Harrell/Harris of Shelby Co., KY and Ripley Co., IN

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    • barryrsmith posted #1798

      (Sorry if this is already well-covered under the 14 families, but I didn’t see it in my initial search)

      I descend from Martha Harrell who married Joshua Harris. He was born in the 1750s, served in the Virginia Line, then reportedly married Martha in 1788 in Washington County, Tennessee. His marriage and family are described in a deposition from his Rev. War pension application. He was in Shelby County, Kentucky, appearing in a tax list there in 1801 and subsequent years. He consistently appeared there in tax lists neighboring James Herrald, both shown as having land on Six Mile Creek. In the 1810 census are found consecutive households with heads John Herrald, Joshua Harris, and James Herrald. Joshua and Martha’s daughters Sarah and Cassaner/Suzannah Harris married Absalom Harrell and James Harrell. I would guess these were two of the sons in either John or James Harrell’s households.

      Many online trees state that James was a son of “John David Harrell.” I have not seen primary evidence of a man of this name in that place at that time, when it was unusual to have a middle name, and I see lots of trees with two other “John David Harrells” born around the same time and going very different ways. It smells to me like the stench of a bunch of garbage conflations.

      On the other hand, I have autosomal DNA matches to several purported descendants of John David Harrell, so it seems to me that Martha and or James/John living next door to her were likely siblings. The lack of a John in the tax lists in Shelby County, and his being reportedly under 45 in the 1810 census, suggests to me that he was not the patriarch of this family group. In any case, it disagrees with him being the John David Harrell supposedly born around 1763, and I see no evidence of the name “David” being assigned to that John.

      I am wondering if this family has been studied by this group (I have no idea if they came from Virginia, other than their connection with the Harris family that was known to have come from Virginia.) Thanks for your help/time.


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