A follow up on my earlier postings. N>H>
THE HARRELL FAMILY IN ARKANSAS AND BEYOND
Update: April 7, 2005
by Norman Lynn Harrell
History has always been one of my passions. I majored in history at Baylor University. I wrote a history of the first church of which I was a pastor—the First Baptist Church of Chisholm-McLendon, Texas. The subject of my thesis at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was the history of Baptists in Portugal.
My interest in my family’s history began to grow on me more and more. Therefore, when I retired from the International Mission Board (SBC) at the beginning of 2004, I had more time to investigate the genealogy of the Harrell family.
Genealogical history is never ending. It seems I am always finding out new information that changes facts, dates and conclusions. So what I disclosing in this document will most likely change in the near future. I will issue updates as I discover new or corrected information.
My Direct Line of Male Harrells
As a point of reference and so you will know immediately my personal pedigree, here is my personal direct family line starting from my grandson to his gggggg grandfather, eight generations in all.
Andrew Alves Harrell (b. 15 Jan 1995 Lisbon, Portugal - )
John Mark Harrell (b. 17 Jun 1968 Fort Worth, Tx - )
Norman Lynn Harrell (b. 31 Dec 1941 Terrell, Tx - )
Herbert Elmus Harrell (b. 11 May 1911 Rockwall Co., Tx – d. Dallas, Tx 18 Apr 1979)
Elbert Claud Harrell (b.25 Jul 1886 Cave City, Ar – d. 23 Dec 1952 Terrell, Tx)
Eli L. Harrell (b. 11 Apr 1858 Ar – d. 07 Feb 1914 Rockwall, Tx)
John Grand Harrell (b. Abt 1827 NC – d. Bet 1865 & 1870 Ar)
Eli Harrell (b. Abt 1778 NC – d. Bet 1850 & 1860 Ar)
Who was Eli Harrell’s father and grandfather, etc.? I wish I knew! I am still investigating. If you have information, please share it with me.Roger H. Harrell in his book, “Harrell Families of Early Hertford County, North Carolina”, (2000), reasons that Jesse Harrell may have been Eli’s father.
Eli Harrell of North Carolina
Eli, Eley and Ely were favorite names of the Harrell family. According to a Mormon researcher, our Eli was born around 1779. This squares within a year of the 1850 Census of Poinsett County, Arkansas where it is registered his age as being 72. Depending upon the time of the actual census and Eli’s exact birthday, 1778 or 1779 would be within this range. The Mormon researcher also estimates his place of birth as Gates County, NC.
An Eli Harrell is recorded as marrying Charity Boyt on 03 Jan 1804 in Gates County, NC. I have a photocopy of the marriage license. It shows that they were married before county official James Turner with Dempsey Harrell providing the bond and A.M. Baker as the witness.We presume Dempsey Harrell was a close relative. We do not know who A.M. Baker was or if he was related in some way.The marriage is also recorded on a page of “Harrell Marriages from Gates County, North Carolina” in Leone Armott Rose’s book entitled “The Crowon Family” (1956).
The next paper trail leads us to the 1810 Census for Hertford County, NC. Gates and Hertford were and still are adjoining counties in the eastern part of NC on the Virginia border. Before I discuss this Census, I think it will be helpful to give you in chart form the four Censuses in which Eli Harrell is mentioned.
1810 Census for Hertford County, NC (page 106)
Head of household: Eli Harrell, age 35-40
Males in household: 1 age 0-10
1 age 26-45 (Eli)
Females in household: 3 age 0-10 (number not clear but assumed from 1820 Census)
1 age 26-45 (wife)
1820 Census for Hertford County, NC (page 206)
Head of household: Eley Harrell, age 45-50
Males in household: 2 age 0-10
1 age over 45 (Eli)
Females in household: 3 age 0-10
3 age 16-26
1 age over 45 (wife)
No slaves reported
1830 Census for Hertford County, NC (page 408)
Head of household: Ely Harrell, age 55-60
Males in household: 1 age 0-5
2 age 10-15
1 age 15-20
Females in household: 1 age 10-15
1 age 15-20
3 age 20-30
1 age 40-50 (wife)
No slaves reported
1850 Census for Poinsett County, Arkansas
Head of household: J.G. Harrell, age 23 b. NC
Wife: Martha, age 19 b. Alabama
Eli, age 72 b. NC
Cherey, age 65 b. Va
A.J., age 16, b. Tn
No slaves reported
As was common in the pre-Civil War era, Eli owned one slave according to the 1810 Census and verified by the 1815 Hertford County tax list (Table 15, page 134). This list also indicated that he owned 228 acres of land in 1815 worth 1,000 dollars.
Eli and the War of 1812
Eli volunteered to fight in this War according to the “Muster Roll of the Detached Militia, Organized in August, 1814”. Of the 75 men from Hertford County, NC, in the First Regiment, Eli is the only Harrell listed, page 76. The war was over by December, 1814 although fighting continued until the spring of 1815. We are not sure if Eli actually fought in a battle or where he was stationed. Eli is also mentioned as being in the Hertford’s list of soldiers for the First Regiment in the “Colonial and State Political History of Hertford County, N.C.”by Benj. B. Winborne in “Decade VI 1810-1820”,page 107.
Eli’s Wife or Wives?
As mentioned earlier an Eli Harrell married Charity Boyt on 03 Jan 1804 in Gates County, NC. A web site, (http://freepages.enealogy.rootsweb.com/~patepaitfamily/boyett.html), states that a Charity Boyt was born about 1786 and was the daughter of Amos Boyte and Mry [Mary] Worrell. Amos Boyte was born about 1767 in Dobbs County, NC and died 1826 in Wayne County, NC. We do not know, but perhaps the Boytes moved to Virginia for awhile and Charity was born during this time.
According to the 1810 and 1820 Census for Hertford County, NC, Charity gave birth to three boys and six girls. According to the 1830 Census for Hertford County, NC a fourth son was born and is not over five years old. Charity would have been about 44 years old at the time of the birth.
We have not found any evidence of Eli and Charity in an 1840 Census in North Carolina or elsewhere. However, as indicated above, Eli appears in the 1850 Census for Poinsett County, Mitchell Township, Arkansas. His wife’s name, however, is not Charity but Cherey [or perhaps Cherry]. Cherey is listed as being born in Virginia and being 65 years old, an age that harmonizes with the estimated birth date of Charity. According to the practice of nick naming at the time, Charity and Cherey or Cherry were interchangeable names. Therefore, it is within some reason that Charity and Cherey are the same woman. It is also within reason that Cherey could be Eli’s second wife.
In the 1860 Census for Arkansas, Cherey had moved with her son and his family to Independence County, Black River Township, Arkansas. She is listed as being 70 years of age and having been born in Virginia. There is a discrepancy with Cherey’s ages according to the 1850 and 1860 Censuses. Unless there is a special magic in Arkansas, one cannot age only five years in a ten year span! If Cherey is indeed Charity, who was born about 1786, then the correct age would be 75 instead of 70.
Until now we have not discovered the exact dates of death for Eli and Charity or Cherey. Since Eli is listed in the 1850 Census but not in the 1860 Census, his death date has to be between 1850 and 1860. There is not a listing for Charity or Cherey in the 1870 Census so her death date was between 1860 and 1870. We have not found the place of death nor where they are buried, but we assume it is in Arkansas.
The Four Sons of Eli Harrell
This section deals with the supposed sons of Eli. At present, I have not discovered the names of his six daughters.My assumption is that Eli’s four sons were the following:
David, born c. 1807, died Oct 1879
Jethro, born c. 1815, died 1866
Eli Jr., born 7 Jan 1817, died 21 Apr 1881
John G., born 1827, died between 1865 -1870
I concluded they were brothers for the following reasons:
(1)They were all born in North Carolina as the Censuses indicate. One Census indicates
that Jethro was born in South Carolina but another one says North Carolina.
(2)Three of the four, David, Eli Jr. and John G, were in the Mitchell Township, Poinsett
County, Arkansas as indicated by the 1850 Census, page 204, and living as close or as
next door neighbors.
(3)Joseph Wyatt Harrell, son of Jethro, is listed in the 1865 Poinsett County tax records as
living with his uncle, David Harrell of Searcy Township. In the 1870 Census for CrossCounty, Arkansas, Joseph Wyatt is living next to his other uncle, Eli. Both of thesefacts indicate that Jethro was a brother to David and Eli.
(4)The ages of the brothers as indicated on the 1830 Census for Hertford County, NC seem
to harmonize with the age indicated on the 1850 Census in Arkansas. See the following
The 1830 Census for Hertford County, NC indicates four males: one at least five years old (this could be John G. who was born c. 1827); two between the ages of 10 and 15 (Eli Jr. was born c. 1818 and Jethro c. 1815); and one between 15 and 20 years (David was born c. 1812).
David Harrell, Eli’s First Son
As indicated above, David, John G. and Eli Jr. all lived as neighbors in the Mitchell Township, Poinsett County, Arkansas according to the 1850 Census. David’s occupation is listed as a farmer, born in North Carolina and was 38 years old. He was married to a Elizabeth, 39 years old and also born in North Carolina.Below is a transcription of the 1850 Census.
Head of household:David Harrell, age 38, b. NC
Wife: Elizabeth, age 39, b. NC
Richard, age 16, b. Ar
Lemuel, age 15, b. Ar
M.S. (f), age 13, b. Ar
L.A. (f), age 11, b. Ar
Redick, age 9, b. Ar
Samuel, age 7, b. Ar
Davis, age 3, b. Ar
Eli, age 3 months, b. Ar
The above Census summary would seem to indicate that the family arrived in Arkansas by 1834. However, two factors go against this conclusion. One is that in the 1840 Census for Arkansas this David Harrell is not mentioned. The second is the fact that in the 1860 and following Censuses, the children are listed as being born in Tennessee. Logically, then, they must be in the 1840 Tennessee Census, but so far we have not found them.
David and Elizabeth show up in the 1870 Census for Bradford Township, Cross County, Post Office Wittsburg, Arkansas. Notice that the Census makes them older than in the 1850 Census.
Head of household: David Harrell, age 61, farmer, NC
Wife: Elizabeth Harrell, age 60, NC
We believe this is the same couple as in the 1850 Census for Poinsett County, Arkansas because Cross County is adjacent, all the children would be old enough to have left home and one son, Samuel, age 25, born in Tennessee, is living next door to them. Samuel was seven years old in the 1850 Census and 25 in the 1870 Census, only a two year difference, not a crucial factor considering the inaccuracies of the Census taking of that era.
In the 1880 Mortality Index for Arkansas, a David Harrell, age 72, born about 1807/1808, is recorded as having died in October, 1879 in Cross County, Arkansas.In the 1880 Census for Smith Township, Cross County, Arkansas, son Richard Harrell is listed with his family. Notice that his mother is recorded by a common nickname for Elizabeth, “Betsy”.
Head of household:Richard, age 46, b. Tn
Wife: Matilda J. Harrell, age 43, b. Tn
Richard, son, age 18, b. Ar
Bettie, daughter, age 15, b. Ar
Ida, daughter, age 13, b. Ar
Tommy, son, age 10, b. Ar
Willie, son, age 10 months, b. Ar
Mother: Betsy, age 72, b. NC
I would like to present the possibility that David and Elizabeth Harrell had twin sons: Richard and Andrew Jackson. I base this possibility on the following: (1) Andrew J. is listed in the 1850 Census for Mitchell Township, Poinsett County, Arkansas as living with his uncle, John G. Harrell who was a neighbor to his brother, David; (2) both Richard and Andrew J. were born in Tennessee in 1834; and (3) Andrew J. is found in the 1880 Census for Smith Township, Cross County living as a neighbor to Richard and Matilda.
Why, then, did Andrew not live with his parents but his uncle? We do not know, but perhaps there was a lack of space in the house, or help was needed with his grandparents, Eli and Cherey who were also in John G. Harrell’s household in 1850.
Jethro Harrell, Eli’s Second Son
Jethro, if indeed he was Eli’s second son, was born in about 1815 in North Carolina. His first wife, Mildred Hunt was born about 1820 in North Carolina. They married in 1840 in Gates County, North Carolina. His second wife, Elizabeth Marrow was born about 1826 in Alabama. They married in 1850 or 1851.Jethro and Mildred had five children but only Joseph Wyatt survived early childhood. Jethro and Elizabeth had five children, two daughters and three sons.
Jethro died in 1866 in Craighead County. Goodspell’s history of Arkansas indicates that Jethro was a half brother to John Harrell, the father of nine children. Records indicate this would be John, the son of a Revolutionary War soldier of Welsh descend, Benjamin Harrell who died before the war’s end. John married Sarah Pollard 1792. They came to Crawford County, Arkansas in 1831. Benjamin Harrell was married to Winney, maiden name unknown. They had two sons: John and Charles Yeates. I do not see how Jethro could be the half brother to John since Jethro was only born in 1815. John was born c. 1760.
Goodspell’s history also says that Jethro was a cousin to Tom Harrell of Arkansas. A Thomas Harrell, b. 24 Jan 1848, son of Bennett Harrell, b. 16 Jun 1816, NC; d. 1 Mar 1840, Ar and Martha Wood, b. 27 Oct 1853, Ar; d. 23 Jan 1924, Ar.
Mrs. Nan Harrell Snider, of Monette, Arkansas and the gg grandfather of Jethro Harrell, wrote a book in 1990 entitled, A Proud Heritage – The Harrell Family. It covers eleven generations from Jethro to the present.
Eli (Jr.), Eli’s Third Son
As Eli Sr. and his family traveled westward toward Arkansas, at least two of his sons found wives along the way. John G. married an Alabama bride. Eli Jr. married a girl from Georgia, Martha Catherine Morgan, b. 1823.In the 1850 Census, Poinsett County, Mitchell Township, Arkansas, a Morgan family lived as neighbors to Eli and Martha Catherine. We do not know if they are related to Martha Catherine. Their oldest son, Asa, was born in 1884 in Tennessee. The other five children, including twin sons, were all born in Arkansas.
In the “Cross County, Arkansas Cemetery Records, Volume 2” page 168, there is a reference to Eli and Martha. The tombstone only indicated information about Eli: b. 7 Jan 1817; d. 21 Apr 1881. The tombstone is found near Vanndale, Cross County, Arkansas. Martha Catherine’s tombstone is found in the Cogbill Cemetery, Cross County, Wynne, Arkansas. It says “Age 73, Wife of Eli Harrell”. The death date is 26 Sep 1903. She was born in 1830 in Georgia.
John G. Harrell, Eli’s Fourth Son
As indicated in Part 1, John G. is listed as the head of household for the 1850 Census for Poinsett County, Mitchell Township, Arkansas. He was 23 years old and born c. 1827 in North Carolina. He married a Martha from Alabama. Also in the household was his father, Eli, age 72, born in North Carolina and his mother, Cherey, age 65, born in Virginia. As mentioned above, a young man, apparently John’s nephew, A.J. Harrell, was living with them. We suspect A.J. is the twin brother of Richard Harrell, the son of David Harrell. Both A.J. and Richard were born in 1834 in Tennessee.
By the time of the 1860 Census, John and his family had moved to a neighboring county, Independence and living in the Black River Township. Eli Sr. is not listed in the 1860 Census so his death date has to be between 1850 and 1860. His wife Cherey, is listed as being 70 years old but probably should be 75 since she was 65 in the 1850 Census.
John is listed as being a farmer again and 32 years old. Martha is listed as 28 years old. Their children, all born in Arkansas, are listed for the first time and are as follows:
William, age 10
Martha J., age 8
Mary E., age 6
Margaret M., age 4
Eli L., age 2
Marcilla, age 2 months
A young lady, perhaps a niece, Francis Harrell, age 14, born in Tennessee, is also listed in the household.
In the 1870 Census, John G. is not present. We have not found the date of his exact death nor the location of his burial. John G. (we suspect the “G” stands for Grand or Grandison) died between 1865 and 1870 since his youngest son, Jethro Pomb was five years old according to the 1870 Census.It is possible John G. enlisted in the Civil War but we have not been able to verify this.
Part 3, etc. to follow.