co. census, one of Isaac’s two sons under 10 yrs is believed to be “John” as found in the 1850 and 1860 census records in Knox Co. In the 1850 census “John Harrel” is listed without a spouse, being 32 yrs old, born KY, with daughter Martha 13, son Isaac 11, and Phebe Harrel 62 born NJ. In the 1860 census, “John Herrell”, 43 yrs old and born KY, is listed with spouse Elvira, 1 son William “Harrell” 6 yrs old, and Pheba Herrell 73 born SC (which is assumed to be an error as she was born NJ)..

There are a number of factors supporting speculation that Isaac Harrell descended in some way from Moses Harrell Sr: (a) Isaac is about the same age as William and John who are both sons of James Harrell 1762 who is a son of Moses Harrell Sr. (discussed in Family#5, and Family#13); (b) Isaac, William and John all lived in Palmyra, Knox Co., IN township in 1820; and (c) Isaac, William and John all married in the same general area of KY at about the same time. These factors, however, are insufficient in determining how Isaac Harrell b. 1781-1790 relates to William, John, and Ephraim Harrell, and determining the identity of Isaac’s parents/siblings.

William Herrel/Harrell of the 1820 Knox Co., in Census

In the 1830 Knox Co., IN census (no township identified) we see the same William Herrel who is listed in the 1820 census together with Ephraim Herrel and his family; both of their birth years within the same range (1791 – 1800) and having children with similar ages. William Herrel has 7 children and Ephraim has 4.

The family of this William Herrel/Harrell was discussed in depth in Family#5 and his parents are believed to be James Harrell 1762 who is a son of Moses Sr.

John Herrel/Harrell of the 1820 Knox Co., in Census

We find a John Herrel born 1780-1790 in the 1830 Greene Co., IN census. Greene Co. was formed from Knox Co. in 1821 so we have some confidence that this John Herrel in 1830 Greene Co. is the same John Herrel as listed in the 1820 Knox Co. census. No record of this John Herrel/Harrell has been found following the 1830 census suggesting he probably died before the 1840. Information provided by Jim Sparks, traceable to the Harrell Farm, Richland Township, Greene Co., IN, indicates John Herrel/Harrell died September 19, 1830. This John Harrell married Sarah Batman March 15, 1810 in Nelson Co., KY (Nelson Co., KY Marriage Bonds, 1785-1832, Vol. 1, by Mary Harrel Stancliff, 1962). This John Harrell is also the EKA of Family #13 and was discussed in Family#5. It is believed he is a son of James Harrell 1762 who in turn is son of Moses Harrell Sr.

Judging from (a) where Ephraim Harrell 1797 married in KY (viz., Nelson Co.); (b) Ephraim living in the same Knox Co., IN area as William and John Herrel (believed to be brothers) in 1830, and (c) the similarity of Ephraim’s children’s names to those names of Moses Harrell Sr.’s children and grandchildren, it is speculated that Ephraim 1797 probably descended through one of the children of Moses Harrell Sr. He could be the illegitimate son of Noah Harrell, son of Moses Sr. It is possible Ephraim could be a son of James Harrell 1762 in spite of finding no documentation. Without additional information, it is not possible to identify the parents/siblings of Ephraim Harrell 1797.

A listing of all known descendants of Ephraim Harrell (1797) is provided through the first 3 generations.

Welcome to the Harrell Collaborative Forums Family #6 – EKA Ephraim Harrell 1797

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    • johar58 posted #1402

      I can assist with bringing you a little more current. My name is Joan Harrell, my father’s name was James Elburn Harrell DOB 03/26/1912. He was the youngest son of Alford (which is misspelled above) and Alice (Rose) Harrell. Their children are as follows: Paul M. Harrell, Charlie Harrell, Clara Harrell, and, my father, James E Harrell.

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