My research so far has been able to put some of the pieces of the Harrell puzzle together, but I need your help to make it more complete.
PUZZLE NUMBER ONE. My earliest ancestor so far is Eli Harrell. I found him in the 1850 Census for Poinsett Co., Mitchell Twp, Ark. as being born in NC and 72 years old. This would mark his birth as 1777 or 1778. His wife,
Cherry, or perhaps Cherey, is also listed in the same census as being 65 years old and as being born in Va. This would make her birth year as 1784 or 1785. I do not know her maiden name yet. As we are use to by now, there are
four variant spellings: Harrell, Harrill, Harrel, Harell on the same page in the 1850 Census for Poinsett Co. After 1880 most of the family seem to settle on "Harrell" spelling.
I wish I could find out more about Eli in NC. Some colleagues think he came from Edgecombe, Chowan or Bertie counties. A quick survey has not lined up my Eli with any I have noticed in NC resources. Who were Eli's parents? How
about Cherry? In the 1860 Census for Independence Co., Black river Twp, Eli is not listed but Cherry is still living with her son, John G. However, she is listed as being 70 years old instead of 75, if the 1850 Census number is correct. Have you run across them in your research? Was Eli a shortened version of Elisha? I have not found their grave sites yet. Have you seen them listed anywhere?
PUZZLE NUMBER TWO. Eli (#1) and Cherry were living in the same household as his son, John G in the 1850 Census for Poinsett Co., Mitchell Twp. John G is listed as being born in NC and was 23 years old, making his birth year as
1826 or 1827. His wife is Martha Rebecca, 19 years old and as being born in Alabama. (John G is listed as J.G. in the 1850 Census and as John G. in the 1860 Census for Independence Co., Black River Twp, Ark.) (Martha is listed
as Martha in the 1850, 1860 and 1900 Census, as M.R. in the 1870 Census and as Martha R. in the 1880 Census. Also, in the 1880 Census her birth state is listed as Tennessee instead of Alabama.)
The question is how many children did Eli and Cherry have? Just John G? Because the same 1850 Census for Poinsett Co., Mitchell Twp, Ark. lists other Harrell families living as neighbors of John G, Martha, Eli and Cherry, it may be that David and Eli (#2) were also brothers of John G. There is some evidence that Milton P ( or perhaps "I") is another brother as well as Jethro Harrell, but more on him below.
It seems evident that the Harrells chose wives as they headed west to Arkansas. Eli (#1) married Cherry from Virginia, David married Elizabeth from NC, Eli (#2) married Martha C from Georgia and John G married Martha in
either Alabama or Tennessee. Do you have any evidences of these marriages? PUZZLE NUMBER THREE. There is a mystery concerning my great grandfather, Eli L Harrell, the son of John G and Martha R Harrell. In the 1880 Census for Cross Co., Ark, he is listed as being in Sharp Co. (a nearby county from Poinsett Co.), being 22 years old, living with Robert Wooldridge and his wife, Mary P Crouch (or Couch). Eli is designated as a nephew. But I cannot figure out if Eli is the direct nephew of Robert or of Mary P Crouch. Mary P came from Alabama as did Martha R (according to the 1850 Census for Poinsett Co.). Does anyone have any information that will help me solve this mystery?
PUZZLE NUMBER FOUR. Nan Harrell Snider wrote an article about Joseph Wyatt
Harrell in the book entitled "History and Families of Poinsett County, Arkansas". In this article Mrs. Snider wrote that Jethro (Jefro) Harrell was Joseph Wyatt's father and was born about 1815 in the Carolinas. Mrs. Snider continues to say that Joseph Wyatt Harrell lived with David Harrell (his uncle, we presume) in 1865 (according to the Poinsett Co. tax records). In
the 1870 Census for Cross co., Joseph Wyatt is living with another uncle, Eli (#2). If this is correct, then it means that if Eli (#2), the son of Eli and Cherry, was Joseph Wyatt's uncle, then Jethro (his father) must also be
the son of Eli and Cherry and the brother to David, Eli (#2) and John G. Does that make any sense? Can anyone help me to verify this claim?
PUZZLE NUMBER FIVE. Mrs. Snider, who has done some excellent work on the Harrell family and who is the author of "A Proud Heritage: The Harrell Family", mentions in a message board e-mail that Jethro Harrell was a half
brother to John Harrell and a cousin to a Tom Harrell. Does anyone know anything about this John and this Tom? Has anyone made the connection between these families?
Well, I have quite a bit more about the third, fourth and following generations of Eli and Cherry Harrell, but I will develop these lines a bit more before sharing them with you. I am hoping some of you will help me to fill in some of the missing blanks for the five puzzles I have presented to you