Harrell Families

of Early

Hertford County, North Carolina

   

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HarrellFamilies (Home Page)

Introduction

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 (The Early Harrells in America)

Chapter 2 (Harrells in Chowan County & the Gates area)

Chapter 3 (Harrells in Bertie & the Hertford County area)

Chapter 5 (John T., Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, Thomas Two & their descendants)

Chapter 6 (Nathan & Elizabeth's Known Descendants)

Chapter 7 (John [b. c. 1794] & Winnifred Harrell, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 8 (Josiah & Anna Harrell, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 9 (Elizabeth Harrell & Silas Parker, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 10 (Immigrants to the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells)

Chapter 11 (Immigrants to the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells)

 

Chapter 4: Hertford County’s 1st, 2nd, &

3rd Generations

 

            Hertford County officially came into existence on May 1, 1759. It was composed of northern Bertie County, northern Chowan County, and a little bit of Northampton County. I am most of all concerned with the area that remained Hertford County after 1779 when that part of Hertford County cut from Chowan County, the area northeast of the Chowan River, became part of another new county called Gates. There are very few remaining records of the people who lived in Hertford County during that first twenty years of its existence, and what records do exist, obviously contain people who lived on the northeast side of the Chowan River, and who were only residents of Hertford County for the first twenty years, then they were Gates County residents. By using a working definition of Hertford County as it was after 1779, I can pretty much limit my survey to the settlers who were cut from Bertie County in 1759, and not concern myself here with those people from Chowan County who were made temporary residents of Hertford from 1759 to 1779. In the first section of this chapter, I have isolated several Bertie County residents who were in the Hertford area according to Bertie records, then I have followed them in the scant Hertford County records after 1759 in the following sections.

 

Early Settlers in The Hertford Area

 

            The first challenge was to isolate the residents of the Hertford County area by identifying the location of their farms as described in deeds. Then I looked at tax lists to get an idea of who their neighbors were, and when they were there.

 

Early Bertie County Deeds in The Hertford area

 

            In this section, I have selected only those Bertie County deeds which involved Harrells who were in the Hertford area of Bertie County. As near as I can determine, the first Harrells to purchase land in the Hertford area were Adam Sr., John, Esq., and Elijah Harrell.[1]

 

            I have summarized the deed activity in the Hertford area in Table 6. It includes the first three or four Harrell residents of the area—Adam Sr., John, Elijah, and probably Joseph. Three other Harrells appear in the records by 1757—Adam Jr., Thomas, and William. These latter three, I am pretty certain were the oldest of the 2nd Generation of Hertford Harrells.

 [page 97]

Table 6

Summary of Bertie County (Hertford Area) Deed Activity by Harrells*

                    son of                acquired in                   sold in              witnessed in

Adam Sr.                ?                             1735, 1742, 1757                    1757(to Thomas)

                                                                                                                 1757(to Adam Jr.);                               

John                       ?                              1742;

Elijah                      ?                              1753;

Joseph                   ?                                                                                                              1753 (for Elijah);

Adam Jr.                Adam Sr.                1757 (from Adam Sr.)                                           1757;

Thomas                  Adam Sr.               1757 (from Adam Sr.)                                           1757;

William                   ?                                                                                                              1757;

*Adam Sr. 1735 (Book D, page 252, bought some land), 1742 (Book F, page 367, bought 400 acres), 1757 (Book H, page 378, bought 320 acres), 1757 (Book H, page 462, sold some land to Adam Harrell Jr., yeoman), (Book H, page 464, sold 200 acres to Thomas Harrell); John (of Wiccacon) 1742 (Book F, page 357); Elijah 1753 (Book I, page 209); Joseph 1753, (Book I, page 209); Adam Jr. 1757 (Book H, page 464); Thomas 1757 (Book H, page 464); William 1757 (Book H, page 464).

 

            The first point to make about the information in Table 6 is the missing information which I have marked with question marks. The reason for the survey of Harrell settlers and their families in the Albemarle area in the previous three chapters was to find the parents and families of the first settlers in the Hertford area. The intent of the question marks is to signal the need for information leading to the identity of the missing parents for the first settlers of Hertford County. In other words, even after the survey of Harrells in Bertie and adjacent counties, I do not know which Harrell families the first settlers in the Hertford area came from. Regardless of who their parents were, let us consider what we can know at this point about the first settlers of the Hertford County area.

 

Adam Harrell Senior

 

            Adam was the first Harrell to buy land in the Hertford area. Adam Sr.’s son, Adam Jr., may have ended up on the other side of the Chowan River in Gates County, but from the 1730s through the 1750s, both Adams were involved in Hertford County area.

 

            Adam Sr. bought some land (probably 100 acres) from James Thickpen on April  23, 1735. He paid 70 pounds for, according to James Thickpen, “my right title and interest to the within mentioned deed….” The deed James Thickpen was referring to was one in which he had bought 100 acres from Charles Sowell on February 4, 1732/33. Thickpen had paid 60 pounds for 100 acres at the mouth of a swamp commonly known by the name Horse Swamp—adjacent to Richard Sowell, and Charles Gavin.[2]                                       

 

            Horse Swamp basically flows east, a mile or so above Ahoskie and just below today’s Modlin Road, on both sides of route no. 13, then, it joins Wading Branch and continues east until it joins Flat Swamp to become Bear Swamp and finally becomes a part of the Wiccacon River.[3]

 [page 98]

            Tracking this land is not an easy task, but I have at least broken ground. The 100 acres Adam bought in 1735 had belonged to Charles Sowell—Charles and his sons owned additional land near the area where Horse Swamp joins Bear Swamp, about one and half miles east of the confluence of Horse Swamp and Wading Branch. Lewis, Obediah, Richard, and Charles Sowell all owned land on Horse Swamp. In his 1738 will, Charles Sowell gave his sons the following land: Richard, the land on Bear Swamp; Thomas, the plantation where Adam Harrell now dwells (my italics); Lewis, the land on Horse Swamp; Charles, my manner plantation. A witness to this will was Eliza Harrell. This certainly puts Adam just east of where Elijah Harrell bought land in 1753, near the confluence of Horse Swamp and Wading Branch.[4] (The witness to the will, Eliza, may have been Elijah Harrell, but according to the recorded deeds, Elijah did not own land in the area until fifteen years later in 1753.)

 

            An interesting reference in Charles Sowell’s 1738 will had Adam Harrell living on the land Charles was giving to his son, Thomas. Adam Harrell had already bought 100 acres in 1735; land that had belonged to Charles Sowell as late as 1732. Adam may have been living on Charles Sowell’s land in 1738 in a friendly arrangement (an oral lease), or they may have been in a dispute over what land precisely was sold by Charles Sowell in 1732. Another possibility is, of course, that it was Adam Jr. living on a neighbor’s land—Adam Jr. did not inherit land from his father until 1757.

 

            Adam Sr. bought an additional 400 acres in the area on March 17, 1742 for 150 pounds. He bought these acres from Lewis Briant (Bryan) of Craven County—they were located on the west side of Chinkapin Creek (that would be south of the Wiccacon). His new purchase was adjacent to Alexander Steel, and Henry Vanpelt. The land had been granted to William Cranford by patent on March 13, 1741. In order to help locate this land, we should keep in mind that Alexander Steel had bought his 640 acres from William Maul in 1725 on the west side of the “Chinkpin Swamp,” which was adjacent to James Turner and John Bryan at the time. Henry Vanpelt bought 150 acres from John White on March 17, 1736 which was on “Chinkpin Swamp,” adjacent to “John Pettyfers former corner tree.” Henry Vanpelt also had some land on the east side of the Chinkapin at Flat Swamp and Killem Swamps, but the latter was not part of Adam’s purchase.[5]

 

            Adam Harrell Sr. bought another 320 acres on January 24, 1757 from Edward Bryan on the east side of Chinkapen Swamp. The land was adjacent to Gillird’s corner and John Howell’s line.[6]

 

            On August 18, 1757, Adam Harrell Sr. began to sell some of the more than 800 acres he had accumulated in the Hertford County area. Not surprisingly, his first sale was to his son, Adam Harrell Jr., yeoman. Adam Jr. paid 20 pounds for an unspecified number of acres (it was probably around 200 acres, because on the same day, for the same price, Adam Sr. sold Thomas Harrell, probably another son, 200 acres for 20 pounds). The property was on the west side of the Chinkopin Creek and adjacent to Steel’s line, Patiford’s line, and Campbell corner. For Adam Junior’s purchase, the witnesses were Thomas Harrell, and William Harrell. As indicated just above, in another deed of August 18, 1757, Adam Sr. sold 200 acres to Thomas Harrell for 20 pounds—these acres were adjacent to Hansford’s line, Lassiter’s line, and  ___pelt’s line. On Thomas’ deed, the witnesses were Adam Harrell, Jun., William Harrell, and William Colthred.[7] The two 1757 deeds represent the sale of 400 acres that Adam Sr. had bought from Lewis Bryan in 1742.

 [page 99]

All these land transactions put Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas Harrell on a stretch of land that runs along the west side of Chinkapin Creek as far as Horse Swamp which crosses the present route no. 13, just above Ahoskie. ( Many years later, Josiah Harrell owned land south of Horse Swamp and west of route no. 13, and some of his grandchildren were on the same land until the 1920s. Josiah owned the land in 1732—there are no public records of his purchase. See chapter 8 for more on Josiah and his descendants.) Now that we have placed Adam Harrell Sr. in the Hertford area, let us turn our attention to John Harrell of Wiccacon.

 

John Harrell Esquire (John of Wiccacon)

 

            As I have noted in the previous chapter, it is a difficult task to assign specific activities to the appropriate John Harrell in early Bertie County, because there were so many of them, and the references were not always clear in the county records. I have attempted to deal with this situation by starting with a reference that I know is to John Harrell of the Hertford area, and work back in time. My goal is to isolate the John Harrell in the Bertie records who was most likely to have been the first John Harrell to settle in the Hertford area. Some of the information in the 1779 Hertford County Tax List can help sharpen our focus at this point (see Table 9, page 109). The list indicates John Harrell had land in Bertie as well as Hertford County at that time. If the lands were purchased before 1759, or in Bertie County after 1759, there is a good chance a deed can be found. The 1779 Tax List indicated John of Hertford owned 265 acres in Hertford County, 200 acres in Bertie County, 340 acres somewhere, and 85 acres with a mill. I have considered each in turn.

 

John Harrell bought land in the Hertford area a year after the Bertie County seat was moved from St. Johns in the Hertford area down to the Cashie River in southern Bertie County. John’s new land was a bit north east of Adam’s lands—John was on the north side of the Wiccacon River. This is certainly the “John Harrell of Wiccacon” listed on the Bertie County tax list in 1757 (see Table 5, page 26). The information in the deed provides the following: On June 5, 1742, John Harrell bought 265 acres from Robert and Ann Evans on the east side of Brookes Creek,  adjacent to John Hutson’s line and Elijah Dacos’s line.[8] (Brooks Creek  flows southeast into the Wiccacon River, and it is just northwest of today’s Harrellsville, above route # 45.)

 

            I am certain John of Wiccacon was the John Harrell in the 1779 Hertford County tax list; he was also the same John Harrell in Hertford County’s 1784 Tax List, which identifies him as John Harrell, Esquire (see Table 11, page 111). This is helpful because he was a very active John Harrell Esquire in early Bertie County, yet he was not any of the John Harrells discussed in the previous sections, because he was not identified on a deed or will as John Esquire—but he was active in the county business even after the county seat moved south to the Cashie River.

 

I mentioned earlier the Bertie County seat was moved from St. Johns in 1741 (when Northampton County was created). It finally found a permanent home on the Cashie River in Windsor by 1743/4. John Harrell Esq. was one of the men in charge of developing the new location. He was one of the county [page 100] Commissioners appointed on February 11, 1741 to build ‘Court House, Prison and Stocks’ in Bertie County. John Esq. was also very active in a variety of positions in county politics and law. For instance, he was a representative to the Colonial Assembly from Bertie County along with James Castellow, Arthur Williams, Capt. George Wynns, and John Dawson in 1734—John Hodgson joined them for 1735-1736.[9] He was also one of the Court Justices, in Bertie County in 1741, as well as during other years. It is reasonable to assume that John Esq. spent considerable time in and around St. Johns, or the northern Bertie County area, because he was very involved in county business for many years before, as well as after, 1741.

 

            John Esq. continued to own property in Bertie County after Hertford County was established. According to the 1779 Hertford County Tax List (see Table 9, page 109), in addition to the 265 acre parcel John owned in the Hertford area, he also owned a 200 acre parcel in southern Bertie County. I am interested in finding the deed for this purchase, because it might help connect John Esq. to one of the other Harrell families in southern Bertie County. Unfortunately, I have had some difficulty finding the correct deed which reflects the purchase of 200 acres bought by John of Wiccacon—there are two possibilities, one in 1748, the other in 1749.

 

            The first purchase of 200 acres by a John Harrell was in 1748—the acres were bought from James Brown, and were part of a grant to Thomas Mann on February 1, 1725. The problem with this 200 acre parcel is that the John involved sold 50 of the acres to his brother, James, in 1741.[10] This John Harrell was the son of Richard, and he died in 1767.

 

The other similar purchase made by one of the John Harrells was on March 25, 1749, from the Hon. John Carteret, Earl of Granville, to John Harrell Junior. He paid 3 shillings for 200 acres located in Society Parish on the north side of the Roanoke River. The problem here is John Jr. sold this 200 acre parcel to Samuel Andrews on February 7, 1754, and John Jr. died before Hertford County was established.[11]

 

            It seems there is no recorded deed for John of Wiccacon’s purchase of the 200 acres, so there is a good possibility he inherited it—but I have not found a will that connects John Harrell Esq. (John of Wiccacon) to any Bertie County family. Similarly, I have not found deeds indicating the purchase of the 340 acres and the 85 acres with a mill—all of which suggests the deeds were recorded in Hertford County after 1759 and before 1779; and thus lost in the fires of 1830 or 1862.

 

Joseph Harrell

 

On October 10, 1757, John and Joseph Harrell witnessed a deed for land adjacent to John Vanpelt at Wiccacon Creek.” The land in this deed was adjacent to the lands of Adam Harrell Senior. In fact there were several deeds in the Hertford area, witnessed by John and Joseph Harrell.[12] These deeds were witnessed long after the Bertie County seat was moved to Windsor from St. Johns—which suggests John and Joseph might have been neighbors and maybe even relatives, perhaps even with Adam Harrell.

 [page 101]

Elijah Harrell

 

The next Harrell to acquire land in the Hertford area was Elijah Harrell. He first appeared on a Bertie County deed for the Hertford area in 1753.[13]

 

The only other Elijah Harrell in Bertie records did not appear until the 1790 census—but I do not think the 1790 Elijah was the same one who bought in the Hertford area in 1753, because the Bertie County Elijah never married and his will was probated in 1795—he was the son of Lemuel Harrell whose will was probated in 1781. (Lemuel was the son of John Harrell of Roanoke whose will was probated in 1769.)[14] In addition, the Elijah who purchased land in the Hertford area in 1753 was the only Elijah Harrell on the Bertie County tax lists—he was a taxable person from 1757-1759 in Bertie County (see Table 7, page 103).

 

            The 1753 purchase by Elijah was of 275 acres more or less. There is an unusual feature to the deed (besides the fact that it is clear and easy to read), it reads as follows:

 

“Nathaniel Nicholas of Bertie County Yeoman for and in Consideration of the sum of Thirteen Pounds Current money of Virginia to me in hand will and truly Paid by Elizabeth Harrell of Chowan County in Province aforesaid … I hereby acknowledge Have Bargained and sold … and set over unto him the said Elijah Harrell his heirs and assigns forever all that my Certain Tract Plantation or Parcel of Land …” “… or in any wise appertaining unto him the said Elijah Harrell his heirs….”

 

Toward the end of the deed, Elijah’s name is clearly used a third time. I am certain Elijah’s name was not used mistakenly in place of Elizabeth’s after the first reference to her, and the use of her name is fully spelled and clear, with a reference to her place of residence in Chowan.[15] Thus, it seems Elizabeth of Chowan paid for the land, but Elijah became the owner. I do not know at this time if Elizabeth was Elijah’s mother, sister or wife, but she was probably related—which suggests that Elijah may also have come to the Hertford area from Chowan County. Joseph Harrell was a witness to Elijah’s deed.

 

Elijah’s 275 acre plantation was adjacent to Samuel Webb and William Williams. As near as I can determine, it was located just east of Adam Harrell’s land on Horse Swamp and Wading Branch. The deed includes the statement that it was the western half of a tract of land George Nicholas bought from Stephen Williams.

 

            The history of this tract, as reflected in deeds, adds a little to the  description of its location. George Nicholson bought 550 acres from Stephen Williams on November 3, 1730. In that transaction, the deed simply states the land is adjacent to Cotty Conthen (?), George Smyth, and John Williams. Stephen Williams had bought the 550 acres from Charles Jones on November 9, 1724. The deed only describes the land as lying adjacent to that of George Smith and John Williams. Coming forward in time from George Nicholson’s ownership, we find that he sold 550 acres to Anthony Webb in 1732. In the deed the land is described as on “billey bank,” and adjacent to Pitt Bladdar, George Smith, and John Williams. Then Anthony Webb sold the western most half, 275 acres, to Nathaniel Nicholas on January 10, 1740. The land was described as “half that tract or parcel of lands that George Nicholason bought of Stephen [page 102] Williams being the west side of said tract…,” and being between Nathaniel Nicholas and Samuel Webb in Northwest Parish. Anthony Webb sold the eastern half, the other 275 acres, the day before, on January 9, 1740, to Samuel Webb.[16] This means Nathaniel was already living to the west of the land he just bought, and Samuel to the east of the 275 acres he bought in 1740.

 

            It was not uncommon for people to live on and work land owned by someone else before they buy the land. This may well have been the case with Nathaniel Nicholas and Samuel Webb, because when they bought the 275 acres each from Anthony Webb in 1740, the lands being purchased were said to lie between Nathaniel and Samuel—with Nathaniel on the west and Samuel on the east. The lands they were on in 1740, while they were buying the 275 acre parcels between them, were probably owned by Peter West. Because not until 1744 did Samuel Webb buy 200 acres from Peter West, which was on Horse Swamp and adjacent to Richard Sanders and Thomas Jackson. Also, not until 1743 did Nathaniel Nicholas buy his 200 acres from Peter West which was at Wading Branch adjacent to Thomas Clifton on Horse Swamp, great Cow Hall, Anthony Williams, and John Williams.[17]

 

            The land Nathaniel Nicholas held on the west side of what he sold Elijah Harrell may have still been in his possession after 1759, in which case there are no surviving records. Prior to the establishment of Hertford County in 1759, Nathaniel Nicholas bought some acres on Ahoskie Swamp, and sold a couple of other parcels, but none fit the description of lands to the west of Elijah’s 275 acres or east of Adam Harrell’s holdings.[18]

 

Once again, I would remind you Adam Harrell’s land was just walking distance west of the confluence of Horse Swamp and Wading Branch. We know Elijah Harrell bought Nathaniel Nicholas’ 275 acres in 1753, and that Nathaniel’s original land, owned prior to 1740, was between the land he sold to Elijah and the land of Adam Harrell. This, of course, is of interest because there is an absence of recorded deeds and wills in Hertford County from 1759 until after the Civil War, except for a few deeds re-recorded after the 1730 fire in Hertford Court House—these re-recorded deeds were filed with the State of North Carolina and thus survived the fires of Hertford County.[19] I mentioned earlier, one of the re-recorded deeds in 1832 placed Josiah Harrell on 140 acres just west of the confluence of Horse Swamp and Wading Branch (Josiah’s family is described in chapter 8).

 

Bertie County Tax Lists in the Hertford area

 

            The tax lists were compiled in districts by a constable, the sheriff, or some other notable at the request of a County Commissioner. (Many of the lists were commissioned by a letter signed by John Harrell Esquire who was a County Commissioner for many years.) Most of the time, the smaller lists were compiled into a large list for the county, and fortunately the shorter lists from each district or neighborhood were also retained. These shorter lists give a better idea of what part of the county people lived in—they help group Harrells in the Hertford area.

[page 103] 

            A tax list compiled by William Rice, Constable, on October 27, 1755 contained only about twenty names—among them were Adam Sen., Adam Jun., and Thomas Harrell (see Table 7, page 103). William Rice’s list for 1756 contained the same three taxable Harrells. In 1757, Thomas Askew summoned Benjamin Wynns to compile a list of taxables—his list included Nicholas Askew, Joseph Harrell, and John Harrell. I have included the name of Nicholas Askew because I know he was in the Hertford area of Bertie County, as was Joseph and John Harrell. There is also a tax list witnessed by Sheriff John Brickell on October 24, 1757 with only one Harrell—he was Elijah. Then there is another list for 1757 by William Rice which includes Adam Sen., Adam Jun., Thomas, and Edward Harrell. This puts Edward Harrell near or with Adam Sr. and his probable sons, Adam Jr. and Thomas. In 1758, there was a list of taxables compiled by Robert Butler, Constable, which included Thomas, Adam Jr., and Adam Harrell.

 

Table 7

Bertie County (Hertford Area) Tax Lists: 1755-1761*

Name                           1755     1756     1757     1758     1759     1760     1761    

John Esq. (Letters)               (1)                           (4)                          

John Harrell Petty-hors                                                       (1) (also on a small list w/ Joseph)                   

John of Wiccacon                                                (1)                           Brickell

Joseph                                                   (1)           (1)           (1)           Brickell

Elijah                                                                      Brickell   (1)           Willoford

Adam Sr.                                Rice        Rice        Rice(2)    Butler(3)                 Butterton

Adam Jr.                                Rice        Rice        Rice        Butler     Butterton               Butterton

Thomas                                  Rice        Rice        Rice        Butler     Butterton               Butterton

William                                                                                                                                   Butterton

Edward                                   delinq.    delinq.    Rice                                                        Butterton

James                                                                     (1)           (2)**                                       Butterton

*This is a truncated version of Table 5, presented earlier—this contains only the Bertie County residents who were in the Hertford area.

**In 1758, James was on an untitled short list—the only other Harrell was Adam.

 

            There is a list by Sheriff John Brickell, dated October 6, 1759, which contains the following names from the Hertford area: Starke Sharp, John Harrell, Joseph Harrell, and Nicholas Askew—again, Sharp and Askew were residents of the Hertford area, so too were John and Joseph Harrell. Sheriff Brickell added the following note to his list:

 

“then Wm. Witherington Cons. of the county of Bertie  I move that he had Summoned the Persons herein mentioned to give in their Dist. of Assembly for the present year.”

 

The note refers to the fact that there was then a question about where the people on the list should be taxed, just months after the new county of Hertford had been cut from Bertie County.

 

            Brickell’s note in October of 1759 apparently did not make much of an impression in Bertie County, because in 1761 Robert Butterton of Bertie County still compiled a list of taxables which included Edward, James, Adam Jr., Adam Sr., William, and Thomas Harrell.

 

The lists of taxable residents provide additional names for the early list of Harrells in the Hertford area. Most notably, in addition to Adam Sr. and his sons Adam Jr. and Thomas, we can add William, Edward, and James who were listed with Adam Sr. in the later years. Based on their clustering in tax lists alone, I think there is some likelihood Adam Sr.’s sons included Edward, James, and William, as well as Adam Jr. and Thomas. Other second generation Hertford Harrells simply may not have been old enough to be listed as taxables in the late 1750s.

 [page 104]

            The Bertie County tax lists also make clear there was a Joseph Harrell near or with John Harrell Esquire over the years—perhaps his father, brother, or son. In addition to being listed together on the Bertie tax lists, John and Joseph Harrell co-witnessed a number of deeds. One such deed was witnessed by them on September 27, 1750—it was for John and Jacob Lewis, who were transferring 96 acres in the Hertford area on the north side of Wiccacon Creek. Then again, in October of 1755, John and Joseph Harrell witnessed several deeds in the Hertford area. Then again on October 10, 1757, John and Joseph Harrell witnessed a deed for Benjamin Norvelle and William Brown for land at Wiccacon Creek in the Hertford area. These deeds were witnessed long after the Bertie County seat was moved to Windsor from St. Johns—which suggests John and Joseph lived in the Hertford area, and did not necessarily witness the deeds as county officials.[20] There was no Joseph on the 1768-1770 Hertford County tax lists.

 

            Elijah Harrell usually appeared on the Bertie tax lists as the only Harrell on a short list. That does not necessarily mean he had no children, perhaps just that they were not yet of taxable age.

 

     Unfortunately I have not been able to connect the first generation of Hertford Harrells—Adam Sr., John Esquire, Joseph, and Elijah—to any of the early settlers in Bertie or Chowan Counties. In addition, I think there is a good possibility Adam Sr., John Esq., Joseph, and Elijah were all related, but no records have yet surfaced to support or reject that possibility.

 

The First Generation of Hertford County Harrells

 

            In this section, I have put down a few more words about the four Harrells in Hertford County’s 1st Generation, and I have put them in the context of Bertie County deeds and the available Hertford County tax lists.

 

Adam Senior—1st Generation Hertford Harrell

 

            Adam appeared early in the Hertford area with his 1735 purchase of 100 acres at the mouth of Horse Swamp. He could have been one of the original Harrell settlers out of Virginia, but the deed did not indicate any such connection. Adam apparently died in the area between 1758 and 1768—probably closer to 1758.

 

He apparently left sons, Adam Jr., Thomas, and perhaps others—for instance, William, Edward, and James. In 1757, Adam Jr. and Thomas each bought some of Adam Sr.’s land in the area (see Table 6, page 97), and both were on the same Bertie County tax lists as Adam Sr. from 1755 through 1758 (see Table 7, page 103). Adam Jr. and Thomas were also on the Hertford County tax lists for 1768-1770 (see Table 8, page 108), but both were gone by 1779. William first appeared when he, along with Thomas, witnessed the 1757 deed reflecting the sale of land to Adam Jr. by Adam Senior. On the same day, William also witnessed a similar deed along with Adam Jr. for the sale by Adam Sr. to Thomas Harrell. Edward first appeared on a 1757 Bertie County tax list compiled by William Rice along with Adam Sr. [page 105] and Jr., and Thomas Harrell. Then in 1761, Adam Sr., Adam Jr., Thomas, William, Edward, and James Harrell all appeared on a Bertie County tax list compiled by Robert Butterton. James also appeared on a 1758 untitled tax list with Adam Harrell—they were the only two Harrells on this very short list. The tax list entries indicate all six of these taxable Harrells lived in the same tax district—why this list is among the Bertie County tax lists a couple of years after the establishment of Hertford County is a bit of a mystery to me. In any case, the proximity of these Harrells and the sequence in which they appeared on the tax lists suggests to me a family getting older and becoming taxable. Also, in 1757, Adam Sr. was listed with 2 taxables in his household—himself and one other probable son; Edward was listed separately in 1757. In 1758, Edward was not listed separately, and Adam Sr. was recorded as having 3 taxables in his household. If all five of the above named probable sons of Adam Sr. received land from their father, with the exception of Adam Jr. and Thomas, they probably did so after 1759—which would have put the records of such transactions among the burned deeds of Hertford County.

 

The five probable sons of Adam Sr. may have left descendants in the area, but none of the five owned land in Hertford County by 1779. At one point, Adam Sr. owned more than 800 acres in the area, so he had plenty of land to leave additional sons. Unfortunately, any will that might have been written by Adam Sr. was probably also among Hertford County's burned documents.

           

John Harrell Esquire—1st Generation Hertford Harrell

 

According to the 1784 Hertford County tax list (see Table 11, page 111), John Harrell Esquire was settled in Hertford County. Earlier in this chapter, I explained why I believe John of Wiccacon was John Esquire were one and the same person.

 

As I indicated above, one of the first references to John Esq. in North Carolina was in 1731. The Colonial Records show that on May 8, 1731, the Council at Edenton ordered a new Commission of the Peace for Bertie Precinct. George Winn, Needham Bryant, Dr. John Bryan, John Harrord were on the Commission. John Harrell Esq. was still a Commissioner of Peace for Bertie County until 1746.[21] Several of these same men sat as Justices with John Harrell Esq. over a number of years—it was common for them to work jointly on a number of projects. John Esq. was a Court Justice, in Bertie Co. as early as Feb. 11, 1741, and was still a Justice through 1749. Other Justices were: Mr. Castelow, Ned’m. Bryan, Mr. Whitmel, Mr. Winn. These were again some of his political and legal associates.[22] Other early references to John Harrell Esquire are:

 

John Esq. represented Bertie County in the Colonial Assembly in Edenton, North Carolina. He took his oath of office there on November 7, 1733.[23]

 

John Harrell Esq. was one of the Commissioners appointed Feb. 11, 1741 to build a new “Court House, Prison and Stocks” in Bertie County.[24]

 [page 106]

References to Lt. John

 

Now I need to say something about the coincidence of John Esquire and Lieutenant John Harrell of Hertford County.

 

John Harrell Esquire of Hertford County was almost certainly the Lieutenant John Harrell often referred to in more recent times. Lt. John apparently acquired the rank and title of Lieutenant rather late in his career. The earliest reference to and the origin of the rank was noted in Winborne’s history of Hertford County: [25]

 

 “At the general muster of the Hertford Reg. of Militia, May 28, 1772, Col. Benj. Wynns made the following report: ‘…. Commissioned officers in the regiment are: …; John Harrell, Lt.; …; Jethro Harrell, Lt.; Jesse Harrell, Ens.; …. Non-commissioned officers: 30 sergeants, 30 corporals. 10 drummers, 621 privates, 10 companies.’”

 

Jethro and Jesse Harrell were residents of the Gates area, across the Chowan River.

 

There was only one taxable John Harrell in Hertford County from 1759 through 1784 (see Tables 8-11). Lt. John and the wealthy John Esquire on the Hertford tax lists must have been one and the same person.

 

In addition, John Harrell was the Sheriff of Hertford County from 1774 through 1777. He followed Nathan Harrell in that office—Nathan was Sheriff of Hertford County 1771-1774.[26] I think, but cannot prove, that Nathan was one of John Esq.’s sons and, when Nathan became more involved in the movement for independence, his father was elected to the office of Sheriff.[27] John was a generation older than Nathan, so it was Nathan who became more directly involved in the war for independence. John was a little too old to fight in the Revolutionary War. Recall that he was appointed to the Commission for Peace in 1731, so he must have been at least 21 years old at that time—which means he was born before 1710, and he would have been at least 66 years old in 1776.

 

Nonetheless, John Esq. continued to be active in his new county as he had been in Bertie County many years before—as mentioned, he was a Lt. in the Militia in 1772 and Sheriff in 1774-1777. After serving as Sheriff, John was a Justice of The Peace in Hertford County, appointed December 1778.[28] Again, there was only one prominent John Harrell in Hertford County, and he was both John Esq. and Lt. John.

 

Another reference to Lt. John which connects him to the St. Johns to Ahoskie Church road (basically today’s route 561) was also by Winborne. When he described the ancestors of brothers, John Whitmell Harrell (b. 1814), Jarret Norfleet Harrell (b. 1824) and their siblings, Winborne makes the following  statement:

 [page 107]

“Their parents were John and Winnifred Harrell, nee Bell, of Enfield. The father, John Harrell, was the grandson of Lt. John Harrell, who was Sheriff of Hertford County from 1774-1777, when he enlisted in the Continental Army and was ranked as lieutenant.”[29]

 

It was useful for Winborne to name Lt. John’s grandson, John, but unfortunately he neglected to name Lt. John’s son. Winborne was usually correct in connecting people, but often a little less accurate on some events and titles. For instance, as Winborne himself noted elsewhere, Lt. John Harrell had his rank back in 1772 when he was with the Hertford Militia. I believe it was the brothers’ grandfather, Lt. John’s son, perhaps Nathan, who served in the Continental Army during the Revolution. (Nathan’s service has been documented below.)

 

John (grandson of John Esq.) and Winnifred Harrell, and their descendants were the Harrells who lived along the road from St. Johns to Ahoskie Church in the early years—some of  John Esquire’s descendants are still living along the same road today.

 

I will continue to refer to the 1st Generation, John Harrell of Hertford County, as John Esq. because that was the title he most often used. The title of Lt. John apparently came into use long after he was gone.

 

            Winborne’s comment about John Esq.’s grandson, John Harrell who married Winnefred Bell, tells us John Esq. had at least one son, and as I have indicated, I think there is a good probability Nathan Harrell was one of his sons. The Bertie County 1757 tax list indicated John Esq. had four taxables in his household—that would have been three males 16 or more years old in addition to himself (see Table 7, page 103). Other possible sons of John Esq. are discussed in the section on the 2nd Generation of Hertford County Harrells.

 

Elijah—1st Generation Hertford Harrell

 

As indicated earlier, Elijah apparently came to the Hertford area with the purchase of his land in 1753. We should recall that the person on the deed with Elijah was Elizabeth Harrell of Chowan County. That suggests his origin, but a connection has not yet been made.

 

            Nonetheless, Elijah Harrell was among the 1st generation of Hertford County Harrells. He was also on the Bertie County tax lists from 1757 through 1759 (see Table 7, page 103), he appeared in the Hertford County tax lists from 1768 through 1784 (see Tables 8-11). The 1784 tax list was just of residents who owned land—Elijah was one of them with his 275 acres.

 

Elijah was still around for the 1790 census, with three males over 16 years of age and none under 16 in his household. Assuming the members of his household were his wife and children, the census suggests that Elijah did not have a young family, and he was more than likely the original Elijah who bought his land in 1753.

 [page 108]

Joseph—1st Generation Hertford Harrell

 

            Not much is recorded about Joseph Harrell, but he was in the area in 1753 when he, along with William Wynn and William Hosea, were witnesses on Elijah’s property deed. He witnessed several other deeds in the Hertford area, usually with John Esquire.[30] Joseph also appeared on the Bertie County tax lists for the Hertford area from 1756 through 1759 (see Table 7, page 103). He was gone by the 1768 Hertford County tax list.

 

            As we begin to work our way through the next section, the Hertford County tax lists will give us our first glimpse of the 2nd Generation of Hertford County Harrells and will cause us to wonder, which of them might have been sons of Adam Sr., John Esquire, Elijah, and Joseph.

 

 

The Early Tax Lists and the 1790 census for Hertford County

 

One of the earliest surviving records available for Hertford County is a tax receipt book kept by Sheriff William Murfree. I have taken from this list only those Harrells who were in Hertford County southwest of the Chowan River for Table 8—those in the Gates area are not included here.

 

Table 8

William Murfree’s Tax Receipt Book: 1768-1770*

Harrell, John                          1768                                        1 tax                        @ 09  10

Harrell, Elijah                         1768                                        1 tax                        @ 09  10

                                                1769                                        1 tax                        @ 10  06

                                                1770                                        1 tax                        @ 07  04

Harrell, Adam                        1768                                        1 tax                        @ 09  10

                                                1769                                        1 tax                        @ 10  06

                                                1770                                        1 tax                        @ 07  04

Harrell, Thomas                    1768                                        3 taxes                    @ 09  10

                                                1769                                        3 taxes                    @ 10  06

                                                1770                                        3 taxes                    @ 07  04

*This is a truncated version of Table 3, page 18.

 

            In Table 8, we have the tax information for two of the four 1st Generation Hertford Harrells—John Esq. and Elijah. In addition, we have what I believe was the first two members of the county’s 2nd Generation of Harrells—Adam Jr. and Thomas. Adam Sr.’s other probable sons, William, Edward, and James, are noticeably missing.

 

            The Tax List for 1779 not only provided the names of those owning property in Hertford County at the time, it also gave a brief but useful description of the value of their assets (see Table 9, page 109). By 1779, only two Harrells owned land in Hertford County—John Esq. and Elijah of the 1st Generation. Adam Jr. and Thomas had apparently sold their lands by that time.

 [page 109]

            John Harrell was clearly the wealthiest of the Hertford Harrells in 1779 and owned hundreds of acres of farm land which he worked with slave labor. He also owned a mill with acreage, and considerable land in Bertie County. On January 16, 1779, John Esq. sold 400 acres in Bertie County to Jonas Hale.[31] After the sale, he still owned 905 acres, plus the 85 acres connected with his mill—at least 200 acres were still in Bertie County. I have not been able to find a recorded deed reflecting the sale of the 200 acres of Bertie County property after 1779, which probably means one of his children inherited it.

 

            Elijah was the only other Harrell to own land in the County, but probably only about 50 of his 275 acres were farmed, unless he had several sons working with him, because he apparently did not use slaves. In fact, Elijah was apparently in the yeoman tradition as was Adam Sr. before him, and not so much into commercial farming with slave labor as was John Esquire.

 

            By 1779, Adam Jr. and Thomas were gone as well as Edward, James, and William—these were the taxables whom I suspect were sons of Adam Senior. The William who was on the 1779 list was probably not the William who appeared with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas on the 1757 deeds, and again with the same three as taxables in 1761. I refer to the William Harrell who first appeared on Adam Sr.’s deeds in 1757 as William One; the William who first appeared on the 1779 tax list, I call William Two. William Harrell Two, in Table 9, I believe, was a brother or cousin of the other young men who had become taxable since 1770, but did not yet own any real estate in 1779—this is the first available Hertford County tax list on which we find William Two, Benjamin, Nathan, Samuel, and Jesse.

 

Table 9

The Hertford County 1779 Tax List

                John Harrell                                           265 acres                                                1,600

                                                                                200 acres in Bertie                                     --

                                                                                340 acres                                                1,000

                                                                                  85 acres mill                                         1,250

                                                                                    7 Negroes etc.                                   4,900

                                                                                    2 Negroes 5-10 yrs.                            800

                                                                                    5 Negroes 0-5 yrs.                              750

                                                                                 55 cattle                                                 550

                                                                                    2 old horses                                        100

                                                                                 84 dollars                                                  33

 

                Elijah Harrell                                          money                                                                   

                                                                                275 acres land                                         550                       

                                                                                1 horse                                                     200

                                                                                14 cattle                                                   140       

 

                William Harrell (Two)                          money Poll                                               200

 

                Benjamin Harrell                                   1 horse                                                     250

                                                                                money                                                      200

 

                Nathan Harrell                                      money                                                         30

                                                                                1 horse                                                     275

 

                Samuel Harrell                                       20 dollars                                                                              

                                                                                1 mare & colt                                           275       

               

                Jesse Harrell                                          1 cow                                                          10

                                                                                money 60/note 18                                

 [page 110]

            William Two, Benjamin, Nathan, Samuel, and Jesse were listed together on the 1779 tax list, but that was probably because they did not own any real estate—it might, however, also mean they lived near each other. In addition, they all seem to have similar economic status, and perhaps age. It is possible that any one or all five of these Harrells, who were “new” taxables in 1779, could have been John Esq.’s or Elijah’s sons—William Two,  Benjamin, Nathan, Samuel, and Jesse.

 

Based on the information in Table 10, John Esq. and Elijah were still the only Harrells who owned real estate in 1782 in Hertford County. The composition of their wealth appeared to be pretty much unchanged during the previous three years.

 

Jesse still had his cow, and had acquired a horse and one slave, but still had no land. Jesse’s slave may have come to him through his marriage because he did not possess him/her long. In fact, Jesse seems to have remained in the tradition of working his own land because he again had no slaves in 1784 and 1790. Nathan and Samuel still had their horses but no land. William Two still had neither horse nor land. It appears from the list, William Two was living next to John Esquire.

 

Table 10

Hertford County 1782 Tax List*

name                         acres    slaves    horses    cattle      total

Elijah Harrell                          275                              2                 11              121

John Harrell                           905          14              55                                 1,095

William Harrell                      Poll Tax                                                           100

Nathan Harrell                      Poll Tax                       1                                  100

Samuel Harrell                       Poll Tax                      1                                   100

Jesse Harrell                          --               1                1                    1                  9

*Hertford County List of Taxables, 1782, microfilm no. c.051.70001. from the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina. In order to make the information in the 1782 Tax List more manageable, I have combined some categories, but the level and relative wealth of the various Hertford Harrells in 1782 is unchanged in the table above.

 

Benjamin Harrell was no longer a taxable in Hertford County by 1782. He may have been the Benjamin Harrell who was on the tax rolls in Bertie County in 1774 and 1781, and not in 1779—this Benjamin from Bertie County, may have, for a short while around 1779, stayed in Hertford County with his horse and some cash and then gone back to Bertie County. It is just a possibility—he might also have been a son of John Esq., who went to work on his father’s 200 acres in Bertie County.

 

In 1782, the three, probably younger, Harrells paying just a head (poll) tax were William Two, Nathan and Samuel. The similarity in the property held by these three in 1779 as well as 1782, suggests they might have been brothers. The entry for Jesse is unclear, no acres are listed, yet he has one slave and one head of cattle. He was probably working rented land—perhaps from his father. The tax he is required to pay is not the minimum poll tax. Based on later tax lists and the 1790 census, it is not likely Jesse was too old to be taxable in 1782—he was of Nathan’s generation. (Nathan was not a youngster, however. Remember he had been Sheriff of Hertford County from 1771 through 1774.) Jesse was the only Harrell living in his tax district, the other five taxable Harrells in 1782 all lived in the same tax district. The circumstances begin to suggest that Jesse was perhaps a cousin of William Two, Nathan, and Samuel, but probably not their brother.

 [page 111]

The 1784 tax was a land tax, and consequently only those Harrells in the county with real estate were included (see Table 11, page 111). The Tax districts were organized into captaincies, and the Harrell households were dispersed over the three districts. John was in the captaincy of Nathan Harrell, but Nathan was not listed in his own captaincy because he did not yet own land. I have mentioned above that John Esq. and Nathan may have been connected as illustrated by their both having held the office of Sheriff—first Nathan then John Esquire. This proximity again suggests the same connection. Elijah was in Captain James Carter’s Company; Samuel and Jesse were in Captain William Outlaw’s Company.

 

Samuel and Jesse may have received land grants for their participation in the Revolutionary War. Whatever the case, they both had a substantial parcel of land by 1784—they joined the likes of Elijah and John. Jesse followed more in the tradition of Elijah, and Samuel more in the tradition of John Esq. considering he possessed a slave. It should also be mentioned that Samuel and Jesse’s land acquisitions did not coincide with a reduction of land holdings for Elijah and John Esquire—both Jesse and Samuel were probably sons of Elijah and John Esq., but their new land holdings apparently did not come from their father’s holdings.

 

Table 11

Hertford County 1784 Tax List*

name                                     acres             free polls               black polls

Elijah Harrell                                          275                              1                                                                         

Samuel Harrell                                       300                              1                                       3

Jesse Harrell                                          350                              1                                                                         

John Harrell, Esq.                                 910                              3                                        7

*Ransom McBride, “Hertford County, N. C., Tax List of 1784,” North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal (August 1983), pages 130-136.

 

Samuel must have had some financial help, because the 1782 tax list did not indicate he had enough money to buy 300 acres and three slaves by 1784. This was more than likely the Samuel who was a Major during the Revolutionary War and then a Delegate to the Hillsboro Constitutional Convention—he became known as Major Sam and later moved to Gates County (there is more about Major Sam below).

 

            Jesse had more cash than Samuel in 1779 and 1782, and showed a slightly greater tendency toward domesticity than the other young Harrells at that time—Jesse owned a cow rather than a horse. Jesse may have been able to increase the $78 in financial assets he had in 1779 into enough money to buy 350 acres before 1784, but that seems unlikely—unlikely because Elijah’s 275 acres was valued at $550, and John Esquire’s 265 acres was valued at $1,600 both in 1779. The likelihood Jesse’s $78 became enough money to buy land worth more than $550 before 1784 is not very great. More than likely he inherited the land or received a land grant for his war service.

 

The 1784 entry for John Esq. shows he still had his acreage, and had 2 taxable males besides himself in his household—perhaps they were sons; or perhaps they were William and Nathan. William and Nathan were the only two 2nd Generation Harrells in the county who did not yet own land, and had been of taxable age for some time.

[page 112]

Table 12

Census entries 1790, Hertford Co., N. C.

                                  males           males              

name                         over 16        under 16            females            slaves

Mary Harrell                             1                            1                                  3                            11

William Harrell                         1                              -                                  -                              7

Elijah Harrell                             3                              -                                  2                              -

Jesse Harrell                             1                              3                                 3                              -

Nathan Harrell                         1                              2                                 3                            11

 

            When we add the 1790 census to the information we have from the tax lists, the picture gets a little more complete (see Table 12, page 112). Mary was more than likely John Esquire’s widow—John was the only taxable Harrell who was there in 1784 and then gone in 1790 when Mary first appeared. Mary had the sort of wealth that characterized John Esq.’s holdings—namely, a significant number of slaves. Mary probably had four of her children still in her household, two females and one male over 16 years of age and one under 16. The two males were probably both under 16 years of age in 1784. The younger of the two was probably Willis who appeared on his own for the first time in the 1800 census. William Two had been listed next to John Esquire in the 1782 tax list (see Table 10, page 110), and was listed next to John’s probable widow, Mary, in 1790. 

 

William Two apparently did not have a family of his own, but he had inherited considerable wealth since 1782. He possessed 7 slaves after the passing of John Esq. though he had none prior to that time. I think this is strong circumstantial evidence leading to the conclusion that William was probably John Esq. and Mary’s son.

 

Nathan also shows a considerable increase in wealth in 1790 over what he had in 1782—in 1790 he possessed 11 slaves while in the earlier period he had none. Again this increase occurred during the same time period that John Esq. apparently died. This adds to the circumstantial evidence presented above that strongly suggests Nathan was also one of John Esq.’s sons.

 

Elijah, of the 1st Generation of Hertford Harrells, was still around for the 1790 census, and the information suggests he still had two sons and one daughter as well as his wife living in his household. Jesse as well as Elijah were still in the yeoman tradition—working their land without the use of slaves. 

 

I surmise that the estimated birth and death years for the first generation of Harrells in Hertford County are as follows:

 

1st Generation:              Adam Sr.;         born before 1714,          died 1757-1768 

Joseph;             born before 1735,          died 1760-1768

John Esq.;         born before 1735,          died 1784-1790             

                                    Elijah;               born before 1747,          died after 1790 

                                   

I have continued to include Joseph among the 1st Generation of Hertford County Harrells, but there is a possibility he was John Esquire’s or Elijah’s oldest son—to high-light how little I know about him I must add that he may have been John Esquire’s father.

 [page 113]

The 1st Hertford County generation was probably born from around 1700 to 1720. Keep in mind that grouping by age alone is quite difficult because many families had children over a twenty year period. (The 2nd generation appears to have been born in the 1730s and into the 1750s.)

 

If we summarize the information from the Tables above, we get a good picture of the 1st and 2nd Generations of Harrell households in Hertford County during the first years. Just below the 1st Generation of Hertford Harrells in Summary Table 13, there is a group of tax payers who appear to have become taxable later than the 1st Generation. They have been and will continue to be referred to as the 2nd Generation of Hertford County Harrells. They include: Adam Jr., Thomas, William One, Edward, and James—all of whom were the first in their generation to appear on tax lists; and they were probability all sons of Adam Senior. Adam Sr. was more than likely the oldest Harrell of the 1st Generation. The next 2nd Generation Harrells to appear in Table 13 are Benjamin, Samuel, William Two, Jesse, Nathan, and Willis—Willis was probably the youngest member of the generation.

 

Table 13

Summary of 1st and 2nd Generations of Hertford Harrells

                        Deeds &                         Tax Lists                              Censuses                                                Taxes                  1768-       1779        1782        1784        1790        1800        1810       1820       

                                Bertie                      1770                                          land                       

                                County                                                                    only

                                               

Adam Sr.                yes                          gone

Joseph                   yes                          gone

John Esq.               yes                          yes          yes          yes          yes         gone

Mary (John’s Widow)                                                                                         yes          gone

Elijah I                    yes                          yes          yes          yes          yes          yes         gone

                                                               

Adam Jr.                yes                          yes          gone

Thomas One         yes                          yes          gone

William One          yes                          gone

Edward                   yes                          gone

James                     yes                          gone      

Benjamin                                                                yes          gone                                                      

Samuel                                                                   yes          yes          yes          gone

William Two                                                          yes          yes                          yes          yes         gone

Jesse                                                                      yes          yes                          yes          yes         yes         gone

Nathan                                                                   yes          yes                          yes          yes          gone

Elizabeth (Nathan’s widow)*                                                                                                             yes         yes

Willis                                                                                                                                      yes          gone

*Nathan’s widow, Elizabeth, married George Gordon between 1802 and 1810, and had Nathan’s youngest children with her until after 1820.

 

Those people I have designated the 2nd Generation are probably children of the 1st generation, but the public records are not sufficient to permit unquestionable grouping by families at this point. Nonetheless, I have had a go at it, and would once again remind the reader to keep in mind the usual distinction between the use of the terms is and probable. For instance, when I state that Nathan was probably (or very likely) a son of John Esq., I mean there are no documents that prove the relationship, but there is some circumstantial evidence that make it, in my view, a good probability—more than just a possibility. On the other hand, when I state Starkey Sharpe Harrell, of the 3rd Generation, was Nathan’s son, there is a document that clearly supports the connection.

 [page 114]

In the two following sections, I have listed and attempted to sort the possible descendants of Adam Sr., John Esquire, and Elijah. The suggested relationships between the 1st and 2nd Generations I have presented are based on circumstantial evidence at best and are considered probable relationships.

 

The Second Generation of Hertford County Harrells

 

The candidates for Adam Sr., John Esq., and Elijah (and perhaps Joseph) Harrell’s sons are: Adam Jr., Thomas, William One, Edward, James, Jesse, Samuel, Benjamin, William Two, Nathan, and perhaps Willis. Willis could have been the last of the 2nd Generation, (he could have been the male over 16 years of age, living with Mary in 1790.), or the first of the 3rd Generation—it does not matter much, however, because by the 1815 tax List, he had left the county for one reason or another. Now, let us take a closer look at the 2nd Generation of Hertford Harrells and their possible descendants.

 

Adam Junior—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            Adam Harrell Jr. first appeared in the Bertie County records as a taxable as early as 1755 (see Table 7, page 107), and through the 1770 Hertford County tax list (see Table 8, page 108). His presence was also recorded on the 1757 deed reflecting his purchase of land from Adam Senior (see Table 6, page 97). Adam Jr. was gone by 1779, and there are no Hertford County records to show the disposition of his property or the possibility of children.

 

Thomas—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            Thomas Harrell’s situation was virtually the same as Adam Junior’s. He was in the early Bertie County tax lists, grouped on small lists with his probable father, Adam Sr. and brother, Adam Junior (see Table 7, page 103). He was also on the first available Hertford County tax lists through 1770 (see Table 8, page 108). Thomas was a witness on the 1757 deed when his probable father, Adam Sr., transferred ownership of a parcel of land to Adam Junior—Adam Jr. was a witness to a similar deed on the same day in which Adam Sr. transferred title to Thomas (see Table 6, page 97).

 

William One—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            I have labeled this William Harrell number One, because another William Harrell (William Two) appeared in the Hertford County records (see Table 9, page 109) about 18 years after William One made his last appearance in a 1761 Bertie County tax list (see Table 7, page 103). William One also was a witness to the 1757 deeds recording the sale of lands from Adam Sr. to Adam Jr., and Thomas Harrell (see Table 6, page 97). In addition to witnessing both deeds for Adam Sr., William One was listed as the only other Harrell on the 1761 tax list with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas—I think there is a high probability William One was also Adam Sr.’s son.

 [page 115]

Edward—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            Edward Harrell appeared in the Bertie County tax records as early as 1755 and 1756—in both cases he was on a list of delinquent taxables, which may have meant he was just of age, but questioning his financial status that might have marked him as a taxable person. In any case, in 1757, he was on a list with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas—he was not on a 1758 tax list, but in that year Adam Sr. and James both  had one additional taxable in their households over what they had in 1757. Edward appeared for the last time on the 1761 tax list with his probable father, and all of his probable brothers (see Table 7, page 103).

 

James—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            James was probably one of the taxables in Adam Sr.’s household in 1757 and 1758. His only appearance on a list of taxables was on the 1761 list along with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., Thomas, William One, and Edward Harrell (see Table 7, page 103). This list is probably a complete list of Adam Sr.’s sons, even though they were all in Hertford County and should not have been on a Bertie County tax list.

 

Benjamin—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            Benjamin was in Hertford County in 1779. He was not a land owner at that time, but he had a good horse and $200 in cash (see Table 9, page 109). He did not appear on any available Hertford tax lists before or after that date.

 

            Benjamin, by appearances, came onto the scene with the same timing and wealth as the other 2nd Generation Hertford County Harrells who first appeared on 1779 tax list. This suggests the possibility that Benjamin was a brother to some or all of the others—namely, William Two, Samuel, Nathan, and perhaps Jesse. On the other hand, Benjamin could have just moved to the County in time to be taxed in 1779. There was a Benjamin Harrell in Bertie County in 1774 and 1781, but not in 1779. There was no Benjamin Harrell on the Bertie tax lists 1784-1787. We can, however, be fairly certain that Benjamin did not remain long in Hertford County as an adult—there is no Benjamin Harrell on the county tax list for 1782 and 1784, nor on the 1790 and 1800 censuses.

 

Samuel—2nd Generation Harrell

 

            Samuel was another of those 2nd Generation Hertford County Harrells to first appear in 1779, but he stayed for at least nine or ten years, and perhaps longer. He stayed long enough to make a mark and to show signs of prosperity in Hertford County. For instance, when he first appears, in 1779, he had a good horse and a colt, but otherwise only $20.00 to his name and no land (see Table 9, page 109). In 1782, he still appeared to have been on the same economic level as most of the others in Hertford’s 2nd Generation of Harrells—he had only one horse, and no land (see Table 10, page 110). Two years later, however, Samuel definitely had the look of prosperity about him. The 1784 Tax List shows him owning 300 acres and possessing 3 slaves (see Table 11, page 111). Of the four new heads of households in 1779, Samuel and Jesse were the first to acquire noticeable wealth. This appears to be inherited or granted wealth, not accumulated slowly.

 [page 116]

            Samuel was the Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in Hertford County from 1780 to 1790. (Nathan followed him in that post from 1790 to 1794, and then again from 1797 to 1802). Samuel, again like Nathan, was a County Trustee prior to 1790.[32]

 

            In December of  1785, Samuel of Hertford County requested a survey of a parcel of land, and his request was sent to the county surveyor by the Hertford County Office of Claims for Lands in the County. On May 2nd 1786, the survey was complete and Samuel’s claim was entered (Entry No. 6). The Grant for 334 acres was issued on July 10, 1788. This may well have been the land Samuel was on in 1784. His land was described as follows; “… lying between the lines of Josiah Perry Joshua Freeman Josuah Hasgons James Jones and Edward Peel, lying on the Holly Swamp and Whiteoak Branch…. Location Beg at the mouth of White oak branch on the Holly swamp.” The North Carolina Gazetteer has the following description of this location: “Whiteoak Swamp rises in the town of Ahoskie, s Hertford Co., and flows e into Bear Swamp.” (Today it flows east into Ahoskie Creek just before Bear Swamp enters the Creek—Whiteoak and Bear swamps may well have joined before entering Ahoskie Creek at some point in time.)[33]

 

There is a good probability Samuel of Hertford County received his land grant for his service in the Revolutionary War. In fact, I believe the Samuel Harrell of Hertford County who received the land grant in 1788 was the same person referred to as Major Samuel Harrell by Winborne in the following statement from his history of Hertford County:[34]

 

“He [Abner, of Harrellsville, Hertford County.] descended from one of the oldest families in the county. He was the son of Maj. Samuel Harrell, who resigned his military office in 1783. Samuel Harrell was a soldier in the War of 1776-1782, a member of the State Convention of 1788, and a son of Abner [probably James Abner] Harrell, a freeholder in Bertie County in 1740, as they appear from the Jury list of that county. Major Harrell left the following children; Noah, James, William B., Willis, Isaac, Andrew, and Abner, Mary and Nancy.”

 

            The Major Samuel Harrell, Winborne was referring to was probably born in Bertie County around 1750. His father was Abner Harrell (probably James Abner Harrell) the freeholder in the 1740 Bertie County jury list. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and a member of  the State Convention of 1788. If Winborne was correct, then Major Samuel was probably the Samuel of Hertford whom I have been describing in the paragraphs above. One problem with this connection is that the list of children Winborne attributes to Major Samuel is basically the same as the children of William Bernard Harrell’s Samuel of Sunbury—as I pointed out in chapter two. This only makes sense if the suggestion made earlier that Major Samuel’s father, referred to as Abner from time-to-time, was indeed James Abner Harrell.

 

Furthermore, if Winborne was correct and Major Samuel was Samuel of Hertford, and if Samuel of Sunbury and Major Samuel were one-and-the-same person, it is difficult to explain William Bernard’s certainty about Samuel of Sunbury having been born on the farm in Sunbury around 1750, raised his family on the farm, and died there in 1828. In any case, if the above connections are correct, then Samuel of Hertford (also Major Samuel and Samuel of Sunbury) was the grandson of Samuel of Kent (see chapter 2).

[page 117]

A problem with the above possibility is there were already two Samuel Harrells in Gates County (the county of the Sunbury farm) for the State census of 1784—when Samuel of Hertford was in Hertford County. My best guess is that the two Gates County Samuels in 1784 were Samuel (who moved to Edgecombe County in 1801), the grandson of Samuel of Chowan; and Samuel of Sunbury, the grandson of Samuel of Kent (see both descriptions in chapter 2). If this means all the Samuels of Gates County were accounted for around 1784, then maybe Samuel of Sunbury was not Samuel of Hertford, and maybe Samuel of Sunbury was not Major Samuel. If Samuel of Sunbury and Samuel of Hertford County were different people, then Major Samuel could easily have been Samuel of Hertford County.

 

Another source equates Samuel of Hertford County and Major Samuel Harrell when discussing members of the Baptist Church in the Revolution. G. W. Paschal has written:[35]

 

“Another prominent member of the church at Wiccacon who was also known and honored for his patriotism was Elder Samuel Harrell. He was a major of militia of Hertford County and later Clerk of the Court.”

 

The central question, of course, is who was the father of Samuel of Hertford County—be he Major Samuel or not? Another possible father for Samuel was John—maybe even John Harrell Esquire. This possibility is suggested by a Conveyance which contained the following information: “Samuel Harrell, son of John Harrell, of Va., to Peter Parker; Nov. 10, 1739. 100 acres on Gum Branch at Bull’s Skull, patented by Richard Berryman Jany 19, 1716.”[36] According to The North Carolina Gazetteer, Gum Branch “...: rises in SW Gates Co. & flows NE into Taylor Millpond.”[37] This puts Samuel, son of John, in the part of Chowan County that will become Hertford County in 1759, and Gates County in 1779, before the 1739 sale. If Samuel, son of John of Virginia, was Samuel of Hertford, he would have been over 21 years of age in 1739, and over 58 for the Revolutionary War, and over 68 when he received his land grant in Hertford County in 1788. This makes Samuel, son of John, a little old to have been Samuel of Hertford, but it is a possibility.

 

Nonetheless, Samuel of Hertford could have been a son of John Esq. and not have been the son of John of Virginia in the 1739 Conveyance. He also could have been Major Samuel, but not the same person who was known in Gates County as Samuel of Sunbury, the father of Abner of Harrellsville, Hertford County—if the latter is true, Winborne was wrong about the father of Major Samuel.

 

William Two—2nd Generation Harrell

 

This was the second William to appear in the 2nd Generation of Hertford Harrells. The first was probably over 21 years of age when he witnesses a Bertie County deed for Adam Harrell Sr. in 1757. I have been calling him William One—he was gone from Hertford County by 1768. William Two first appeared in the records eleven years later, on the 1779 Hertford County tax list along with several others of his generation.

[page 118] 

When he first appeared, in 1779, he had $200 cash, which was a tidy sum, but that was all he owned. (Both Samuel and Nathan owned horses at that time, but had little cash.) William’s situation had not changed much by 1782, and in 1784 he still did not own any land. (see Tables 9-11.)

 

By the 1790 census, William still did not have a wife or children in his household, but he had acquired 7 slaves to do his bidding (see Table 12, page 126). In addition to William Two, only John Esq.’s widow, Mary, and Nathan of the Hertford Harrells were wealthy enough to possess a number of slaves. If family culture was conducive to slave ownership, then William, as well as Nathan, was probably a son of John Esq. and Mary Harrell. In addition, William was living next to the widow, Mary.

 

The 1800 census indicates that William’s condition had not changed much in the previous decade. His age category indicates he was born before 1755, which seems typical of the 2nd Generation of Hertford County Harrells. He still had not married and had no children. It was his last appearance in the censuses; he was gone by the time of the 1810 census.

 

1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  William Harrell, age over 45                                             page 711

household members:      male                females

                                    1, over 45

                                    (8 slaves)                                              (in Capt. Borrows’ Captaincy)

 

Nathan—2nd Generation Harrell

 

According to Winborne, Nathan Harrell was Sheriff of Hertford County from 1771 to 1774. He left that position in 1774, when John Harrell Esquire, Nathan’s probable father, took the job from 1774 to 1778.[38] (Nathan’s father-in-law, the first Starkey Sharp, was Sheriff from 1778 through 1782.) Nathan was probably at least 21 years of age when he became Sheriff—so he was born before 1750.

 

            There are two records showing Nathan Harrell’s participation in the Revolutionary War. The first is recorded in a manuscript volume in the custody of the North Carolina State Archives titled Revolutionary Army Accounts. The reference is under the heading “The United States of America To the State of North Carolina....For Sundries furnished and cash paid the Militia of North Carolina Virginia and South Carolina as allowed by the Auditors of Edenton District in March of 1783 as per Report No. 69.” Under the above heading, item number 747 indicates to whom and for what pay was authorized—“To Lieut. Nathan Harrells and company for Militia Services as per Pay Roll No. 1993.” The voucher number is 2038, for the amount of 631 pounds, 16 shillings. Apparently the 631 pounds, 16 shillings, which was a lot of money, was paid to Nathan for his entire company. There is also a Revolutionary Pay Voucher to Nathan, some five months later, in the amount of 30 pounds, 10 shillings. It is difficult to be sure if this amount is Nathan’s share of the 631 pounds, 16 shillings, but that is probably the case—the pay voucher also refers to Pay Roll No. 1993.[39]

 [page 119]

While Nathan was active in the militia and the Continental Army, he was still listed as a taxable resident in Hertford County. He was in the 1779 Hertford County list, and at that time he possessed one good horse and $20 (see Table 9, page 109). By 1782 he paid his poll tax and still owned just his horse (see Table 10, page 110). Nathan was not a taxable in 1784 because it was a tax on land, and Nathan was still landless (see Table 11, page 111). By 1784, however, Nathan was back home from his military service, and John Harrell Esquire was taxed as a resident in “Nathan Harrell’s Captaincy.” John Esq. had three free polls in his household in 1784, and Nathan was probably one of them.

 

Nathan Harrell married Elizabeth Sharp, a daughter of the wealthy and prominent Starkey Sharp of Hertford County, according to Winborne.[40] Elizabeth may not have been his first wife, however, because Elizabeth was born between 1765 and 1775, and was 15 to 25 years younger than Nathan. She was probably born closer to 1765 because Nathan and Elizabeth’s son, Starkey Sharp Harrell, was born in 1786—he was named for Elizabeth’s father.

 

Just as in the case of William, in 1784, when John Esq. was still around, Nathan had very little wealth, but by 1790, after John Esq. was gone, his widow, Mary, had less and Nathan had much more—specifically he possessed 11 slaves (see Table 12, page 112). However some of the wealth Nathan acquired between 1784 and 1790 came as a land grant, probably for his military service.

 

Nathan received a land grant for 400 acres—his request was dated 1788, and it was granted in 1789. His land was on the Chowan River between the mouth of Wiccacon Creek and Goose Creek.[41] This land was in the general area of his father-in-law’s large land holdings.   

 

In addition to farming, Nathan continued to hold a number of public offices in the county. For instance, he was the County Public Register, 1780-1790 (his father-in-law, Starkey Sharp served a term from 1790 to 1791), then Nathan was back as County Register from 1791 to 1797. He was also a County Trustee prior to 1790, and he was Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, from 1790 through 1794, and then again 1797-1802.[42]

 

            It is difficult to know if Nathan purchased more land in Hertford County because of the burned records, but there is a recorded purchase in Bertie County. On July 30, 1793, Nathan had a deed written for the purchase of one hundred and fifty acres, more or less, on the Chowan River in Bertie County. He paid 100 pounds to Luke and Mary White for the land. The Deed was proven in the August Term, 1794.[43] Many years later, as part of the division of Nathan’s estate, a deed was recorded in Bertie County for the division of the land purchased in 1793—that division helps confirm the identity of some of Nathan and Elizabeth’s children (see chapter 6).

 

The last citing I have found for Nathan is in the 1800 Census. It included the following description of Nathan Harrell’s household.

 [page 120]

 1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Nathan Harrell, age over 45                                              page 699

household members:      males               females

                                   2, 0-10              2, 0-10

                                    1, 10-16            1, 10-16 

                                    1, 16-26            1, 16-26

                                    1, over 45          1, 26-45 (Elizabeth)

                                    (27 slaves)                                            (in Capt. Foster’s Captaincy)

 

            By 1800, Nathan had acquired considerable wealth, and had a fairly large family. I will have more to say about Nathan’s widow, Elizabeth,[44] and their descendants in chapter six.

 

Willis—2nd Generation Harrell

 

Willis could have been a son of either John Esq. or Elijah Harrell. In 1784, John Esq. had two males of taxable age in his household who could have been his sons. By 1790, John Esq.’s widow, Mary, had two males of taxable age with her. One was over 16 years of age, the other under that age. Elijah was in his own household, and he was the only taxable person in his household at that time (see Table 11, page 111). Then Elijah had two males over 16 years of age with him in 1790 (see Table 12, page 112). Looking at just these two points in time, 1784 and 1790, one gets the impression Elijah’s family was younger than that of John Esquire. Considering that Willis was probably the youngest Harrell of the 2nd Generation, it is very likely he was one of Elijah’s sons. Willis was not yet of taxable age in 1782, nor a head of household in 1790. He made his first appearance as a head of household in the 1800 census.

 

1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Willis Harrell, age 26-45                                                   page 717

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              1, 0-10

                                    1, 26-45            1, 16-26

                                    1, over 45          1, 26-45

                                    (2 slaves)                                              (in Capt. Moore’s Captaincy)

 

            He was probably not the male over 45 years of age in his 1800 census entry. He more than likely was the male age 26 to 45, with a wife also between the ages of 26 and 45, and with two children under the age of ten. The older male with them may have been one of their fathers—perhaps Elijah. If my assumptions are correct, and Willis was age 26-45, then he would have been age 16-35 in the 1790 census. He could have been the male over 16 with Mary, or one of the two males with Elijah in 1790. The amount of wealth Willis possessed in 1800 (2 slaves), is not consistent with Elijah One’s tradition, nor that of John Esquire and Mary—but it was perhaps closer to Elijah’s tradition. Regardless of Willis’ parentage, however, he seems to have had a well established household in 1800, but he was gone by the 1810 census.

 [page 121]

Jesse—2nd Generation Harrell

 

Jesse Harrell also made his first appearance in the 1779 tax list (see Table 9, page 109). He was among those young Harrells who did not own any land yet—he was most certainly of the 2nd Generation. He differed from the other Harrells of his generation by owning a cow rather than a horse in 1779. The 1782 tax list also indicates he did not own any land in the county at that time (see Table 10, page 110). By 1784, however, he was on the tax list with 350 acres (see Table 11, page 111). This was probably a land grant based on his military service during the Revolutionary War, but I have not yet found land records to indicate how he acquired the property. In 1784 and 1790 as well, Jesse appears to have been working his family farm without slave labor. This, of course, was more in the tradition of Elijah rather than John Esquire—the former was the most likely prospect for Jesse’s father.

 

The 1790 census also gives us the first glimpse of his family (see Table 12, page 112). Jesse had three males under 16 years of age and probably two of the females with him were also young. The ages of his family members were similar to those in Nathan’s family in 1790, as was his own age. Jesse was over 45 years of age in 1800, which means he was born before 1755—he fits the 2nd Generation of Hertford Harrells pretty well.

 

1800 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Head of Household:  Jesse Harrell, age over 45                                                            page 705

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              2, 10-16

                                    1, 10-16            1, over 45

                                    2, 16-26

                                    1, over 45

                                    (no slaves)                                            (in Capt. Jones’ Captaincy)

 

The 1800 census entry for Jesse indicates his family was pretty well intact by that time, and that he still operated without slaves. I will have more to say about Jesse’s descendants in chapter five.

 

The Probable Connections Between The 1st and 2nd Generations

 

In this section, I have reviewed the possible age groups of Adam Sr., John Esq., and Elijah Harrell’s children—the possible children of the 1st Generation. Then, in the following section, I have proposed linkages of those Harrells in the 2nd Generation to the 1st Generation. I will again caution the reader, with the exception of Adam Jr. and Thomas, I have not seen any documents even suggesting the parentage of any of the 2nd Generation Hertford Harrells.

 

The documents reviewed thus far, give us little indication of the ages of the 1st Generation’s children. For instance;

 

In the 1768-1770 tax list (Table 8, page 113);

                John Esq.                               paid 1 tax

                Elijah I                                    paid 1 tax

In the 1784 tax list (Table 11, page 116);

                John Esq.                               paid for 3 free polls

                Elijah I                                    paid for 1 free poll

In the 1790 census (Table 12, page 116);

                John Esq.’s widow               had         1 male over 16 years of age, and one male under 16

                Elijah                                      had         3 males over 16 years of age.

[page 122] 

From this tax information, all we know is John Esquire had at least 3 sons, perhaps 4, and if the male under 16 years of age in 1790 was his son, then his youngest son was born after 1774. We also know Elijah probably had at least 2 sons, both born before 1774. Adam Sr. was gone before the Hertford County tax lists were compiled, but we have some clues about who might have been his sons from the early Bertie County tax lists and deed activity.

 

Adam Harrell Senior’s Possible and Probable Sons

 

            In earlier sections, I indicated that Adam Sr. probably left several sons in the county. Adam Jr. and Thomas were very probable sons as evidenced by two Bertie County deeds in 1757 reflecting the transfer of lands from Adam Sr. to the younger Harrells. William One was a witness on both of the deeds between Adam Sr. and his probable sons. William One, along with Edward and James, also appeared with Adam Sr., Adam Jr. and Thomas as the only Harrells in a particular tax district in 1761 (see Table 7, page 107).

 

Adam Harrell Jr.

 

            Adam Harrell Jr. first appeared in the Bertie County records as a taxable as early as 1755 (see Table 7, page 103). The strongest indications that Adam Jr. was Adam Sr.’s son are in the tax lists, where their names usually appeared side-by-side as Adam Senior and Junior. In addition, Adam Jr. was recorded on the 1757 deed reflecting his purchase of land from Adam Senior (see Table 6, page 97).

 

Thomas Harrell

 

            Thomas’s connection to Adam Sr. is based on the same type of circumstantial evidence as in the case of Adam Junior. He was in the early tax lists with his probable father, Adam Sr. and brother, Adam Junior (see Table 7, page 103). Thomas was also a witness on the 1757 deed when Adam Sr., transferred ownership of 200 acres of land to Adam Junior—Adam Jr. was a witness to a similar deed on the same day in which Adam Sr. transferred title to Thomas (see Table 6, page 97).

 

William Harrell One

 

            William One also was a witness to the 1757 deeds recording the sale of lands from Adam Sr. to Adam Jr., and Thomas Harrell (see Table 6, page 97). In addition to witnessing both deeds for Adam Sr., he was listed on the 1761 tax list with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas—I think there is a high probability William One was also Adam Sr.’s son. The 1761 tax list may well be the only complete list of Adam Sr.’s sons.

[page 123] 

Edward Harrell

 

            In 1757, Edward was on a short tax list with Adam Sr., Adam Jr., and Thomas. He appeared for the last time on the 1761 Bertie County tax list with his probable father, Adam Sr., and all of his probable brothers (see Table 7, page 103).

 

James Harrell

 

            James only appeared by name in one county document—a 1761 Bertie County tax list. The only other Harrells on that list were Adam Sr., Adam Jr., Thomas, William One, and Edward Harrell (see Table 7, page 103). James was probably one of the taxables in Adam Sr.’s household in 1757 and 1758.

 

            The five 2nd Generation Hertford Harrells just listed were more than likely the oldest of their generation and were probably sons of Adam Senior. They appeared in the records in roughly the order listed above, and they were all no longer taxable residents in Hertford County by 1779. That, of course, does not mean they, and any children they might have had, were necessarily gone—there simply is no record of them. Remember in 1832, Josiah Harrell was living on land very near, if not a part of, the land Adam Sr. once owned (Josiah and his descendants are discussed in chapter 8).

 

John Harrell Esquire’s Possible and Probable Sons

 

            As I mentioned just above, we know very little about the age categories of John Esquire’s sons, but he probably had 3 or 4 sons; at least 3 of them were born before 1774, and his youngest may have been born after 1774. I will nonetheless hazard some guesses based solely on circumstances—proximity and inherited wealth.

 

I am proposing that Benjamin, Samuel, William Two, and Nathan of the 2nd Generation of Hertford Harrells were the sons of John Harrell Esquire and his wife Mary. The 1779 Hertford County tax list shows all four of the young Harrells in similar economic conditions (see Table 9, page 109). Three of them appeared again on the 1782 tax List as young Polls without land or slaves yet—they were William Two, Samuel, and Nathan (see Table 10, page 110). Of course, once again, the small amount of evidence I have is very circumstantial, and until my proposals herein provoke hard evidence in support of these relationships, or better evidence of alternative relationships, the relationships will remain suspect.

 

The 1784 Hertford County tax list also indicates John Esq. and Mary have at least two sons over 16 living in their household (see Table 11, page 111). They could have been William Two and Nathan—the two had been taxables listed since 1779, but were not listed as land owners yet in 1784. Then, by the 1790 census, William Two and Nathan both appear with wealth that was more than likely inherited. The only 1st Generation Harrell who had sufficient wealth to leave, and who in fact had left between 1784 and 1790, was John Esquire (see Table 12, page 112).

[page 124] 

 

Benjamin Harrell

 

The Benjamin of Hertford County in 1779, may have been the same head of household who appeared in Bertie County in 1790 with a young family and wealth. There was no Benjamin Harrell on the Bertie County Tax Lists for 1755-1761, nor 1784-1787. But, in 1790, Bertie County had a well established, relatively wealthy, head of household named Benjamin Harrell. He had with him 3 males under 16; 5 females; and 12 slaves. Remember, John Esq. owned 200 acres in Bertie County according to the 1779 Hertford County Tax List (see Table 9, page 109). Benjamin may well have been on that property. (He also may have been somewhere else much more distant.)

 

William Harrell Two

 

As I have already indicated, William Two apparently did not marry, but he had also inherited considerable wealth after 1784. William possessed 7 slaves after the passing of John Esq., and he had none prior to that period of time. In addition, William was listed next to John Esq. in the 1782 tax list, and next to John’s widow, Mary, in the 1790 census. I think this circumstantial evidence leads to the conclusion that William Two was probably John Esq. and Mary’s son—for instance, the physical proximity, and the possession of a number of slaves. Once again, I am using the notion that very often common economic circumstances and family culture influence the use of slave labor.

 

Nathan Harrell

 

Nathan also showed a considerable increase in wealth in 1790 over what he had in 1782—in 1790 he possessed 11 slaves; in the earlier period he had none. Again, this increase occurred during the same time period that John Esq. apparently died. This adds to the circumstantial evidence presented earlier that strongly suggests Nathan was also one of John Esquire’s sons—above I discussed the implications of first, Nathan and then John Esq. holding the office of County Sheriff, and John Esq. living in Captain Nathan Harrell’s Tax District in 1784.

 

The issue of Nathan’s parentage is a little more complicated than the others in his generation, because we have a fragment of information, which is helpful but incomplete. As I pointed out earlier, while none of John Esquire’s (Lt. John’s) children are known, one set of grandchildren is known.

 

            Part of my speculation about Nathan’s parents builds on the following comment by Winborne in his local history. He is referring to the children of John (b. c. 1794) and Winnifred Harrell who lived along the St. Johns to Ahoskie road—specifically their sons, John W. (born 1814) and Jarret N. (born 1824) Harrell.

 

“Their parents were John Harrell and Winnifred Harrell, nee Bell, of Enfield. The father, John Harrell, was the grandson of Lt. John Harrell, who was Sheriff of Hertford County from 1774-1777, when he enlisted in the Continental Army and was ranked as lieutenant.”[45]

[page 125] 

The important point here is that we know John (born 1794) was Lt. John’s grandson, but who was his father? Winborne does not say. I strongly suspect it was Nathan Harrell.

 

            In any event, the important information in Winborne’s comment is the link between John (born 1794) and Lt. John (John Esquire) as his grandfather. I have no basis for judging the soundness of the linkage. As pointed out above, it is based on the local history written by B. B. Winborne and, while his work contains some factual errors, when considering all the facts he provided, he was right far more often than wrong. Until I hear otherwise then, I will consider this connection true—and I propose to fill the gap between John Esquire (Lt. John) and his grandson with Nathan—he is the best possibility to have been John’s (born 1794) father.

 

Samuel Harrell

 

Samuel Harrell is another probable son of John Esq. and Mary. He first appeared along with William Two and Nathan with similar wealth in the 1779 and 1782 tax lists. By 1784, Samuel had acquired noticeable wealth— the land probably from a land grant, but he also possessed three slaves, probably with the help of his parents. Samuel was gone by the 1790 census. I have no record of what might have become of him.

 

Based on the circumstances mentioned above, I strongly suspect Benjamin, William Two, Nathan, and Samuel were brothers and sons of John Esq. and Mary Harrell—until I hear otherwise, of course.

 

Elijah Harrell’s Possible and Probable Sons

 

If my assumptions, based on the 1790 census, are correct about Elijah’s children, then he had at least two sons who were born before 1774.

 

Elijah may well have had older children, however, who were out of his home by 1790. Once again, there are no records which indicate who among the 2nd Generation may have been a son of  Elijah Harrell. Most of them, of course, were possibilities if they were not sons of  Adam Sr. or John Esquire, but the best possibilities are Jesse and Willis. Jesse could have been a son born around 1755, and Willis born 1768-1774.

 

Jesse and Willis may have been the two males over 16 years of age in Elijah’s household at the time of the 1790 census—these two males may have been considerably over 16 years of age. By 1800, Jesse was still head of his own household, but Elijah was gone. There was only one new Harrell household in 1800—that of Willis, and he was between the ages of 26 and 45 in the year 1800.

 

Jesse Harrell

 

Jesse appeared at the right time to have been a son of Elijah, and he was also of the yeoman sub-culture as was Elijah—neither apparently kept and used slave labor for any length of time.

[page 126] 

Even I have to ask the question, why am I stretching to connect Jesse to Elijah? The best answer is that Jesse is a very poor fit with John Esquire’s family, and he was never listed with the group of Harrells with Adam Sr. and his probable sons in the Bertie County tax lists. I am not here seriously considering the possibility that Jesse simply moved to the area as an adult just before the 1770 Tax List, and that he did not descend from any of the 1st Generation of Hertford County Harrells.

 

Elijah and Jesse were near each other on tax lists, and both were some distance from the other Hertford Harrells. In addition, as early as 1779 the record shows Elijah with over 250 acres and no slaves; the same in 1782 and 1784. At his final appearance in the 1790 census, Elijah still had no slaves. A similar picture emerges for Jesse. He had no slaves in 1779 but was listed with one slave in 1782—he owned no land at that time, so the use of slave labor was probably not central to his livelihood. The slave with Jesse may have come to him from his wife’s family as a dowry or inheritance. The 1790 census indicates he no longer possessed a slave. In fact, at that time, Elijah and Jesse were the only Harrell heads of household in the county with no slaves. As I mentioned above, grouping people by these characteristics often suggests interesting possible relationships because common economic circumstances and family culture influence the use of slave labor.

 

Willis Harrell

 

Another possible son of Elijah Harrell was Willis—in fact, I believe he was probably Elijah’s son and Jesse’s brother. Willis was first listed in the 1800 census, and then not again. In 1800, Willis had what appears to have been a young family, two children under ten years of age and a wife. Willis’ age was probably 26-45 in 1800, and he had a male over 45 years of age living with him at the time—the older man could have been his probable father, Elijah, who for the first time did not appear as a head of household in the county. 

 

Willis was probably the youngest of the 2nd Generation of Harrells in the county. Keep in mind, however, there is always the chance he was the oldest of the 3rd Generation—and as such, there is always the chance Willis was a grandson of Adam Senior. If Willis was the oldest of the 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells, then there is a good possibility he may have been Jesse’s son, and Elijah’s grandson. Whatever the case may have been, I think it is very probable the three of them, Elijah Sr., Jesse, and Willis, were closely related—Jesse and Willis as brothers or fathers and sons. My inclination, however, is to place Willis in the 2nd Generation of Harrells in Hertford County.

 

The Third Generation of Hertford County Harrells

 

            In this section, I have isolated the 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells. Then I have summarized the age categories of the children of the 2nd Generation who may have or did leave children in the county. Lastly, I have made an attempt to match the members of the 3rd Generation with the known age categories of the 2nd Generation’s children.

[page 127] 

            The list of people in the 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells is drawn from a pitifully small number of sources—primarily the censuses from 1810-1830, Winborne’s history of the county, one Bertie County deed, and a note in a privately held family album/history.

 

The 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells appears distinct from the 2nd  when we look at their appearance in the censuses—as summarized in Table 14. The only members of the 2nd Generation still around in 1800 were Jesse, William Two, Nathan, and Willis, but most of them were gone by 1810. When the 1810 census was taken, only Jesse, and Nathan’s widow, Elizabeth, remained in Hertford County; and by 1820 only Elizabeth remained.

 

The 3rd Generation broadly defined, over more than a twenty year period, made its appearance in three waves as detected by the censuses—first in 1810, and finally in 1830.  The first wave in 1810, included Starkey S. Harrell, Elijah Harrell Two, and Eley Harrell—probably all three were descendants of  Hertford’s 2nd Generation. The 3rd Generation Elijah will hereafter be referred to as Elijah Two in order to distinguish him easily from references to the 1st Generation Harrell, Elijah One.

 

Table 14

Summary of  3rd Generation Harrells in the Hertford County censuses, 1810-1840

name                                    1800     1810     1820     1830     1840      

Jesse                                                      X            X             gone**

William Two                                          X            gone

Nathan                                                   X             gone

Elizabeth (Nathan’s widow)*                             X             X             gone

Willis                                                      X            gone

 

Starkey Sr.                                                             X             X             gone

Elizabeth (Starkey’s widow)                                                               X             gone

Elijah Two                                                             X             X             X             X

Eli/Eley                                                                  X             X             X             gone

Thomas Two                                                                        X             gone

John (b. 1794)                                                                       X             gone

Winnefred (John’s widow)                                                                 X             X

John T.                                                                                  X             X             X

David                                                                                     X             X             X

Abner                                                                                    X             X             X

Elisah                                                                                                     X             gone

Josiah                                                                                                     X             X

*Nathan died in 1802. His widow, Elizabeth Sharp Harrell, married George Gordon between 1802 and 1810.

** The designation “gone” does not in every case mean deceased. It may simply mean they were no longer head of a household.

 

The second wave was apparent in 1820, with the addition of five new Harrell households. They were headed by Thomas Two, John (b. 1794), John T., David, and Abner Harrell. Two of the new Harrell households in 1820 migrated into Hertford from Gates County—they were David and Abner. The Thomas who first appeared on the 1815 tax list (see Table 15, page 128) and then the 1820 census will be referred as Thomas Two in order to distinguish him from the probable son of Adam Sr. who last appeared on the 1770 tax list.

 

The late arrivals in the 3rd Generation were heads of households for the first time in 1830. They were Elisah and Josiah Harrell. Elisah’s first and only appearance was in the 1830 census, and it is difficult to track him in later years, because there was an Elisah Harrell in Edgecombe, Gates, and Bertie [page 128] Counties as well as Hertford County in 1830. Josiah, born 1798, was probably the youngest Harrell in the 3rd Generation—he was around until after 1880. That gives us ten 3rd Generation Harrell households in Hertford County based on census information.

 

     There were, of course, other descendants from the 2nd Generation who are not detectable in the 1810-1830 censuses—they were daughters who can not be traced by the name Harrell. They are difficult to know because of the lost marriage registers and wills in the county. I know only a few and can add them to the list. Three of Nathan’s daughters can be identified, with the aid of sources already discussed above—Winborne’s  history of Hertford County, and a Bertie County deed recording the division of land Nathan owned in that county (see note 44 in this chapter). His daughters were Sarah “Sally” Harrell Bond (b. between 1784-1790); Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey (b. c. 1790); and Celia Harrell Morgan (b. 1790-1794). From another source, I have also included Elizabeth Harrell Parker (b. c. 1798). Family information indicates Elizabeth was Josiah Harrell’s sister (see chapter 9). The final woman added to my list is Mary Harrell Wilson, a sister of Abner and James Harrell—all three came to Hertford from Gates County as part of the 3rd Generation, and left their marks.

 

The existence of an 1815 Hertford County tax list reminds us that a lot of information comes and goes between census dates. For instance, Cader Harrell and Lemuel Harrell both appear on the 1815 tax list for the first and last time in Hertford County documents (see Table 15). Cader paid his poll tax and was probably a resident of the county. He was probably not the head of a household in 1810, and he was no longer in the county by 1820. He could, nonetheless, have been a descendant of one of the 2nd Generation of Harrells. Lemuel, on the other hand, apparently did not pay a poll tax in Hertford County, but probably just owned land in the county. Lemuel may have been the Lemuel of Bertie County (born around 1760), son of Lemuel Sr., in the Richard Harrell line of Bertie County (see chapter 3). Thomas Harrell Two also made his 1st appearance in 1815. I mention him because he, along with Cadar and Lemuel, had about 100 acres of land, more than likely newly inherited. Unlike Cadar and Lemuel, however, Thomas stayed in the county long enough to be counted in the 1820 census, but he did not stay long enough to make the 1830 census. There is the possibility two or all were brothers. David came to the county from Gates County between 1810 and 1815 and stayed.

 

Table 15

1815 Hertford County Tax List

                                   free      black               acre of            value

                                   polls     polls                land                 land

Jesse Harrell                          1                                                75                          200.00     (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

Cader Harrell                         1              1                              100                          200.00     (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

Eli Harrell                               1              1                              228                          1,000.00 (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

Thomas Harrell Two            1                                              100                          300.00     (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

John Harrell                           1              6                              220                          1,220.00 (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

Elijah Harrell Two 1                                                                                              (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

Lemuel Harrell                                                                       110                          200.00     (Capt. Moore’s Dist.)

David Harrell                         1              8                              498                          2,000.00

S. S. Harrell & Co.*                                                              150                          1,000.00

Starkey S. Harrell                  1              5                              340                          2,200.00 (Capt. Rawls’ Dist.)

*S. S. Harrell & Co. represent some of the commercial holding of Starkey S. Harrell, a son of Nathan and Elizabeth.

 [page 129]

            I have listed the first appearance of each member of the 3rd Generation just below, not in order of appearance but rather in what seems to be family groups—both probable and known. The first four names are those of Nathan and Elizabeth’s known children: Starkey, Sarah (Bond), Nancy (Smith, Yancey), and Celia (Morgan). [46] The next three names belong to probable children of Nathan and Elizabeth: John (b. c. 1794), Josiah, and Elizabeth (Parker). The third cluster is a loose aggregate of possible sons of Willis and Jesse: Eley, Elijah Two, John T., Elisah, and Thomas Two. The last group is composed of those 3rd Generation Harrells who moved to Hertford from Gates County and stayed—they were: David, Abner, Mary (Wilson), and eventually James. The latter group does not descend from the 2nd Generation of Hertford County Harrells, but, except for Mary, they left descendants in Hertford County.

 

Starkey Sharp Harrell—3rd Generation

 

Starkey married Elizabeth Simons around 1806, and they had one child by 1810. They would leave a number of children in the county. Starkey Sharp Harrell’s first appearance in Hertford County documents was in the 1810 census.

 

1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Starkey Sharp Harrell Sr., age 24                                                page 90

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              2, 16-26

                                    1, 16-26                                  

                                    (1 slave)

 

            Starkey was also counted in the 1820 census, but his widow, Elizabeth, was counted in the 1830 census. A fuller discussion of their household and descendants is in chapter 6 below.

 

Sarah “Sally” Harrell Bond—3rd Generation

 

The Bertie County deed and Winborne’s history of Hertford County, identified Sarah’s husband as George H. Bond. By 1810, Sarah had moved to her husband’s county of Beaufort, and by that time, they had one son.

 

1810 census entry, Beaufort Co., N. C.

Head of Household: George  Bond

household members;      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

 

I have no record of her returning to Hertford County. Nonetheless, what I know of Sarah and her descendants is discussed in chapter six.

 [page 130]

 

Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey—3rd Generation

 

Nancy married Dr. William Lay Smith, an immigrant from the New England area, before 1810. They had one son, William Nathan Harrell Smith.

 

William L. Smith died in Murfreesboro, Hertford County in 1813. Nancy married again between 1814 and 1820 to James Yancey of Caswell County. She had a second son named Antonio Yancey. By 1820, her family had the following look.

 

1820 census entry, Caswell Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  James Yancey, age over 45                                               page 98

household members:      males                           females

                                    3, 0-10                          1, 0-10

                                    2, 16-26                        1, 26-45

                                    1, over 45

 

     Nancy’s two sons were raised in Hertford County and became attorneys there. The balance of what the records show about Nancy and her descendants is presented in chapter 6 below.

 

Celia Harrell Morgan—3rd Generation

 

            Celia married James Morgan, and they first appeared in the 1810 Hertford County census.

 

1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  James Morgan, over 45                                                    page 212

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-10                          2, 0-10

                                    1, over 45                      1,26-45

 

The age categories for James and Celia are very difficult to read from the microfilm. Based on James’ age in the 1820 and 1830 censuses, I think he should be in the 26-45 age category in 1810. Celia, of course, should have been in the 16-26 years category. Their children’s ages make more sense. Their household and descendants in Hertford County are also discussed in chapter 6 below.

 

John Harrell (born c. 1794)—3rd Generation

 

            John’s first appearance in the county was recorded in the 1815 Tax List (see Table 15, page 128)—he possessed 6 slaves and owned 220 acres. He and his wife, Winnefred, had one more slave and 5 children by 1820 (see census entry on page 131).

 

John died when his children were young—he was gone by the 1830 census. His wife, Winnifred, was with their family for the 1830 and 1840 Censuses, and they have descendants in Hertford County to this day. John (b. c. 1794) was a grandson of John Esquire as described earlier in this chapter. This family is discussed in greater detail in chapter 7 below.

 [page 131]

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  John Harrell, age over 45                                                 page 184

household members:      males                           females

                                    2, 0-10                          3, 0-10

                                    1, over 45                      1, 16-26

                                    (7 slaves)

 

Josiah Harrell (b. 1798)—3rd Generation

 

            The first citing of  Josiah  Harrell by name is in the 1830 U. S. Census when he was 32 years of age. By my calculations, Josiah was probably the youngest Harrell in Hertford County’s 3rd Generation.

 

1830 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Josiah Harrell, age 32                                                      page 398

household members:      males                           females

                                    3, 5-10                          1, 30-40

                                    1, 30-40

                                    (no slaves)

 

Josiah and his wife were in Hertford County censuses through 1880, as were several of their descendants. This family is discussed at greater length in chapter eight.

 

Elizabeth Harrell Parker (b. c. 1798)—3rd Generation

 

            Elizabeth married Silas Parker around 1827—it was probably her first. It was his third marriage. Elizabeth and Silas Parker’s household for the 1830 census was as follows.

 

1830 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Silas Parker, age 61

household members:      males                           females

                                    3, 0-4                            1, 15-19

                                    1, 60-69                        1, 20-29

                                                                        1, 30-39

                                    (11 slaves)

 

Elizabeth, was about thirty-one years old in 1830, and at that time, she had in her household two sons of her own as well as three step-children from Silas’s previous marriages. Silas Parker Sr. died around 1850, and Elizabeth Harrell Parker lived to the age of 88. Elizabeth and Silas left numerous descendants in Hertford County. There is more information on Elizabeth’s family in chapter nine.

 [page 132]

  

Eley Harrell (born 1770-1775)—3rd Generation

 

Eley was between the ages of  25 and 30 in 1800, but was not a head of Household in the 1800 census. He may have been the Eli Harrell who married Charity Boyt on January 18, 1804 in Gates County. In any case, by 1810 Eley was in Hertford County, and his household was constituted as follows.

  

1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Eli Harrell, age 35-40                                                       page 106

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-10                          ?, 0-10

                                    1, 26-45                        1, 26-45

                                    (1 slave)

 

Eley and his family were also recorded in the 1820 and 1830 censuses in Hertford County. They undoubtedly left descendants in Hertford County. There is more information on Eley’s family in chapter five.

 

Elijah Two (born 1780-1784)—3rd Generation

 

In the 1815 Hertford County tax list, Elijah Two was taxed for one poll, and had no slaves or land. He was 16-20 years old in 1800, and 26-30 years old in 1810.

 

1810 Census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:       Elijah Harrell, age 26-45

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-10                          1, 26-45           

                                    1, 10-16

                                    1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (no slaves)

 

            The two males between the ages of 10 and 26 were probably Elijah Two’s brothers. His household was also described in the 1820 and 1830 censuses. Elijah Two and his wife undoubtedly contributed to the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells. There is more information on Elijah Two and his family in chapter five.

 

John T. Harrell (born 1790-1794)—3rd Generation

 

John T. (born 1790-1794) and his wife, Rose Anna (born 1794-1804), were married around 1816. It was probably after the 1815 Tax List was taken.

 [page 133]

  

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  John T. Harrell, age 26-30                                               page 184

household members:      males                           females

                                    2, 0-10                          1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (1 slave)

 

            By 1820, John T. and his wife had two sons, and Rose Anna  was probably close to 26 years of age; John T. was over 26 but under 30. John T. Harrell and family were in Hertford County for the 1830 and 1840 censuses. He died in mid-1840, but not before he and Rose Anna left more Hertford Harrells. John T. and his family are discussed in greater detail in chapter five.

 

Elisah Harrell (born 1790-1800)—3rd Generation

 

            Elisah is in the Hertford County records only once—the 1830 census. Both he and his wife were over 30 years of age and may not have been married in 1820. The ages of the other two members of the household do not present a clear picture of who the youngsters might have been.

 

1830 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:   Elisah Harrell, age 30-40                                                 page 415

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 15-20                        1, 5-10

                                    1, 30-40                        1, 30-40

                                    (no slaves)

 

If Elisah died in the county, he probably left some children there. There is more discussion of Elisah and his family in chapter five.

 

Thomas Harrell Two (born before 1775)—3rd Generation

 

Thomas Harrell Two’s first appearance in the county was on the 1815 tax list—and he owned land at that time. He was in Hertford County for only one census, the 1820 census. He was over 45 years of age at that time, but had a relatively young family.

 

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Thomas Harrell, age over 45                                            page 192

household members:      males               females

                                    3, 0-10              1, over 45

                                    1, over 45

                                    (no slaves)

 

Thomas was no longer in Hertford County for the 1830 census. If he died before 1830, he may have left a widow who remarried, and at least 3 children under the age of 20. There is more information on Thomas and his family in chapter five.

 [page 134]

David Harrell (from Gates County)—3rd Generation

 

            David married Ann Gatling in Gates County on November 11, 1796. He was between 35 and 40 years of age in 1810 and was listed as a head of household in Gates County.

 

1810 census entry, Gates Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  David Harrell, age 35-40

household members:      males                           females

                                    2, 0-10                          2, 0-10

                                    1, 16-26                        2, 10-16

                                    1, 26-45                        1, 26-45

                                                                        1, over 45

                                    (13 slaves)

 

David moved to Hertford County with his family between 1810 and 1815, and he first appeared in Hertford County on the 1815 tax list (see Table 15, page 128). David and his family were also in the 1820 census in Hertford County.

 

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:       David Harrell, over 45                                                 page 182

household members:      males                           females

                                    2, 10-16                        2, 0-10

                                    1, 16-26                        1, 10-16

                                    1, over 45                      1, 16-26

                                                                        7, 26-45

                                                                        1, over 45

                                    (18 slaves) 

 

David and his wife were still in the county for the 1840 census, and they have descendants in Hertford County to this day. There is more detail on David and his descendants in chapter ten.

 

Abner Harrell (from Gates County)—3rd Generation

 

Abner is in the 1810 census for Gates County at the age of 20—he was a head of household living alone. He was not a brother nor a first cousin to David Harrell who migrated from Gates to Hertford County a few years before. Abner moved to Hertford county between 1815 and 1820. Our first glimpse of him in Hertford County was in the 1820 census.

 

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Abner Harrell, age 30                                                      page 178

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (1 slave)

 [page 135]

            Abner died in Hertford County in 1864. His frequent appearances in the county records are recounted in greater detail in chapter ten.

 

Mary Harrell Wilson (from Gates County)—3rd Generation

 

Mary Harrell was Abner Harrell’s sister. She married John G. Wilson in Gates County on December 6, 1825. He was 25 years of age; she was a bit older. They were in Hertford County for the 1830 census—John and Mary’s household consisted of the following.

 

1830 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  John G. Wilson, age 40

Household members:     males               females

                                    1, 15-20            1, 30-40

                                    1, 20-30

 

            Judging by later censuses, John was about 30 years of age in 1830, and Mary was about 42. The younger male was probably a nephew and/or clerk in John’s store. John and Mary did not have children. John was a successful merchant in Murfreesboro, Hertford County, and he would later form a partnership with Mary’s brother James. Mary and John are discussed in a bit more detail in chapter ten.

 

James Harrell (from Gates County, via Virginia)—3rd Generation

 

            Like Abner Harrell and Mary (Wilson), James was an offspring of Samuel Harrell of Gates County. James moved from Gates County to Virginia for a number of years, but ended up in Hertford County by 1841, and he spent the remainder of his life there. Most of James’ children were raised in Hertford County. James and his family were first recorded in the county for the 1850 census.

 

1850 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Harrell, James               age 58 clerk                                         NC                   page 313

Harrell, Virginia             age 18                                                Va.

Harrell, Joseph H.         age 16 clerk/in school                           Va.

Harrell, Elvira E.           age 13 in school                                   Va.

Harrell, Eleha A.           age 11 in school                                   Va.

Harrell, John W.            age 10 in school                                   Va.

Harrell, Lane                 age   7 in school                                  NC      

 

            In 1850, James was not yet married to his third wife, and his youngest son was born in North Carolina. James Harrell             died July 4, 1858 in Hertford County. James’ descendants are scattered across the country, but odds are, there are still a few of them in the Hertford County area. There is more discussion of James and his descendants in chapter ten.

Cadar and Lemuel Harrell—3rd Generation

 

Two of the three new taxables in the 1815 Hertford County tax list were Cadar and Lemuel (see Table 15, page 128). There is no reason to believe they left descendants in Hertford County.

 [page 136]

            An over-view of the three generations of Harrell actors on the early Hertford County scene is presented in Table 16.

 

            Certainly by 1830, members of the 4th Generation began to appear in the census, but they will be considered in later chapters. The information in Table 16 is inclusive of only the first three generations of Hertford County Harrells, and from among them, only Josiah and Abner lived to see the out-break of the Civil War—Abner nearly lived to the War’s end, and Josiah was still in Hertford County in 1880.

 

Table 16

Summary of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells

                                Deeds &            Tax Lists                                                      Censuses                                                                          Taxes

                      Bertie      1768   1779   1782   1784       1790   1800   1810   1820   1830   1840   1850   1860   1870                                 County    1770                        (land                       

                                                                                only)

 

Adam Sr.                 yes          gone

Joseph                    yes          gone

John Esq.               yes          yes     yes      yes    yes          gone        

Mary (John’s widow)                                                            yes     gone

Elijah One               yes          yes    yes      yes     yes         yes     gone

                                               

Adam Jr.                 yes          yes     gone

Thomas One           yes          yes     gone

William One            yes          gone

Edward                    yes          gone

James                      yes          gone        

Benjamin                                          yes     gone                                                    

Samuel                                              yes     yes      yes         gone

William Two                                    yes     yes                     yes     yes      gone

Jesse                                                 yes     yes      yes         yes     yes      yes     gone

Nathan                                             yes     yes                      yes     yes     gone

Elizabeth (Nathan’s widow) *                                                                     yes     yes      gone

Willis                                                                                                 yes     gone

                               

Elijah Two                                                                                                   yes     yes      yes       yes    gone

Eley                                                                                                            yes     yes      yes      gone

Starkey S.                                                                                                   yes     yes      gone

Elizabeth (Starkey’s widow)                                                                                             yes       gone

Thomas Two                                                                                                          yes**  gone

John (b. 1794)                                                                                                        yes**  gone

Winnefred (John’s widow)                                                                                                yes       yes   gone

John T.                                                                                                                   yes      yes       yes   gone

David                                                                                                                      yes**  yes       gone  

Abner                                                                                                                     yes      yes       yes    yes      yes  gone

Elisah                                                                                                                                 yes        gone

Josiah                                                                                                                                yes        yes    yes      yes   yes

*Nathan’s widow, Elizabeth, married George Gordon between 1802 and 1810, and had Nathan’s youngest children with her until after 1820.

**Thomas, John (husband of Winnefred), and David first appeared in the 1815 Hertford County Tax List.

 

The next task is to make the known, the probable, and the possible matches across the 2nd and 3rd Generations.

 [page 137]

The Possible and Probable Connections Between The 2nd & 3rd Generations

 

Largely due to the lack of information, there is an understandable lack of certainty about which 2nd Generation Harrells may have left children in Hertford County. Nonetheless, it is necessary to make a preliminary effort to sort out possible connections between the 2nd and 3rd Generations.

 

Ages for The 3rd Generation Hertford County Harrells

 

            The members of  the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells who did or were most likely to descend from the county’s 2nd Generation are listed just below along with their ages, estimated and known.[47]

 

                Eli / Eley Harrell                                    (born 1770-1775)

                Thomas Harrell Two                            (born before 1775)

                Starkey S. Harrell                                 (born 1786)

                Sarah “Sally” Harrell Bond                 (born 1784-1790)

                Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey              (born around 1790)

Celia Harrell Morgan                           (born 1790-1794)

Elijah Harrell Two                                 (born 1780-1784)

                John T. Harrell                                      (born 1790-1794)

                Elisah Harrell                                        (born 1790-1800)

                John Harrell                                          (born around 1794)

Josiah Harrell                                        (born 1798)

                Elizabeth Harrell Parker                       (born around 1798)

 

            It is now necessary to match as far as possible the ages of the 3rd Generation to the determinable age categories of the 2nd Generation’s children.

 

The Age Categories for The Children of The 2nd Generation

 

There are some 2nd Generation Harrells for whom we know so little, it is pointless to speculate about their possible children. For instance, earlier I suggested Adam Sr., of the 1st Generation, may have been the father of Adam Jr., Thomas, William One, Edward, and James Harrell—and mentioned that there is no evidence indicating these 2nd Generation Harrells left children in the county. The younger members of Adam Sr.’s probable family may not have left children in the county because they were not taxable in Hertford County by 1768, but Adam Jr. and Thomas One were taxable there until 1770, but gone by 1779. It seems reasonable that Adam Sr. would have had grandchildren in the county, but there is not enough information to even estimate their number, gender, or age categories. One possible candidate for Adam Sr.’s grandson was Thomas Two (born before 1775), who was among the oldest of the 3rd Generation, but there is no circumstantial evidence to suggest any connection to the 3rd Generation. Benjamin left Hertford County before 1782; Samuel left the County before 1790. There is also no evidence that Benjamin and Samuel left any children in Hertford County. Samuel was still around in 1784, but if he left any children in the county they were very young—he did not have any free polls in his household in 1784. Also, William Two never married nor did he probably have children. He did, however, remain in Hertford County until after the 1800 census.

 [page 138]

Thus, Adam Sr.’s probable sons, Adam Jr., Thomas One, William One, Edward, and James; as well as John Esquire’s probable sons Benjamin, Samuel, and William Two will all be excluded from the efforts to match their generation to 3rd Generation Harrells. My position is then, in all probability, the Harrells of the 3rd Generation who were born in Hertford County, descended from either Willis, Jesse, or Nathan Harrell. That should not rule-out the possibility that one or more of the 3rd Generation came from one of Adam Sr.’s probable sons, or from Benjamin, William Two, or Samuel (assuming the Samuel of Hertford was not the Samuel who moved to Gates County).

 

Age Categories for Willis’ Children

 

            Willis’ only appearance in the records was for the 1800 census. This limited view of his family reveals that he probably had two children at that time.

 

1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Willis Harrell, age over 45                                                            page 717

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-10                          1, 0-10

                                    1, 26-45                        1, 16-26

                                    1, over 45                      1, 26-45

                                    (2 slaves)                                              (in Capt. Moore’s Captaincy)

 

            Willis’ two children were probably one male, age 0-10, and one female, age 0-10. If we assume Willis died in the county rather than moved his family from it, then he may have left at least two children there.

 

Age Categories for Jesse’s Children

 

We began to get a glimpse of Jesse’s family in the 1790 census. At that time his household consisted of  2 males under the age of 16; 3 females and no slaves. By 1800, Jesse’s household still had the 2 males who were under 16 in 1790, and who by 1800 were under 26. In addition, they had two younger boys, probably their youngest sons, one probably around the age of 10 (born just after the 1790 census), and the other younger who was probably 7 or 8 years old. The three females in the household in 1790 were still visible in 1800—the girls were 10 to 16 years of age in 1800. The 1800 census entry is as follows:

 

1800 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Head of Household:  Jesse Harrell, age over 45                                                            page 705

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-10                          2, 10-16

                                    1, 10-16                        1, over 45

                                    2, 16-26

                                    1, over 45

                                    (no slaves)                                            (in Capt. Jones’ Captaincy)

 [page 139]

            The 1810 census did not reveal any additional children. The birth years and ages of Jesse Harrell’s Children in 1800 were:

 

                                                                     ages in 1800                      

Son # 1                         born 1775-1784,                6-25               

Son # 2                         born 1775-1784,             16-25               

Son # 3                         born 1785-1790,             10-15               

Son # 4                         born 1791-1800,               0-9                

Daughter # 1                 born 1785-1790,             10-15               

Daughter # 2                 born 1785-1790,             10-15               

 

Age Categories for Nathan’s Children

 

Determining the age categories of Nathan and Elizabeth Harrell’s children is complicated by the fact that Nathan died two years after the 1800 census, while several of his children were young, some even infants, and Elizabeth remarried before the 1810 census. She married a widower with children of his own—and then the remarried couple had children of their own. This situation makes it very difficult to track Elizabeth and her children from Nathan. Nonetheless, most of the age categories can be sorted out.

 

            The census in 1790 shows Nathan’s household with the following members: 2 males under 16 years of age; his wife Elizabeth; and two other females, probably daughters (see Table 12, page 112). It is probably safe to assume Nathan and Elizabeth had two sons and two daughters all born before 1790. In the case of the females, we can only be sure they are children after we look at the next census. By 1800 Nathan’s household looks like this:

 

1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Nathan Harrell, age over 45                                             page 699          

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              2, 0-10

                                    1, 10-16            1, 10-16    

                                    1, 16-26            1, 16-26

                                    1, over 45          1, 26-45

                                    (27 slaves)                                            (in Capt. Foster’s Captaincy)

 

            From the 1800 census, we know a little more about their two oldest sons. One is listed as 10-16 years old, and the other as 16-26, which means in 1790, one was under 6 and the other was 6 or over. The same can be said for their two oldest daughters. It appears that by 1800, their four oldest children were still living with them, and they had four more children, all under 10 years of age.

 

The distribution of ages in the 1800 census is fairly straightforward. It gets more difficult after Nathan’s death in 1802 when we attempt to determine if Nathan and Elizabeth had additional children after the 1800 census and, say, before nine months after his death. In order to do this, we need to look at Elizabeth and her children in her new, Gordon, household.

 

            Elizabeth probably remarried sometime around 1804. I estimate this date for her second marriage because she is shown in the 1810 Census with her husband George Gordon, and with at least one and perhaps two children under the age of ten.[48] All of Nathan’s children should have been over 7 or 8 years of age by 1810—if they were born during the last year of his life, or just after his death.

 [page 140]

1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  George Gordon, age 26-45

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              1, 0-10

                                    1, 16-26            1, 26-45

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (17 slaves)

 

            In 1810, Nathan’s sons who were shown in the 1800 census would have been: 2 males, ages 10-20 / 1 male, age 20-26 / and 1 male, 26-36. The Gordon household possibly had one of the males in the 10-20 year old category, and two additional sons born after the 1800 census. One or even both of them could have been Nathan’s sons—it is next to impossible to know for certain at this time. There is even some question about the male in the 16-26 year old category. Nathan had a son who should have occupied that category, but there is some uncertainty on this score because George Gordon’s son, John H. Gordon, also was in the 16-26 age category.

 

Nathan and Elizabeth Harrell’s three oldest daughters—Nancy Smith, Sarah Bond, and Celia Morgan—were all in their own households by 1810 (see chapter 6). The female in the 0-10 age category in George Gordon’s household was probably Elizabeth Harrell (she later married Silas Parker—see chapter 9) around the age of nine. Unless Elizabeth and George Gordon’s daughter, Barsha Gordon was already born. (Barsha could not have been born before 1804—so she would have been 6 years old or younger) George Gordon and Elizabeth’s household was constituted as follows in 1820.

 

In 1820, Elizabeth and George apparently had two daughters between the ages of 10 and 16—Barsha Gordon was one of them.[49] The possibility that Elizabeth Sharp Harrell Gordon had two of her sons from her first marriage with her in the Gordon household is real. It is difficult to know with much certainty, however, which of Nathan’s children were still with their mother, Elizabeth, in 1820, but I think it is probable that their youngest son was Josiah (b. 1798), and their youngest daughter was Elizabeth Harrell Parker (b. c. 1798).

 

1820 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  George Gordon, age over 45

household Members:      males               females

                                    1, 16-18            2, 10-16

                                    2, 18-26            1, over 45

                                    1, over 45

                                    (9 slaves)

 [page 141]

       In any case, the age categories for Nathan and Elizabeth’s children are as follows:

 

                                                          age in              identified                                                                            birth year       1800                as                                                           

                Son # 1                   1775-1784               16-26                                                                                      

Son # 2                   1785-1790               10-16                       Starkey Sharp Harrell (b. 1786)

                Son # 3                   1791-1800                 0-10                                                                                      

                Son # 4                   1791-1800                 0-10                                                                                      

                Daughter # 1         1775-1784               16-26                       Sarah Harrell Bond (b. 1784-1790)

                Daughter # 2         1785-1790               10-16                       Nancy Harrell Smith Yancy (b. c. 1790)

                Daughter # 3         1791-1800                 0-10                       Celia Harrell Morgan (b. 1791-1794)

                Daughter # 4         1791-1800                 0-10                                                                                      

 

            Before we look at the possible matches for the 2nd and 3rd Generations, let me say a word about Nathan and Elizabeth Harrell’s known children.

 

Nathan’s Known Children

 

            We are unusually fortunate in the case of Nathan and Elizabeth; we know the names of several of their children. I have matched four of the age categories in the list above with the names: Starkey Sharp Harrell, Sarah Harrell Bond, Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey, and Celia Harrell Morgan. As I have indicated before, there are two sources indicating Nathan and Elizabeth’s connection to these four.

 

            First of all, Winborne in his history of Hertford County stated that Nathan and Elizabeth’s children included Starkey Sharp Harrell., Sarah “Sally” Harrell Bond, and Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey.[50] This list of their children was expanded to include their younger daughter, Celia, by a property division deed in Bertie County.

 

As mentioned earlier, Nathan purchased some land in Bertie County in 1793. Fortunately, he still owned the land in Bertie County at his death in 1802. The Bertie County land was divided among several of his heirs in 1818—apparently there was no rush to divide Nathan’s property outside of Hertford County. It appears the division of this land was based on Nathan’s will (His will apparently was not recorded in Bertie County, and the Hertford County records burned). The Bertie County Court appointed  Commissioners to establish an equal division into four parcels of 32 acres each, to be drawn by four of Nathan’s heirs. James and Celia Harrell Morgan drew lot number 1; Starkey S. Harrell drew lot number 2; George and Sarah Bond drew lot number 3; and William and Nancy Harrell Smith Yancey drew lot number four.[51] Nathan’s three youngest children were probably still living with their mother at the time of the division which might account for why the Bertie County property went to the older children. On the other hand, it might have been called for in an early will written by Nathan, if indeed he had one.

 

The Possible Matches Between the 2nd and 3rd Generations

 

            In Table 17, I have matched the age categories of the children of the 2nd Generation in 1800 with the ages of the 3rd Generation at that same time.

 [page 142]

Table 17

Age Categories in 1800, and Possible Matches

                        Age category in 1800                         Possible 3rd Generation Match

 

Willis;              male, age          0-10                              John (b. c. 1794)          age 6

                                                                                    John T.                         age 6-10

                                                                                    Elisah                           age 0-10

                                                                                    Josiah                           age 2

                        female, age       0-10                              Elizabeth Parker           age 2

                       

Jesse;              male, age          0-10                              John (b. c. 1794)          age 6

                                                                                    John T.                         age 6-10

                                                                                    Elisah                           age 0-10

                                                                                    Josiah                           age 2

                        male, age          10-16                            Elijah Two                    16-20

                        2 males, age      16-26                            Eley                             25-30

                                                                                    Thomas  Two                over 25

 

Nathan;            2 males, age      0-10                              John (b. c. 1794)          age 6

                                                                                    John T.                         age 6-10

                                                                                    Elisah                           age 0-10

                                                                                    Josiah                           age 2

                        2 females, age   0-10                              Elizabeth Parker           age 2

                        male, age          10-16                            Elijah Two                    age 16-20

                        male, age          16-26                            Eley                             25-30

                                                                                    Thomas Two                over 25

 

 

            To a degree, it is useful to consider some of the many possibilities listed above as more probable connections between the two generations than others. Once again I will venture into this area of great uncertainty, hoping to cause others to consider the relationships and perhaps remember something or find something that will add a measure of certainty to this enterprise.

 

Some Probable Matches Between the 2nd and 3rd Generations

 

            Next, I will discuss some of the more probable matches from among all the possibilities in the list above.

  

Probable Match for John (b. c. 1794)

 

            Like several other 3rd Generation Harrells, John’s age in 1800 allows us to consider him a possible son in the households of Willis, Jesse, or Nathan because all three had a male under the age of ten in 1800. I think, however, John (b. c. 1794) was most likely a son of Nathan. In a previous section, I have already speculated that Nathan Harrell was likely a son of John Esquire in large part because he appeared to have the kind of wealth one would expect from a son of John Esquire. Staying with this same [page 143] notion, I would not expect that John (b. c. 1794) of the 3rd Generation would be a very good fit with Willis or Jesse—John (b. c. 1794) emerged on the Hertford County scene in 1815 with 6 slaves and 220 acres of land. Also recall, John (b. c. 1794) was said to have been a grandson of John Esquire—the latter being a very probable father of Nathan Harrell.

  

Probable Match for John T.

 

John T. was 6 to 10 years of age in 1800, and once again, all three 2nd Generation households had a male in the zero to ten years category.

 

            For much the same reason, John (b. c. 1794) was a good fit with Nathan’s family; John T. was not. John T. first appeared as a head of household in 1820, and his level of wealth was not what we might expect from a son of Nathan. In addition, it is not too likely Nathan would have two sons named John.

 

            Another candidate for John T. Harrell’s father was Jesse Harrell. Jesse was a long time resident of Hertford County, and John T. was also. The picture that emerges from the censuses is more complete for Jesse because, unlike Nathan and Willis, he was surveyed in 1810 as well as 1800. Jesse Harrell had a son between the ages of 0-10 in 1800, and a son between the ages of 16 and 26 in 1810 when John T. would have been 16 to 20 years of age. Jesse did not use slave labor, and that is not terribly different from John T.’s situation in 1820 when he possessed one slave.

 

            A more likely father for John T. Harrell, however, was Willis Harrell. Willis possessed 2 slaves in 1800, not unlike John T.’s situation—John T. possessed 1 slave in his first appearance in the 1820 census, and 2 slaves a decade later, and 4 slaves in 1840. This probably means, like Willis, John T. was not adverse to using slave labor on a small scale. Indeed, he made an effort to slowly accumulate wealth because he did not stand to inherit much.

 

            I would have to think John T. Harrell was a probable son of either Willis or Jesse—with a slight edge toward Willis as the more likely father.

  

Probable Match for Elisah

 

            Because Elisah was in the same general age category as John (b. c. 1794) and John T., he is also possibly a son of Willis, Jesse, or Nathan. For reasons similar to those mentioned above, I do not think it very probable Elisah was Nathan’s son, but it is very likely he came from Willis or Jesse. There is simply not enough information about Elisah Harrell to hazard a reasonable guess.

  

Probable Match for Josiah (and for his sister, Elizabeth Harrell Parker)

 

            Josiah was the fourth 3rd Generation Hertford County Harrell to fit the male-under-ten-years-of-age category in 1800. This also means all three 2nd Generation Harrells—Willis, Jesse, and Nathan—are possible fathers of Josiah. However, I mentioned earlier that a Parker family album carries a note indicating that Josiah was the sister of Elizabeth Harrell Parker. If that is correct, then the father of Josiah, [page 144] from among the three 2nd Generation Harrells, should also have had an age category in 1800 for a female under 10 years of age in order to accommodate Elizabeth. Both Willis and Nathan had a female under 10 years old in 1800. Even though Josiah did not use slave labor and may, in that regard, be a better fit with Willis than Nathan, I am leaning toward Nathan as the most probable father for a couple of reasons.

 

The first reason has to do with land—Josiah owned a 140 acre farm in 1834, and at least one other parcel of about 60 acres, but, of course, there are no records of how he acquired the land. It is important that Nathan and Elizabeth were prosperous members of the county, because Josiah and his wife as a young married couple in the mid 1820s were relatively well-off. This suggests they had an inheritance. (for more information on Josiah and his family see chapter 8).

 

The more compelling reason, however, to favor Nathan over Willis as Josiah and Elizabeth Harrell’s father has little to do with property, but rather with their use of names. We know Nathan and Elizabeth named their first son Starkey Sharp Harrell. The name Starkey Harrell, while a bit unusual at the time was a very meaningful connection for Nathan and Elizabeth when they named him—Elizabeth’s father was Starkey Sharp. The name Starkey S. Harrell would travel well for several generations, and unfortunately, more than once in most generations. In fact, Josiah and his wife named their fourth son, Starkey S. Harrell. It was a name Josiah might pick to honor his older brother and grandfather, but not a name that was likely to come out of any other traditional use of names among the Harrells.

 

Another use of a name for connecting Josiah to Nathan and his wife, Elizabeth, is the name Elizabeth gave to her youngest daughter with George Gordon—Barsha Gordon.[52] (For a discussion of Elizabeth and George Gordon see pages 138-140.) Barsha was probably Josiah’s half-sister, and they would have lived in the same household for more than the first ten years of Barsha Gordon’s life. Some years later, Josiah named his youngest daughter Barsha Harrell. Both names, Starkey and Barsha, do appear from time-to-time in other families, but they were certainly not as common as John and Mary among the Harrells. It is very likely Josiah had a reason for two such selections—to honor his oldest brother and youngest sister.

 

Josiah was 22 years old in 1820, and if he were Nathan and Elizabeth’s son, he may have been one of the males in the 18-26 year old category in the Elizabeth and George Gordon Household of 1820. (Josiah did not appear with his own household until 1830.)

 

I am still assuming my information is correct, and Elizabeth Harrell Parker was Josiah’s sister—and given that assumption, to the extent I am correct about Josiah’s match with Nathan, so am I about Elizabeth’s connection. Josiah’s family is discussed in more detail in chapter 8, and Elizabeth Harrell Parker’s in chapter nine.

  

Probable Match for Elijah Two

 

            When suggesting matches for the 1st and 2nd generations, I suggested that Elijah One was probably Jesse’s father. I think there is just as good a probability that Jesse named his second son for his father, Elijah Harrell. Elijah Two was also a possible match for Nathan’s family, but when Elijah Two first appeared as a head of household in 1810, he had no slaves, and on the 1815 tax list, he had no land—such lack of wealth was not a characteristic condition for one of Nathan’s children. The most probable match for Elijah Two then is Jesse. Jesse and Elijah Two’s families are discussed in greater detail in chapter five.

 [page 145] 

Probable Match for Eley

 

            Eley was the head of his household by the 1810 census. At that time he had a young family, and possessed one slave. By the time the 1815 tax list was compiled, Eley had 228 acres of land. That, of course, sounds like an inheritance, but not necessarily from his father, perhaps from his father-in-law—the latter is a less likely possibility, however.

 

The reason for this preliminary volume is illustrated by the length of the inference I am about to make. Jesse had about 350 acres in 1784; the next available tax list for the county is for 1815, at which time Jesse only had about 75 acres, and Eley appeared with about 228 acres. Now, of course, Jesse could very likely have sold most of his land in the 30 years that transpired between the two tax list, but it is also possible that Jesse passed the acres on to his oldest son, who may well have been Eley. Jesse’s other probable son, Elijah Two was also on the 1815 tax list, but he did not own any land at that time. Jesse’s other, younger, probable son, Elisah, was not yet taxable in 1815 and was not seen as a head of his own household until the 1830 census.

 

Nathan’s estate had also been partially distributed by 1815, and it is possible that Eley was one of Nathan’s heirs—I have not been able to find any documents showing the distribution of Nathan’s property in Hertford County. Nonetheless, I think Eley is a possible match with Nathan, and a more probable match with Jesse.

  

Probable Match for Thomas Two

 

            Thomas Two first appeared in the 1815 tax list. At that time, he seemed to be in an economic condition similar to that of Cadar and Lemuel—they all had about 100 acres of land and were new to the Hertford County records. Cadar possessed one slave; Thomas Two and Lemuel none. Thomas’ name, of course, draws one’s attention to Adam Sr.’s son, Thomas One, who owned land in the county near Horse Swamp after 1757. It is possible that all three of the newly emerged Harrells in 1815 were grandchildren of Adam Sr., but that is just a possibility. I have left Thomas listed as a possible son for both Jesse and Nathan (and possibly a grandson of Adam Sr.), but not yet a probable son of any one of them.

  

            To summarize the matches across generations two and three, possible and otherwise, we can use the information in Table 18 (see page 146).

 [page 146]

  

Table 18

Summary of The Possible, Probable, and Known Matches Between The 2nd & 3rd Generations

Second                        Known                        Probable                     Possible

Generation                  Children                     Children                     Children

Harrell

 

Willis:                                                                                    John T.                                   John (b. c. 1794)

                                                                                                Elisah*                                   Josiah

                                                                                                                                      Elizabeth (Parker)

                               

Jesse:                                                                                     Elijah Two                             John (b. c. 1794)

                                                                                                John T.                                  Josiah

                                                                                                Eley                                        Thomas Two

                                                                                                Elisah*                                  

 

Nathan:                                  Starkey S.                              John (b. c. 1794)                   John T.

                                                Sarah (Bond)                        Josiah                                     Elisah

                                                Nancy (Smith, Yancey)       Elizabeth (Parker)                 Elijah Two

                                                Celia (Morgan)                                                                     Eley

                                                                                                                                                Thomas Two

*Elisah is listed as probable for both Willis and Jesse, because both seem reasonable, and there is a lack of any decisive information at this point in time.

 

In this chapter, I have proposed a number of relationships among the heads of households for the three Generations of Hertford County Harrells surveyed thus far. For the most part, I have looked at the possible links across the generations, and then tried to isolate the most probable connections. I would at this point, remind the reader that all the proposed father-to-son relationships in this chapter are reasonable, but not proven—with the exception of some of Nathan and Elizabeth’s children.

 

            In the following chapters, I have discussed the information  available on the 3rd Generation Harrells isolated in this chapter. In each case, I carry the discussion through to the descendants of the 3rd Generation as far as 1860, and in some cases even further.

 


Notes

[1] There is a reference to a May 10, 1723 deed in the abstracts of Bertie County deeds by Mary Best Bell, Colonial Bertie County North Carolina Deed Books A-H 1720-1757, 2nd Edition (Southern Historical Press, Greenville, S. C.), page 4. The 1723 deed abstract indicates a William Harrell owned land near the Meherrin River in the upper part of Bertie Precinct—where it would become Hertford County in 1759. It contains the following: William Vincent bought 100 acres from Thomas Vincent May 10, 1723. “Part of 300 A. patent dated Mar. 9, 1717/18 on WS Meherrin Creek adj. William Harrell, John Jernagin.” (Bertie County deed, Book A, page 67.) There is no Chowan or Bertie County deed recorded before 1723 for William Harrell’s purchase nor for any Harrell in that area during or before the 1720s. The reference is probably to William Howell of Isle of Wight, Va. who sold 260 acres on December 5, 1720 to two different buyers—both pieces of land were part of a patent he had received in 1719, and were located on the south side of the Meherrin River. (Bertie County deeds, Book A, page 214, and Book A, page 217) Thomas Howell Sr. and Jr. owned land in the same area for decades to follow.

[2] Bertie County deeds, 1735, Book D, page 252; 1732, Book D, page 250 (The original 1732 deed is in Book  D, page 81.).

[3]Route no. 13 was not there at the time. Indeed, it was called the “new road” one hundred years later, in 1832. There are a couple of reasons to focus on this particular area: first because in 1753, Elijah Harrell bought 275 acres just west of the juncture of the Wading Branch and Horse Swamp; and in 1832, Josiah Harrell already owned 140 acres on west side of route no. 13 (then called the “new road”), between Wading Branch and Horse Swamp—See the paragraphs below on Elijah, and chapter 6 on Josiah Harrell.

[4] Bertie County deeds, 1735, Book D, page 252; the presence of Sowells in the area, 1737, Book E, page 246, and 1746, Book G, page 87; Bertie County will, 1738, in Grimes, Abstract of North Carolina Wills, page 352.

[5] Bertie County deeds, 1742, Book F, page 367; 1725, Book B, page 80; 1736, Book E, page 238; Book E, page 22.

[6] Bertie County deed, 1757, Book H, page 378.

[7] Bertie County deeds, 1757, Book H, page 462; 1757, Book H, page 464.

[8] Bertie County deed, Book F, page 357.

[9] New Court House, see: Hathaway, “Proceedings Relating to Court House,” North Carolina Register, vol. 2, no. 2, pages 199,  201. Colonial Assembly, see: Boddie, vol. 2, page 708.

[10] Bertie County deeds, 1748, Book E, page 498; 1741, Book F, page 318.

[11] Bertie Count deeds, 1749, Book H, page 346; 1754, Book H, page 174.

[12] For instance, Bertie County deeds, 1757, Book H, page 461; 1755, Book H, page 205; Book H, page 207; and Book H, page 223.

[13] Bertie County deed, Book I, page 209.

[14] Bertie County wills, 1795, Book D, page 301; 1781, Book C, page 3; 1769, Book A, page 122.

[15] Bertie County deed, signed on October 26, 1753, presented at the April Court 1759, Book I, page 209.

[16] Bertie County deeds, 1730, Book C, page 333; 1724, Book A, page 330; 1732, Book D, page 8; January 10, 1740, Book F, page 189; January 9, 1740, Book F, page 188.

[17] Bertie County deeds, 1744, Book F, page 517; 1743, Book F, page 516.

[18] Bertie County deeds, 1750, Book G, page 349; Book G, page 364; 1754, Book H, page 222.

[19] Secretary of State, Land Grant Office, Warrants, Plats, etc. Hertford County, file no. 1-268,01. North Carolina State Archives, microfilm no. S.108.736.

[20] Bertie County deeds, 1750, Book G, page 371; 1755, Book H, page 205, Book H, page 207, Book H, page 223; 1757, Book H, page 461.

[21] Colonial Records of North Carolina, May 8, 1731, vol. 3, page 223; and by Saunders, vol. IV, page 800 (John Harrell on Com. of Peace for Bertie County, March 13, 1745-6).

[22]  Hathaway, North Carolina Register, vol. 2, no. 2, page 199; vol. 2, no. 4, pages 620, 622-624, 627, 629-632, 688.

[23] Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 3, no. 2, pages 612, 613, 615: At a Gen. Assembly… at Edenton Nov. 5, 1733 members returned… Mr. John Harrold for Bertie. “John Harrold took oath of office (as Member of Assembly) Nov. 7, 1733.” John Harrold member of Assembly Jan. 15, 1734 (1735) from Bertie Co. N. C.. Colonial Records of North Carolina by W. L. Saunders, vol. IV, page 115.

[24] Hathaway, “Proceedings Relating to Court House,” North Carolina Register, vol. 2, no. 2, page 201.

[25] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 36-37.

[26] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 326.

[27] It seems when a family occupied a county office they tended to keep it in the family for a while. In this case, Nathan Harrell was Sheriff from 1771 to 1774; Nathan’s probable father, John Harrell, was Sheriff from 1774 to 1777, and Nathan’s father-in-law, Starkey Sharp I, was Sheriff from 1777 to 1782.

[28] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 48.

[29] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 249.

[30] Bertie County deeds, 1755, Book H, page 205; Book H, page 207; Book H, page 223; 1757, Book H, page 461.

[31] Bertie County deed, Book M, page 378.

[32] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 326-327.

[33] Samuel Harrell’s land grant no. 70 is on the microfilm “Secretary of State-Land Grant Office, Warrants, Plats, etc., Hertford County, file no. 1-268,01 / s.108.736, file no. 79. William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer, (Chapel Hill, 1968), page 531.

[34] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 196.

[35] George W. Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptist, Raleigh, 1930, vol. I, page 466.

[36] Hathaway, Abstract of Conveyances, North Carolina Register, vol. 3, no. 1, page 134.

[37]  Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer, page  207.

[38] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 326.

[39] North Carolina State Archives, Revolutionary Army Accounts, vol. C, page 23, item 747. The voucher was provided by the North Carolina State Archives from Revolutionary War Pay Vouchers, no. 1993, Edenton District in 1783.

[40] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 85, 86.

[41] The letter from the Entry Officer of Claims for Land to the County Surveyor, and the plot map and description submitted by the surveyor are at the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N. C. as grant no. 105, entry no. 96, book no. 75. They are available on microfilm S.108.736, Hertford County File No. 1-268,01, from the State Archives in Raleigh.

[42] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 326-327. Mr. Winborne lists all the County officials in Hertford from the beginning to 1906.

[43] Bertie County, Deed Book Q, page 118.

[44] Elizabeth Sharp Harrell was the daughter of Starkey Sharp and Sarah Winborne, and the granddaughter of William Sharp and Miss. Starkey; and Henry Winborne and Sarah Hare.

[45] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 249.

[46] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 85, 86. Also see, Bertie County deed, Book Z, page 4. The same division of this property is recorded in Bertie County deed, Book Y, pages 380 and 381.

[47] The complete list of 3rd Generation Hertford Harrells, of course, would include those from Gates County who came to Hertford and stayed. The four members of Hertford County’s 3rd Generation, David Harrell, Abner Harrell, Mary Harrell Wilson, and James Harrell originally came from Gates County, and are connected to their families in that county, and thus do not require a matching process here. (Mary and Abner’s brother, James, did not actually arrive in Hertford County until after 1840, but he was, of course, of the 3rd Generation.)

[48] George was probably first married to Starkey Sharp and Jamima Hare’s daughter, Patsy Sharp. George and Patsy had a son named John Hare Gordon. When Patsy died, George married Nathan Harrell’s widow, Elizabeth Sharp Harrell—Starkey Sharp’s other daughter with his first wife Sarah Winborne. George Gordon was Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Session in 1822-1823. He was also the County Public Register from 1813 through 1820.(see Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 328 and 330.) Nathan had held both of these offices for many years in the late 1700s. George’s son, John Hare Gordon, held this same office from 1820 to 1824.

[49] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 86.

[50] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 85-86.

[51] The order to the Commissioners and their resulting land division, with map, is in: Bertie County, Deed Book Z, page 4. The same division of this property is recorded in Bertie County, Deed Book Y, pages 380 and 381.

[52] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 86.

 

To move about in this site, click on one of the following sections:

HarrellFamilies (Home Page)

Introduction

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 (The Early Harrells in America)

Chapter 2 (Harrells in Chowan County & the Gates area)

Chapter 3 (Harrells in Bertie & the Hertford County area)

Chapter 5 (John T., Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, Thomas Two & their descendants)

Chapter 6 (Nathan & Elizabeth's Known Descendants)

Chapter 7 (John [b. c. 1794] & Winnifred Harrell, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 8 (Josiah & Anna Harrell, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 9 (Elizabeth Harrell & Silas Parker, 3rd Generation)

Chapter 10 (Immigrants to the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells)

Chapter 11 (Immigrants to the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells)