Caroline County, Virginia Daniel DNA Project



Introduction

    This site contains the history and results of the Caroline County, Virgina Daniel family DNA project, a sub-project of the Daniel DNA Project hosted by Family Tree DNA. The Daniel DNA Project was founded in 2001 and the first participant was a descendant (me) of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825  who was born about 1750 in Virginia and died after 1825 when he last appears in records in Greene County, Illinois. In 2004 a match to William Daniel 1765-1840 of Todd County, KY gave the first support to the hypothesis that Thomas Daniel was connected to the Daniel family of Caroline County, Virginia. This connection was originally suggested by the use of the given name Walker, used by the descendants of Thomas. 




History of the Caroline County, VA Daniel DNA Project


    DNA matches in the Daniel DNA Project indicate a connection between the following men who were born in the 18th century. All have ties to Virginia, if not to Caroline County:

  • Thomas 1750-1825 (ca 1750 Virginia to ca 1825 Greene County, IL). Given name Walker was used in this line.
  • John Daniel 1730-1800 (ca 1730 Caroline County, VA to ca 1800 Shelby County, KY). John Daniel 1730-1800 can easily be traced to Caroline County, VA through records around the estate of Benjamin Sneed of Caroline County, VA, whose daughter married John's son Thomas in Caroline County. Given names Walker and Coleman were used in this line.
  • James Daniel 1732-1800 (ca 1732 to ca 1800 of Russell County, VA)
  • William Daniel 1765-1840 (ca 1765 Virginia to ca 1840 of Todd County, KY). William Daniel 1765-1840 has strong ties in Kentucky records to Phillip and Tabitha Daniel Buckner of Caroline County, VA.
    The common ancestor of Thomas, John, James and William is probably two or three generations further back than these men. John 1730-1800 and James 1732-1800 are possibly brothers or first cousins, based on their approximated birth years and DNA marker distance.

How we got here


    Before the Daniel DNA project was created in 2001, I strongly suspected that I had identified several brothers born between 1773 and 1790 (John, William, Thomas, Estridge, James and Walker), likely sons of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825, but no primary records had, or have since, been found to prove my conclusions, only very strong circumstantial primary record evidence and use of some common given names in all lines. One thing that greatly aids in tracing the descendants of Thomas Daniel is the use of the given name Estridge/Eastridge for at least a couple of generations by almost all lines of his descendants. This given name is used only in the Daniel line that descends from Thomas Daniel 1750-1825. The lines of probable sons of Thomas 1750-1825; John, William, Estridge, James and Walker all are known to have had at least one male by that name in their lineage, in some cases several. The name Narcissa for female children is also common in these families. Thomas Daniel is named as the father of Walker Daniel in a county history of Greene County, IL by a close family associate who knew both men. DNA tests have proved that the lines of William, Estridge, James and Walker are closely related. The lines of John and Thomas Jr. were not tested because the circumstantial primary record evidence is so strong for a connection of those lines to Thomas 1750-1825 and Estridge Daniel 1782-1852. Kit #s in the Daniel DNA project for sons of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 are:
  • 3347   -  Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 > Estridge Daniel > James Quincy Daniel
  • 6647   -  Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 >  James Daniel    > Aaron Kinsey Daniel
  • 7745   -  Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 > William Daniel   > Nathan Daniel
  • 62623 -  Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 > Walker Daniel    > John Clark Dannel

    It was only a couple of years after the start of the Daniel DNA project that Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 had a 33/37 match to kit #9727 William Daniel 1765-1840 of Todd County, KY. There is very strong circumstantial evidence from primary records that William 1765-1840 was closely related to Tabitha Daniel Buckner 1756-1838, who can easily be traced to Caroline County, VA. Tabitha was the wife of Phillip Buckner 1747-1820, who was prominent in Caroline County, VA and later prominent in Kentucky. This match strongly suggested that both of these lines were connected to William Daniel 1683 - 1765 (ca 1683 to 1765  of Caroline County, VA, the major Daniel line in that county. More DNA evidence from other lines that could be traced to Caroline County was needed to validate this hypothesis, however, as many records in Caroline County are lost, and no solid primary record evidence exists that can identify present day descendants of William 1683-1765 of Caroline. I thought it should be possible, though, to test several Daniel lines that have Caroline County, VA connections, and if they matched then we would likely have identified the DNA of the line of William Daniel 1683-1765 of Caroline County, VA. This would not, however, prove that these Daniels were descended from William 1683-1765, only that they were likely connected to him in some way. Use of common given names in these lines, for instance Walker and Coleman, would also support this conclusion. Sons and daughters of William 1683-1765 are thought to have married men with these surnames, which were later used as given names by their descendants. Two other major Daniel lines, William of Middlesex and James of Essex, make appearances in Caroline County, but their DNA has been identified and it differs from the DNA of the potential descendants of William 1683-1765.

    Between 2008 and 2016, Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 and William Daniel 1765-1840 had five matches to James Daniel ca 1732-1800 of Russell County, VA. It should be noted that the distance from myself to Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 is only five generations, while the distances from the descendants of James Daniel 1732-1800 is nine or ten generations which may, in part, account for the variation in results noted later in this analysis. These kits were provided by four descendants of James' son, James Jr., via his sons Thomas and Isom and by one descendant of James' son Wyatt. Wyatt Daniel eventually settled in Morgan and Pike Counties, IL adjacent to Greene County, IL, where  Thomas 1750-1825 had settled. It is uncertain if the two families had contact there, but descendants of both families lived there at the same time from the mid 1820s to the present day.

  •  94729  -  James Daniel 1732-1800 > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868
  • 160425 -  James Daniel 1732-1800 > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868
  • 189806 -  James Daniel 1732-1800 > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868
  • 381227 -  James Daniel 1732-1800 > James Daniel Jr. > Isom Daniel  1799-1847
  • 454068 -  James Daniel 1732-1800 > Wyatt Daniel      > Hatch Daniel 1813-1880
    Between 2002 and 2005 all of these lines had 12 marker matches to the line of Edward Daniel 1765-1830 of Virginia, but these matches fell away at 25 markers, indicating there is no meaningful probability of a common ancestor living during the time that surnames were used. They probably share a common ancestor who lived many hundreds or thousands of years ago, but the fact that both families use the surname of Daniel is just a coincidence. I mention this, however, as one participant who has a 12 marker match to both families, a descendant of Stephen Daniel 1781-? of Masaac County, Illinois, has not upgraded to the 25 marker test, so it is uncertain if he belongs to one of these two Daniel families or is not related to either.

    In 2013 all lines got a match to Kit #320285 John Calvin Daniels 1843-1909. We have not yet been able to tie this line to any of the other matching lines. John Calvin Daniels was born in Tennessee but later moved to Texas. The identity of his parents is not certain, but his father is thought to be a John Daniels 1791-1848 of Perry County, TN.

    In March of 2015 an unknown Daniel who is not a member of the Daniel DNA project but has tested with Family Tree DNA matched all of these lines. This line tested to 111 markers and is very closely related to a descendant of James Daniel 1732-1800 and to Thomas Daniel 1750-1825. This may indicate the least mutated line of Y DNA among these families, but not enough evidence exists to state this with certainty since the ancestry of this unknown line has not been shared.

    In late 2015 a second descendant of William Daniel 1765-1840 of Todd County, KY, Kit #B11177, joined our group and took the 67 marker Y DNA test, matching our first participant from this line exactly on 37 markers. Our first participant from this line became inactive several  years ago and had named no beneficiary for his DNA so no results beyond 37 markers were available for this line until the second member of  this family made them available.

    The opportunity to further test the hypothesis that these lines were connected to William Daniel 1683-1765 of Caroline County, VA came in 2015 when I was able to locate a descendant of John Daniel 1730-1800 of Caroline County, VA and  Jefferson and Shelby Counties, KY, Kit #445720. The 1792 will (proved in 1797) of John's son Robert names his father and siblings as do earlier deeds around the estate of Walker Daniel, also son of John. One sibling, Thomas, married Mary Sneed and through the estate records of her father, Benjamin Sneed, it is possible to trace this line back to Caroline County, VA. There are numerous primary records in Caroline County that tie the Daniel and Sneed families together and tie earlier generations of the Sneed family to William Daniel of Caroline. A DNA match proved that John's descendants were a match to the rest of the Daniels in our group, solidly linking all of these lines to Caroline County, VA and potentially to William Daniel ca 1683-1765 of Caroline.

    Though records are not available to prove how John Daniel 1730-1800 and William Daniel 1765-1840 are connected, it is commonly thought that they both descend from William Daniel 1683-1765 by his son William Jr. 1705-1765 (1705 VA to after 1765 Caroline County, VA), who married Elizabeth Coleman. Records in Caroline County suggest that William 1683-1765 had at least three other sons, Thomas 1706-1738, Moses 1712-1745 and Elijah 1716-1784. The birth years of all of these sons are calculated from their first appearances in records and are only an approximation. It is possible that there were other sons who are not mentioned in Caroline County records, possibly leaving the county before they appeared in records there. It seems probable that either James 1732-1800 or Thomas 1750-1825 descends from one of these other sons, but that is speculation. All of these three other sons of William 1683-1765 potentially had male children but only those of Thomas and Elijah are named in primary records. The administration records of the estate of Thomas 1706-1738 named four children, all sons (James 20 July 1728-?, John 24 June 1730-?, William 1 October 1732-? and Thomas Jr. 4 January 1735-1771), but little is known of them except for Thomas Jr. 1735-1771 who died in Caroline County, leaving a widow and four daughters. Of the three sons of William 1683-1765, tracing Elijah's line seems promising since Elijah lived into the 1780s, his children were adults at the time of his death and several of his descendants can be easily deduced from primary records, particularly Edmund who died in 1799 in Spotsylvania County, VA and was the administrator of Elijah's estate. A match to a descendant of Elijah would provide more strong support that we have identified the DNA of William Daniel 1683-1765 and should be our next step. A deed made a decade after the death of Moses Daniel 1712-1745 between the executor of Moses' estate suggests that he had a son named Jacob daughters Elizabeth and Jemima. A Mary Daniel named in the deed may be the widow of Moses and not his daughter as is often cited. Jacob Daniel's line has been located and information about his line is available here.

    In early 2016 all of the members of this group had a 67 marker match to a gentleman with a non-Daniel surname (Carpenter), #422419. The testing was initiated by a cousin tracing this surname and related lines and it has been determined that this connection is the result of an NPE (Non-Paternity Event) that occurred in the previous generation, in the 1960s. The match is so close to some of our group that it seems certain that this match has male Daniel ancestors, but he has not yet taken a 111 test to see if the results indicate how recent the relationship to our common ancestor may be. It seems certain, however, at this point, he is our Daniel cousin and his results are added to our group results as "Unknown Daniel(s)".


    A brief biography of each line being tested:



    John 1730-1800 (John > Samuel Coleman): John Daniel's first identifiable appearance in records is when he was mentioned on 20 June 1790 in a deed made in Lincoln County, KY pertaining to the estate of his son, Walker Daniel. He was listed in the tax lists of Shelby County, Kentucky in 1794. He was named in the will of his son Robert in Jefferson County, Kentucky written in 1792 and proved in 1797. This will names his father, John, and his siblings. There may have been other children, not mentioned in the will, as brother Martin is only named as one of the executors. John's son, Walker Daniel, (1750-1784) came to Kentucky in 1781 and was killed there by Indians in 1784. He was the first Attorney General of the Kentucky District of Virginia. The sons of John Daniel received grants for thousands of acres of land in Kentucky. John settled in Jefferson County, KY and is last mentioned in records when the will of his son, Robert Daniel, was proved in 1797. His occupation is uncertain. John's children, mentioned in the will of his son Robert are; (Chloe) Clark, Betsy (Elizabeth) Meriwether, Thomas Daniel, Sukey (Susannah) Morris, (Samuel) Coleman Daniel, Walker Daniel (deceased) and Martin Daniel. This family is linked to Caroline County, Virginia by the marriage of John's son Thomas to Mary Sneed, daughter of Benjamin Sneed of Caroline County as shown in Kentucky Court of Appeals records. Benjamin Sneed's father was John Sneed who owned a tavern in the district the Daniel's Mill in Caroline County, VA. Daniel's Mill was owned by William Daniel 1683-1765. There are numerous interactions between the Daniel and Sneed families in Caroline County.

    James 1732-1800 (James > Wyatt/James Jr.): James Daniel's first identifiable appearance in records in in 1781, when he purchased 200 acres of land in Washington County, Virginia. This land adjoined that of Thomas Daniel, who settled there in 1771. James appears in tax lists in Washington County and then in Russell County from 1781 until 1793 when he was exempted from paying poll tax and county levies due to "age and bodily infirmities". He appeared in the tax lists of 1794-95, and signed petitions to create Tazewell County in 1795 and 1796.  He last appears in records in 1799 when James Daniel Sr. and Sarah Daniel presented and proved the will of James Daniel (Jr.). It is thought that he had sons Thomas, Wyatt and James and daughter Rebecca. Spillsby Daniel is also sometimes listed as his son. James Daniel Sr. resided on the Maiden Spring Fork of Clinch River and Cove Creek in Washington County, Virginia, later Russell County and then Tazewell County, Virginia. He was apparently a farmer, usually taxed for a few horses and cattle each year. Where he resided before 1781 is not known but DNA evidence now links him to the Daniel family of Caroline County, Virginia. His dates of birth and death have been approximated, based on the records available.

    Thomas 1750-1825 (Thomas > Estridge/James/Walker/William): Thomas Daniel's first identifiable appearance in records is in the 1789-91 tax lists of Madison County, KY. The 1792 tax list of Clark County, KY notes that he had removed there from Madison County. He was in the part of Clark County that was cut off into Montgomery County in 1799 and appears in tax lists of both counties from 1792-1806. Tax lists show the coming of age of his sons John (b. 26 May 1773), Thomas Jr., William and Estridge as each son is listed near him as they turned 21. Thomas was not taxed for land until 1806, and was taxed for a several horses and a few cattle each year. He was often taxed for a stud horse. His occupation is uncertain. There are several mentions of land grants for Thomas Daniel in the area, probably for several different men, but it has not been possible to sort them out due to lack of records. Thomas' sons were all educated, one a county clerk, one a teacher, another an officer in the War of 1812 and all holding various other positions of responsibility in their communities. Thomas and sons Walker and William and daughter Elizabeth moved to the Indiana Territory in 1807 and are easily traced in records there. He first settled just south of present day Marion, Williamson County, IL. Thomas acquired several hundred acres of Public Domain land in Southern Illinois and soon sold it, appearing to have been speculating in land. Thomas last appears in records on 24 November 1825 in Greene County, IL. There is no probate of his estate in Greene County.

    William 1765-1840 (William > Richard): William Daniel first appears in records in the 1789 tax list of Jefferson County, KY. He was listed in the household of Nicholas Buckner, brother of Phillip Buckner who married Tabitha Daniel in Caroline County, VA. The land that Nicholas Buckner was living on was entered in the name of Phillip Buckner. William 1765-1840 and Tabitha Daniel are thought to be children of William Daniel III 1734-1817, son of William Daniel II. and Elizabeth Coleman. William III is thought to have married twice, first to Priscilla Harrison and second to Mary Sneed daughter of John Sneed of Caroline County, VA. The birth place and date and marriage information for William Daniel 1734-1817 is given in what appears to be the transcript of a family Bible in the Daniel file at the Madison Public Library in Jefferson County, Indiana. Also mentioned in this transcript are the birth and death dates of Tabitha Daniel who married Philip Buckner. Though this record is not a primary record it has been in the files of the library for many years and other information in this transcript is supported by primary record evidence.
There are numerous primary records that tie the Daniel, Coleman, Buckner Sneed and Blanton families of Caroline County, VA together.  That being said, this provides more links between the Daniel family, and the Snead and Buckner families and Caroline County, VA. William 1765-1840 married Verlinda Simmons in 1791 in Nelson County, KY. William and Verlinda Daniel had several children; Richard Mortimer, Nancy, Horace, Lewis, Rice, Elizabeth, Mary B., Tabitha Buckner and John P.

DNA Results for Caroline County, VA Daniels

      A comparison of the number of the matching/non-matching DNA markers for each kit is given below. I am eliminating the results of our first descendant of William Daniel 1765-1840 since he was an exact 37 marker match to our second participant from this line and it is unlikely that this kit will ever be upgraded. I have also eliminated participants who have not taken at least the 37 marker test or don't match anyone from our group at 37 makers. Those are three descendants of Thomas 1750-1825 (not taken 37 marker test), Stephen Daniel 1781-? (not taken 37 marker test) and Edward Daniel 1765-1830 (doesn't match our group).

   Kit #3347 Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852 (6 generations):

  • 63/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 63/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 59/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Isom 1799-1847
  • 62/67 James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 64/67 William 1765-1840 > Richard
  • 61/67 John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 65/67 Unknown Daniel
  • 63/67 John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 63/67 Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit 160425 James Daniel Sr. > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868:

  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Isom 1799-1847
  • 64/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 63/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 66/67  William 1765-1840
  • 63/67  John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel
  • 65/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit 94729 James Daniel Sr. > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868:

  • 65/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 61/67 James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Isom 1799-1847
  • 64/67 James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 63/67 Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 66/67 William 1768-1840
  • 63/67 John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 65/67 Unknown Daniel
  • 65/67 John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 65/67 Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit #189806 James Daniel Sr. > James Daniel Jr. > Thomas Daniel 1789-1868:

  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr.,> Thomas 1789-1868
  • 61/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Isom 1799-1847
  • 64/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 65/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 66/67  William 1768-1840 >
  • 63/67  John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 67/67  Unknown Daniel (110/111)
  • 65/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820 (108/111)
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit #381227 - James Daniel Sr. > James Daniel Jr. > Isom Daniel  1799-1847

Kit #381227 - James Daniel Sr. > James Daniel Jr. > Isom Daniel  1799-1847 shows how much the DNA in this line has mutated. There is no doubt that this line descends from James Daniel Sr., based on some of the matches, but other matches, taken alone, would not support this relationship as the number of matching markers needed to indicate a close relationship falls away at higher marker tests:

  • 61/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (falls away at 37 markers)
  • 61/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (falls away at 67 markers)
  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (falls away at 67 markers)
  • 60/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt      > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 59/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852 (at 67 markers it is 59/67 which FTDNA does not see as a match)
  • 62/67  William 1768-1840 >  Richard
  • 59/67  John Calvin 1843-1909 (doesn't match at 12 markers and falls away completely at 25 markers!)
  • 61/67  Unknown Daniel
  • 61/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820 (falls away at 67 markers)
  • 61/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit B11177 William Daniel 1768-1840 > Richard 1792-1830 (9 generations):

  • 66/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 66/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 66/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 62/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Isom 1799-1847
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 64/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 64/67  John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 66/67  Unknown Daniel
  • 66/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 66/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit #445720 John Daniel 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820 (8 generations)

  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (108/111)
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1780-1868
  • 61/67  James 1732-1800 James Jr.     > Isom 1799-1847
  • 64/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 63/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 63/67  John Calvin 1843-1909
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel (107/111)
  • 66/67  William 1765-1840 > Richard 1792-1830
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit #320285 John Calvin Daniels 1843-1909

  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (108/111)
  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1780-1868
  • 63/67  James 1732-1800 James Jr.     > Isom 1799-1847
  • 62/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 61/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 63/67  Unknown Daniel (107/111)
  • 64/67  William 1765-1840 > Richard 1792-1830
  • 63/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 63/67  Unknown Daniel(s)

    Kit #422419 Unknown Daniel(s)

  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868 (108/111)
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1789-1868
  • 65/67  James 1732-1800 > James Jr. > Thomas 1780-1868
  • 61/67  James 1732-1800 James Jr.     > Isom 1799-1847
  • 64/67  James 1732-1800 > Wyatt > Hatch 1813-1880
  • 63/67  Thomas 1750-1825 > Estridge 1782-1852
  • 65/67  Unknown Daniel (107/111)
  • 66/67  William 1765-1840 > Richard 1792-1830
  • 65/67  John 1730-1800 > Samuel Coleman 1760-1820
  • 63/67  John Calvin 1843-1909




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