Harrell Families

of Early

Hertford County, North Carolina


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HarrellFamilies (Home Page)


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 4 (Hertford County's 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Generations)

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


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


3rd Generation Hertford County Harrells—Born in Gates County


I know of four 3rd Generation Harrells who moved from Gates County to Hertford County. There may have been more, but in most cases if they did not stay for a least one census record they have been overlooked. The Hertford County immigrants who stayed are described in this chapter. They were David, Mary (Wilson), Abner, and James Harrell. In chapter two of this work, I surveyed the early Harrells who were in the Gates area before it became a county. I found most of the Harrells in the Gates area descended from one of the two original settlers—Samuel of Chowan (b. c. 1700) or Samuel of Kent (b. 1663). By all accounts, our four immigrants did descend from the two Samuels—David from Samuel of Chowan; and Mary, Abner, and James from Samuel of Kent.


Samuel of Chowan (b. c. 1700 in the Gates area or Nansemond County, Virginia) had several children in the Gates area, one of whom was Abraham (b. c. 1718 in the Gates area), and one of his sons was David Harrell (b. c. 1770 in the Gates area). David started his family in Gates County before he moved to Hertford County between 1810 and 1815.


The other three immigrants to Hertford County, Mary (b. c. 1787), Abner (b. 1790), and James (b. 1792), were siblings. Most accounts indicate they descended from a Major Samuel (b. c. 1750 in the Gates area), who descended from James (b. 1708 in the Gates area), who in turn descended from Samuel of Kent (b. 1663 in Kent County, England). Abner Harrell was the first in his family to settle in Hereford County—he moved there between 1815 and 1820. Major Samuel’s daughter, Mary, married John G. Wilson of Hertford County in 1825; then they settled in Murfreesboro, Hertford County. Mary and Abner Harrell’s brother, James, settled in Hertford County much later, in 1840, after spending nearly twenty years in Virginia. The marks they left on Hertford County are described below.


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


            When David was around 23 years of age, he married Ann Gatling in Gates County. They were married on November 11, 1796,[1] and started their family in Gates County. By 1810, they had been married for more than 14 years and apparently had seven of their children.


David was between the ages of 35 and 40 when the 1810 census was taken. He was probably around 40 years of age when he decided to move to Hertford County sometime after the 1810 census but before 1815. We know David moved to Hertford County with his family before 1815 because he was on the 1815 tax list for Hertford County (see Table 15, page 128). He took considerable wealth with him to his new home.

[page 305] 

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 was between the ages of 45 and 50 when he appeared in Hertford County as a head of household in the 1820 census. His wife, Ann, was also between 45 and 50 years of age at that time.


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

Head of Household:  David Harrell, age 45-50                                                 page 182

household members:      males                           females

                                    2, 10-16                        2, 0-10

                                    1, 16-26                        1, 10-16

                                    1, over 45                      1, 16-26

                                                                        1, 26-45

                                                                        1, over 45

                                    (13 slaves)


            The David Harrell and his family described in the 1820 census were probably the same “Davison” and his wife who were listed in the 1830 census—based on the ages given in 1820, they would be over 55 in 1830. Their ages fit and the name is close enough for me to be confident David of 1820 and Davison of 1830 were one and the same person. In addition, never before or after the 1830 entry was there a “Davison” Harrell in Hertford County.


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

Head of Household:  Davison/David Harrell, age 55-60                                                page 395

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 50-60                        1, 50-60


            In 1830, David and Ann were living alone. Their older children were probably married, and the younger children may have been living with their siblings. David apparently died before the 1840 census.


David Sr. and Ann Harrell’s Descendants


            David’s two oldest daughters were seen in the 1810 census, all the other children were counted on the 1820 census. By using both censuses we can get an estimate of his children’s birth years—the best estimates are in the following list.

[page 306] 

                David Sr.’s                            birth years            known                                    possible

                children                                                                 children                                 children

                Son # 1                                   b. 1794-1804                                                          George (1791-1800)

                                                                                                                                                Enoch (1800-1810)

                Son # 2                                   b. 1804-1810                                                          John (1804-1810)

                                                                                                                                                Enoch (1800-1810)

                Son # 3                                   b. 1804-1810          David Jr., b. 1807

                Daughter # 1                         b. 1794-1800                            

                Daughter # 2                         b. 1794-1800

                Daughter # 3                         b. 1794-1804

                Daughter # 4                         b. 1804-1810

                Daughter # 5                         b. 1810-1820

                Daughter # 6                         b. 1810-1820


All his children, except daughters nos. 5 and 6, were born in Gates County, but apparently they all grew up in Hertford County. So far, however, knowing their place of birth has not helped to identify David Sr.’s sons numbers one and two. There were three possibilities among the 4th Generation of Harrells who could have been David Sr.’s sons—George, Enoch, and John (1804-1810). Unfortunately, all three were gone by the 1850 census, and thus missed the 1860 census in which residents were asked their county of birth. The difficulty in identifying these sons is, of course, compounded by the fact that all three of the possibilities were also possible sons of other 3rd Generation Harrells in the county. On the basis of age categories, George was a match with Elijah Two and Elisah; Enoch was a match with Eley and Elijah Two; and John (1804-1810) was also a match with Eley and Elijah Two (see Table 20, page 170). For now, in David Sr.’s section of this chapter, I have only described the one descendant I have been able to identify with some certainty—David Junior.


David Harrell Jr. (b. 1807)—4th Generation


            David Jr. and his wife, Sally, were married by 1839, and the 1840 census listed the young couple with their first child, Mary, who was one year of age at the time. 


1840 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  David Harrell, age 20-30                                                 page 63

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 20-30                        1, 0-5

                                                                        1, 15-20


The family in the 1850 census entry below is probably the same David Harrell household shown in 1840 just above, with one small age problem. David in 1840 was listed as between the ages of 20 and 30, though he should have been 33; Sally was listed as 15 to 20, yet she should have been 23. The error for both of them is similar, and could have just been a recording error—off by one column for each mark in 1840.  David Jr. and Sally apparently kept themselves busy between the 1840 and 1850 censuses—they had five new children by 1850. Mary, their first born, was 11 years old by 1850, and the two additional daughters and three sons were nicely spaced through the decade. Also, by the 1850 census, David Jr. had real estate valued at $3,300.

 [page 307] 

1850 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, David               age 43 farmer              $3,300                                       page 337

Harrell, Sally                 age 33                                                 

Harrell, Mary                age 11                                         

Harrell, Olivia                age   9                                          

Harrell, Henry               age   7                                                 

Harrell, Gilbert              age   5                                         

Harrell, Mariah              age   3                                         

Harrell, Julius                age 9/12                                      

Harrell, Alphenis           age 15                                      Idiotic


            The 15 year old lad, Alphenis Harrell, was a son of John (b. 1804-1810) and Herriet (see “Unattached 4th Generation Harrells,” in chapter 5). John (b. 1804-1810) had died in late 1840, and his will provided for sons John Wilson and Alpheus Harrell—there were no special provisions in the 1840 will for an “Idiotic” son, as Alpheus was labeled in the 1850 census. Why Alpheus was living with David and Sally in 1850 is not clear. He may have been a nephew. John (b. 1804-1810) was the correct age to have been David Jr.’s brother.


David Jr. and Sally were religious as well as financially secure. In 1858, they were one family among only 10 to contribute as much as $100 to help construct a new church building for the Bethlehem Baptist Church near Pitch Landing. (The only other Harrell making a comparable contribution to that church fund was John Wilson Harrell, the brother of the 15 year old lad, Alphenis, who had been living with David and Sally in 1850, both of whom were grandsons of John (1804-1810), one of David Jr.’s possible brothers.)


David Jr. and Sally had 3 more daughters and were much richer by 1860. In addition, the 1860 census shows David Harrell Jr. was born in Gates County, and his wife Sally (Sarah Maria) was born in Bertie County. All their children were born in Hertford County. Their two oldest daughters, Mary and Olivia, were gone by 1860—probably married.


1860 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Harrell, David               age 53  Farmer             $6,000   $15,665                         page 28

Harrell, S. M.                age 47  wife

Harrell, H. D.                age 17  (Henry D.)

Harrell, G. L.                age 15  (Gilbert L.)

Harrell, M. A.               age 13  (Mariah A.)

Harrell, J. J.                  age 10  (Julius J.)

Harrell, E. W.               age   8  (Elizabeth W.)

Harrell, M. C.               age   5  daughter

Harrell, T. E.                 age   1  (Theodosie E.) daughter


David Jr. was alive and well in May of 1865, when a neighbor, and perhaps a distant cousin, Abner Harrell named David the executor of a trust set up for Abner’s son, Alpha B. Harrell. It was clear Abner trusted David enough to convey the 100 acres he was leaving to his son, Alpha B. Harrell, to him. David was to hold title and have full management power over the land during Alpha’s life time, and then convey the land to Alpha’s heirs. David could farm or rent the land as he saw fit, with all proceeds going to the support of Abner’s son, Alpha, during his life time.[2]

 [page 308]

            David Jr. died before November 1869, when his son Henry D. Harrell sold the land he inherited from his father.


            Of course, David Jr. was not listed in the 1870 census. His wife, Sarah Maria Harrell, was also not listed as a head of household in 1870, nor was she listed with her sons. She may have been living with one of her daughters.


David Jr. and Sally Harrell’s Children


            David Jr. and Sally Harrell’s children were:


Mary                      b. 1839

Olivia                      b. 1841

Henry D.                b. 1843

Gilbert L.                b. 1845

Mariah A.              b. 1847 (Shaw)

Julius J.                  b. 1850

Elizabeth W.          b. 1852 (Phelps)

M. C.                      b. 1855 (daughter)

Theodosie E.         b. 1859    (daughter)

Robert E.                b. 1863


            Mary and Olivia were both married before 1860 but remain undetected to this point in time. Two of David Jr. and Sally’s sons, Henry D. and Gilbert L. were living side-by-side in 1870—both were married, and listed as heads of household. The ten year old son listed with David and Sally in 1860 was probably the 20 year old named Julius living with his brother, Gilbert, in 1870. Both Henry and Gilbert were engaged in farming—Henry with 20 improved acres and 15 in woodlands; Gilbert with 60 improved acres and 66 in woodlands. Their sister, Mariah A. had probably combined her inheritance with her husband, James D. Shaw’s, holdings; they were on 160 improved acres and 160 in woodlands. The other siblings owned their share of the original family farm but were probably not listed in the Agricultural Schedule because they were not working their own land.[3]


Henry D. Harrell (b. 1843)—5th Generation


            Henry D. was the oldest son of David Jr. and Sallie Maria Harrell. He was with both his parents for the 1850 and 1860 censuses. Henry D. made his first appearance as a head of household in 1870. He had married Rebecca Ellen Evans, the daughter of Lemuel and Lucy Evans, on June 2, 1870.[4]

 [page 309]

In 1870, Henry and Rebecca had Bettie (Elizabeth W.), Henry’s sister, living with them, as well as his younger brother seven year old, Robert E. Harrell. The nine month old child could have been Henry and Rebecca’s, but if it were, the child did not survive to the 1880 census, because they did not have a child age 9 to 11 in 1880. 


1870 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Harrell, H. D.                age 26   farmer                        $100                                          page 421

Harrell, Rebecca E.       age 21   house wife

Harrell, Bettie               age 17 (Elizabeth W.)

Harrell, Robert E.          age   7

Harrell, child                 age 9/12

 [page 310]

Bettie (Elizabeth W.) was apparently still living with Henry when she married in April of 1871. Elizabeth married Gray W. Phelps in “David Harrell’s place,” and she was listed as David and Sarah M. Harrell’s daughter.[5] The family farm referred to as David Harrell’s place was part of the land he had inherited from their father. This was certainly the farm on the road from Harrellsville to Colfield with the cemetery in which both David Jr. and his son Gilbert L. Harrell are buried.[6] 


            In 1870, Henry was listed as a farmer, but he was listed as not owning real estate, while both of his younger brothers (listed just below) owned land. This was because Henry sold all or most of the land his father had left him soon after his father died. The deed to record the sale was dated November 29, 1869, and conveyed 100 acres to James D. Shaw (his brother-in-law), who already owned land on the northern line of Henry’s land, for the sum of $225.[7]  It is identified as land from David Harrell’s estate, and as bounded by the Wiccacon Creek on the south, by brother Gilbert’s parcel on the west, and by James D. Shaw’s wife’s (Mariah A. Harrell Shaw’s) land on the north. Henry’s brother, Gilbert, is shown in the 1870 Agriculture census to own 60 improved acres and 66 unimproved for a total of 126 acres. Apparently David Jr. left Henry a similar parcel, because, as mentioned above, the Agricultural Schedule taken in 1870 indicates Henry was farming on 20 improved acres and 15 unimproved acres after having sold 100 acres the previous November. Henry D. was also the Surveyor for Hertford County during the same period of time.


In 1880, Henry and Rebecca had three new children.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, H. D.                age 36 work on farm               

Harrell, Rebecca E.       age 31

Harrell, Lymon D.         age   7

Harrell, Ella E.              age   4

Harrell, Edgar J.            age   2


            The twenty year information gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses creates a problem which most people have learned to deal with, but in Hertford County the problem is compounded by the shoddy workmanship employed when microfilming the 1900 and 1910 U. S. censuses for Hertford County. Because of these problems, we know very little about Henry D.’s family in 1890. Nonetheless, most of what we know must be deduced from the censuses. The only glimpse we have of Henry D. in 1890 indicates he was farming in the Harrellsville Post Office District along with N. Harrell, Lemuel Harrell, John Wilson Harrell, and Nicholas J. Harrell.[8]


1900 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, H. D.                age 56  farmer              born August 1843

Harrell, Rebecca E.       age 53  wife                  born May 1848

Harrell, Hildie                age 18  daughter           born June 1882

Harrell, Lula                  age 16  daughter           born June 1884

 [page 311]

            In 1900, Henry D. and Rebecca were still in Harrellsville on a family farm they owned mortgage free.


            They indicated they had been married for 28 years, which means they were married in 1872. (That date puts their marriage about two years later than the Hertford County record shows.) Rebecca also states five of her six children were still alive in 1900.


1910 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Henry D.          age 6x  farmer

Harrell, Rexxxx             age 6x  wife

Harrell, xxxxx               age xx  daughter

Harrell, xxxx                 age 25  daughter


As I stated earlier, some of the microfilm for this period of time is nearly useless. The people constructing the index (Soundex) for the 1910 census in Hertford County apparently had a more readable film than I have been able to get, and they came up with the following listing.


from Soundex for 1910, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Henry D.          age 67  farmer (b. 1843)                                    Harrellsville twp.

            Rebecca E.       age 61  wife

            Adder E.           age 27  daughter (Ida E.)

            Lula J.              age 25  daughter


In 1910, Henry D. and Rebecca still owned their farm free and clear and were still in Harrellsville township. Rebecca also still indicated  5 of her 6 children were living in 1910.


            Henry was gone by 1920, while Rebecca E. remained in Harrellsville township with one of her youngest daughters. Their daughter, Lula J., was married by then. Their daughter’s name, Ada E., is clear in the 1920 census. Ada E. was probably the 18 year old in 1900, and the 27 year old in the 1910 census. Ada is listed as single, with no occupation, and 36 years of age in 1920.


1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, R. E.                age 71  no occupation

Harrell, Ada E.              age 36  daughter / single


Henry D. & Rebecca E. Harrell’s Children


            In 1900 and 1910, Rebecca stated she had given birth to six children and five of them were still alive in 1910. In the 1870 census there was a nine month old child who did not appear at around age 10 in the 1880 census. I assume this was the child they lost. The 1880 census listed three children all of whom were not living with their parents by the next available census in 1900—Lymon, Ella, and Edgar would have been 27, 24 and 22 years of age respectively in 1900. The 1900 census listed the two daughters born after the 1880 census. They were Ada E., born in 1881, and Lula J., born in 1883.

 [page 312]

Lymon Delk Harrell (b. 1872)—6th Generation


Lymon stayed in Hertford County, where he married Margaret Penelope Smithwick.


1910 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, L. D.                age 40             

Harrell, Margarette        age 37  wife

Harrell, George L.         age   8  son

Harrell, Ganie                age   4  daughter


In 1910, they both acknowledged they had been married for 12 years, and Margaret indicated she had had four children, with two still alive—they were George L. and Ganie. The family was living on a rented farm at the time. Lymon died in 1959.

Ella E. Harrell Hardin (b. 1876)—6th Generation


            Ella E. Harrell at age 19 married George A. Hardin who was then 32 years of age. The wedding was at the home of the bride’s father, on May 28, 1895.[9] Ella died in 1956.

Edgar Judson Harrell (b. 1877)—6th Generation


Edger died in 1961.

Ada E. Harrell (b. 1881)—6th Generation


Ada and her younger sister, Lula, were with their mother for the 1910 census. Ada E. Harrell was still in her mother, Rebecca’s, household in 1920—she gave her age as 36, and she was not married at the time.

Lula J. Harrell (b. 1883)—6th Generation


Lula was living in her mother’s household for the 1910 census—her age was given as 25.

She married Alonzo Outlaw Holloman.


Gilbert L. Harrell (b. 1845)—5th Generation


            David Jr. and Sally Harrell’s son, Gilbert, was still living with his parents in 1860. He enlisted at Hertford County on May 1, 1864. Later but he was married to Martha Sarah Doughtie and they appeared together in the 1870 census.


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, G. L.                age 25   farmer                         $400   $200                               page 421

Harrell, Martha S.         age 20

Harrell, Julius W.           age 20   at home            $800    

 [page 313]

            Gilbert L. and his young wife had Julius Harrell, Gilbert’s younger brother, living with them in 1870. Julius, had twice the value of real estate as his older brother, Gilbert, but he was not listed in the Agricultural census as farming his land, which is understandable given his young age. Gilbert’s farm has 60 acres of improved land and 66 acres of unimproved land.[10]


            After the death of their father, David Jr., it was apparently not a simple matter to distribute and keep his land. For instance, one deed between Gilbert and his brother-in-law and neighbor, James D. Shaw, illustrates some of the difficulty and the sort of help Gilbert received from James D. Shaw. As I understand it, Gilbert owed money to James D. Shaw for administering his late father’s estate, and a note was signed on January 2, 1868. The transaction involved Gilbert selling part of the land he inherited, and putting up a horse, all of his hogs, cattle, sheep, and all stocks and crops, and all of his household furniture. The note was to be paid by January 1, 1870, or all collateral was to be sold at public auction to the highest bidder. (From this time and place, one might reasonably expect somewhat easier terms from a sister and brother-in-law, but then and there, it may have been reasonable.)


            In 1870, this  family cluster included Henry D. (age 26), Gilbert L. (age 25), Julius J. (age 20), and their sister, Mariah A. Shaw (age 21)—adjacent parcels owned by the younger siblings were mentioned in later deeds. They were living next door to each other in Winton Township. This is, of course, understandable because they all inherited a part of their father’s home farm on the road from Harrellsville to Colfield. Their father had had a rather substantial estate in 1860—real estate  valued at $6,000 and personal property valued at $15,665. He was a farmer and  most of his personal property would have been slaves, and, of course, they were freed by the end of the War.


There was no Julius Harrell age 30 in the 1880 census, nor have I been able to find a deed for the sale of his land—I expect him to turn up eventually. Henry D. and Gilbert L. Harrell and their families were still farming in the area in 1880. 


            About six months before the 1880 census was taken, Gilbert and Martha sold the 131 acres of land Gilbert had inherited from his father for $300. The deed was dated December 31, 1879 and described the property as bounded on the north by Theodosie E. Harrell’s land (Gilbert’s sister), on the west by Robert E. Harrell’s land, on the south by Wiccacon Creek, and adjoining the land of James D. Shaw’s heirs.[11] The land referred to as Robert E. Harrell’s and Theodosie E. Harrell’s was probably part or all of the acres inherited from their father, David Junior. In the 1880 census both brothers, Gilbert and Henry, had their occupations  listed as “work on farm.” Gilbert and Martha’s family grew by five children between 1870 and 1880.           


I have not been able to find Gilbert or Martha S. in the 1900 or 1910 censuses due to poor workmanship during the microfilming process. By 1920, Gilbert L. was gone, and his wife, Martha S., and their daughter, Sallie M., were listed as boarders in the household of their youngest daughter, Martha A. Harrell Brickell.

 [page 314] 

1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, G. L.                age 35 work on farm                Harrellsville

Harrell, Martha S.         age 29

Harrell, Mary A.           age   9 in school

Harrell, David J.            age   5

Harrell, George J.          age   4

Harrell, Sarah M.          age   3

Harrell, Martha Ann      age 6/12


Gilbert L. & Martha S. Harrell’s Children


Mary A. Harrell (b. 1871)—6th Generation


Mary may have moved to Bertie County.

David J. Harrell (b. 1874)—6th Generation


            David J. was born in August 1874. He was first cited in the 1880 census living with his parents at the age of 5. He appeared again in the 1900 census, at the age of 25, as a farm laborer living with a Doughtie family. When the 1920 census was taken, he was  still a farm laborer at the age of 45. At that time he was working and living on the widow Rosa D. Hill’s farm on Colfield Road. He apparently did not get married. He died in 1938.

George J. Harrell (b. 1876)—6th Generation


            George J. Harrell was with his parents in 1880, living in Harrellsville. I have not yet found him in Hertford County in 1900.


            According to the 1910 census, he had gotten married in 1905. The census shows George J. and his wife, Pearl E. Thompson, settled in Harrellsville township. They were working their own farm which did have a mortgage.


1910 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, George J.          age 34  farmer

Harrell, Pearl E.                        age 26  wife

Harrell, Gilbert L.          age   4  son

Harrell, Vivian               age   1  daughter


            George and Pearl both indicated they had been married for 5 years, and Pearl stated she had given birth to two children and they were both alive.


            By 1920, George J. and Pearl E. were still farming in Harrellsville township on the Colfield Road, and their farm was then free of any mortgage.

 [page 315] 

1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, George J.          age 43  farmer

Harrell, Pearl E.            age 36  wife

Harrell, Gilbert L.          age 14  son

Harrell, Vivian               age 11  daughter

Harrell, Wingate            age   9  son

Harrell, Robert              age   6  son  (James)

Harrell, Lloyd                age   4  son

Harrell, Mervin              age   1  son


            Their first two children survived the decade, and four additional children had entered the family by 1920.


George & Pearl Harrell’s Descendants


Gilbert Harrell (b. 1906)—7th Generation


            According to tradition and the family historian, Jason S. Harrell, as a young man, Gilbert wanted a change of scenery—apparently a considerable change. He moved to Alaska. Gold was on his mind, but probably fishing was more important in terms of providing a livelihood. He wrote his family from time to time, and they knew he was engaged in commercial fishing, until one day his boat was found adrift, but no sign of Gilbert—ever again.


Vivian Harrell (b. 1908)—7th Generation


Vivian married Arthur Pierce.


George Wingate Harrell (b. 1911)—7th Generation


George stayed in Hertford, and married Sadie Dunlow. He died in the county in 1990.

James Robert Harrell Sr. (b. 1913)—7th Generation


            J. Robert Harrell at the age of 27 married Virginia Dunlow, age 20, in Winton on November 29, 1940. His younger sister, Myrtle Harrell, was a witness at the wedding.[12]


            James Robert Harrell lived in Bertie County, and he has descendants there as well as in Hertford County today.


James Robert & Virginia Dunlow Harrell’s Children

 [page 316]

Bobby Ray Harrell (b. 1941)—8th Generation


Bobby Ray married Jeanette Wade. He died in 1990.

James Robert Harrell Jr. (b. 1944)—8th Generation


            James Robert Harrell Jr. married Jerry Lee Jernigan in Ahoskie on September 8, 1967. L. S. Jernigan and James’ father, J. Robert Harrell Sr., were witnesses.[13]

Charles Randall Harrell (b. 1948)—8th Generation


            Charles Randall Harrell married Lorraine Brittenham. Their son is the family historian, Jason Scott Harrell (born 1976), of Ahoskie, Hertford County.

Judy Harrell Vinson (b. 1952)—8th Generation


Judy married Donald Wayne Vinson.


Lloyd Thompson Harrell (b. 1915)—7th Generation


            Lloyd T. Harrell stayed in Hertford County, and at the age of 30, he married Berna Dean Parker in Murfreesboro on March 20, 1947.[14] Lloyd T. died in 1970.


Mervin Wilson Harrell (b. 1918)—7th Generation


Mervin also stayed around Hertford County. He was a witness at his brother, James Robert Harrell’s, wedding in 1940. Mervin married Evelyn Swelley.


Myrtle Pearl Harrell (b. 1922)—7th Generation


She married Leslie Smith. On August 26, 1952, Myrtle Harrell was a witness at the wedding of Roxie Virginia Harrell, age 16, to Gerald Wayne Blanchard in Ahoskie.[15] Myrtle Pearl died in 1994.


Mavis Elizabeth Harrell Hill (b. 1926)—7th Generation


            Mavis at the age of 21 married William Thomas Hill Jr., age 19, in Murfreesboro on September 22, 1948. Mavis’ older brother, Lloyd T. Harrell, was a witness.[16] Mavis Elizabeth died in 1993.

 [page 317]

Sarah Mariah Harrell (b. 1877)—6th Generation


            Gilbert L. and Martha S. Harrell’s daughter, Sarah “Sallie” M. Harrell, was with her parents for the 1880 census at the age of three. I have not found her in 1900 or 1910, but she does reappear in 1920 as a boarder along with her widowed mother in her sister, Martha A. Harrell Brickell’s, household. She did not marry. Sarah Mariah died in 1956.

Martha Ann Harrell Brickell (b. 1880)—6th Generation


            Martha Ann Harrell at the age of 23 married E. D. Brickell, age 36, in Hertford County in March 1902.[17] In the 1910 census index (Soundex, 045,0050,0052), I found Martha Ann and Edward N. Brickell. In 1920, they were living in their own home (with a mortgage) in the town of Winton. Edward is listed as a lumberman working at a saw mill.


1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Brickell, Edward N.       age 53  lumberman

Brickell, Martha A.        age 39  wife

Brickell, Edward N.       age 13  son

Harrell, Sallie M.           age 41  boarder / single

Harrell, Martha S.         age 68  boarder / widow


            Martha A. had her mother, Martha S., and sister, Sallie M., living with her family in 1920.


Mariah A. Harrell Shaw (b. 1847)—5th Generation


David Jr. and Sally Harrell’s daughter, Mariah A., married the boy next door, James D. Shaw. By 1870, James and Mariah Shaw’s life looked pretty much on course. The two Harrells and Miss. Sessoms in their household were probably former slaves.


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Shaw, J. D.                   age 34  farmer              $1,100   $250

Shaw, Mariah A.           age 21  keeping house

Shaw, T. G.                  age   9  at home

Shaw, William H. D.      age   5

Harrell, George             age 21  farm laborer

Harrell, Ira                    age 19  farm laborer

Sessoms, Barbary          age 21  cook


            I did not find James and Mariah in the 1880 census, but all three of their children, T. G., W. D (William H. D.), and Jimnie, were living with James’ brother, W. P. Shaw.

 [page 318]

1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Shaw, W. P.                 age 36  dry goods mcht.

Shaw, M. R.                 age 34  wife

Shaw, Willie                  age   7  son                   at school

Shaw, Sarah                  age   2  daughter           at school

Shaw, John S.               age 24  brother              clerk in store

Shaw, T. G.                  age 21  nephew             clerk in store

Shaw, W. D.                 age 17  nephew             at school

Shaw, Jimnie                 age   9  niece                at school

Archer, Susan               age 16  cook


Mariah A. Harrell and James D. Shaw’s Children


T. G. Shaw (b. 1860)—6th Generation


            Mariah A. and James D. Shaw’s oldest son, T. G., was living with them in 1870. In 1880, T. G. was living with his aunt and uncle along with his brother and sister.


William H. D. Shaw (b. 1864)—6th Generation


            William was also with his parents in 1870 and then his uncle in 1880. William was still in school at the age of 17, which probably means his absent parents had provided for his care and education.


Jimnie Shaw (b. 1871)—6th Generation


            Mariah A. and James D. Shaw’s daughter, Jimnie, was born just after the 1870 census, the first record of her existence is her appearance with her two brothers in their uncle’s household.


Julius J. Harrell (b. 1850)—5th Generation


Henry D. and Rebecca E. Harrell’s son, Julius, was living with his bother, Gilbert L., in 1870. At that time, Julius owned $800 worth of property. He would have been 30 years of age for the 1880 census, but he is not listed as a head of household in Hertford County at that time.

Elizabeth W. “Bettie” Harrell Phelps (b. 1852)—5th Generation


Bettie, at the age of 17, was living with her brother, Henry D. and his wife, Rebecca, for the 1870 census. Just one year later, she was listed as Bettie E. Harrell, the daughter of David and Sarah M. Harrell when she married Gray W. Phelps (the son of Asa and Mary E. Phelps of Bertie County) on April 8, 1871.[18] They were not in Hertford County in 1880.

[page 319]

M. C. Harrell (b. 1855)—5th Generation


            I do not have a name for David Jr. and Sally Harrell’s daughter.

Theodosie E. Harrell (b. 1859)—5th Generation


The only thing I know about Theodosie is that she, like her siblings, inherited part of her parents’ farm. Her parcel was mentioned in her brother, Gilbert’s, 1879 deed which indicates she received adjacent land from her father.

Robert E. Harrell (b. 1863)—5th Generation


            Robert was David Jr. and Sallie’s youngest child. By 1870, his parents were already gone and he was living in his oldest brother, Henry D.’s, household at the age of seven.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Pruden, C. N.                age 36  farmer

Pruden, Nannie W.        age 35  wife

Pruden, Mary E.            age   9  daughter

Pruden, Pattie R.           age   6  daughter

Pruden, Annie W.          age   4 daughter

Pruden, Nannie W.        age   1  daughter

Harrell, R. E.                age 16  work on farm


            Robert E. was working on the farm of C. N. Pruden in Harrellsville in 1880. The census lists Robert E. as R. E. Harrell, age 16, which is close enough. There were no other R. E. Harrells age 6 or 7 in the county for the 1870 census, and the C. N. Pruden with whom Robert E. was living was the acting Justice of the Peace who witnessed Gilbert’s deed in January 1880—the deed, which referred to Henry and Rebecca’s land as that of Robert E. Harrell’s property.[19] It is probably safe to say C. N. Pruden knew the family pretty well, and understood the reference in Gilbert’s deed of sale to Robert E. Harrell’s land. Robert E. moved to Bertie, and then to Halifax Counties.


            A number of descendants from David Harrell Sr., 3rd Generation immigrant from Gates County, are still living in Hertford County. In the next section, I have described what I know about another Gates County Harrell who joined Hertford County’s 3rd Generation of Harrells.


Mary Harrell Wilson (b. 1788)—3rd Generation


Mary was the oldest of Major Samuel’s children to move to Hertford County, but she was not the first. Her younger brother, Abner, moved to Hertford County several years before she married and moved to the county.

 [page 320]

She married John G. Wilson in Gates County on 12/6/1825. He was 25 years of age at the time—she was a little older. John was a merchant and public official in Hertford County. For instance, he was the first postmaster of Bethel (later Harrellsville), which was a two minute walk from Mary’s brother, Abner Harrell’s, house. (By January of 1833, Abner was the second postmaster of Bethel.) John and Abner also often served as justices at the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session in Winton, Hertford County. (An example of such an instance was in the May of 1831 Court when the justices included John G. Wilson, Abner Harrell, and Silas Parker.)


John and Mary’s first census together in 1830 reflected the following:


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

Head of Household:  John Wilson, age 20-30

Household members;     males               females

                                    1, 15-20             1, 30-40

                                    1, 20-30


Mary was about 42 years of age, and John about 30 years old. The younger male was probably a nephew and/or clerk in John’s store.


Between 1830 and 1840, John had become a very successful merchant in Murfreesboro, Hertford County. In 1840, John traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to invite Mary’s brother, James, to join him in his Murfreesboro mercantile business.


By 1850, Mary and John were still settled in their Murfreesboro home, and apparently John considered himself more of a farmer at that time than a merchant.


1850 Census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Wilson, John G.             age 50  farmer

Wilson, Mary                age 62

Fleetwood, Milley          age 40

Gardner, Uriah              age 25 (Overseer)

Gardner, Elizabeth         age 18


            Mary died before 1870, and John was alone in the 1870 census at the age of 69, but still a relatively wealthy man with $11,000 in real estate, and $500 in personal property.


            In the sections above, I mentioned that Mary Wilson, Abner, and James moved to Hertford County as young adults, but only Abner and James raised children there. In the following sections of this chapter, I have looked more closely at Abner, James, and their descendants.


Abner C. Harrell (born 1790)—3rd Generation


Abner was counted in the 1810 census, at the age of 20—he was a head of household, but living alone in Gates County. He was not yet in Hertford County for the 1815 tax list, but we know he was there by 1820. Abner Harrell came to Hertford from Gates County as a young man, and proceeded to build a rather large estate. When Abner first appeared in Hertford County in the 1820 census, he was with his wife, Jennie Yeates, and two sons under the age of ten. One of these sons was Alpha B. Harrell, born 1812, I am not sure of the name of the younger boy—I will refer to him as Son # 2, who was probably between the ages of one and seven.

 [page 321]

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)


            By the 1830 census, Abner’s family had undergone significant changes. The two males age 0-10 in 1820 were Alpha B., age 8, and Son # 2. Son # 2 was gone by the 1830 census. There were, however, two new young males, perhaps son #3, between the ages of 5 and 9; and son #4, between the ages of zero and four. In fact, son #4 was about 2 years old, and he survived to become William J. Harrell.


Abner and his first wife, Jennie Yeates, were the parents of Alpha B., who was 18 years of age by 1830, and Sarah A., who was by then 8 years old, and William J. who was 2 years of age in 1830. His first wife, Jennie, however, had died, probably in 1828, soon after the birth of William J. Harrell, and she was not in the 1830 census with her children. The void she left was filled by 1830—Abner married Leah Norfleet in Gates County on November 11, 1829.


The above discussion of information in the 1830 census still leaves us with an additional male between the ages of 20 and 30, and two additional females. One reasonable explanation for these people can come from Abner’s tendency, by many accounts, to have people staying in their home for extended periods of time—such as nieces, nephews, and students from the Academy.


            Abner and daughter, Sarah Harrell, appeared at the estate sale of Jesse Yeates in 1831. I assume the Sarah with him was his daughter, who was 9 years old at the time. She was a little young to be participating in an estate sale—especially to the extent she did. But then, this was probably a very special sale to her. Jesse Yeates was probably Sarah’s grandfather—the father of Sarah’s mother, Jennie Yeates, who had died sometime between 1822 and 1828. Abner was the executor for Jesse’s estate.[20]


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

Head of Household:  Abner Harrell, age 40                                                     page 398

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 0-5                            1, 5-10

                                    1, 5-10                          2, 20-30

                                    1, 15-20                        1, 40-50

                                    1, 20-30

                                    1, 30-40


            On January 10, 1833, Abner became the second postmaster of the new post office in the little town of Bethel. He succeeded his brother-in-law, John G. Wilson.

 [page 322]

            In 1840, Abner Harrell at the age of 50 still lived in Bethel on his large estate, and his son, Alpha B. Harrell, lived on adjacent land.


1840 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Abner Harrell, age 50                                                     page 59

household members:      males                           females

                                    1, 10-15                        1, 0-5

                                    1, 20-30                        1, 30-40

                                    1, 50-60                        1, 70-80

                                    (27 slaves)


            By 1840, Abner had lost his second wife, Leah Norfleet and gained a new daughter, Mary E. Harrell who was born in 1837. His new wife was Nancy Jones who was between the ages of 30 and 40 in 1840. At this point, I do not know if Mary E., age 3, was the daughter of Leah Norfleet or Nancy Jones. I also have no idea who the older woman between the ages of 70 and 80 was. It appears Abner’s son, William J., age 12, was still at home. Alpha B. and Sarah A. were married and in their own households by 1840.[21]


            The town of Bethel grew over the years, and by 1847 it was renamed for Abner Harrell—it became Harrellsville. Abner was then the first post master of Harrellsville, but the second postmaster of the place. He was a rather prominent figure in the community, and from time-to-time held other county positions. For instance, he was a Justice of the Peace for the County Court for the May term, 1830.[22]


            Abner was also a relatively large slave holder by 1840 and was known as a wealthy man. By 1850 census he was listed as owning real estate valued at $10,500—and that was after he had already given around $1,200 worth of real estate to his son, Alpha B. Harrell.


            Before 1850 Abner had lost his third wife, Nancy Jones, and had not remarried by the 1850 census date. His daughter, Mary E., was 13 years old, and his son, William J., was 22 years of age and still living at home. The new person in the household whose name I have transcribed to read as “Jasnarat” is a mystery. Not only was her name too difficult to read on the census record, but the young person never appeared before of after this citing. She may have been a daughter Abner had with his third wife, Nancy Jones, but there is no evidence of that—she was not named in Abner’s will.


1850 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Abner               age 60 farmer              $10,500.            NC                   page 313

Harrell, William J.          age 22 merchant                                  NC                 

Harrell, Mary E.            age 13 in school                                   NC

Harrell, Jasnarat            age 10 in school (female)                      NC


            The 1860 census revealed that Abner was without a wife but with two new daughters—clearly something was going on between the 1850 and 1860 censuses. In fact, Abner had married and lost his fourth wife, Mary Womble, between those two points in time. Mary was certainly the mother of Lucy Francis and Ellen Riddick Harrell. Son William J. was still living in his father’s house at the age of 26, and by this time he was listed as a clerk rather than a merchant as in the 1850 census--which suggests William J. was not making a lot of progress. William J. ‘s age was actually 32 in 1860, and apparently his age was recorded incorrectly for the census.

 [page 323]

1860 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Abner               age 70  Merchant          $25,000             $46,020             page 29

Harrell, W. J.                age 26  clerk/son

Harrell, L. F.                 age   9  daughter

Harrell, Ellen                 age   5  daughter


            By 1860, Abner’s economic success was evident, with real estate holdings valued at $25,000, and personal property at $46,020. Unfortunately for everyone, most of his personal wealth was based on slavery which, as we now know, could not endure. Abner’s will illustrates well the sort of adjustments an old man in his 70s had to make as the old slave-based economy abruptly ended. Because of the Hertford County Court House fire in 1862, Abner’s will is one of the few wills to exist in Hertford County, from a time when people legally and without any apparent compunctions, gave other people to their heirs. It is a document worth looking at in order to better know Abner and his times.


            Clearly Abner was a generous and fair man when it came to providing for his children. The older children had been enjoying land already given to them, and he even forgave Alpha B. the bills he had incurred. Apparently he wanted to give his two youngest daughters more slaves and no land because of their age—probably thinking this sort of property was more liquid and would provide them with more options when they came of age and married. The problem, of course, was personal property in the form of slaves became more liquid than he probably ever imagined. Within a year of writing his will, he had to have been well aware that his liquid assets were running through his fingers. He was moved to write a codicil to his will by August of 1864—when most people knew the Confederacy had lost the War, and most slaves in the area had gone their own way.


                I Abner Harrell....

                I give and devise to my Son Alpha B. Harrell, all of my Land, on the North side of pond..., together with a Tract I gave him heretofore of Fifty acres, I also give and devise to him the following Slaves, Follet, Arther, Bram, Cherry, Rosey, Ester, Margaret, Nancy, John, Henry & Mills, and further I give and devise unto my Son A. B. Harrell all the claims in notes judgments and Accounts that hold against him....

                I give and desire to my daughter Sarah A. Askew in addition to certain Deeds of Gifts already made to her for certain Lands and Slaves and money, I further give and bequeath to her the following Slaves, to wit: Matilda, Henry, Anderson and Peter, also one Hundred acres of Land called the Jones Tract instead of the House & lot in Harrellsville,...

                I give and bequeath unto my Son William J. Harrell all of my Harrellsville Tract of Land except one House and a lot given to my daughter Mary E. Garrett containing two acres, also the following Slaves to wit: Arther, Hunt, Allen, Charles, Nelson, Denis, Jimmy, Henry, Isabella, Cu____der, Mary, Elizabeth, Alis, Aron, George....

                I give unto my beloved daughter Mary E. Garrett one house and lot in Harrellsville, Containing five acres also the following Slaves, to wit: Peggy, Dick, Muller, Nathan, Rosella, Owen, Ellen, Mary, Dempsey, Mutten, Minny, Noah and Ira...also Seven Hundred dollars “$700.” also....

                I give and bequeath unto my beloved little daughters Lucy Francis, and Ellen Riddick Harrell the following Slaves to wit: Mary, Adem, Celia, David, Mary, Lydia, Barbara, Kitty, Adam, Amelia, Washington, Ricky, Emaline, Sarah, Billy, Matilda, Clarisa, Francis, Bilpha, Georganna, Ana, Anthony, Toney, Abrams, Isaac, Chester, Bram & Tom.... I also give unto them Six Thousand dollars & in good bond, to be paid to them or their guardian by my executor....

                ...the 27th day of August A. Dem. 1863                                                           Abner Harrell

 [page 324]

            The codicil guaranteed a roof over William’s head for his life time, and the family plantation and home would eventually provide for the two youngest daughters—in the original will the two young daughters had been promised many slaves and no land. Most significantly, Abner recognized that circumstances had by then “markedly changed”—there would be no slaves for children.


                Whereas I Abner Harrell have made my Last Will & Testiment in writing bearing date on the 27th day of August 1863, and have hereby made Sundry desires and bequests according to the then existing Circumstances of my Estate, but which Circumstances having now markedly changed, I do by this my writing, which I here by declare to be a Codicil to my said will,... the life writes only of my plantation be given to my Son William J. Harrell and after his death, I give and bequeath said land to my two little daughters Lucy and Ellen C. Harrell absolute & the fee simple.... The residue of my estate after giving one half thereof to Lucy & Ellen C. Harrell be equally divided between my other children, share and share alike.               August 27, 1864                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           his  

                                                                                                                                                  A.   X   Harrell (Seal)



            There is no way to know at this point in time just how much of a jolt this must have been to Abner—he died not long after the codicil was written.


            Before he died, however, on May 10, 1865, Abner executed a trust in which he placed about 100 acres of land “On the east side of the road leading from Harrellsville to the Wiccacon ferry in Ann Harrell’s line....”[23] The Ann Harrell referred to was Abner’s daughter-in-law, Alpha B.’s wife. Abner put this land in trust, saying it was for “... and in consideration of the natural love and affection which I have & bear toward my son, Alpha B. Harrell,...” Alpha B. was to receive all the profits from the use and/or lease of this land during his life time. After Alpha’s death, the land was to be conveyed to Alpha’s heirs. This seems a bit strange not knowing all the circumstances, because Alpha was only 53 years old when the trust was established. Abner more than likely had some concern about Alpha’s capacity to work and manage property at that time. This assumption is supported by the fact Alpha did not live to the 1870 census. It also sounds like Abner was making some effort to keep the land away from the management of Alpha’s wife, Ann, (who, as we will see, was a careful manager of her land), yet have the benefits support Alpha and later his children. This trust was executed on November 2, 1865—a date which was after Abner’s death.


            Another interesting aspect of the Trust established by Abner for Alpha was the choice of executor for the Trust. Abner conveyed the land to David Harrell and then his heirs, and trusted him to “...hold, use & apply the property...”for no purpose other than the benefit of Alpha B. during his life time, and then to convey the land to Alpha’s heirs. This exhibits considerable trust in David Harrell and raises the question of David’s relationship to Abner. 


Abner C. Harrell’s Children


Abner’s will provides us with the best list of the children who survived him. They were:


Alpha B. Harrell                                    born 1812

Sarah A. Askew,                                  born 1822

William J. Harrell                                  born 1828

Mary E. Garrett                                     born 1837

Lucy Francis Reed                               born 1851

Ellen Riddick Beverly                          born 1855

 [page 325]

The family tree just below indicate how Abner’s children probably relate to three of his four wives.


Alpha B. Harrell (b. 1812)—4th Generation


            In 1830, Alpha B. Harrell was 18 years of age and living in his father’s household. Sometime after that, he married Anna Mansard, whom the historian, Winborne, characterized as “...a lady of large intellectual endowments and strong character.”[24]


            The 1840 census shows Alpha B. age 28 with his wife, Ann, age 18, and their first child—probably John A. Harrell who was born in 1840.


1840 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Alpha B. Harrell, age 28                                                 page 59

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 15-20

                                    1, 20-30            1, 20-30

                                    (3 slaves)


By 1850, Alpha and Ann had three more sons and a daughter; and we have their names.

 [page 326]

1850 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Alpha B.           age 38 farmer              $1,200.              NC                   page 313

Harrell, Ann E.              age 28                                                 NC

Harrell, John A.             age 10 in school                                   NC

Harrell, Edward L.        age   8                                                  NC

Harrell, Artemas           age   6                                                  NC

Harrell, Melissa             age   3                                                 NC

Harrell, Leonodas          age 1/12                                               NC      


            With the exception of their son, Herbert, not much had changed for Ann and Alpha by 1860.


1860 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, A. B.                age 66 Farmer $1,200               $270                             page 122

Harrell, A. E.                age 34  (Ann E.)

Harrell, J. A.                 age 19  (John A.)

Harrell, A. C.                age 15  (Artemas C.)

Harrell, M. J.                age 13  (Melissa J.)

Harrell, R. R.                age 10  (Leonodes R.)

Harrell, H. B.                age   2  (Herbert L.)


            Alpha B. Harrell’s age was listed as 66, which would have made him just four years younger than his father—this is certainly an error. I believe he was closer to 48 years of age in 1860 because the 1850 census shows that he was 38 years old and his wife, Ann E., was 28 at that time. Alpha B. Harrell did not make it to the 1870 census, but his wife, Ann, apparently did. I have not yet located her in 1870 nor all of their children. There is a deed, however, that shows Ann and her son, Leonides, were alive and well in late 1869.


            In December of 1869, Ann E. Harrell has a lease agreement drawn up in which she leases to her son Leonides R. Harrell, 163 acres on the road from Harrellsville to Wiccacon ferry and next to the lands of John Wilson Harrell and A. R. Harrell (except for the three acres on which the ferry house was located). The terms of the lease to her son were for one year and renewable for five if Leonides did well. The yearly rent was $75. To insure that Ann was paid before anyone else, the lease stipulated that Leonides was to keep enough crops on the farm to pay the rent until it was paid.[25] One does get the feeling mom was a careful soul, and not altogether trusting of her son.


Alpha B. and Ann E. Harrell’s Children


            Their children’s names and birth years are as follows:


John A.  Harrell                    born 1841

Edward L. Harrell                  born 1843

Artemas C. Harrell                born 1845

Melissa J. Hughes               born 1847

Leonides R. Harrell              born 1850

Herbert B. Harrell                 born 1858          


John Abner Harrell (b. 1841)—5th Generation


            John A. was with his parents for the 1860 census at the age of 19. With his parents’ household gone by the 1870 census, he was on his own.


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Curl, Eliza                     age 50  female/house keeping

Curl, Thomas                age 12

Curl, Eliza                     age   9

Harrell, John A.             age 29   artist/teacher              $100                  


            John Abner Harrell was living with Elizabeth Curl and her two children in 1870. She had no property, real or personal, so she was probably not supporting John. The Curl household was not in Hertford County for the 1880 census. (Thomas Curl at the age of 21 was a servant in the household of G. W. Valentine in 1880). Apparently John A. was also not in the county.


Edward L. Harrell (b. 1843)—5th Generation


Edward appeared in only one census, 1850, then was gone.

[page 328] 

Artemas C. Harrell (b. 1845)—5th Generation


            Artemas was with his parents in 1860 at the age of nearly 16. One year later, when the War broke-out, he was somehow 18 years of age, and eligible to join the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry.


            Most of the young men of Hertford and Gates Counties who joined the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry were in Company C—including Nicholas J. Harrell, son of Josiah and Anna, but Artemas, along with eight other young men from Hertford County, joined the 2nd N. C. after they had already moved to Camp Clark in Granville County in late August of 1861. Artemas enlisted on September 8, 1861 in Company G, which was made up largely of men from Beaufort County—except for the nine young men from Hertford County. Artemas was captured when what was left of the 2nd N. C. Cavalry made a daring and disastrous charge into the Union Cavalry at Hanover, Pennsylvania on June 30, 1863 on their way to Gettysburg. By July of 1864, Artemas was promoted to 1st Sergeant and then again to Ordinance Sergeant in September of 1864.


            Not much is known about Artemas after the War, except that his experience in Hanover, Pennsylvania must have made an impression on him, because he ended up as a businessman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[26]


Melissa J. Harrell (b. 1847)—5th Generation


Melissa married Henry Hughes of Virginia, and they later moved to Lexington, Kentucky. They had a number of children.[27]


Leonides Harrell (b. 1850)—5th Generation


Leonides was with his parents, Alpha B. and Ann E. Harrell, for the 1850 and 1860 censuses. He was in the position of leasing some land from his mother in December of 1869 and was apparently farming it in 1870.[28]


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Leonides                       20   farmer                        $150                         page 333


He was not married in 1870, and the terms of the land lease made with his mother were apparently not enough to keep him in Hertford County—he was gone by 1880. According to Winborne, L. R. Harrell, son of Alpha B., ended up as a planter in Louisiana.[29]

 [page 329]

Herbert B. Harrell (b. 1858)—5th Generation


            Herbert was just two years of age in 1860 and was more than likely still with his mother in 1870. Again according to Winborne, Herbert was the owner of Harrell’s Printing House in Weldon,[30] which is about 20 miles from the Hertford County line in Northampton County.


Sarah A. Harrell Askew (b. 1822)—4th Generation


            Abner and Jennie Yeates Harrell’s daughter, Sarah A., married John O. Askew (1813-1878) of Pitch Landing before 1840. By 1850, their household was well established.


1850 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, John O.            age 36  farmer                                                              page 330

Askew, Sarah               age 29

Askew, Anna                age 10

Askew, George             age   8

Askew, Abner              age   6

Askew, Mary               age   3

Askew, Martha            age   1

Askew, Anna               age 67


1860 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, John O.            age 46  farmer  $15,000   $82,145          b. Bertie Co.         page 30

Askew, Sarah               age 31  female                                      b. Hertford Co.

Askew, Abner              age 16  male                                         b. Hertford Co.

Askew, M. R.               age 14  (Mary)                                     b. Hertford Co.

Askew, M. I.                age 12  (Martha)                                   b. Hertford Co.

Askew, J. O.                age 10  (John)                                       b. Hertford Co.

Askew, A. S.                age   7  (William S.)                              b. Hertford Co.

Askew, Celia                age 29  female / Domestic                     b. Hertford Co.

Askew, Jas. I.              age 30  male / clerk                               b. Bertie Co.


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, Jon. O.             age 51  merchant          $10,000             $8,000               page 333         

Askew, Sarah A.           age 48

Askew, Patte                age 21  (probably Martha)

Askew, John O.  Jr.       age 19  clerk

Askew, Wm. S.             age 17  labor on farm

Askew, George             age   8

Harrell, W. J.                age 41   gentleman of pleasure               $500                


            Several of Sarah and John’s children were still at home in 1870. If the young man named George was their son who was in the 1850 census at the age of 8, and not at home in 1860, then he should have been 28 years of age in 1870. If George’s age was recorded correctly in 1870, then his placement in the list suggests he was not John and Sarah’s son. Sarah’s younger brother, William J., was still living with them at that time.

 [page 330]

Sarah A. & John O. Askew’s Children


            Based on the censuses, we know Sarah and John had the following children:


Anna Askew                                         born 1840

George Askew                                      born 1842

Abner H. Askew                                  born 1844

Mary R. Shaw                                       born 1847

Martha (Patty) E. Askew                    born 1849

John O. Jr. Askew                                born 1851

William S. Askew                                 born 1853


            According to Winborne, when John O. Askew Sr. died at home in Pitch Landing in July 1878, he was survived by 3 sons: Dr. Abner H. Askew, John O. Askew Jr., and W. S. Askew, and two daughters, Mary R. Shaw and Patty E. Askew.[31]

[page 331] 

            After the death of John O. Askew, county officials established a commission of local citizens: Daniel V. Lessons, James M. Wynns, N. J. Cullens, G. W. Mitchell, and Nicholas Harrell (the son of Josiah and Anna Harrell). It is probably not possible to sort out the property once held by John O. Askew and the manner in which it was finally distributed to his children and then his grandchildren and beyond. The distributions for two generations involved dividing farms and exchanging notes and mortgages among the heirs. John Sr.’s heirs eventually owned the adjacent farms along today’s route number 561 between Pitch Landing and Harrellsville—including farms once owned by John Wilson Harrell, Nicholas J. Harrell, and Lemuel C. Harrell. Some of John O. Askew Sr.’s descendants still hold much of this land to this day. For instance, John Sr.’s grandsons, John A. and Grady D. Askew’s inheritance included the farm once owned by John Wilson Harrell; and two of his great granddaughters, the Britton sisters of Norfolk, inherited lands that included the farm once owned by Nicholas J. Harrell (I believe Nicholas’ 450 acre farm was the land that largely surrounds the current gun club property that is accessed off of route 561. It would be interesting to sort through the comings-and-goings of Harrells in the Pitch Landing to Harrellsville area if enough information surfaces at some point in time.


Anna Askew (b. 1840)—5th Generation


            Anna was just 10 years of age when she appeared with her family for the 1850 census, but she was not in her parent’s household for the 1860 census. She was not named in her father’s 1878 will.


Abner H. Askew (b. 1844)—5th Generation


Abner and Agnes are shown in 1880 with no children and 2 servants. The male servant was a white male named Jos. Harrell. This may have been Joseph E. Harrell, the son of John W. and Mary E. S. Harrell—John and Mary’s son, Joseph E., was with them in 1870 at the age of 12, but he was not with them for the 1880 census.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, A. H.               age 36  Physician

Askew, A. W.               age 35  wife

Jernigan, Nancy             age 19  servant

Harrell, Jos.                  age 23  servant


            The 1900 census shows Abner and Agnes were born in April 1844 and January 1845 respectively, and were living on their farm in Harrellsville which was mortgage free. They indicated they were married in 1872, and there were no children in the marriage.


1900 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, Abner               age 56  medical doctor

Askew, Aggness W.      age 55  wife


            Abner H. Askew’s will was recorded on February 27, 1905. He left everything to his wife, Agnes. Agnes W. Askew’s will was recorded on March 26, 1923. She left all their property to nieces and nephews, mostly Askews.[32]

 [page 332]

            The following information is included in a brochure titled Historical Points of Interest In and Around Harrellsville:


Dr. Abner Askew House -- Home of Dr. Abner H. Askew and Agnes Sharp Askew. Dr. Askew, born in 1844, practiced medicine here for about 35 years until his death in 1905. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Askew, the builder of this house, was the son of John O. Askew and Sarah Harrell Askew, daughter of Abner Harrell.”


Mary R. Askew Shaw (b. 1847)—5th Generation


            John O. and Sarah Harrell Askew’s daughter, Mary R. “Mollie,” married W. P. Shaw, Esquire. They first appeared in the 1870 census as W. P. Shaw, age 26, a farmer with $1,000 worth of real property and $500 in personal property. He also was with his wife, Mollie R., age 22—they did not have children at that time.


Again in 1880, W. P. Shaw, age 36, was a dry goods merchant with his wife M. R., age 34, but by that time they had two of their three children: Willie age seven, and Sarah age two.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Shaw, W. P.                 age 36  dry goods mcht.

Shaw, M. R.                 age 34  wife

Shaw, Willie                  age   7  son                   at school

Shaw, Sarah                  age   2  daughter           at home

Shaw, John S.               age 24  brother              clerk in store

Shaw, T. G.                  age 21  nephew             clerk in store

Shaw, W. D.                 age 17  nephew             at school

Shaw, Jimmie                age   9 niece                at school


            William and Mary had another child in 1884—his name was John A. Shaw, and his presence was noted in the 1910 census.


1910 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Shaw, William P.           age 67 merchant/general merchandise

Shaw, Mary R.              age 63  wife

Shaw, John A.               age 26  son

Shaw, Carrie D.             age 25  dau.-in-law

Shaw, John D.               age   2  grandson


            In 1910, William and Mary stated they had been married for 40 years, and Mary said she had three children, all of whom were living at the time. Their son, John A., his wife and son, were living with them at that time. John A. and Carrie indicated they had been married for three years.

 [page 333]

Willie P. Shaw (b. 1872)—6th Generation


            Mary R. and William P. Askew’s son, Willie P., had apparently married by 1898, and he and his wife, Rosa, had at least one daughter. Their daughter, Lillian, was still with them in 1920.


1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Shaw, Willie P.              age 48  merchant/general store

Shaw, Rosa B.              age 42  wife

Shaw, Lillian                 age 21  daughter


Sarah Shaw (b. 1878)—6th Generation
John A. Shaw (b. 1884)—6th Generation


            John married Carrie in 1907, and they had one son, John D. Shaw, by the 1910 census. They were living with John’s parents in 1910 for the census.


Pattie E. (Martha) Askew Askew (b. 1849)—5th Generation


Sarah Harrell and John O. Askew’s daughter, Martha, was  with her parents in the 1850 census at the age of 1 and the 1860 census at the age of 12. By the 1870 census, she was apparently using the name, Pattie—she was still with her parents during the 1870 census at the age of 21 years. Pattie married her cousin, W. D. Askew, and they settled in Mississippi.[33] Pattie and her husband were still in Hertford County, however, during the complicated settlements of her father’s estate during early 1879.[34]


John O. Askew Jr. (b. 1851)—5th Generation


In 1870, John Jr. was still with his parents and working as a clerk in the family business. Then on September 29, 1874, John O. Askew Jr., at the age of  24, married Mollie S. Valentine, age 21.[35] By 1880, he was married to Mary D. (who may have been Mollie Valentine), and they had one child at that time. Apparently John Jr. took over the responsibility of his Uncle William J. Harrell, age 52 in 1880, after his parents were gone.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, J. O.                 age 28  merchant                                 

Askew, Mary D.           age 25  wife

Askew, Lilian C.           age   1  daughter

Harrell, W. J.                age 52  uncle, boarder

 [page 334]

            The 1900 census shows John O. was still a merchant and probably fairly successful, in that they still owned their farm in Harrellsville clear of any mortgage. It also indicates they were married in 1874, and five of their eight children were still alive and living at home in 1900.


1900 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, John O.            age 48  merchant

Askew, Mary D.           age 44  wife

Askew, Lilly C.             age 21  daughter

Askew, Nora V.            age 19  daughter

Askew, John                 age 11  son

Askew, Mary L.            age   9  daughter

Askew, Grady D.          age   7  son


            John O. Askew and his family were still living on the family farm in Harrellsville in 1920 and had apparently turned the family general store over to his boys, John O. Jr. (the third) and Grady. The 1920 census also confirmed that John O. was born in October of 1851 and Mary D. in March of 1856.


1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Askew, John O.            age 68  retired

Askew, Mary D.           age 64  wife

Askew, Lillie C.            age 33  daughter

Askew, John O.            age 31  son/merchant

Askew, Grady               age 27  son/merchant


            The above censuses mentioned John and Mary’s children, as did John’s will which was recorded on October 27, 1924. John provided for his wife, Mary D., daughters, Lilian C., Nora V. Britton, and sons, Grady D. and John A. Askew.


            John’s will distributed the bulk of his real estate as follows:[36] Nora V. received his house and lot in Norfolk, Virginia, and his land in Hertford County known as the Copeland Farm. John A. and Grady D. received the tract of land known as the Texas Land, formerly owned by John Wilson Harrell and his wife, Mary E. S. Harrell. All four children were to divide his undivided interest in the Pitch Landing tract known as his father’s home place. The executor was to sell and divide among the four children the interest in the land known as the Aumack land.


John O. Jr. and Mary D. Askew’s Children


Lilian C. Askew (b. 1878)—6th Generation
Nora V. Askew (b. 1881)—6th Generation


            Nora V. married H. I. Britton age 24, of Norfolk, Virginia. They were married in Harrellsville on November 25, 1903—Nora was 22 years of age at the time.

 [page 335]

            Nora inherited her father’s home and lot in Norfolk, probably because she lived there, but she also received a parcel in Hertford County referred to as the Copeland Farm by his will.[37]


            Nora and William Britton had two daughters who still live in Norfolk, Virginia, and they own considerable land in Hertford County between Pitch Landing and Harrellsville.


Louise Britton—7th Generation

Mabel Britton—7th Generation


            I spoke to Mabel in 1997, but she was not very interested in talking about her family history. She only mentioned that she thought her grandfather, John Askew, was the one who acquired the property she owned at the time on the south side of route 561, east of Chinkapin Creek, on the road from Pitch Landing to Harrellsville. Mabel was quite correct in her recollection, In January of 1891, S. M. Aumack sold 300 acres to W. P. Shaw and John O. Askew Jr. to settled debts with John O. Askew Sr.’s estate. The land was described as “… on the south side of the public road leading from Harrellsville to Pitch Landing, bounded by the … road, by Chinqapen Creek, and the lands of E. D. Scull and Nicholas Harrell,…”[38] According to county maps, and as near as I can determine, the Britton sisters also currently own most, if not all, of what used to be Nicholas Harrell’s 450 acre farm adjacent to S. M. Aumack, E. D. Scull, and across the road from W. P. Shaw. Unfortunately, there is no recorded document showing to whom Nicholas Harrell transferred title to the property, so it is very difficult to establish a date for the sale or loss of Nicholas Harrell’s farm—it was probably around 1891, when Nicholas and Amanda Harrell first appeared in Greensboro, North Carolina.


John A. Askew (b. 1888)—6th Generation


            John A. Askew inherited from his father in the 1924 will, along with his brother, Grady D., the tract of land formerly owned by John Wilson Harrell and his wife, Mary E. S. Harrell. John A. also inherited a fraction of the Aumack land, and part of his grandfather, John O. Askew Sr.’s home farm near Pitch Landing.

Mary L. Askew (b. 1891)—6th Generation
Grady D. Askew (b. 1893)—6th Generation


            Grady’s inheritance was pretty much the same as his brother, John A. Askew’s.


William S. Askew (b. 1853)—5th Generation

 [page 336]

William J. Harrell (b. 1828)—4th Generation


            William J. was Abner C. Harrell’s second son. When I was discussing William J. Harrell’s father around the time of the 1850 and 1860 censuses, I mentioned William J. was still living in his father’s house at the ages of 22 and 32, and his career as a merchant had not made the progress one might expect given the financial advantages at his disposal. By 1870, it was clear William J. had some sort of problem.  At the age of 41 William was not married, and he was still living in the same house he was born in, which was by then the home of his sister, Sarah A. Harrell Askew and her husband, John O. Askew Senior. At that time he defined himself as a “gentleman of pleasure.” Indeed, William J. was still living in Abner’s old house in 1880, at the age of 52 with the family of his nephew, Sarah A.’s son, John O. Askew Junior. In the latter census, William J. was simply described as an uncle and a boarder in the home. Actually in the 1864 codicil to his father’s will, William J. was given “…the life writes only of my plantation….”


Mary E. Harrell Garrett (b. 1837)—4th Generation


Mary was living in the family home with her father, Abner, in 1850 at the age of 13. According to the historian, Winborne, she married Reverend Joshua Garrett of the M. E. Church. They had one daughter who married Benjamin Thach.[39] I do not believe they stayed in Hertford County.

Lucy Francis Harrell Reed (b. 1851)—4th Generation


Lucy married an immigrant from Scotland named Daniel W. Reed. He was living with the young family of N. L. and Mary O. Shaw in 1870 at the age of 18. He was a clerk in a store, perhaps Abner Harrell’s store. Daniel was identified as Abner’s son-in-law in a deed dated 1878 which described some of Lucy’s inheritance.[40] Lucy and Daniel were not in Hertford County for the 1880 census.

Ellen Riddick Harrell Beverly (b. 1855)—4th Generation


Ellen married Benjamin F. Beverly, age 22, of St. Johns in 1875. Ellen Riddick Harrell was 20 years old at the time. Ellen’s brother-in-law, James O. Askew, was a witness.[41] Their next appearance in the Hertford County records was in the census was for 1880.


1880 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Beverly, B. F.               age 27  farmer                         

Beverly, Ellen                age 25  wife/keeping house

Beverly, Clara               age   4  daughter


            The Beverly family was farming in St. Johns township in 1910 on their own farm without a mortgage. They both stated they had been married for 35 years.

 [page 337]


1910 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Beverly, Ben. F.            age 57  farmer

Beverly, Ellen R.           age 55  wife

Beverly, Allen H.          age 24  son / farmer

Beverly, Mattie             age 22  daughter

Beverly, Cora                age 19  daughter

Beverly, George            age 16  son / laborer on farm


Ellen was gone by 1920, but two of her sons were still living with their father at that time. They were living in Union, on St Johns Road.


1920 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Beverly, Benjamin F.     age 66  widower / farmer         

Beverly, Allen A.          age 37  son / single        no occupation

Beverly, George A.       age 26  son / single        no occupation


Ellen R. Harrell and Benjamin Beverly’s Children


            In the 1910 census, Ellen stated she had 11 children, 5 still alive at that time. The four children listed in 1910 were obviously among them, but I can not be sure Clara was one of the five still alive in 1910.

Clara Beverly (b. 1876)—5th Generation


            Clara was with her parents in 1880 at the age of four.

Allen H. Beverly (b. 1886)—5th Generation


Mattie Beverly (b. 1888)—5th Generation


Cora Beverly (b. 1891)—5th Generation


George A. Beverly (b. 1894)—5th Generation


James Harrell (b. 1792)—3rd Generation


            James was the fourth child of Major Samuel Harrell of Gates County. He was born on the family farm near the village of Sunbury, in Gates County on January 15, 1792. He relocated from Gates County to Suffolk and then Norfolk, Virginia for a number of years, but ended up in Hertford County by 1841. He spent the remainder of his life there, so he qualifies as a Hertford County Harrell. A good deal of the information I have about James Harrell, unless otherwise noted, came from his son’s, William Bernard Harrell’s, autobiography.[42]

 [page 338]

            James left for Suffolk, Virginia where he took a job with a successful merchant named James Goodwin in 1817. Mr. Goodwin’s wife, Fanny McGuire Goodwin, was from Gates County, North Carolina. Fanny McGuire Goodwin’s sister, Miss. Martha “Patsy” McGuire also from Gates County, paid the Goodwins a visit in Suffolk, while James Harrell was the principal clerk in the Goodwin Store. I do not know if Patsy McGuire and James Harrell knew each other in Gates when they were younger, but they certainly knew each other by December 18, 1818,  which was their wedding date.


            James and Patsy Harrell rented a small house with two rooms upstairs and two down-stairs, which was across from the Goodwin’s store. They lived there for several years, and while there, had their first three children. Their first was a daughter named Eliza Frances, born in 1820, but unfortunately she died when only 3 years of age. Their oldest son was James Albert, born in 1822, and their third child was William Bernard, who was born in 1823.


            The 1820s were apparently a prosperous time, and James decided to start his own mercantile business in 1824 and begin to build his own fortune. James may still have had some of the inheritance he received from his father to help him get started. He inherited a parcel of land in Gates County and two slaves, Jenny and Tom. At some point, James and Patsy moved up town and rented a store. They set up house keeping in the same small building and began to accumulate noticeable wealth in the following years, but Patsy’s health did not keep pace.


            Between 1824 and 1828, Patsy gave birth to three children, all of whom died in infancy. Patsy died January 13, 1830. At her death, she was survived by husband, James, and two of her six children, James Albert and William Bernard. Patsy was also attended during the last period of her life, by a friend, Fanny Waddy Wise, whom Patsy asked to help care for her two boys after she was gone. Fanny apparently kept the promise. Some time later, Fanny Wise and James married.


            In 1837, James was approached by an older gentleman named Joseph Bunch from Southampton with the proposal to combine their fortunes and go to Norfolk to start a commission house on Roanoke wharf, and engage in trade to the West Indies. By January 1, 1838, James had sold everything in Suffolk, and the family was in route to their new home in Norfolk.


            At this time, James and his wife, Frances Waddy Wise Harrell, had four children of their own: Virginia Frances born 1832, Joseph Holiday born 1832, Martha Frances born 1835, and Elvira Elizabeth born 1836.  They all arrived in Norfolk and moved into a house on Main Street, at the head of Commerce Street.


            Within a few days of arriving in Norfolk, the new partnership, “Harrell & Bunch....” was operating with a large sign up over the door of their two story brick warehouse on the corner of Wide Water Street and Roanoke Square. Soon after, they bought a ship and were successfully engaged in the export & import business.

 [page 339]

            James and his partner lost a ship and its cargo, which resulted in a major loss for the business. Old Mr. Bunch was discouraged and sold his share of the business to James. Soon after, in 1840, James sold the Commission business and entered a new business by forming a partnership with a shoe merchant. The business was called Merwin & Harrell, and manufactured and distributed a full line of boots and shoes.  


            Later in 1840, James was paid a visit by his brother-in-law, John G. Wilson, from Murfreesboro, Hertford County, North Carolina. John Wilson had married James’ older sister Mary, and he had a very successful store in Murfreesboro. His visit to Norfolk was to ask James to join him in a business partnership in Murfreesboro. John Wilson must have been a very persuasive person, or James was ready for a major change. James sent his son, William Bernard, to Murfreesboro in October of 1840, ahead of the rest of the family to work in his Uncle John Wilson’s store.


            In early 1841, James, Frances and the children arrived from Norfolk. The family had grown by two more children while in Norfolk. The additions were Lelia Anna born 1839 and John Wilson born 1840. The latter was named after their new partner and brother-in-law in Murfreesboro. They would have two more children born in Murfreesboro: Carolina born in 1841, and Samuel Martin born in 1843.


            The firm, Wilson & Harrell, was dissolved in January of 1844. James’ son, James Albert, had set-up his medical practice in the little community about 12 miles east called Winton. After his business in Murfreesboro was over, James followed his oldest son to Winton with his family. There, he rented a house and store, and was soon back in business selling groceries and general merchandise.


            James’ second son, William Bernard, stayed in Murfreesboro when the family moved to Winton, but about a year later, in 1845, James asked William to come to Winton and help him in his store. James was only 53 years of age at the time, but business may have been very good, or he just wanted his 22 year old son to join the family in Winton.


            In 1847, James’ second wife, Frances Waddy Wise Harrell died in Winton. Soon after her death, James’ oldest son, James Albert, who had moved his medical practice to Perquimans County, wrote to his younger brother inviting him to come and use his library and practice to prepare for medical school in Maryland the following year.


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, Samuel M.        age   7 in school                                   NC      


            James and the remainder of his family were counted for the 1850 census in Hertford County. James was not yet married to his third wife; his son, Joseph Holiday, was apparently helping in the family store as a clerk. James’ youngest son, Samuel Martin, was the only child of James’ to be born in North Carolina.

 [page 340]

            According to his son, William Bernard, who paid James a visit in mid-March 1851, James was running a farm very near his brother, Abner Harrell, who lived in Harrellsville, and he was with his third wife. James died on July 4, 1858 near Harrellsville in Hertford County—probably on the farm he had been running, and he was still running his grocery store. The only record of James’ third wife I have seen is from the Family Bible of William Bernard Harrell, which was passed on to his son, Reverend Albert Bernard Harrell, of Waverly, Virginia. This family record indicates James’ third wife was Celia Shaw. The follow summary of James’ life is contained in the record:[43]


            He was born January 15, 1792 in Gates Co., and  died July 4, 1858 in Hertford Co.

He married Martha “Patsy” McGuire in Suffolk, Va., December 29, 1818. She was born August 6, 1800 in Gates Co. (daughter of Philip), and died January 13, 1830 in Suffolk, Va.

He married Frances Waddy Wise in Suffolk, Va., March 14, 1831. She was born June 5, 1806 in Nansemond Co., Va., and died February 9, 1847 in Winton, Hertford Co., N. C.

He married Celia Shaw (widow of Edward Shaw) in Winton, Hertford County, on September 26, 1850


James Harrell’s Children


James’ children with Patsy

                James Albert Harrell                            born September 6, 1822

                William Bernard Harrell                       born December 17, 1823

James’ children with Francis

                Virginia Francis Harrell                        born May 5, 1832

                Joseph Holiday Harrell                        born November 11, 1833

                Martha Francis Harrell                        born July 22, 1835

                Elvira Elizabeth Harrell                        born August 29, 1836

                Elelia Anna Harrell                               born January 9, 1839

John Wilson Harrell                             born May 7, 1840

Carolina Harrell                                     born August 21, 1841

Samuel Martin Harrell                          born August 28, 1843


            James and his third wife did not have children. In the sections that follow, I have discussed  only the children who survived to adulthood.


James Albert Harrell (Harrold) (b. 1822)—4th Generation


            James Albert was the first son of James and Martha “Patsy” Harrell. He was born in Suffolk, Virginia on September 6, 1822.

[page 341] 

James Albert decided to become a medical doctor, and with his family’s support, he became a student of medicine in a local Doctor’s office. Dr. Balfour prepared James Albert well, because he was able to enter Medical School in Baltimore during the month of October 1840, for a two year course.


            When James Albert returned home from his first year in medical school in April, 1841, the family was in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. James Albert left Murfreesboro in October, 1841 for Baltimore to finish his medical training.



            In 1843, James Albert returned to Murfreesboro as a Doctor of Medicine at the young age of twenty-two. He decided Murfreesboro had all the medical doctors it needed, so he moved to the small but growing community of Winton about 12 miles east of Murfreesboro. In a relatively short time James Albert had a good and growing medical practice as well as a good reputation as a local Methodist Preacher—a calling he picked up while away at college.

[page 342] 

            On January 4, 1845, James Albert married Sallie Ann Skinner in Perquimans County, which was about 40 miles south-east of Winton. The next day James Albert and his new bride Sallie Ann drove to Winton. They were accompanied by Sallie’s brother, Henry,  and sister, Miss Martha Skinner, as well as brother, William Bernard. It was late by the time they reached the Harrell house, but a warm welcome was apparently there. In William’s words again, “Winton turned out that night in full force, and everything at our house went ‘merry as a marriage bell’ for it was a joyful time for everybody.”[44]


            In late 1846, James Albert and Sallie Ann Harrell decided to move to the town of Hertford which is the county seat of Perquimans County. They were encouraged by friends and family in the area to move because they were sure a lucrative medical practice would be developed in the area. Sallie had many relatives in the area and they were mostly wealthy. This was the basis for a good medical practice, because the Skinners and friends possessed numerous slaves. This was, indeed, an ideal situation for a young medical doctor, because in William Bernard’s words  “...slaves, some of whom were always sick, and the owners of slaves always sent for a doctor, as soon as one of them began to be sick, for fear they would die, and that meant money lost.”[45] James Albert apparently developed a large and lucrative practice by holding contracts with rich farmers for the care of their slaves.


            By 1850, James and Sally had their family well under way. James’ sister, probably Elelia, was staying with them.


1850 census entry, Perquimans Co., N. C.

Harrell, James A.          age 28  Physician                                                          page 401

Harrell, Sally A.            age 27

Harrell, Jesse                age   4

Harrell, Martha J.          age   2

Harrell, Elvira                age 10


James served as a physician in the C. S. A. military service. After the War, he increasingly spent time on his ministry rather than his medical practice. Then he moved his family to Washington, D. C. and devoted his time to his ministry.[46]

 [page 343]


James Albert and Sallie Skinner Harrell’s (Harrold) Children


According to William Bernard Harrell, his brother, James Albert, had 3 daughters and one son. I am only aware of  daughters, Jesse, born 1846, Martha, born 1848, and Carrie. (Carrie may have been Carolina—in Carolina’s letter she refers to her sister, Jessie. See the Harrell Papers.) 


Jesse Harrold (b. 1846)—5th Generation


Martha J. Harrold (b. 1848)—5th Generation


Carolina Harrold Chase—5th Generation


William Bernard Harrell (b. 1823)—4th Generation


            James and Patsy Harrell’s second son, William Bernard, was born December 17, 1823 in Suffolk, Virginia. At the age of 80, William Bernard wrote a short autobiography, and it is to this work we owe a great debt for most of what we know about the early years of James and Pasty’s life and their two oldest sons, James Albert and William Bernard Harrell.


            We learned in the section devoted to his father and step-mother, William was the first family member to move to Hertford County, North Carolina in 1840, when he was just 17 years old. He was, to say the least, under-whelmed by Murfreesboro of 1840, after having spent the first years of his life in Suffolk and then Norfolk, Virginia. He did, however, settle in rather quickly, in no small measure because he soon learned that life in the town existed because hidden in the trees near them was a boarding school for young women, which operated nearly year around.

 [page 344]

            William Bernard was sent ahead of the family to take a position in his uncle, John Wilson’s store as a clerk. He worked with his uncle and father in their partnership until January of 1844 when it was dissolved. William Bernard then took a job as a clerk in a large Murfreesboro firm called Lawrence and Vaughan. He stayed with this job in Murfreesboro after his family had relocated to Winton. It was sometime in 1845 when William Bernard moved to Winton to help his father in the family store. By the end of 1846, William had been a clerk for about six years and had no intention of leaving his father’s store in Winton, when his older brother, James Albert, wrote and invited him to come to Perquimans County and begin a career in medicine. As far as I know, this was the end of William Bernard’s stay in Hertford County.


            He went to Perquimans County to study and apprentice with his brother, then on to the medical school in Maryland, and about two years later, he was back at his brother’s place in Perquimans County to consider the best place for a young medical doctor to set up a practice at that time. William Bernard, on good advice, went to set up his first practice in Center Hill, Chowan County.


            It was in Center Hill, William Bernard got to know, court, and marry Ann Battle on March 15, 1851. That same day he was baptized into the Baptist religion—the religion of his new wife. It may have been a prerequisite to the marriage in that Ann Battle’s father was Reverend Amos J. Battle.


William Bernard and Ann Battle Harrell’s Children 


Leon Harrell (b. 1861)—5th Generation

 [page 345]

Helen Harrell (b. 1865)—5th Generation


Mabel Harrell Woolfolk Hines—5th Generation


William and Ann’s daughter, Mabel, typed and retained her father’s original autobiography. She was in Charlotte, North Carolina—probably in the 1940s.

Albert Bernard Harrell—5th Generation


Albert wrote a short history of an adventure he had as a young man traveling in an automobile in 1915. The story is part of the Harrell Papers which contain his father’s autobiography. He lived in Warsaw, Virginia, and he led an orchestra in North Carolina. Later he became a Baptist minister.

William Peyton Harrell—5th Generation


William P. Harrell was a member of the Newport News Symphony, and he was a Teller in a bank in Newport News. For a while, at least, he lived at 434 South Street, Portsmouth, Virginia. He died in Newport News, Virginia in the late 1930s or early 1940s. William left his extensive library to the Public Library there in 1942—which is contained in “The Harrell Room.”


Virginia Frances Harrell Halsey (b. 1832)—4th Generation


Virginia married James Halsey in Winton, Hertford County on August 22, 1850. They were not in Hertford County for the 1850 census. (nor the 1870 and 1880)

Joseph Holiday Harrell (b. 1833)—4th Generation


Joseph H. Harrell was James and Francis Harrell’s son, and he was born on November 11, 1833. In 1850, he was 16 years of age, living in his father’s household and working as a clerk. He married Emma T. E. Shaw in Norfolk, Virginia on October 4, 1859.


In 1860, Joseph H. Harrell was listed as born in Nansemond County, Virginia, and his wife, E. T. as born in Norfolk, Virginia.


1860 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, J. H.                 age 26  Merchant          $0         $1,107                           page 46

Harrell, E. T.                 age 23  wife


Joseph H. enlisted in the C. S. A. military at New Hanover County on May 27, 1861 at the age of 27—he served from that date to 1865. He returned to Hertford County after the War and was in the Harrellsville area of  Hertford County in 1870. The census taken that year shows Joseph and Emma’s family well underway.

 [page 346]

The whole family was listed as born in North Carolina for the 1870 census. This is more than likely true for their three children, but probably a statement of convenience for the parents. Mary A. Shaw was probably Emma’s mother. Also in the 1870 census, the Agricultural Schedule shows Joseph working 125 acres of improved land and holding 98 acres of unimproved land.


1870 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Harrell, Jos H.               age 37   farmer                     $100                                 page 346

Harrell, Emma T.          age 32

Harrell, Deidami            age 10  daughter

Harrell, Ebashaw           age  8  son

Harrell, Joshwa G.         age  5  son

Shaw, Mary A.             age 51  house keeper


By the 1880 census, Joseph and Emma with their children had left Hertford County, and they had one additional son, Jody A., who was probably Joseph Alexander Harrell (b. after 1870). Joseph and Emma were living in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina. Around 1888, they moved to Sanford, Florida.


1880 census entry, Washington Co., N. C.

Harrell, J. H.                 age 50 (?)                                                                     page 11

Harrell, Emily T.            age 40  wife

Harrell, Deidamia          age 19  daughter

Harrell, Eber S.             age 18  son / clerk in store

Harrell, Joshua G.          age 15  son / at scholl

Harrell, Jody A.             age       son


Joseph H. and Emma Taylor Shaw Harrell’s Children


Deidamia Harrell (b.1861)—5th Generation

 [page 347]

Eber Shaw Harrell (b. 1862)—5th Generation


Eber Shaw Harrell married Elizabeth Sollers Kelly of Baltimore, Maryland on November 3, 1891. He moved from Sanford, Florida to Waynesville, North Carolina in September of 1905. The move was necessary because he had contracted malaria. He was still there in 1915 when his nephew, William Albert Harrell, went through on his motor-car adventure. Eber Shaw Harrell died in a hospital at Durham, North Carolina on February 16, 1934. He had been living in Durham with his daughter, Naomi H. Boring.


Eber Shaw and Elizabeth “Lily” Kelly Harrell’s Children


Apparently all of their children were born in Sanford, Florida. Most of Eber Shaw’s children followed the example of their Uncle James Albert and changed their names from Harrell to Harrold.


Emily Theresa Harrell Marsh Withers (b. 1892)—6th Generation


Emily T. Harrell was born on September 25, 1892 in Sanford, Florida. She married Walter Roberts Marsh (1895-1951) in 1917, and they had one son, Walter Frederick Marsh. Later, Emily married Guy Withers in 1929 in Washington, D. C.—there were no children from the second marriage.


Walter Frederick Marsh (b. 1918)—7th Generation


Walter was born in San Francisco, California on February 21, 1918.


Naomi Harrell (Harrold) Boring (b. 1894)—6th Generation


Eber Shaw and Elizabeth Harrell’s daughter, Naomi, was born on July 30, 1894 in Sanford, Florida. Eighteen years after the family moved back to North Carolina, Naomi married J. Ward Boring (born 1895) in 1923 in Waynesville, North Carolina. They had two daughters, Emily Jean and Grace Minor.


Emily Jean Boring Williams (b. 1923)—7th Generation


Emily was born on October 15, 1923 in DeLand, Florida, but she apparently grew up in North Carolina and married James C. Williams in 1943 in Oxford, North Carolina. Emily and James had three sons, James Crawford, William White, and Ward Boring—all born in Oxford, North Carolina.


James Crawford Williams (b. 1944)—8th Generation

[page 348]

William White Williams (b. 1947)—8th Generation

Ward Boring Williams (b. 1950)—8th Generation


Grace Minor Boring (b. 1926)—7th Generation


Grace was born on May 10, 1926 in DeLand, Florida.


Lois Beal Harrell (Harrold) (b. 1896)—6th Generation


Lois was born on March 4, 1806, and reportedly did not marry.


Lily Kelly Harrell (Harrold) Wood Stewart (b. 1899)—6th Generation


Lily was born on May 22, 1899 at the Harrell Farm in Sanford, Florida. She married Stanley Edison Wood (born 1890) in 1917. They had three children: Myrtle Elizabeth Wood, Stanley Edison Wood Jr., and Lois Theresa Wood. Lily Kelly Harrell Wood married a second time to Earl I. Stewart in 1945 in Inglewood, California.

Myrtle E. Wood Jensen (b. 1918)—7th Generation


Myrtle was born on May 27, 1918 in Baker, Montana. She married Robert Wallace Jensen (born 1915) of Los Angeles, California in 1937 at the Jensen’s home in Ontario, California. Myrtle and Robert had three children: James Wallace, Anne Elizabeth, and Charles Clinton.

James Wallace Jensen (b. 1941)—8th Generation


James was born June 26, 1941 in Pomona, California.

Anne Elizabeth Jensen (b. 1945)—8th Generation


Anne was born January 25, 1945 in El Centro, California.

Charles Clinton Jensen (b. 1946)—8th Generation


Charles was born on March 18, 1946, also in El Centro, California.


Stanley Edison Wood Jr. (b. 1920)—7th Generation


Lily and Stanley Sr.’s son, Stanley Jr., was born on November 13, 1920 in Waynesville, North Carolina. He married Barbara J. Baker (born 1926) while in the Air Corps during the 2nd World War—they were married in Wickenburg, Arizona. They had four children: Stanley Edison III, Anne Carol, Philip Harrold, and David Stewart.

[page 349] 

Stanley Edison Wood III (b. 1945)—8th Generation


Stanley was born on August 9, 1945 in Pasadena, California.

Anne Carol Wood (b. 1949)—8th Generation


Anne was born March 31, 1947, and died March 18, 1949.

Philip Harrold Wood (b. 1949)—8th Generation


Philip was born on August 15, 1949 in Lancaster, California.

David Stewart Wood (b. 1950)—8th Generation


David was born on June 29, 1950 in Lancaster, California.


Lois Theresa Wood Evans (b. 1929)—7th Generation


Lois was born on September 24, 1929 in Los Angeles, California. She married Edwin V. Evans (born 1921) on April 30, 1950 in Lancaster, California.


Alice May Harrell (Harrold) Lee (b. 1902)—6th Generation


Eber Shaw and Elizabeth’s daughter, Alice, was born November 26, 1902 on The Harrold Farm in Sanford, Florida. She married Early G. Lee in Waynesville, North Carolina in 1927. Alice and Early had two daughters: Lois Elizabeth and Alice Harrold.


Lois Elizabeth Lee (b. 1931)—7th Generation


Lois was born on October 31, 1931 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Alice Harrold Lee (b. 1934)—7th Generation


Alice was born April 15, 1934, also in Asheville, North Carolina.


Joshua Garrett Harrell (b. 1865)—5th Generation

 [page 350]

Joseph “Jody” Alexander Harrell—5th Generation


            As far as I know, Joseph Alexander Harrell was the last of Joseph Holiday Harrell’s descendants. The next section deals with Joseph H. Harrell’s remaining brothers and sisters.


Martha Francis Harrell (b. 1835)—4th Generation


            Martha Francis was born on July 22, 1835 in Norfolk, Virginia.


Elvira Elizabeth Harrell Jordan (b. 1836)—4th Generation


According to the family records in the Harrell Papers at the North Carolina State Archives, Elvira married William B. Jordan at Chapel Hill, North Carolina on May 31, 1860.


Elelia Anna Harrell Sawyer (b. 1839)—4th Generation


Elelia may have been living with her oldest brother, James Albert, in Perquimans County, North Carolina for the 1850 census—on the other hand, she was also listed with her father and other siblings in Hertford County at the time. She married J. Sawyer on June 2, 1855 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina.


John Wilson Harrell (b. 1840)—4th Generation


John Wilson Harrell was in his father’s, James’, household in 1850 at the age of ten. He was not in Hertford County for the 1860 or later censuses. One has to be careful when searching for his name in Hertford County, because there was a John W. (Whitmel) Harrell in the 1850 and later censuses, but he was born in 1814. In addition, there was another John Wilson Harrell in Hertford County. The latter, however, was born in 1831 to John and Harriet Harrell.


Carolina Harrell (b. 1841)—4th Generation


            Carolina was born on August 21, 1841 in Hertford County, North Carolina.             

Samuel Martin Harrell (b. 1843)—4th Generation


            Samuel married Mary E. Rice on May 11, 1865 in Wilson, North Carolina. By 1870, their family was well under way.

 [page 351] 

1870 census entry, Wilson Co., N. C.

Cherry, James               age 22  Coach Shop                  $150     NC                   page 572

Cherry, Joanna              age 20                                                  NC

Harrell, Sam’l L.           age 27  Carpenter         $500     $200     NC

Harrell, Mary E.            age 28                                                  Va.

Harrell, Fanny               age   4                                                  NC

Harrell, Lula                  age   1                                                  NC


            In 1870, Samuel and Mary were living in the Cherry household—James was probably Samuel’s employer.


1880 census entry, Wilson Co., N. C.

Harrell, Samuel             age 38  head

Harrell, Mary                age 37  wife

Harrell, Fannie              age 14  daughter

Harrell, Lula                 age 11  daughter

Harrell, Arthur              age   8  son

Harrell, Keener             age   4  son

Harrell, Laura M.          age   1  daughter


            Samuel and Mary had five children. Later Samuel married Miss Sue Kilpatrick and had two more children, only one of whom survived infancy. (This information about Samuel’s family was supplied by Matilda Clark Harrell Floyd to Emily H. Withers. See The Harrell Papers.)


Samuel M. and Mary E. Rice Harrell’s Children

 [page 352] 

Fanny Wise Harrell Johnson (b. 1866)—5th Generation
Lula Stuart Harrell Kilpatrick (b. 1869)—5th Generation
Arthur Harrell (b. 1872)—5th Generation
Keener Harrell (b. 1876)—5th Generation
Laura M. Harrell (b. 1879)—5th Generation
Mary Johnson Siske—6th Generation

Borden C. Siske Jr.—7th Generation

Catherine Johnson Wentzel—6th Generation

Frances Wentzel—7th Generation

Carl Wentzel Jr.—7th Generation


Jesse Johnson—6th Generation


Jesse reportedly died around the age of ten.


Arthur Palmer Harrell—5th Generation


            Arthur Palmer was Samuel Martin Harrell’s youngest son—his mother was Sue Kilpatrick. He married Adelaide Galloway.


Arthur P. and Adelaide Galloway Harrell’s Children


Mary Elizabeth Harrell Burwell—6th Generation


Mary apparently had a second marriage to Edward W. Burwell in May of 1948.

Matilda Clark Harrell Floyd—6th Generation


Matilda did not have any children.

 [page 353] 

Adelaide Galloway Harrell Brandler—6th Generation


            Adelaide married Robert F. Blandler, and they apparently had at least one son.


Robert Francis Brandler Jr. (b. 1947)—7th Generation

May Harrell Hines Koonce—6th Generation


May had one child by Mr. Hines, and then three children with Mr. Koonce—Hannah Koonce died in infancy.


Ernest Frederick Hines—7th Generation


            Ernest was May’s daughter from her first marriage.

Esther Koonce McArthur—7th Generation

Joyce Koonce—7th Generation

Keener Ransome Harrell—6th Generation
Helen Harrell Harvey—6th Generation



[1] Frances T. Ingmire, Gates County, North Carolina, Marriage Records 1782-1868, Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, Georgia, 1993, page 25.

[2] Hertford County, Deed Book “a”, pages 118-119.

[3] Catharine Harrell, age 67, was living very near David’s family in 1870. She was on 3 improved acres and 40 in woodlands. Catharine could have been David Jr.’s third sister, or a sister-in-law.

[4] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 1, 1868-1872.

[5] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 1, 1868-1872.

[6] Much of the information about Gilbert L. Harrell and his descendants, unless otherwise documented, comes from or has been confirmed by Gilbert L. Harrell’s great, great grandson, Jason Scott Harrell of Ahoskie, North Carolina.

[7] Hertford County, Deed Book “A”, page 546.

[8] Branson’s North Carolina Agricultural Almanac, 1890, Raleigh, N. C., 1890, page 369.

[9] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 3, 1881-1905.

[10] Gilbert’s farm is next to Mary E. Taylor Mitchell and her husband Briant, and with them was Mary E. Mitchell’s stepmother/aunt Elizabeth Smith Taylor and John B. Taylor’s two youngest daughters—these two young ladies were Amanda Taylor Harrell’s sisters. Amanda Harrell was the wife of Nicholas J. Harrell who was the son of Josiah and Anna Harrell--all of Hertford County.

[11] Hertford County, deed Book G, page 374.

[12] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 5, 1925-1971.

[13] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 5, 1925-1971.

[14] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 5, 1925-1971.

[15] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 5, 1925-1971.

[16] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 5, 1925-1971.

[17] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 3, 1881-1905.

[18] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 1, 1868-1872.

[19] Hertford County, deed Book G, page 374.

[20] Raymond Parker Fouts, vol. I, 127.

[21] Sarah married John O. Askew in Abner’s house in 1839. Alpha B. married Ann B. Mansard around this same time, and settled on a farm adjacent to Abner’s.

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

[23] Hertford County, will Book “a”, pages 118-119.

[24] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[25] Hertford County, deed Book A, page 581.

[26] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[27] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[28] The December 1869 lease was described in the above section on his parents, or see Hertford County deed Book A, page 581.

[29] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[30] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[31] Winborne, History of Hertford County, pages 134-135.

[32] Hertford County, wills Book D, page 61; Book E, page 54.

[33] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 135.

[34] See for instance, Hertford County, deed Book G, page 214; and Pattie’s draw described in deed Book G, page 262.

[35] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 2, 1872-1881.

[36] Hertford County, will Book E, page 150.

[37] Hertford County, will Book E, page 150.

[38] Hertford County, deed Book S, page 262.

[39] Winborne, History of Hertford County, page 197.

[40] Hertford County, deed Book G, page 210.

[41] Hertford County, Marriage Register, vol. 2, 1872-1881.

[42] William B. Harrell, Autobiography, pp. 1-50, in the Harrell Papers, Private Collections no. P.318 at the North Carolina Division of Archive and History, Raleigh, North Carolina..

[43] This reference is contained in the Harrell Papers, Private Collections no. P.318.

[44] William B. Harrell, Autobiography, page 36.

[45] William B. Harrell, Autobiography, page 44.

[46] While in Washington, James Albert made a curious choice to change his name to Harrold from Harrell—he even convinced one of his younger brothers to follow suit. James Albert may have been too eager to change his name from Harrell, the spelling used by his father and grandfather. We can assume he made the change based on some knowledge, rather than the assumption that his great grandfather was the Samuel Harold who was born in 1663 in Kent County, England, because that has not been established—it was simply declared by James Albert and written in the family Bible. The Harold spelling is one that connects more readily to families of note and royalty in England, and thus is often a favorite spelling of people eager for such a connection. James Albert did spend most of his professional career in Washington, D. C., and may have been too eager to connect himself to the spelling with a more prestigious history, rather than the Harrell spelling that was much more prevalent in the Southern States during his time. In the first chapter, I discussed evidence showing there were emigrants from England with names such as Harold, Harrell, Harrill, Harrwell, Harryll, and so forth who left for America. At least some of whom, from each spelling, apparently changed to Harrell after reaching Virginia. It seems odd, however, that people with such perfectly fine names would all change their names to Harrell once they landed in America. Unless, of course, there were already Harrells here, and if the new arrivals had names that in any way sounded like Harrell it was written by scribes and clerks as Harrell.  James Albert Harrold’s right to change his name is not in question, the reason he gave for doing so is very questionable.


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


Table of Contents

HarrellFamilies (Home Page)

Chapter1 (The Early Harrells in America)

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

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

Chapter 4 (Hertford County's 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Generations)

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