Addendum to Family #2 – EKA Reuben Harrell’s Son William

Last Updated on 5 Apr 2021

Rebecca Harrell, the d/o William Harrell and Theodosia UNK (1st wife), was born about 1806 in Floyd Co., KY and married Henry Nunn in Floyd Co. on Nov 30, 1823 (identified as Rebecca Herrell). Her father William Harrell (born about 1772 Dunmore Co., VA, death year/location not documented, s/o EKA Reuben Harrell) married a second time to Margaret “Peggy” Ratliff/Radcliff/Radclift (maiden name) on May 8, 1817 in Floyd Co., KY. Margaret was formerly married to Ezekail Droody/Doody/Droddy/Droodey. William Harrell married a third time to Patsy Bazil/Bizwell April 6, 1824 in Floyd Co., KY. William Harrell was identified in these Floyd Co., KY census records: 1810 (b. 1766-1784), 1820 (b. bef 1775), 1830 (b. 1770-1780) and was also found in the 1840 census of Greenup Co., KY (b. 1770-1780). From these census records, the birth year of William Harrell was estimated to be about 1772.

Confusion surrounding this William Harrell 1772 and daughter Rebecca began with an 1850 Wayne Co., VA census showing a family headed by Moses Damron 60 yrs old VA, spouse Rebecca 45 yrs old KY, with children: Richard 15 VA, George 13 VA, William & Nara (twins) 11 VA, Thomas 9 VA, Elifus 7 VA, David 5 VA , Washington 3 VA, Vashti 1 VA, and William Herald 81 “unknown”. Who is this Rebecca, spouse to Moses Damron, and who is the William Herald 81 years old living with her and Moses? A marriage record shows Rebecca Herald married Moses Damron in 1835 in Wayne Co., VA. Could this Rebecca be the daughter of William Harrell 1772, s/o EKA Reuben Harrell, and could this William Herald 81 be William Harrell 1772? From this 1850 census, the births of Rebecca in about 1805 KY and William Herald in about 1769 could possibly fit within William Harrell’s family as we know it.

If Rebecca Herald Damron is the daughter of William Harrell 1772, then Rebecca must have separated from her first husband Henry Nunn, or Henry Nunn died before Rebecca married Moses Damron in 1735. No credible information has been found regarding the whereabouts of Rebecca’s husband Henry Nunn following their 1823 marriage. The name “Henry Nunn” can be found in the 1840 and 1850 Clairborne Co., TN census records; in the 1850 census he is with spouse “Mary” (also 50 yrs old) and several children. The same Henry Nunn is found in the 1860 Arrand, Mendocino Co., CA census (60 yrs) with spouse Mary A. Nunn (60 yrs). There is also a Henry S. Nunn with spouse Mary P. Nunn in census records but none of these “Henry Nunn” individuals can reliably be linked to Rebecca’s spouse Henry Nunn whom she married in 1823.

A DNA donor with a Herald surname claims he descends from James Riley Herald whose father is William Herald and whose sister is Rebecca who married Moses Damron. This DNA donor also claims that William Herald had another son named Enoch, with both sons born in the 1820s. James Riley Herald is living near Rebecca and her spouse Moses Damron in the 1850 census. The 25 and 37 marker DNA profiles of this Herald DNA donor do not match any Herald or Harrell.

It is possible that Rebecca Herald, spouse of Moses Damron, and the elderly male William Herald living with her in 1850, are Rebecca Harrell and her father William Harrell 1772 (son of EKA Reuben Harrell). At this time, however, it is felt there is too much uncertainty to link Rebecca Herald and (probably) her father William Herald (along with James Riley Herald and Enoch Herald) to EKA Reuben Harrell. In addition, in this 3 generation descendancy of EKA Reuben Harrell, the stated birth year of Rebecca Harrell, d/o William Harrell 1772, was chosen as 1806 simply based on a best guess and to avoid stating her birth in 1805. Her birth in 1805 is quite possible but was not selected because it was felt this would uncomfortably link Rebecca to the 1850 census where she is shown to be 45 years and married to Moses Damron.

Welcome to the Harrell Collaborative Forums Addendum to Family #2 – EKA Reuben Harrell’s Son William

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    • David Damron posted #1316

      I can’t believe I found this today. Rebecca Herald Damron was my 3x great grandmother. I have a photo of her son George Wesley Damron. I don’t know if I have much I can add to the information you have. On ancestry the sources I have for her are the 1850 and 1860 censuses. With the name William as her father in the 1850 census I created a William Herald profile and have 2 sources for him I hope might be helpful. In the West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973 FHL Film Number 583481 he is listed as dead in 1860 in Wayne, West Virginia. and in Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 a William Herald is listed in Pulaski, County with 50 acres on Buck Creek in Book P. Another record that might be connected is in the West Virginia, Compiled Census, Index, 1860-1890 page 026 where a William Herald is listed as living in Cabell C.H. P.O., Cabell County, West Virginia. Another thing is I have no records for her after the 1860 census. She had 9 children with Moses Damron so maybe some of their descendants will know more. I have met some of them though Facebook and will see what I can dig up. Rebecca Herald had 7 sons with Moses Damron who fought in the Civil War 6 for the North 1 for the South. Moses was considerably old than Rebecca when they married he already had 8 children with his first wife Polly Preston. Through hints I do have her mother as Patsy Ratcliff 1764-1810 although I have yet to find sources to verify that. Thank you for your post and I am more motivate than ever to discover more. I will share this will friends on facebook and members of the Dameron/Damron family association. I hope they might know more about Rebecca. I don’t know much about DNA would any descendants of Moses and Rebecca be helpful in your research?

      • Bill Thielbahr posted #1336

        I apologize for not responding sooner but I could not get ready access to a computer until recently. Your posting adds more smoke to this mystery of whether Rebecca Herald Damron is related to EKA Reuben Harrell through Reuben’s son William Harrell. Your mention of “hints” that Rebecca’s mother is Patsy Ratcliff certainly tightens the possible bond to William Harrell since Patsy Ratcliff is thought to be William’s second wife. And we do know that some of Reuben’s relatives did live in Pulaski Co., VA, but to my knowledge they did not include his son William Harrell. Unless more information can be found through your sources, DNA matching would seem to be the best chance of proving a bond. You will need to find a male Herald descendant of William Herald (assumed father of Rebecca) who would agree to take the DNA test. FamilyTreeDNA is the company doing most of the Harrell DNA testing and thus far there is over 150 Harrell DNA donors. Knowing the DNA profile of this William Herald descendant will tell us if William Herald is blood related to Reuben Harrell (unless an adoption or illicit relationships took place). As mentioned in the narrative above, a person claiming to be a descendant of William Herald did take the DNA test and his DNA profile did not match the profile of Reuben Harrell’s descendants. A second DNA profile from another of William Herald’s male descendants would hopefully confirm that William Herald is not blood related to Reuben Harrell. Please email me at if you need further info.

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