Much has been discovered since my
genealogy of Thomas Daniel and his descendants was published
in 1995. For one thing, I hope that I am a better
researcher, now, and will use this venue to clear up some
mistakes I made in that book.
In the first part of the update, I will address the most
current research on the line of my earliest proved ancestor,
Thomas Daniel, who was born about 1750 in Virginia and died
after 25 November 1825 when he last appears in records in
Greene County, IL. Hereafter I will refer to Thomas as
Thomas 1750-1825, since there were numerous men named Thomas
in our Daniel family.
Since I founded the Daniel DNA Project in 2001, with Family Tree DNA, our family has profited from several interesting and illuminating Y DNA matches which seem to connect Thomas to the line of William Daniel 1680-1765 of Caroline County, VA. I present the rationale for, and history of, the search for the ancestry of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825, which led to the eventual search for the DNA of the Caroline County, VA Daniels here. A comparison count of matching and non-matching markers for each participant on the Caroline County, VA Daniels DNA is included. An analysis of specific non-matching markers between kits is in process.
Our Thomas Daniel was NOT
the son of Charles and Jane Mickelborough Daniel who was
born in 1740 in Middlesex County, VA. Our Thomas Daniel
did NOT marry Elizabeth Stith. Our Daniel line is
unrelated and has no connection to the line of William
Daniel of Middlesex County, Virginia. I merely mentioned,
off the record, to a cousin/correspondent that this Thomas
Daniel of Middlesex County, VA generally fit with the age
and time that our Thomas lived and that he was a good
candidate to be our Thomas, but only one of several men
named Thomas Daniel I was looking at. By the time of this
conversation, I already knew better than to put my
suspicions in print, but had not learned to be cautious
about sharing them. Live and learn.... Unfortunately, this
erroneous information has now been widely circulated.
DNA evidence has proved that our Daniel line is NOT related to the Middlesex County, VA Daniels. What is really sort of (sort of) amusing about this erroneous identification is that DNA evidence and primary record research has shown that James Daniel, son of William of Middlesex and father of Charles and grandfather of Thomas Daniel b. 1740, was most likely not William Daniel's biological child. Jochebed, a later wife of William, and mother of James, was likely pregnant at the time of her marriage to William and James was the son of her previous husband, who was most likely named Davis. So, if you are listing the parents of Thomas Daniel as Charles and Jane Mickelborough Daniel, please correct this and do not continue spread this incorrect information. Currently, the parents of Thomas are not known, but I think they are....... ;oP
Here, I will give an overview of corrections to my book followed in later sections by how I arrived at these conclusions.
Photograph Thomas Daniel's original signature from Daniel
Gilmore probate, 1815
"Situate on the Crab Orchard Fork of Big Muddy Creek about two miles and one half above the mouth of said branch adjoining William Daniels residence on the north."
Three Griffith families were listed adjacent to the Daniel families and Daniel Gilmore, but no Thomas Griffith, though there are several men in these households old enough to have served as militia officers. This seems to indicate that at least 6 or 7 families were residing at Daniels Settlement in 1810.Miscellanious War of 1812 files for the Illinois Territory. Letter of Isaac White to Ninian EdwardsU.S. Saline 28th July 1810."...Thomas Griffith Capt., Thomas Wells Lieut., Walker Dannel Ensign in Daniels Settlement, though I am told that Wells has absconded. It will be a great favour to these Gentlemen if you should commission them, to authorise the nearest Justice of the peace to swear them in...."
"Thomas Daniels, of Georgia, built a cabin on the farm now owned by Freeman Means. The next year, 1817, Mr. Daniel's son, Walker Daniels, also came into the county, and chose for his home the land now owned by Rowland Huitt, a short distance east of the Allen improvements."The Huitts, led by John W. Huitt Sr., were in Illinois by 1804 and settled in Madison County, prior to moving to Greene County. The Huitts were originally from Franklin County, Georgia, which may account for Mr. Huitt's confusion about the origins of Thomas and Walker Daniel. That being said, a Thomas Daniel of Greene County, Georgia is mentioned in deed records in Montgomery County, KY, so there may indeed be some connection between our Daniels and the state of Georgia. Huitt's account is very valuable in that it is the only credible identification of a child of Thomas Daniel in records. Rowland B. Huitt was the son of John Wilkinson Huitt Jr. The Daniel and Huitt families were obviously well acquainted. Descendants of both families are buried in Kane Cemetery in the vicinity where they lived. The land Huitt was living on was shown in several county atlases and passed to his sons when he died in 1892. By the time the 1915 county atlas was published, all of the land once owned by Walker Daniel and Rowland B. Huitt was in the possession of Thomas S. Parker.
Other records for Thomas Daniel:
- Madison, Clark and Montgomery Counties, KY tax lists, 1789-1806.
- Madison County, IL 1815 Thomas Daniel administers estate of Daniel Gilmore
- Madison County, IL, 1816, Thomas Daniel appointed supervisor of public road
- Madison County, IL 1818, Thomas Daniel appears in census on Apple Creek
- Greene County, IL 1820, Thomas Daniel appears in census on Apple Creek
- Green County, IL 1825, Thomas Daniel and Harrison Higgins involved in law suit
Johnson County, IL
- July 12, 1813, William Daniels witnesses transfer of note by Nathan Hearn to John Venton
- July 12, 1814, William Daniels witnesses transfer of note by Henry Buckenstaff to Nathan Hern.
- November term 1814, Wiliam Daniel vs Daniel Vincent, trespass, John Spann and Charles Murphy securities. (Note: Daniel Vincent was married to William's sister, Elizabeth)
- 1814, William Daniel vs Daniel Vincent, Judgement against plaintiff for costs.
- 1814, William Daniel vs Daniel Vincent, continued.
- 1814, William Daniel, juror. Finding for defendant.
- 1814, William W. Daniel, juror, in case of Susannah Bosin vs Isaac D. Willcox. (Only time he appears as William W. Daniel. It could be that this was actually William "McDaniel", a common transcription error.)
- 1814, Daniel vs Vinson. "Replevin - continued at defendants cost but afterwards the parties came into court and the Plaintiff moved to withdraw his suit and pay costs, except three dollars chargeable as Defendants costs in case of a failure by Plaintiff to prosecute which the Deft. waves. It is considered by the court that the Defendant go hence without delay and recover against the Plaintiff his costs by him and his defense in this behalf expended - and that the Plaintiff maybe taken and & cn."
Alexander County, ILWilliam probably married about 1794-1799 in Madison or Clarke County, KY, but there is nothing to indicate the name of his wife or wives. As he was "living in adultery" between 1827 and 1829, his wife was likely deceased before then. Since there is no probate of his estate, and it seems certain that he had a large family, the names of his children are arrived at by deduction:
- 1819, William Daniel, deed
- 1822, John Humphries vs William Daniel, trespass on case
- 1824, People vs Daniel Abbott, assault and battery of James Daniel
- 1824, People vs James Daniel, assault and battery of Daniel Abbott
- 1824 , 24 May, William Daniel of Johnson County, IL Public Domain Land, Section 14 W1/2S1/4, Township 15S Range 01E (Later in Pulaski)
- 1827, William Daniels vs Edmund Sutton, false warrant
- 1825, Grand jurors list, William Daniels
- 1825, Petit jurors list, James Daniels
- 1826, Petit jurors list, James Daniels
- 1826, Grand jurors, William Daniels
- 1826, Grand jurors, John Daniels
- 1826, Tirey Daniel purchases Public Domain land, Section 15 E2SE, Township 15S, Range 01E
- 1826, Solomon Daniel purchases Public Domain land, Section 14 W2NW, Township 15S, Range 01E
- 1827, 10 October, James Daniels m. Nancy Clanton (dau Charles Clanton)
- 1829, Sion Clanton vs Nancy Clanton.They were married "many" years ago." Sion claimed she had been living in adultery with William Daniels since Dec. 1827.
- 1830 Alexander County, IL census (alphabetical), James Daniels, age 20-29.
- 1832, 1 March, Roderick McLeod m. Margaret Martin Daniels
- 1834, 2 April,Solomon Daniels m. Serena Powers
- 1837, James Daniel purchases Public Domain land, Section 3 SENW, Township 15S, Range 01E
- 1838, December, William Micham m. Elizabeth Daniels
- 1840 Alexander County, IL census, James Daniels, age 30-39.
- 1840 Alexander County, IL census, William Daniels age 20-29.
Mentions of Elizabeth
in records are sketchy. Elizabeth first appears in
records when she married Daniel Vincent on 15 September
1809 in Randolph County, Indiana Territory. Her brother
Walker married Martha Vincent in 1812, possibly a sister
or other relative of Daniel. A Daniel "Vinson" appeared
in tax lists in Montgomery County, KY at the same time
as Thomas, so he may have accompanied the Daniel family
to Illinois. Daniel Vincent does not appear in the 1810
Territorial census. I suspect he and Elizabeth may be
one of the older males and females in the home of W.
(William Daniels). Daniel Vincent and William Daniel
were engaged in a lengthy suit in Johnson County, IL in
1814. It appears that William was suing Daniel Vincent
for trespass. The charges were eventually dropped.
Daniel and Elizabeth last appear in primary records when
Thomas Daniel administered the estate of Daniel Gilmore
in 1815 in Madison County, IL and Daniel Vincent, "Mrs.
Vincent" and "Mrs. Daniel" made purchases at the estate
sale. The Vincents were not in the 1818 or 1820
censuses. That is pretty much all that is known about
There is no probate for Daniel Vincent in Madison or Greene County, IL. There was a Daniel Vincent in the 1830 census of Tazewell County, IL, but he is much too young to be the husband of Elizabeth, though could be her child. A "Madame Vincent" and Elizabeth Vincent appear in records in Gasconade County, MO in 1830 and 1840, but there is no record of a probate for Elizabeth's husband there. A Daniel Vincent purchased land in Callaway County, MO in 1825, but he appears to be much too old to be the Daniel Vincent who married Elizabeth Daniel.
Walker Daniel signature from Joseph King
probate, Green County, IL 1826
Walker Daniel first
appears by name in records on 28 July 1810 when he was
appointed an Ensign in the Third Regiment of
Militia of Randolph County, Illinois Territory. He
served as a Lieutenant in the War of 1812 in Captain
Owen Evans' Company of Illinois Rangers in 1813 and
1814. His widow submitted a request for bounty land
warrant (BWT 83772 40-50) for Walker's service in 1851.
In the request, she notes that her maiden name was
Martha Vincent and that she and Walker Daniel were
married on 3 July 1812 in Union County, Illinois. It
also gives Walker's date of death as 5 February 1829 in
Greene County, IL. Martha "Patsy" Vincent was born about
1795 in Tennessee, according to the 1850 Greene County,
Walker purchased Public Domain land in what is now Williamson County, IL adjoining his father and brother 1814, and again between 1814-1821 purchased Public Domain land in Madison and Greene Counties, Illinois. A history of Jersey and Greene Counties, IL reported that Walker came to Greene County because his father, Thomas Daniel lived there, but records indicate that they migrated there together.
Walker Daniel was very active in Greene County, IL and seemed on the way to becoming a prominent citizen there before his untimely death around the age of forty. The probate of his estate reported substantial property, including building materials, including a substantial quantity of brick (1,700 bricks), so he may have been in the process of building a brick home at the time of his death. Several descendants of Walker Daniel spell their name "Dannel". Nathan Daniel purchased land from Walker and Martha Daniel and was the co-administrator of Walker's estate in 1828, so Martha may have been mistaken in the year of Walker's death in the Bounty Land application. The inventory of Walker Daniel's estate was returned in March 1828, so he likely died 5 February 1828, not 1829. Patsy had remarried to William Larue by 1851, so seems to have fibbed about that in the application, when she claimed that she had not remarried. Her tombstone, does list her as "Martha Dannels wife of Walker Dannels", though.
The probate of Walker Daniel lists his
children living at the time of his death:
A descendant of Walker Daniel is participating in the Daniel DNA project.
A descendant of Nathan Daniel is participating in the Daniel DNA project.
I guess I'll never learn to keep my guesses to myself! Based, though, on the fact that there are solid Y DNA matches between all of the Daniel men referred to below, except for Thomas Daniel who married Mary Rowzee, and primary records indicate that all of these men or their descendants in lived Virginia and Kentucky, I feel justified in putting forth a hypothesis about how they are related. This is only a hypothesis, based on the currently available information. That there are no confirmed DNA matches to Thomas Daniel who married Mary Rowzee is based on the fact that there is no primary record evidence to prove who his descendants are, except, possibly, for his son Thomas Jr. who had five daughters and no sons.
A Thomas Daniel appeared in records of South West Virginia between 1771 and 1784 who may be our Thomas Daniel 1750-1825. Thomas Daniel was awarded land in 1781 in Washington County, VA for which the commissioners' certificate noted he had actually settled on in 1771. This land was located on the Maiden Spring Fork of the Clinch River and fell in the Virginia counties of Botetourt County in 1771, Fincastle in 1772, Washington County in 1776 and later Russell County. Today it is in Tazewell County.
Thomas Daniel was sued for non-payment of a debt to Abraham Bledsoe in 1772 in Fincastle County. Bledsoe was a well known Kentucky longhunter which may indicate that Thomas Daniel 1725-1750 was also a longhunter. Longhunters explored and hunted in the frontier regions of Tennessee and Kentucky in the 1750s through the 1770s.
Thomas Daniel served as a private in the Fincastle County company of Captain William Russell for 99 days in 1774 during Dunmore's War and he appears on the muster roll for the company which fought at the Battle of Point Pleasant. He was paid 7 pounds 8 shillings and 6 pence for his service. He also made a claim for "sundry" supplies provided to the militia in the amount of 12 pounds 13 shillings and 16 pence. That is somewhere between 2-3,000 2017 U. S. dollars. It seems possible that Thomas also had Revolutionary War service, but often soldiers who served in the militia in these remote frontier areas were only credited for their service if they or their spouse lived long enough to submit a pension application or were asked to serve as a witness to another soldier's service. Thomas likely died a few years before he was eligible to apply for a pension or to be asked to testify as a witness. Militiamen from this area, including a close cousin (Spilsby Daniel), who lived near Thomas at the time, served at the Battle of Kings Mountain from Washington County, VA militia companies. Some soldiers' service consisted solely of actions against the various Indian tribes who supported the British and they never actually engaged the British. The only mention of the service of Edmund Daniel, a cousin, and the wounds he sustained at the Battle of Brandywine were relayed by family many years later in a county history in Texas. Most of Thomas' cousins who were old enough to serve in the Revolutionary War did so on the colonial side.
Thomas Daniel appears on the 1782 and 1783 tax lists of Washington County, VA taxed for 7 horses and 5 or 6 cattle. He is listed next to James (Sr) and Wyatt Daniel in 1782, their first appearance in records in the region. This suggests that Wyatt was born about 1761 which is supported by his age in the 1810-1840 censuses. Thomas Daniel 1750-1825 was taxed for around the same number of horses in cattle in Kentucky tax records.
Thomas last appears in Virginia records when he sold his land in Washington County in 1784. He did not sign the petition for the creation of Russell County, VA in 1785. It appears that he had migrated out of the county by this time. James Daniel Sr., Wyatt and their close relations appear in Washington, Russell and later Tazewell County, VA until after 1800 when most of this family migrated to Kentucky.
Spilsby Daniel also appears in Russell County, VA tax lists in 1788 and his Revolutionary War pension application indicates that he was living in Washington County by 1780 when, at about age 15, he joined the Virginia militia. He accompanied Wyatt Daniel to Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Y DNA of the descendants of Thomas 1750-1825, James Sr., Wyatt, James Jr. and Spilsby all match. James Daniel Jr. is thought to have married Nancy Belcher and had three sons, Thomas, George and Isom. The given name Isom was used in the Belcher family. Estridge Daniel, the grandson of Thomas 1750-1825 named a son Isom, as well. James 1784-1860, son of Thomas 1750-1825 lists his birthplace in censuses as Virginia in 1850 and as Kentucky in 1860. This may indicate that he was so young when his family migrated from Virginia, that he was not certain which state he was born in and suggests that his family moved to Kentucky about the time that he was born.
This leaves a gap of about 5 years when Thomas is unaccounted for. He may have been in present day Kentucky or Eastern Tennessee, both popular destinations for south western Virginia migrants. Thomas named a son Walker Daniel in the late 1780s and his cousin Walker Daniel 1750-1784 and at least some of his siblings were in Kentucky as early as 1780.
Some researchers list Thomas as a son of James Daniel Sr., but I suspect that Thomas was the nephew of James Sr. and first cousin of Wyatt, James Daniel Jr and Spilsby Daniel. I believe that he was more likely a son of John Daniel, brother of James Daniel Sr., both sons of Thomas Daniel Sr. and Mary Rowzee of Essex and Caroline Counties, VA. I believe that Spilsby Daniel was the son of William Daniel, brother of James Sr. and John.
My reasoning is as follows:
Again this is just my take on the
facts that are available and other interpretations of
the facts are possible. Any comments or other theories
Virtually nothing is known about the wife of Thomas Daniel , who was likely the mother of his children born between 1773 and 1790. The unusual given name of her son, Estridge, may be a clue to her maiden name. There were Estes/Estridge families in Caroline County, VA when the Daniels lived there, notably Abraham Estes/Estridge. Richard Estridge and an unnamed daughter are mentioned in records in Washington County, VA, around the time Thomas may have lived there.
The given names Elizabeth and Narcissa were widely used by her descendants.
My autosomal DNA test at 23andMe indicates that I had a 100% Native American ancestor born between 1680 and 1780 which creates another possibility. Unfortunately, both of my parents died before DNA testing for genealogy became available so I have no idea which side of my family this ancestor is on and both sides have deep Colonial roots.
As her first child was born in 1773, she was probably born before 1757 and died before 1810, by which time Thomas had remarried. The fact that her last known child was born about 1790 may indicate that she died well before 1810 as she would have been well within child bearing age in 1790.
Sadly, we may never know more about her.
James Miller born ca 1785 in Virginia d. in 1859 in Edgar County, IL, married ca 1809 in Montgomery County, KY Sarah (?) born ca 1790-1795 KY d. after 1860. James Miller moved to Edgar County in 1834, according to the biography of James Miller Jr. in The History of Edgar County, Illinois, 1879. James left a will naming only son James Jr. as his heir and executor, but he obviously had other children. James and Sarah may have had:
- Eliza Jane Miller born ca 1810 Montgomery County, KY m. Merrick Porter 28 July 1837 Edgar County, IL.
- Robert Miller b. ca 1818 Montgomery County, KY m. Lucy LNU
- James Miller Jr. b. 12 October 1825 Montgomery County, KY m. Sarilda Sims (his mother and sister Evaline living with him in 1870)
- Evaline Miller b. ca 1831 Montgomery County, KY, unmarried
Vincent Miller/Milner b. ca 1787 KY d. September 1835 Edgar County, IL, son of Nicholas Miller and Hannah Webb. He married Elizabeth (Else?) Kinman in 1806 in Harrison County, KY. He died intestate in Edgar County, where his estate is probated. His wife Elizabeth is named in the estate records. The sale bill of his estate includes numerous purchasers, including Elizabeth Milner, Thomas Milner and Nicholas Milner. Thomas Milner made several deeds with Estridge Milner, after Estridge came of legal age, and Thomas and Estridge were enumerated next to one another in census records, so it seems likely he was of this family.
- Thomas J. Miller b. ca 1810 Harrison County, KY m. Mary Catherine Morgan, dau Wells Morgan
- Nicholas Miller b. ca 1815 Harrison County, KY m. Jane Clark, son Vincent and other children
- Rebecca J. Miller b. ca 1822 Kentucky m. Roland V. Morgan, son Wells Morgan
- Estridge Miller b. ca 1824 Harrison County, KY m. Sarilda Morgan, dau Wells Morgan, son Vincent and other children
Estridge "Doc" Miller died 22 March 1901 near Newport, Vermillion County IL and is buried in the Franklin Cemetery in Edgar County, IL along with several of his children and other relatives, though I could not locate any markers for them when I visited the cemetery and suspect there are none. Estridge and Sarilda had:
- Vincent b. 1842
- Wells b. 1846
- Artemesia b. 1847
- William Henry b. 1849
- Mary b. 1852
- Charles b. 1853
- John b. 1855
- Francis Marion b. 1856
- Thomas b. 1859
- Stephen b. 1861
- Joseph b. 1865
It still seems possible that there is some connection between the Miller/Milner family of Harrison County, KY and the Daniel family of Montgomery County, KY but I have not found the link. There may also be some connection between James and Vincent Miller/Milner, but again I have not been able to identify what the connection, if any, may be, either.
In 2014 I started getting
autosomal matches on Ancestry.com to an
Elizabeth Daniel(s) who was born 12 December
1795 in Kentucky and died 1 September 1862 in
Pope County, IL. She married William Belford
1789-1872 about 1813 in Illinois. The Belfords
lived in Pope County, IL from its creation in
1816 until their deaths. Elizabeth's middle name
is often given as Narcissa. I can find no proof
that Elizabeth's surname was Daniel or Daniels
or that her middle name was Narcissa. This seems
to come from family tradition. Pope County is
located in the southern tip of Illinois and was
created in 1816 from Gallatin and Johnson
Counties. Descendants of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825
appear in early records of Johnson County. It is
possible that Elizabeth Daniel(s) was a
granddaughter of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825,
perhaps a daughter of William 1775-1829. I am
still researching this family, but early records
for this region are sparse. Note the use of the
names Narcissa and Delilah in this family.
William and Elizabeth had:
For some time, I have been aware of a black Daniels family of McDonough County, IL who descend from Minerva Wright, a slave named in the will of Estridge Daniel, son of Thomas Daniel 1750-1825. Knowledge of this family was passed down to descendants of Estridge Daniel 1782-1852 and I first heard of them from the writings of a first cousin of my father. Apparently, our families maintained contact for at least a couple of generations after the Civil War. I have suspected that there may have been some familial connection between our two families but had not been able to find a descendant of Minerva's son Milford willing to take a Y DNA test.
In January of 2018, I had an autosomal DNA match (4th cousins) to a descendant of Minerva Wright's son, Milford Daniels, on 23andMe.com. In April of 2018, I discovered that I have an autosomal DNA match (5th-8th cousins) at Ancestry.com to a different descendant of Milford Daniels. There are now, in May 2018, multiple matches (five and counting) on Ancestry and 23andMe between the descendants of Milford Daniels and descendants of William Daniel 1680-1765 of Caroline County, VA from whom Estridge Daniel descends. Whether these relationships are based on a shared Daniel ancestor or some other shared ancestor cannot be determined from an autosomal DNA test. If the relationship IS to a common Daniel ancestor, the distance from the persons who tested to the most likely common Daniel ancestor (Estridge Daniel) is, for me, five generations and for the descendants of Milford (siblings) seven generations, so this seems like an interesting possibility. It is worth noting that both descendants of Milford Daniels are about 1/3 European, 1/3 Sub-Saharan African and 1/3 East Asian and Native American, so there is a relatively narrow set of potential European ancestors that could possibly be shared between the two families in the time frame identified by Ancestry and 23andMe. All of the Daniel descendants of William Daniel 1680-1765 at Ancestry and 23andMe are about 99% European.
Based on DNA evidence, there is no doubt that these two Daniel(s) families are related. Hopefully, at some point, a descendant of Milford Daniels will take a Y DNA test and the true nature of this relationship can be determined. There is a participant at Family Tree DNA with the surname of Daniel, who has tested and very closely matches my results at 67 markers, my closest match, but has declined to share their information, so it is possible that a member of this family has already tested, though this family seems to unanimously prefer spelling their name "Daniels". I had previously written a lengthy research report about this family that I had shared with various descendants of Milford, so, based on the strength of these multiple DNA matches, I am including a link to it. The document, itself, is a bit clunky since I had to convert it from a LibreOffice document to a web page. I will spiffify it when time permits. I am updating it on a regular basis as the new DNA evidence becomes available.