Harrell Families

of Early

Hertford County, North Carolina


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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 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 10 (Immigrants to the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells)

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


Chapter 5: John T., Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, Thomas Two and Their Descendants


            In this chapter, I have related what I know about 2nd Generation Willis and Jesse Harrell’s sons and beyond. I concluded in the previous chapter that Willis had one son with him in 1800; he may have had more, and they may have survived childhood. I only know, however, that he had one, and I have assumed he survived to adulthood. I have also determined that Jesse had four sons, and the records suggest his sons were raised in the county. Indeed, they may have stayed awhile as adults. This chapter is really about their probable children, and grandchildren—the 3rd and 4th Generations of Hertford County Harrells. I have briefly set down what I know of the 2nd and 3rd Generations, and then moved to describe and connect the 4th Generation Harrells who may have descended from Willis and Jesse Harrell.


Willis Harrell (born before 1774)


            Willis was probably the youngest of the 2nd Generation Harrells in Hertford County. His only appearance in the records was in the 1800 census, and at that time his age was given as between 26 and 45—not much help. My guess is he was closer to 26 years of age in 1800, judging by his relatively late arrival on the scene, and the young age of his two children. His household was as follows in 1800:


1800 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Willis Harrell, age over 45                                                       page 717

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              1, 0-10

                                    1, 26-45            1, 16-26

                                    1, over 45          1, 26-45

                                    (2 slaves)                                              (in Capt. Moore’s Captaincy)


I have speculated in the previous chapter that the male over 45 years of age in Willis’ household was probably his father—who may well have been Elijah Harrell One. Willis was gone by the time the 1810 census was compiled. If we assume Willis moved his family from Hertford County after 1800, then he probably did not leave any descendants in the county. In the absence of any evidence indicating he emigrated, however, we should remain open to the possibility that one or more of the 3rd Generation of Harrells in the county were his children. Also in the previous chapter, I also speculated that Willis’ son could have been John T., Elisah, John (b. c. 1794), or Josiah Harrell. With very little justification, I further concluded it was probably John T. Harrell. Sadly, this is all I know about Willis Harrell.


Jesse Harrell (born before 1758)


            Jesse was one of the older members of the 2nd Generation. He was probably around fifteen years older than Willis, and was born just before 1758. In the previous chapter, I proposed that Jesse was more than likely the oldest son of Elijah Harrell One. He was among the first of his generation to appear in the [page 148] 1779 tax list (see Table 9, page 109). In 1779, he appeared with William, Benjamin, Nathan, and Samuel, but his property had a very different look about it. The others in his generation, except for William, had invested in a horse, whereas Jesse owned a cow. By 1782, Jesse was still the only one among them to own a cow, and his probable father, Elijah One, was the only other Harrell in the county to own cattle (see Table 10, page 110). The 1784 tax list indicates Jesse was well on his way to becoming a family farmer. Only he and Samuel of the 2nd Generation owned land—I believe in both cases it was land granted for service in the War for Independence. Unlike Samuel, however, Jesse was working his land without the use of slave labor, which was also characteristic of Elijah One (see Table 11, page 111).


            By the time of the first U.S. census in 1790, Jesse and Elijah One were both still farming without the use of slaves, which still set them apart from the other branch of Harrells in the county who were more than likely of John Esquire’s family. At that time, Jesse had three males, probably sons, under 16 years of age in his household; none over 16 (see Table 12, page 112). They appeared to still have been with him for the 1800 census. In addition, in 1800 Jesse had a new son under 10 years of age, as well as the three sons who were under 16 years of age in 1790. Jesse and his wife apparently still had two daughters (see page 121).


            By 1810, Jesse and his wife still had their youngest son with them—the others had apparently taken their places among the other 3rd Generation Harrells. Looking at both the 1800 and 1810 censuses, we know their youngest son was at least 16 and under 20 years of age in 1810—that would put his birth year in the range of 1791-1794.


1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household: Jesse Harrell, age over 55

members of household:  males               females

                                    1, 16-26            1, over 45

                                    1, over 45                     

                                    (no slaves)


            On the bases of the 1800 and 1810 information, we can list the following age categories and combine them with possible matches for Jesse’s children.


                                                                              age in                     possible

                               birth year                              1800                       matches

son # 1                   1775-1784                               16-26                       Eley, Elijah Two, Thomas Two

son # 2                   1775-1784                               16-26                       Eley, Elijah Two, Thomas Two

son # 3                   1785-1790                               10-16                       John T.

son # 4                   1791-1794                                 0-10                       Elisah, John (c. 1794)

daughter # 1          1785-1790                               10-16                      

daughter # 2          1785-1790                               10-16                      


            I have included in the list above, the possible matches between the members of the 3rd Generation of Hertford Harrells and the ages of Jesse’s sons. In the previous chapter, I had isolated these possible matches from a pool of 3rd Generation Harrells (see Table 18, page 146).


            The following several sections of this chapter contain the information I have found on Willis and Jesse Harrell’s probable descendants. Their descendants include five of the 3rd Generation of Harrells, and they may connect as follows: Willis’ most likely son was John T. Harrell, and Jesse’s most likely sons [page 149] were Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, and Thomas Two. From this speculation, I move to more speculation about the possible and probable sons of these five 3rd Generation Harrells. The sons of these five Harrells will, for the most part, be found among the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells. The next order of business then is to look at the pool of 4th Generation Harrells and isolate the possible sons of Eley, Elijah Two, Thomas Two, and Elisah—I have left John T. off the list because his will survived, and in it he named his children. The pool of 4th Generation Hertford Harrells are in Table 19 (see page 150).


The 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells


            As with the 3rd Generation, the 4th appeared in three waves, starting with the census of 1840 and ending with 1860. I am pretty certain most of the 4th Generation who stayed in the county were apparent by the 1850 and 1860 censuses—even if they were not yet heads of their own households, their names and ages were available.


When I have listed the father of a member of the 4th Generation in Table 19 (page 150), I have excluded him from the discussion of possible and probable sons of Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, and Thomas Two. The children of John T. are discussed in this chapter, but their connection is not a matter of speculation. The other members of the 4th Generation for whom we have identified fathers will be covered in the next several chapters as known and probable children of the 2nd and 3rd Generations of Harrells who are not encompassed in this chapter. I have also identified those Harrells who were not born in Hertford County, because they are not likely to have been the sons of the five members of the 3rd Generation considered in this chapter.


            In Table 19, for instance, we can see John T. Harrell’s sons, and the sons of other Harrells with identified fathers; and we can see three other 4th Generation Harrells who were born in adjacent counties—John (b. 1813), John P. (b. 1817), and Joseph B. (b. 1826). We can exclude them from consideration in this chapter because they are not likely to have been sons of Eley, Elijah Two, Thomas Two, and Elisah. That leaves us with just a handful of possible sons of the five 3rd Generation Harrells covered here. These selected ones are listed here for quick reference:


4th Generation                      birth                       first                        last

Harrell  s                              year                        appearance            appearance


George                                   1791-1800               1840                        1840

John                                       1804-1810               1830                        1840

John                                       1810-1820               1840                        1840

Enoch                                    1800-1810               1840                        1840

Isaac                                       1815                        1850                        1850

Joseph                                    1829                        1860                        1860

William                                  1825                        1850                        1860

William                                  1830                        1860                        1860


With the exception of John (b. 1804-1810) and William (b. 1825), the most common feature of the selected group of 4th Generation Harrells is they were heads of households for only one census, and then they were gone—this, of course, makes their relationships to the other Harrells in the county even more difficult to establish. The discussions of matches between the 3rd and 4th Generations starts with the easiest, John T. Harrell, then covers the more difficult match-ups.

 [page 150]

Table 19

Summary 4th Generation of Hertford Harrells

                                                Father/                                                              Censuses                                          

                                                county of birth        1830      1840        1850        1860        1870        1880


George (b. 1791-1800)                                                            yes          gone

John (b. 1804-1810)                                                 yes        yes          gone

Thomas III (b. 1811)              Elijah Two                                              yes          yes          gone

John (b. 1810-1820)                                                               yes          gone

John (b. 1813)                         (Gates Co.)                                             yes          yes          gone

John P. (b. 1817)                    Powell**                                                 yes          gone

Enoch (b. 1800-1810)                                                             yes          gone

Isaac (b. 1815)                                                                                        yes          gone

David Jr. (b. 1807)                  David Sr.                                yes          yes          yes          gone

Alpha B. (b. 1812)                  Abner                                     yes          yes          yes          gone

William J. (b. 1828)                Abner                                                                                      yes*        yes*

John (b. 1804-1810)               Starkey Sr. (b. 1786)               yes          gone

Starkey S. Jr. (b. 1827)           Starkey Sr. (b. 1786)                                               yes          yes          yes

James Albert (b. 1822)           James                                                      gone

William Bernard (b. 1823)      James                                                                      gone

Joseph Holiday (b. 1833)       James                                                                      yes          yes          gone

John Wilson (b. 1840)            James                                                                                      gone

Samuel Martin (b. 1843)         James                                                                                                      gone

Etheldred (b. 1816-1820)        John T.                                                   gone

James Thomas (b. 1816-1820)John T.                                                   gone

Asa (b. 1821-1825)                 John T.                                                   gone

Abner (b. 1826-1830)             John T.                                                                                    yes          gone

John Whitmel (b. 1814)          John (b. c. 1794)                                     yes          yes          yes          yes

Jarret Norfleet (b. 1824)         John (b. c. 1794)                                                     yes          yes          yes

William Joseph (b. 1826)        John (b. c. 1794)                                     yes          gone

Marmaduke W. (b. 1827)       John (b. c. 1794)                                     yes          yes          yes          gone

Andrew Jackson (b. 1829)      John (b. c. 1794)                                     yes          gone

Joseph B. (b. 1826)                 Reuben***                                              yes          gone

Joseph (b. 1829)                                                                                                     yes          gone

William (b. 1825)                                                                                    yes          yes          gone

William (b. 1830)                                                                                                    yes          gone

Starkey (b. 1835)                    Josiah                                                                      gone

Nicholas Jefferson (b. 1837)   Josiah                                                                                      yes          yes

* Abner’s son, William J. Harrell, was never on his own; after his father died in 1864, he was with his sister in 1870, and his nephew, J. O. Askew in 1880.

** John P. was born in Bertie County, and was the son of Powell Harrell, the grandson of Benjamin, the great grandson of Henry, and the great, great grandson of Edward.

*** Joseph B. Harrell was born in Gates County, and was the son of Reuben, and the brother of Dempsey K. Harrell.


John T. Harrell (born 1790-1794)—3rd Generation


            In the previous chapter, I suggested John T. was possibly a son of Willis, Jesse, or Nathan; but that he was most likely Willis’ son (if Willis left a son in the county). Whatever the case may be, John T. Harrell did become a well established resident of Hertford County and left numerous descendants there. John T. and his wife had two sons by 1820 when they first appeared as a young family. John T.’s wife was probably close to 26 years of age, John T. was over 26 but under 30. Their farming activity must have been large enough to need two farm hands, because John T. was working one slave. Our first glimpse of John T.’s household in 1820 contains the following information:

 [page 151]

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

Head of Household:  John T. Harrell, age 26-30                                              page 184

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (1 slave)


By 1830, John T.’s two oldest sons were at least 10, but under 15 years of age, and his family was still growing. In this census entry, John T. Harrell and his wife show two more sons, and two daughters all under 10 years old—that gave them a total of six children. John T. was still farming, but by 1830, he was using 2 slaves, which suggests he is a bit more prosperous than a decade earlier.


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

Head of Household:  John T. Harrell, age 36-40                                               page 400

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 0-5

                                    1, 5-10              1, 5-10

                                    2, 10-15            1, 30-40

                                    1, 30-40

                                    (2 slaves)


After the county records were burned in 1830, John T. started the process of re-recording his land in July of 1832, and the County Surveyor certified a map and description of a 43 acre parcel of land belonging to John T. Harrell in November of 1835. His land was described as adjacent to James Riddick, Charles Stenenson, and William Newsome (and perhaps Charles Copeland).[1] (Josiah Harrell’s farm, was re-recorded in 1834, and it was on Horse Swamp also adjacent to James Riddick.) By 1840, John T. must have had more than 43 acres because he was working 4 slaves which is not consistent with farming only 43 acres.


            In 1840, John T. and his wife’s two oldest sons and oldest daughter were no longer at home. Their two youngest sons from the 1820 census were still at home, however—plus they may have had a new daughter since the last census. John T. Harrell’s wife was missing from the 1840 census record, or she was mis-categorized. Based on earlier censuses she would have been between the ages of 40 and 46 in 1840. The census was taken around mid-year, and John T.’s will was written in August of 1840—and at that time his wife, Rose Anna, was bequeathed property in the will, so she was alive when it was penned.


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

Head of Household:  John T. Harrell, age 46-50                                               page 54

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 10-15            1, 5-10

                                    1, 15-20            2, 10-15

                                    1, 40-50

                                    (4 slaves)

 [page 152]

            John T. Harrell wrote his will on August 19, 1840, and it was probated in November of 1846. He left most of his property to his wife, Rose Anna, during her widowhood. In his will he put names on his children, but we still can not associate the names with ages with much certainty. That is only important because in his will he treats his children quite differently, and it would be interesting to know if it had anything to do with their being the older or younger children—or if he was just very upset with some of his children when he wrote the will. His sons, Etheldred and Asa, as well as his daughter, Matilda, were bequeathed only $1.00 each. John T. states that Matilda was married to Henry Modlin, who would become a fairly prosperous farmer, and perhaps her lack of need determined the $1.00 gift from her father. It could also have been that the two older sons were already established by 1840, perhaps with the help of their parents prior to that time. In any case, the bulk of the estate went to his sons James Thomas Harrell and Abner Harrell, and his daughters Mason Cherry Harrell and Sarah Elizabeth Harrell. All his land and plantation went to Abner Harrell.[2]


The will was witnessed by William M. Montgomery and Benjamin Copeland. Benjamin Copeland may have been a neighbor; Copeland’s farm was adjacent to the farm of Josiah Harrell on Horse Swamp, and as pointed out above, both John T. and Josiah owned land adjacent to a James Riddick. This land was near Josiah’s farm, and John T.’s oldest daughter married Henry Modlin who farmed a large parcel on Josiah Harrell’s northern line. Josiah and John T. Harrell were about the same age, probably cousins—possibly brothers.


            John T. Harrell’s wife, Rose Anna, was born 1795-1804, and may have remarried before the 1850 census. Rose Anna Harrell did not appear in the 1850 census, either as head of her own household or in that of another.


John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s Descendants


            Census information provides the following age categories for John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s sons. Their sons were Etheldred, James Thomas, Asa, and Abner; and they were born, in some order—I have parenthetically inserted their names next to age categories as good possibilities based on circumstantial evidence only. The matches are as follows:


                son # 1                   b. 1816-1820          (Etheldred)

                son # 2                   b. 1816-1820          (James Thomas)

                son # 3                   b. 1821-1825          (Asa)

                son # 4                   b. 1826-1830          (Abner)


The parcel map and description of John T.’s land, drawn up by the County Surveyor in November 1835, has the following at the bottom, to the left of the County Surveyor’s signature: “Etheldred Harrell & Asa Harrell CC.” This probably means copies were given to John T.’s two sons Etheldred and Asa.

 [page 153]

The 1830 and 1840 censuses show at most four daughters, and John T.’s will clearly provided for daughters Matilda Ann, Nancy, Mason Cherry, and Sarah Elizabeth—only Matilda was married when the will was written on August 19, 1840. John T. and Rose Anna’s daughters  were born in the following ranges:


                daughter # 1          b. 1821-1825          Matilda born November 21, 1820

                daughter # 2          b. 1826-1830          (Nancy)

                daughter # 3          b. 1826-1830          (Mason Cherry)

                daughter # 4          b. 1831-1835          (Sarah Elizabeth)


I have also assigned age categories the their daughters, but with the exception of Matilda, I have guessed at the order.


Matilda Ann Harrell Modlin (b. 1820)—4th Generation


            John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s oldest daughter was Matilda Ann Harrell Modlin, and she was a 4th Generation Hertford County Harrell. She was identified in her father’s will as married to Henry [page 154] Modlin. Matilda’s marriage is also described in the Modlin Family Bible.[3] The Bible indicates Matilda was born on November 21, 1820, and she married Henry on March 18, 1838. Henry was the son of Thomas and Margaret Modlin, and he was born on March 27, 1818. The 1850 census provides a good picture of Matilda and Henry Modlin’s family at that time.


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

Modlin, Henry               age 32                                                                         page 331

Modlin, Matilda             age 29

Modlin, Margaret           age   8

Modlin, Mary E.            age   4

Modlin, Emeline             age   2

Modlin, infant                age 4/12

Modlin, Margaret           age 64


Henry and Matilda continued to have children until Matilda’s death around 1859. Henry then married Cornelia and had more children, but several of Matilda’s children were still in their father’s household in 1860.


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

Modling, Henry             age 41  farmer              $1,750   $2,429                           page 118

Modling, C. A.              age 20  female

Modling, Emeline           age 12  female

Modling, H. S.               age 10  male

Modling, D. A.              age   5  male


            In 1860, three of Matilda’s children were with their father and his new wife, Cornealia. Matilda’s daughter, Emerline at the age of 12, her daughter, Henrietta, at the age of 10, and her son, David Edward at the age of 5, were in Henry and Cornelia’s household. By 1870, only two of Matilda’s children were still in their father’s household: David E. and Henrietta Modlin. Henry and Cornealia had increased their family considerably by that time.


            By 1880, none of Matilda’s children were in Henry and Cornealia’s household, and Henry had four more children with Cornealia after the 1770 census.


1870 census entry, Hertford County, N. C.

Modlin, Henry               age 51  farmer              $2250               $1500

Modlin, Cornealia          age 35  keeping house

Modlin, David E.           age 16  farm laborer      (Matilda’s, b. 1855)

Modlin, Henrietta           age 18                          (Matilda’s, b. 1851)

Modlin, James A.          age 11

Modlin, Ursilla               age   7

Modlin, Sarah E.            age   6

Modlin, John B.             age   4

Modlin, Euprates           age   2  male

Modlin, Wilmer              age 10/12

 [page 155]

            Henry wrote his will on June 19, 1899, and it was probated on August 31, 1903.[4] It provided for: wife, Cornelia A. Modlin—she got 50 acres near Union for her use during her life, then the land was to go to their son Raymond; their granddaughter, Sarah E. Garriss, received 218 acres near his old home place; Henry and Matilda’s daughter, Emerline Miller & her husband, W. H. Miller, received the land they were then living on; Henry and Matilda’s son, David E. and wife Rosa A. Modlin, got the note Henry held on their land satisfied; Henry and Cornealia’s daughter, Ursala Garriss, received the tract of land in Bertie County they were living on; their son James A. Modlin received some land in Bertie County; their son, Euphrates Modlin, received the land he was living on; their son, John B. Modlin, received the land he was living on; their daughter, Nancy E. White, received the land she was living on; their son, Wilmer Modlin, received 1/2 of the Old Home Place; and their son, Herman Modlin, received $100. In May of 1900, a codicil was written to sell 92 & 1/2 acres of the old home place and divide the money equally among his heirs.


Matilda Harrell and Henry Modlin’s children


Henry and Matilda’s children were 5th Generation Hertford Harrells. Most of the information about Matilda’s children came from the Modlin Family Bible except where a reference is made to Henry’s 1899 will or a particular census. Henry and Matilda’s children, as near as I can determine, include the following:


Alfred Modlin (b. 1839)—5th Generation


            Alfred’s birth was recorded in the family Bible on August 5, 1839—he was named as the son of Henry and Matilda Modlin. He was not with Henry and Matilda for the 1850 or 1860 censuses. (There was, however, an Alford Reynods, a 40 year old, blind, mulatto farm laborer living with Henry and Cornealia in 1880.)


Margaret Ann Modlin (b. 1842)—5th Generation


            Margaret Ann was with Henry and Matilda for the 1850 census, and her birth is recorded in the family Bible—but she was not with them for the 1860 census.


Henry Thomas Modlin (b. 1843)—5th Generation


            Henry Thomas Modlin was born November 19, 1843, and died about one year later in November of 1844.

 [page 156]


Mary Ellen Modlin (b. 1846)—5th Generation


            Mary Ellen was born on October 15, 1846. She was with Henry and Matilda for the 1850 census at the age of four, but not for the 1860 count. (There was a Mary E. Modlin age 28 in 1870, working as a servant for Moses and Mary E. Harrell—they were up the road a bit. Mary E. Modlin had her 8 year old daughter, Lulu, living with her at the time.)


Emeline Modlin Miller (b. 1848)—5th Generation


            Emeline was born to Henry and Matilda Modlin on April 22, 1848. She was with her parents at the age of 2 in 1850, and in her father’s household at the age of 12 in 1860. By the 1870 census, Emeline was married to W. H. Miller, and they had a daughter, Catherine, who was just a year old. In 1870, Emeline and her husband were farming on land next to Harrell Modlin (age 60, probably Emeline’s uncle), who was farming next to Henry and Cornealia.

 [page 157]

By 1880, Emeline and her husband, William, were still farming, probably on the same land. They were still next to Henry Modlin’s place, just across Horse Swamp from Josiah and Anna Harrell (the latter had turned their farm over to their son-in-law, Kindred Holomon, but they were still living on it).


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

Miller, William H.          age 31  farmer

Miller, Emeline              age 31  wife

Miller, Catherine A.       age 11  daughter

Miller, Henry T.            age   8  son

Miller, Bettie A.            age   7  daughter

Miller, Ollie D.              age   5  daughter

Miller, Fannie B.            age   3  daughter

Miller, Rosa L.              age 11/12 daughter       


            In his 1899 will, Henry Modlin left his daughter, Emeline, and her husband the land they were living on at that time.


Emeline Modlin and William Miller’s Children


Catherine A. Miller (b. 1869)—6th Generation
Henry T. Miller (b. 1872)—6th Generation
Bettie A. Miller (b. 1873)—6th Generation
Ollie D. Miller (b. 1875) (daughter)—6th Generation
Fannie B. Miller (b, 1877)—6th Generation
Rosa L. Miller (b. 1879)—6th Generation


Henreitta Modlin (b. 1851)—5th Generation


            Henrietta was born on March 22, 1851. She was listed as ten years old for the 1860 census, and 18 years of age in 1870. She was not among the children listed in her father’s 1899 will.


William Quinton Modlin (b. 1852)—5th Generation


            William Q. Modlin was born on September 18, 1852, and died on July 18, 1853. This was Henry and Matilda’s second son to live for only about one year.

[page 158] 

Martha Elizabeth Modlin (b. 1856)—5th Generation


            Martha was born on December 15, 1856, but she was gone before the 1860 census was taken.


Matilda Modlin (b. 1859)—5th Generation


Matilda Modlin was born on May 26, 1859. She was obviously named for her mother, who died soon after the young Matilda was born. Henry and Matilda’s daughter, Matilda, was not around for the 1860 or 1870 censuses.


David Edward Modlin (b. 1855)—5th Generation


David E. was born on February 1, 1855. He was listed as 5 years of age in 1860, and about 16 years of age in 1870. David was not listed in the 1880 Hertford County census, but he was named in his father’s 1899 will along with his wife, Rosa A. Modlin.


Nancy Harrell (b. 1826-1830)—4th Generation

Mason Cherry Harrell (b. 1826-1830)—4th Generation

Sarah Elizabeth Harrell (b. 1831-1835)—4th Generation


            This ends the discussion of John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s daughters. Not a lot is known about their four sons. I do not know the ages of John T. and Anna Harrell’s sons—nor even their order of birth. I know the age categories from the census, and I assume the order of birth by the order they were listed in John T.’s will. (None of their sons were in the 1870 census.) Etheldred and Asa were both given copies of the re-recorded deed to their parent’s farm in 1835. This suggests they were the oldest. It also appears that in his will, written in 1840, John T. gave the bulk of his estate to James Thomas, and Abner—perhaps they were the youngest and not yet established.


Etheldred Harrell (b. 1815-1820)—4th Generation


            An Etheldred Harrell married Mary Odom in Northampton County on April 28, 1846, but I have not found Etheldred since. He may have left a son (b. 1847) named Etheldred Harrell. There is some difficulty explaining the 1850 census entry for Northampton County, North Carolina. It reads as follows:


John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s son Etheldred was born between 1816 and 1820. He did probably marry Mary Odam in 1846, and their first child could well have been born in 1847, and named Etheldred Harrell. This could be their young son living with Mary’s brother or parents in 1850. That would mean Mary Odam had a brother or father named Etheldred, she married a man named Etheldred, and she named her first son Etheldred. That would have been an unusual attachment to an unusual name. (The name also suggests a connection to some early Harrells in Johnston County, North Carolina. In 1787 [the 1784 State Census], there were three Harrells in the same captaincy—one of whom was Etheldred Harrell.)

 [page 159]

1850 census entry, Northampton County, N. C.

Odam, Etheldred           age 40                                                                          page 20

Odam, Celia                  age 45

Odam, Jane                   age 24

Odam, Mary                 age 22

Odam, Emma                age 21

Copeland, William          age   4

Harrell, Etheldred          age   3

James Thomas Harrell (b. 1816-1820)—4th Generation

Asa Harrell (b. 1821-1825)—4th Generation

Abner Harrell (b. 1826-1830)—4th Generation


            Abner inherited his parents’ land and plantation according to his father’s 1840 will—he was 10 to 15 years of age at the time, so he probably did not take possession of it for some time. We might expect him to have been in the 1850 census at 20 to 24 years of age, but he was not listed, nor was he in the 1860 census. The only Abner Harrell I have found even close to the age of John T. and Rose Anna Harrell’s son was in the following censuses entries. Their son should have been age 40 to 44 in 1870. The Abner in the 1870 census, was age 35—though that is not a good fit with John T.’s youngest son, it is a possibility. It is a possibility because of the manner in which I have had to estimate ages on the bases of the early censuses—it is possible that John T.’s youngest son was simply listed in the wrong column in 1840.


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

Harrell, Abner               age 35   farmer                                                             page 398          

Harrell, Rebecca           age 26

Harrell, Willard A.         age 10

Harrell, Millie                age   7

Harrell, Kittie                age 4/12


The Abner who appeared in Hertford County for the 1870 census was in Rich Square Township, Northampton County by 1880.


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

Harrell, Abner               age 46              head

Harrell, Rebecca E.       age 34              wife

Harrell, William R.         age 19              son

Harrell, Mila A.             age 17              daughter

Harrell, Rufus               age 12              son

Harrell, Reuben             age   7              son

Harrell, Gicensh            age   4              son

Harrell, Herbert             age 3/12            son

[page 160] 

            The Abner Harrell in the above 1870 and 1880 censuses seems a bit too old for John T. and Rosa Anna Harrell’s son, but he is the only possibility on the scene. Assuming this Abner was John T.’s son, his children were as follows:


William R. Harrell (b. 1861)—5th Generation
Mila A. Harrell (b. 1863)—5th Generation
Rufus Harrell (b. 1868)—5th Generation
Reuben Harrell (b. 1873—5th Generation
Gicensh Harrell (b. 1876) (male)—5th Generation
Herbert Harrell (b. 1880)—5th Generation


Eley Harrell (b. 1770-1775)—3rd Generation


            Eley was 25 to 30 years old in 1800, and was not yet head of his own household in Hertford County. If I proceed with the assumption that he was a son of one of the 2nd Generation Hertford County Harrells, then he was probably living in his father’s household. Nathan and Jesse both had a male in their household who was at least 16 but under 26 years of age (age category 16-26) at that time. Eley would have just made it into that category if he had been 25 years of age in 1800. The better fit, however, was in Willis’ household; he had a male 26 to 44 years of age living with him at that time. Willis was gone by 1810, and Eley was in his own household by then. The one factor in Eley’s make-up that does not fit Willis’ profile is the ownership of land. Eley appeared with 228 acres of land; Willis was not on the 1784 tax list, and he was gone by the time the 1815 tax list was taken. In other words, the timing of Willis’ departure matched Eley’s arrival, but there are no indications that Willis ever had the kind of wealth Eley arrived with. As pointed out earlier, Jesse did have the necessary land to provide Eley with the acreage he started with, and Jesse’s land holdings deceased by about the necessary amount, when Eley appeared with his. I would think, therefore, Jesse is still the most probable father for Eley.


            By 1810, Eley may have had three daughters, and apparently had one son, all under the age of ten.


1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Eli Harrell, age 35-40                                                       page 106

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              X, 0-10

                                    1, 26-45            1, 26-45

                                    (1 slave)


            According to the 1815 Hertford County tax list (see Table 15, page 134), Eley possessed one slave and 228 acres of land at that time—his holdings had probably not changed much from 1810.

[page 161] 

            By 1820, Eley apparently had at least three more daughters and two more sons. If all the youngsters in his household in 1820 were his children, then it appears his three oldest were the three young females who were with him in 1810, and his fourth child was a son, also with him in 1810. Between 1810 and 1820, Eley and his wife apparently had five more children—they were still neatly spaced, about one every two years.


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

Head of Household:  Eley Harrell, age 45-50                                                     page 206

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              3, 0-10

                                    1, 10-16            3, 16-26

                                    1, over 45          1, over 45

                                    (no slaves)


            In 1820, Eley’s wife would have been between the ages of 45 and 55, and by 1830, she would have been 55 to 65 years of age—she may have been gone by 1830. Eley apparently had a new wife between the ages of 40 and 50 in 1830, and with her a new son under the age of five. His oldest son would have been in the 20-26 year category in 1830, but he was gone. 


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

Head of Household:  Ely Harrell, age 55-60                                                      page 408

household members:      males               females

                                    1,0-5                 1, 10-15

                                    2, 10-15            1, 15-20

                                    1, 15-20            3, 20-30

                                    1, 50-60            1, 40-50

                                    (2 slaves)


Eley was back in the business of possessing slaves in 1830—they may have come with his new wife. Eley was no longer listed as a head of household for the 1840 census.


Eley Harrell’s Possible and Probable Children


            Apparently all of Eley’s sons were still in his household in 1830, and five of his six daughters were also still there.


The Age Categories of Eley’s Sons


            Once again, I am compelled to only consider the sons, and not Eley’s daughters because of the lack of information in the public records. The age categories of Eley’s sons as reflected in the 1810-1830 censuses, and their estimated birth years are as follows:


Son # 1   in 1810 was, age 0-10                           born 1805-1810                    

                in 1820 was, age 10-16

                in 1830 was, gone

Son # 2   in 1820 was, age 0-10                           born 1816-1820                    

                in 1830 was, age 10-15

Son # 3   in 1820 was, age 0-10                           born 1816-1820                    

                in 1830 was, age 10-15

Son # 4   in 1830 was, age 0-5                             born 1826-1830                    

 [page 162]

            We need to look at the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells to see who from among them might best fit Eley’s sons.


Possible 4th Generation Matches for Eley’s Sons


When looking for Eley's possible sons, it makes sense to first look at the new households in the 1830, 1840, 1850, and then 1860 censuses. Eley’s oldest son was out of the household in 1830, and one of the new households in 1830 was headed by John (b. 1804-1810) who was of the correct age. Another possibility for Eley’s first son appeared later, however. From those who first appeared in 1840, only Enoch (b. 1800-1810) was a possible match for Eley’s son. Even though Eley was gone by 1840, his youngest sons may not yet have become heads of their own households until 1850, or even 1860. When we look at those 4th Generation Harrells who first appeared in 1850, then we can add Isaac (b. 1815) to the list as a possible second son (Isaac is not a good fit, but close). There is a possibility Eley’s second and third sons did not stay in the county long enough to have been counted in 1840 and 1850. Joseph (b. 1829) and William (b. 1830) appeared for the first time in Hertford County as heads of households in 1860—one of them could have been Eley’s son number four (see Table 19, page 150).


The age categories for Eley’s sons with the possible matches in each are as follows:


                                Birth year             In 1840                  in 1850                  4th Generation, best matches

 Son # 1                   1805-1810               30-35                    40-45                       Enoch (b. 1800-1810)

                                                                                                                                John (b. 1804-1810)                             

Son # 2                   1816-1820               20-24                      30-34                       Isaac (b. 1815)                      

Son # 3                   1816-1820               20-24                      30-34                       no match

Son # 4                   1826-1830               10-14                      20-24                       William (b. 1830)

                                                                                                                                Joseph (b. 1829)


            Because each of the above possible matches for Eley’s sons is also a possible son of Elijah Two, Elisah, Thomas Two, and other 3rd Generation Harrells, I have presented what little I know about them at the end of this chapter.


Elijah Harrell Two (b. 1781-1784)—3rd Generation


            Hertford County had an Elijah Harrell reflected in the 1768, 1779, 1782 and 1784 tax lists, as well as the 1790 Census, whom I referred to as Elijah One. He was clearly Elijah of the 1st Generation of Hertford County Harrells. There was no Elijah in the 1800 Census, and then an Elijah appeared in 1810 at 26-45 years of age. I refer to the latter as Elijah Two,  and I have listed him as a probable son of Jesse along with Eley, John T., and Elisah. If I am correct, Elijah Two was Elijah One’s grandson.


            If we look at the age categories for Elijah Two in the 1810 through the 1840 censuses, we can determine that he was over 56 and under 60 years of age in 1840. That would give him a birth year between 1781 and 1784. By 1830, it is possible to determine that his wife was a few years older than he was.

 [page 163]

1810 census entry, Hertford Co., N. C.

Head of Household:  Elijah Harrell, age 26-30                                                   page 97

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-10              1, 26-45

                                    1, 10-16

                                    1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45

                                    (no slaves)


            When sorting the names we have for the 4th Generation of Hertford County Harrells and trying to match them with the known age categories for Elijah Two’s sons, we encounter more unknowns and possibilities than a normal person would care to consider. In that I consider myself somewhat normal, I will only consider some of the more interesting possibilities here in order to illustrate the task at hand and the enormous amount of information needed.


            When we look at the young males in Elijah Two’s household in 1810, one of the first things we need to consider is that they were probably not all his sons. Elijah Two was but 26-30 years old in 1810; it is not likely the 16-26 year old was his son. The young man may well have been a brother—either John T. at the age of 16-20, or Elisah at the age of 10-20. In 1810, Jesse only had one of his sons still at home who fit the 16-26 year old category—that was probably John T. or Elisah, the one who was not with Elijah Two at census time. Another layer of complexity we must consider here is that because Willis Harrell of the 2nd Generation was gone by 1810, his son, who would have been 10-20 years old by that time, was probably living with a relative—perhaps uncle Jesse, or cousin Elijah Two. Willis’ son was more than likely John T. or Elisah Harrell. The 10-16 year old in Elijah Two’s household is young enough to have been his son, but even that is uncertain. Nonetheless, I will consider him Elijah’s son until I know better. The male under the age of ten was probably Elijah Two’s son. The simplification of this complexity can only come from privately held information, out there—somewhere.


            Elijah Two was in the 1815 tax list with no land and no slaves (see Table 15, page 128). His situation had apparently not changed much by 1820.


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

Head of Household:  Elijah Harrell, age 36-40                                                   page 184

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 0-10              2, 0-10

                                    1, 10-16            1, 16-26

                                    1, 26-45            1, 26-45

                                    (no slaves)


            The male who was 16-26 years of age in 1810 was gone by 1820, and at that time, the three new 3rd Generation Harrell households were: John T., Thomas Two, and John (b. 1794). (Elisah did not appear in his own household until 1830.) The male who was 10-16 in 1810 was also gone by 1820, but he did not appear in the county as a head of his own household in that year. There were two others, however, who were probably Elijah Two’s sons. I will suggest below that one of them was Thomas Three at the age of nine. It appears then, by 1820, he had 3, perhaps 4, sons. In addition, Elijah Two had two daughters by that time.

 [page 164]

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

Head of Household:  Elijah Harrell, age 46-50                                                   page 397

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 15-20

                                    1, 15-20            1, 50-60

                                    1, 20-30

                                    1, 40-50

                                    (no slaves)


            By 1830, the two youngest sons, who were under ten in 1820, were probably in the 15-20 and 20-30 age categories. Thomas Three would have been 19 years of age. One of Elijah Two’s daughters was gone, perhaps married—that might account for the young male under the age of five. It is not too likely the youngster was Elijah Two’s child because his wife was 50 to 55 years old in 1830—perhaps he was a grandson.


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

Head of Household:  Elijah Harrell, age 56-60                                                   page 61

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 5-10              1, 60-70

                                    1, 10-15

                                    1, 50-60

                                    (no slaves)


            By 1840 it appears all of Elijah Two’s children are gone. The two young males were probably grandsons. Elijah Two’s probable son, Thomas Three, would have been around 29 years of age in 1840, but he is not listed as head of a household in North Carolina.


I believe Elijah Two was still around in 1850 living with his son, Thomas Three, in Bertie County. In the paragraphs below, I speak of a Thomas Harrell Three who first appears as a head of household in Hertford County in 1860. At that time, Thomas Three indicated he was born in Hertford County. That is important, because we can match that Thomas Three’s family to the Thomas Harrell in Bertie County in 1850. The importance of the 1850 census entry is its inclusion of Elijah Harrell age 81.


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

Harrell, Thomas            age 43  shoemaker                                                        page 33

Harrell, Eliz A.              age 33  female

Harrell, Henderson W.   age   3 

Harrell, Priscilia A.        age   1

Harrell, Elijah                age 81


            The first thing to note about this entry is there was no Elijah Harrell in Bertie County in 1820, 1830, nor in 1840—there was such a person in Hertford County for those years as we have just seen above, and he was our Elijah Two. The age shown for Elijah in 1850 is a little high. Nonetheless, the Hertford County Elijah Two should have been over 66 but under 70 years of age. Thomas Three did appear in 1850 in Bertie, and then in 1860 in Hertford County—and he was born in Hertford County.

 [page 165]

Elijah Harrell Two’s Possible and Probable Children


The Age Categories of Elijah Two’s Children


            Again because of the practice of listing only the head of households in the pre-1850 census, and the loss of the county’s marriage records, I have only made an effort to match the males in the 4th Generation to the age categories of Elijah Two’s children.


Son # 1                   in 1810 was:           age 10-16               born 1794-1800

Son # 2                   in 1810 was:           age 0-10

                                                 in 1820 was:           age 10-16              

                                                  in 1830 was:           age 20-30               born 1804-1810

Son # 3                   in 1820 was:           age 0-10                 born 1810-1820

Son # 4                   in 1820 was:           age 0-10

                                                 in 1830 was:           age 15-20               born 1810-1815


Possible 4th Generation Matches for Elijah Two’s Sons


The members of the 4th Generation who stayed in the county and can be considered possible and probable sons of Elijah Two are the following:


                                Birth Year                            Age In 1840                          4th Generation, best matches

Son # 1                   1794-1800                               40-46                                       George (b. 1791-1800)

Son # 2                   1804-1810                               30-36                                       Enoch (b. 1800-1810)

                                                                                                                                John (b. 1804-1810)

Son # 3                   1810-1820                               20-30                                       Thomas Three (b. 1811)

Son # 4                   1810-1815                               25-30                                       Isaac (b. 1815)

                                                                                                                                John (b. 1810-1820)


            The best possible match for Son # 1 from among the available 4th Generation Harrells was George. Enoch and John (b. 1804-1810) are good possibilities for Son # 2—but Enoch is my favorite because John is a better fit as Starkey Harrell’s son (see chapter 6). In an earlier section, I indicated that Thomas Three was probably Elijah Two’s son and, based on the age categories, he was probably Son # three. Son # 4 could have been Isaac or John (1810-1820).


            Because all of the above possible sons of Elijah Two are also possible sons of Eley, Elisah, and Thomas Two, I have presented what little I know about each of them at the end of this chapter.

  [page 166]

Elijah Harrell Two’s Most Probable Son


            The only 4th Generation Hertford County Harrell who was very probably one of Elijah Two’s sons was Thomas Three. Consequently, I have included what I know about him in this section, rather than the section at the end of this chapter where I discuss the other possible sons.


Thomas Harrell Three (b. 1811)—4th Generation


Thomas Three was in Bertie County in 1850 with his wife, young children, and probable father, Elijah Harrell, with him.


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

Harrell, Thomas            age 43  shoemaker                                                        page 33

Harrell, Eliz A.              age 33  female

Harrell, Henderson W.   age   3 

Harrell, Priscilia A.        age   1

Harrell, Elijah                age 81


            By 1860, Thomas and his wife, Elizabeth, were back in Hertford County with one more son, and one less father. Thomas and Elizabeth as well as their two oldest children, Hendman and Millie Ann (Priscilla A.), were born in Hertford County. Their youngest, George W. Harrell, was born in Bertie County in 1847.


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

Harrell, Thomas            age 49  miller                $0         $105                             page 61

Harrell, Elizabeth           age 44  wife

Harrell, Hendman          age 13  son

Harrell, M. A.               age 12  daughter

Harrell, Geo. W.            age 10  son


            Thomas Three was gone by 1870, and Elizabeth Ann was living with their son-in-law, William H. Harrell, and their daughter, Amelia Ann Harrell. Thomas Three and Elizabeth did not own land and only had $105 worth of personal property in 1860. They could not have left much to their sons, which might have tied them to the county.


Henderson W. Harrell (b. 1847)—5th Generation


            By 1880, Henderson was in White County, Arkansas with his wife and two daughters. Judging by the age and place of birth for his daughter, Sarah, he was in Arkansas by 1874. Henderson’s sister was with him and his family in 1880—I do not know yet what became of her family.

 [page 167]

1880 census entry, White County, Arkansas

Harrell, Henderson        age 33                          born in North Carolina

Harrell, Laura L.           age 25  wife                  born in Tennessee

Harrell, Sarah J.             age   6  daughter           born in Arkansas

Harrell, Mary T.            age   4  daughter           born in Arkansas

Harrell, Ann                  age 31  sister                born in North Carolina


Amelia “Millie” Ann Harrell Harrell (b. 1848)—5th Generation


            Millie Ann Harrell, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Harrell, married William H. Harrell on November 12, 1868 in Hertford County.[5] At the recording of the wedding, William was listed as the son of John and Delilah Harrell (John was probably not William’s father, but because John was Delilah’s current husband he was given the honor). Millie and William Harrell’s household in 1870 was as follows:


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

Harrell, W. H.               age 27  farm laborer                                                      page 433

Harrell, Amelia A.         age 20

Harrell, Thomas H.        age 4/12  

Harrell, Elizabeth           age 50


            They were not in Hertford County for the 1880 or 1900 censuses. Millie Ann was with her brother, Henderson, and sister-in-law in Arkansas for the 1880 census—she may have been visiting, or perhaps she had lost her husband and son, Thomas. (For further discussion of Millie Ann and William H. Harrell’s family, see William H. Harrell in the section on George, Isaac, John, and Delilah Harrell later in this chapter.)


George W. Harrell (b. 1850)—5th Generation


Elisah Harrell (b. 1790-1800)—3rd Generation


            Elisah was one of the youngest members of the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells, but apparently he did not stay in the county long after establishing his family around 1810. He could have been a son of Willis, Jesse, or Nathan. Most likely he was the son of Willis or Jesse. Elisah simply did not appear often enough in the records to give any indications. He appeared as a head of household only once, 1830. He probably moved from the area, but there is always the chance he died soon after 1830, and his widow remarried before 1840 leaving no tracks under the name of Harrell. In the latter case, Elisah’s son would not have appeared in the records until he became head of a household and was listed in the 1840 census.


            The glimpse we have of Elisah’s family is interesting. He emerged on the scene when he was between 30 and 40 years of age—apparently with a son born before the 1810 census. If that was the case, where were they in 1820? There were three Elisah Harrells in North Carolina in 1820: one in each of the

 [page 168]

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

Head of Household:   Elisah Harrell, age 30-40                                                 page 415

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 15-20            1, 5-10

                                    1, 30-40            1, 30-40

                                    (no slaves)


following counties, Edgecombe, Gates, and Bertie. None of the three Elisah Harrell families were close to a match with the Hertford County Elisah in 1830. I assume, then he was raised in Hertford County, and thus should have been there in 1820 at the age of 20-30 with a wife of the same age, and a son in the age category of 5-10. The only Harrell household in the county with people in those age categories, who were not heads of a household, was David Senior’s. David Sr. and his wife were both in the age category of 45-50, and they had a male and female with them between the ages of 16-25, but they did not have a male between the ages of 5 and nine. They did have two males between the ages of 10 and 15, but they could have been David’s children. It is still possible that Elisah was David’s son, but not too probable at this point.


Age Categories and best 4th Generation Matches for Elisah Harrell’s Children


            All we know about Elisah’s children is that by 1830 he apparently had one son, and one daughter. Their birth years and the best possible match for their son are listed below.


                                Birth Year                            Age In 1830                          4th Generation, best matches

Son                         1811-1815                               15-20                                       John (b. 1810-1820)

                                                                                                                                Isaac (b. 1815)

Daughter                1821-1825                               5-10                                        


            Elisah’s possible son among the 4th Generation was John (b. 1810-1820), or Isaac (b. 1815). The other members of the 4th Generation either did not fit the age category or had a know father who was not Elisah.


Thomas Harrell Two (b. before 1775)—3rd Generation


            Thomas Two was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the 3rd Generation. That, combined with his name, suggests that perhaps he descended from Adam Senior, or one of his sons—perhaps Adam Jr. or Thomas One. Jesse and Nathan, however, have to remain on the list of possible fathers, based solely on age categories.


Other possible relatives based on the use of the name, Thomas, are John T. and Elijah Two—they could have been Thomas Two’s brothers or cousins. John T. had a son named James Thomas Harrell, and a grandson named Henry Thomas Modlin; Elijah Two named a son Thomas Harrell (Thomas Three). There is always the possibility they are all related—perhaps descending from Adam Harrell Senior.

 [page 169]

Thomas Two first appeared in the records on the 1815 Hertford County tax list with no slaves and 100 acres of land (see Table 15, page 128). His only other appearance was in the 1820 census—at that time, he was over 45 years of age but had what appeared to have been a relatively young family—three sons under the age of ten.


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

Head of Household:       Thomas Harrell, age over 45                                       page 192

household members:      males               females

                                    3, 0-10              1, over 45

                                    1, over 45

                                    (no slaves)


Thomas Harrell Two’s Possible and Probable Children


            Thomas Two was gone by 1830, and there was no Harrell widow that year with a family profile that might have fit their family in the 1820 census. If he died between 1820 and 1830, his widow could have remarried and had Thomas Two’s children in a non-Harrell household. The other possibility, of course, is that he packed up his family and moved from the county. The latter is less likely than with some others of his generation, because he owned some land. In any case, if we assume he stayed in the county until the end, then he probably left some children there.


The Age Categories of Thomas Two’s Children


            Based only on the information in the 1820 census entry, Thomas Two had three sons ages nine or under. If we assume normal spacing, they could have been around the ages of  2, 5, and  8 in 1820. If this assumption is correct, then his family by that time looked something like this:


                                Birth Year            Age In 1820          4th Generation, best matches

Son # 1                   1811-1820               around 8                                John (b. 1810-1820)                             

Son # 2                   1811-1820               around 5                                John (b. 1810-1820)

                                                                                                             Isaac (b. 1815)

Son # 3                   1811- 1820              around 2                                John (b. 1810-1820)


4th Generation Matches with Their Possible Fathers


            In the previous several sections, I have determined the age categories for the sons of Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, and Thomas Two. I also speculated about the best possible matches with 4th Generation Harrells who did not already have identified fathers. The results are summarized in table 20 below.

 [page 170]


Table 20: Summary of 4th Generation Matches With Possible Fathers

4th Generation Harrells                      Their Possible and Probable Fathers


George (b. 1791-1800)                                            Elijah Two’s son # 1;

                                                                                Elisah’s son.

John (b. 1804-1810)                                                Eley’s son # 1;

                                                                                Elijah Two’s son # 2.

John (b. 1810-1820)                                                Elijah Two’s son # 3;

                                                                                Thomas Two’s sons # 1, 2, and 3.

Enoch (b. 1800-1810)                                              Eley’s son # 1;

                                                                                Elijah Two’s son # 2.

Isaac (b. 1815)                                                         Elijah Two’s son # 4;

                                                                                Elisah’s son;

                                                                                Thomas Two’s son #2.

Joseph (b. 1829)                                                      Eley’s son # 4.

William (b. 1830)                                                     Eley’s son #4.


            It is not surprising to find that John (b. 1810-1820), is listed with several possible fathers, due to the broad range of years in his estimated birth year. It is, however, curious that with just as broad a range, Enoch (b. 1800-1810) appeared with only two possible fathers—Eley or Elijah Two Harrell. In Joseph and William Harrell’s cases, we have a very narrow set of possible fathers, but they must remain at this point, just very good possibilities, not quite probable relationships.


            There are three other possible fathers for the un-matched 4th Generation Harrells. Josiah Harrell’s sons numbers two and three—they were no longer in his household by 1850, so there is no easy record of their names—they were born around 1823 and 1825 (see chapter 8). Another possible father not considered in this chapter is David Harrell Senior—he also has unidentified children (see chapter 10). A third possible father for the un-matched 4th Generation Harrells is Starkey S. Harrell Senior (see chapter 6).


The Unattached 4th Generation Harrells Considered in This Chapter


            The following sections of this chapter are for the 4th Generation Harrells whom I have not been able to convincingly connect to one of the 3rd Generation households in the county. I will repeat the list of them here, and then describe what I know of them.


4th Generation                     birth                       first                        last

Harrell  s                              year                        appearance            appearance


John                                       1804-1810               1830                        1840

George                                   1791-1800               1840                        1840

Isaac                                       1815                        1850                        1850

John                                       1810-1820               1840                        1840

Enoch                                     1800-1810               1840                        1840

Joseph                                   1829                        1860                        1860

William                                   1825                        1850                        1860

William                                   1830                        1860                        1860

 [page 171]

John Harrell (b. 1804-1810)—4th Generation


            In the earlier parts of this chapter, we found that this John Harrell fit the age categories for Eley’s # 1 son, and Elijah Two’s #2 son. To that I must also add that John (b. 1804-1810) Harrell’s age was a good fit for a couple of the 3rd Generation Hertford County Harrell households not covered in this chapter. The age category for his birth year fit the age categories for an unidentified son in the Starkey S. Harrell Sr. or the David Harrell Sr. households which are covered in chapters 6 and 10 respectively.


John (b. 1804-1810) and his wife, Harriet, established their household just before the 1830 census was taken; they had no children at that time, but possessed considerable wealth—which must have been inherited. The only 3rd Generation Harrell households with such wealth in 1820 was Starkey Sharp Harrell Sr. and David Harrell Senior. David’s household had two males in the age category that fits John’s age—therefore, 10-16 years of age in 1820 (David Jr. was 13 years old at the time). The problem is, Starkey S. Harrell also had an unidentified son in the same age category in 1820.


            An argument in favor of John (b. 1804-1810) having been Starkey S. Harrell’s son can be made based on the fact that John was living just three households from Starkey’s widow, Elizabeth, in 1830. The argument for John (b. 1804-1810) having been a son of David Harrell is based on association. A John Harrell attended the estate sale of G. M. Smith on December 5, 1832. Also in attendance was David Harrell Senior. John bought “1 Damaged Leather” for $1.75, and David bought “6 sides of Leather” for $1.26.[6] The other connection between John (b. 1804-1810) and David was in 1850 when David’s son, David Jr., had John (b. 1804-1810) Harrell’s son, Alphenis, living with him after John (b. 1804-1810) had died in late 1840.


            Regardless of who John’s parents were, John and his wife, Harriet, began their household in Hertford County just before 1830. According to the 1830 census, John Harrell was born between 1800 and 1810.


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

Head of Household:  John Harrell, age 20-30                                                    page 416

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 20-30            1, 15-20

                                    (14 slaves)                                            (3 dwellings from Elizabeth)


            On October 18, 1832, the Entry Taker for Hertford County commissioned a surveyor,


“… to Survey and lay off for John Harrell a tract of land…. In pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina passed for those that might Suffer from the Burning of the Records of Hertford County and Bounded as follows: Beginning at the mouth of Mill gut [It is called Mill Swamp on the Survey map.] on Wiccacon Creek thence up the said gat or Swamp along said Harrells line to William Wards Pine Land then along said Wards line or land to Silas Smiths line thence along said Smiths line to Henry Kensey line thence along Kensey line to William Wards line thence Wards line to the said Kensey line or land on Gum Neck and from thence to Wiccacon Creek….”

 [page 172]

The letter of commission was dated July 10, 1834. The Survey indicates that John’s tract contained 352 acres. “On S. side of Wicacon Creek.”[7] Of course, the letter and survey map give no indication from whom John got the land in question.


John and Herriet were still in the County for the 1840 census and apparently had three children by that time.


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

Head of Household:  John Harrell, age 30-40                                                   page 50

household members:      males               females

                                    2, 5-10              1, 0-5

                                    1, 30-40            1, 15-20

                                                            1, 30-40

                                    (12 slaves)


             The two males ages 5 through 9 were John Wilson (age 8) and Alpheus (age 5). The young female was daughter, Celia (about the age of 3). The 15 to 20 year old female living with them in 1840 could have been a sister or niece.  The male age 30-40 was John himself, and his wife was also 30-40 years of age.


            John was probably in failing health at the time of this census. He wrote his will September 23, 1840, and it was probated in the February Term of 1841. In his will he provides for his wife, Harriet, and his children John Wilson Harrell, Alpheus Harrell and Celia Harrell.[8] There is also some mention of a yet unborn child. Harriet was 15 to 20 years of age for the 1830 census, so would have had to be 25 to 30 in 1840. She was actually listed as 30 to 40 in the 1840 census, so she was probably about 30 years of age when John died, and she more than likely remarried. According to the will the slaves were to be divided between John Wilson and Alpheus when they came of age.


            Sons John Wilson and Alpheus were not of age by the 1850 census—they were between the ages of 15 and 20. Alpheus at the age of 15 was living with David Harrell Jr. (perhaps his uncle) for the 1850 census. John Wilson was 18 years old and living in Northampton County as a student. I have not yet found their daughter, Celia, who would have been 10 to 15 years old in 1850, nor have I found John’s widow, Herriet, in North Carolina for the 1850 census.


John (1804-1810) and Harriet Harrell’s Children


According to John’s will, and supported by the census information, their children were:


John Wilson Harrell             born 1831

Alpheus Harrell                    born 1835

Celia Harrell                           born 1837

 [page 173]

            Birth year and generation coincide less and less each generation. John Wilson Harrell (b. 1831) was technically a 5th Generation Hertford County Harrell, but he was older than many of the 4th Generation Harrells. This, of course, is largely due to the fact his father, John (b. 1804-1810), was among the first sons of either Starkey Sr. or David Sr.—both of whom were among the oldest of the 3rd Generation. For instance, in 1880, 5th Generation, John Wilson Harrell, was a neighbor of 4th Generation, Nicholas J. Harrell, but Nicholas was six years younger than John Wilson Harrell.


John Wilson Harrell   (b. July 1831)—5th Generation


            I know John Wilson Harrell was the son of John (born 1804-1810) and Herriet Harrell, and that he was born in 1831. It is important to keep a handle on John Wilson Harrell’s date of birth because Hertford County documents show three John W. Harrells, and, indeed, two John Wilson Harrells in roughly the same time period. The oldest was John Whitmell Harrell (b. 1814 and son of John [b. c. 1794] and Winnefred). The next was John Wilson Harrell (b. July 1831, the focus of this section), and the third was also John Wilson Harrell (b. 1840, a son of James Harrell [b. 1792]).  


Because John (b. 1831) was not with his mother in 1850, there is a bit of uncertainty about his location, but I believe he was the John W. Harrell, age 18, in Northampton County in 1850, living with a Barns family. He was listed as a student, so the family he was living with may not have been relatives. The Barns family was financially sound and had probably hired a teacher from Maine for their children and were making good use of him with John and perhaps others.


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

Barns, Collin W.                        67 farmer          $13,778             Va.                   page 54

Barns, Lousia                            55                                             Va.

Barns, Joseph B.                       13                                             N. C.

Barns, George B.                      11                                             N. C.

Bonds,  Benjamin                      22 teaching school                     Maine

Harrell, John W.                        18 student                                 N. C.

Jordan, Thomas                         15                                             N. C.

Wood, Spinx W.                        11 (male)                                  N. C.

Debury, Edmond                       12                                             N. C.

[page 174] 

            John Wilson Harrell must have moved from Northampton to Chowan County in the early 1850s, because he married Mary Haughton there on November 10, 1853.[9] At this point, I am assuming that Mary Haughton becomes Mary E. S. Harrell, the wife of John W. Harrell in the 1860-1900 censuses.[10] His wife, Mary E. S., and their first child, Selwyn T., were born in Chowan County, which means they stayed in Chowan through 1855. They were in Hertford County by 1858 for the birth of their second son, Joseph E. Harrell.


            John Wilson initiated a survey of his farm in 1854—probably while he was still in Chowan County. The comparison of the survey made in 1854 makes it clear that it was the same farm his parents were on in the 1830s. It was the same farm his father had surveyed in 1834 (see note number 7 in this chapter). John Wilson Harrell’s request was entered on October 5, 1854, and issued March 14, 1855. It included the following:


“… to Survey and lay off for John Wilson Harrell of this County… of Wiccacon Creek bounded by said Creek by Mrs. Cuude of James Harrell (a his wife) by the lands of Watson Lewis and by the lands of Abner Harrell Trustee. And containing about two hundred and fifty acres and being the tract descended from Maudoden Lewten to Mary Ann his daughter who and the wife of John Harrell descended.” (Most of the letter is very hard to read.)


The actual survey came up with 309 acres, bounded on the east by Old Mill Run; on the northwest by Wiccacon Creek; by Mrs. Ann Harrell (Abner’s daughter-in-law) on southeast corner; by James Harrell (Abner’s brother) and Matthew (Watson?) Lewis corner and line.[11] The most curious comment in the survey apparently indicates that the land came from Mary’s father, but it resembles the land surveyed by John’s father in 1834.


            1860 was the first time John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell’s household appeared in a census in Hertford County. Their two sons had been born by census time. As I mentioned above, John Wilson Harrell’s father, John, had died in 1840 and left most of his wealth to his sons, Alpheus and John Wilson. This is evident by the large amount of wealth John Wilson possessed in 1860. In fact, judging by the amount of wealth John Wilson had in 1860, I suspect he ended up with most of his father’s property—his wealth, both real estate and personal, exceeded that of the well established David Harrell who was still head of his household in 1860.


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

Harrell, Jno. W.             age 29  Farmer             $4,500   $20,265                         page 107

Harrell, M. E. S.            age 25  (Mary E. S.)

Harrell, S. T.                 age   5  (Selwyn)

Harrell, J. E.                 age   2  (Joseph E.)


            John was very active in the Bethlehem Baptist Church which had been established near the village of Pitch Landing (on the road to Harrellsville) in 1835. In fact, in 1858 John Wilson and David Harrell were among only ten church members who contributed $100.00 each to build a new church— [page 175] most others contributed considerably less. He also served as the Church Clerk from 1860-1871. This service was, of course, interrupted by the War. John was 29 years old when the War started, but managed to stay close to home during the first years. By February 12, 1864, he clearly felt the need to get more directly involved, and wrote into the Church minutes, the following:


“This day I turn over the church books to the assistant clerk, in consequence of my being in the service of my country. May God, in his wisdom, and goodness, soon restore peace and harmony to this once happy, but, now distracted land and country, and that He may watch over me in the vicissitudes of a camp life; and keep me from the evils, and sins, that doth so easily beset one in the army...”


            This statement and the census information above, strongly suggests John Wilson had a pretty good and happy life, at least up to 1864. He enlisted at Hertford County on October 15, 1864.


            John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell were still in the County for the 1870 census, with several more children. In fact, they had four more children since the 1860 census. They appear to have had a pattern of bringing a child into the world every three years—not even breaking the pattern for the Civil War, with Claudius L. having been born in 1861, John H. born in 1863, and then, of course, Charles L. in 1866.


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

Harrell, Jon. W.             age 38   farmer            $900    $600                               page 345

Harrell, Mary E. S.        age 37

Harrell, Selwyn T.         age 15

Harrell, Joseph E.          age 12

Harrell, Claudius L.       age   9

Harrell, John H.             age   7

Harrell, Charles L.         age   4

Harrell, Enice                age   1


            John Wilson Harrell and his children, Joseph E. through Enice, were all born in Hertford County (Selwyn was born in Chowan County). It appears John and Mary had settled into a comfortable life in Hertford and managed to personally survive the war. Their economic survival was not so certain.


            The economic well-being of John and Mary’s household took a pretty big hit from the War. In 1860 they were farmers and had real estate valued at $4,500, and personal property valued at $20,265. The drop in value for personal property to $600 in 1870 obviously reflects the loss of slaves. The drop in their real estate value reflects more than depressed prices—it was partly the result of selling 214 acres on January 1, 1870, just before the census was taken. The sale to Mathew Brewer of the acres bounded by the farm of Watson Lewis, J. W. Harrell, and where the Chinquepin and Wiccacon Creeks join raised $400.[12] The Agricultural Schedule of 1870 indicates they still had 500 acres, however. The Agricultural Schedule shows John Wilson farming 100 improved and 400 unimproved acres at that time. Most farmers were having serious financial problems, and John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell appear to have been no exception—they would sell more land.  

 [page 176]

            Times probably continued to be pretty difficult for John and Mary as they had to sell off their real estate in order to hang on until 1880. The Agricultural Schedule in 1870 stated they had about 500 acres left of their farm—after selling 214 acres in 1870. In February of 1871 they mortgaged about 150 acres of their land to John O. Askew. The land was part of their home farm as evidenced by the description provided in the deed. It was bound by the lands of Mathew Brewer and Watson Lewis and was to be approximately 150 acres or a sufficient amount “...of any other part of the plantation where we now live.”[13]  They apparently had to do this to show their good faith and eagerness to settle a note they owed John O. Askew that had come due the previous month. It was a two year mortgage, due on or before January 1, 1873. The document was witnessed by John O. Askew and John and Mary’s oldest son, Selwyn L. Harrell—who was only 18 years old at the time, and learning some difficult lessons, no doubt.  


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

Harrell, J. W.                age 48  farming                                                             Harrellsville

Harrell, Mary E. S.        age 47

Harrell, Claudeons E.     age 19

Harrell, John H.             age 17

Harrell, Charly L.          age 14


            By 1880, John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell’s household was diminished by the coming of age of their two oldest sons—Selwyn T. who was 25 years old, and Joseph E. age 22 at the time. Neither Selwyn nor Joseph were in the Hertford County census for 1880 or later. John and Mary were still on part of their original farm in the 1880 census, but they had a new neighbor, Lemuel C. Harrell, who moved from adjacent Northampton County and bought 330 acres from John and Mary in March of 1872. The deed describes the farm as on the road leading from Harrellsville to Pitch Landing, then to Wiccacon Creek to M. Brewer and Moore’s line “...to a corner for Nicholas Harrell, and M. Brewer.”[14]  It is curious that the usual description then included a reference to the corner of Nicholas Harrell’s farm (another new neighbor), because the records show Nicholas did not purchase his big farm in this prosperous area until 1875 (Nicholas must have been leasing the farm before he bought it). In any case, John W. Harrell, Nicholas J. Harrell (see chapter 8), and Lemuel C. Harrell (see chapter 11) were all close to the same age, and neighbors by 1880. (I have not yet been able to connect their families, however.) J. W. Harrell, H. D. Godwin, Lemuel Harrell, N. Harrell, and S. M. Aumack were still living next to one another in 1884.[15]


John Wilson Harrell may have been in Greensboro, North Carolina in early 1892. Recall that John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell were neighbors with Nicholas J. and Amanda Harrell throughout the 1870s and 1880s near Pitch Landing in Hertford County. Amanda Taylor Harrell and Nicholas had just moved to Greensboro when she died there January 29, 1892, and a local newspaper carried an obituary for her written by “J. W. Harrell.” The writer stated that he had known her from early life, and in the Baptist Church at Harrellsville. (See the section on Nicholas Jefferson Harrell in chapter 8 of this work.) J. W. Harrell sounds very much like John Wilson Harrell—but I have not been able to get confirmation.[16]


By 1900, however, I found John and Mary in Oxford, Granville County. The following information is in the 1900 Soundex for North Carolina: John W. Harrell age 68, born July 1831, and Mary E. S. Harrell age 67, born April 1833. They were living on Brand Street in Oxford, Granville County. (Their entry was said to be in vol. 29, e. d. 57, sheet 6, line 13, but I checked every household in e. d. 57, and did not find them. I did not find them in the 1910 Soundex for North Carolina.)

 [page 177]

John Wilson and Mary E. S. Harrell’s Children


Their children were identified, but unfortunately, for the most part, lost. They were as follows:


Selwen T. Harrell                  born 1855

Joseph E. Harrell                  born 1858

Claudius E./L. Harrell           born 1861

John H. Harrell                      born 1863

Charles L. Harrell                  born 1866

Enice Harrell                          born 1869


Selwyn T. Harrell (b. 1855)—6th Generation


Selwyn was a witness on a mortgage deed for his parents in 1871, but he was on his own by 1880—I was unable to locate him in 1880 or later.

Joseph E. Harrell (b. 1858)—6th Generation


            Joseph E. Harrell would have been 22 years of age in 1880, and he also was not with his parents at that time.

Claudius E. or L. Harrell (b. 1861)—6th Generation


            Claudius was with his parents in 1880 at the age of 19, but I have not found him in North Carolina after that.

[page 178]

John H. Harrell (b. 1863)—6th Generation


            John H. Harrell has also not been found since 1880.

Charles L. Harrell (b. 1866)—6th Generation


Charles was with his parents in 1880, but no sign of him after that.

Enice Harrell (b. 1869)—6th Generation


Enice did not make it to the 1880 census, when she would have been only about eleven years of age.


Alpheus Harrell (b. 1835)—5th Generation


            John (1804-1810) and Herriet Harrell’s son, Alpheus, was living with David Harrell and his family in 1850. There is no indication of his relationship to David Harrell; he was, however, listed as “Idiotic” at the time. He was not in Hertford County after that time.

Celia Harrell (b. after 1837)—5th Generation


Celia was John and Herriet Harrell’s daughter, and she was named in her father’s will in September of 1840.


George Harrell (b. 1791-1800)—4th Generation


            As with so many of the early residents of Hertford County, there is no clear basis for determining where George came from. In the earlier sections of this chapter, we determined that George could have been  Elijah Two’s # 1 son, or Elisah Harrell’s son. The remaining question, of course, is if he moved from the county or died there. If he spent his last years in the county, then he could well have left children there. In his only appearance in the Hertford County records, his family appeared as follows:



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

Head of Household:  George Harrell, age 40-50                                                        page 6x

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 20-30

                                    1, 40-50            1, 30-40


            It is hard to say whether the male under the age of 5 was his son, and if the female age 20 to 29 was his daughter—the spread between the two youngster’s ages is unusually large. One possibility, though a long shot, is that the young male was George T. Harrell, who will appear in the 1850 census as the son of Delilah Harrell—it is possible that Delilah was George’s widow who married Isaac Harrell between 1840 and 1850. There is no evidence of this other than the use of the name George, and that the timing was right. (Delilah would have been 27 years old in 1840.)

 [page 179]

Isaac (b. 1815) and Delilah Harrell—4th Generation


The case of Isaac is not dissimilar to that of most of the members of his generation—I do not know where he came from. He was not listed as a head of household in Hertford in 1840, nor did any Harrell household have a male, non-head of household, age 25 that year. Nonetheless, if we assume he was a son of a 3rd Generation Hertford County Harrell, then it is possible he was the son of Elisah, or the 4th son of Elijah Two, or the 2nd son of Thomas Two (see Table 20, page 177).


     Regardless of where Isaac was in 1840, he was with Delilah and her/their children in 1850.


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

Harrell, Isaac                age 35  laborer              $25.                                          page 334

Harrell, Delilah              age 37

Harrell, George             age 11

Harrell, James               age   9

Harrell, William             age   7

Harrell, John                 age   5


            When I was discussing the George Harrell household in the 1840 census, I offered the suggestion that Isaac might have been Delilah’s second husband, and she might have been George’s wife in 1840 (see the section just above). The only reason for such a proposed connection is the name of Delilah’s first son. If, indeed, the suggestion is correct then at least her oldest son, George T., and perhaps some or all of the other three children in the 1850 census entry for Isaac and Delilah were also children of George Harrell.        


Isaac and Delilah’s family did not appear to be in Hertford County in 1860. This probably means that Isaac died before 1860, because Delilah and her son George T. Harrell were together in Hertford County in 1870 (see the section below on George T. Harrell).


            In 1870 Delilah reappeared in Hertford County. She was living with her son George T. Harrell, but before I discuss that situation, I need to add a dimension to this story—the probable relationship between Delilah, and the John Harrell (b. 1813) family which coexisted in 1850 and probably merged in the 1860s.


            The only indication that Delilah and John (b. 1813) got together is the marriage record for her son, William H. Harrell. It states that Delilah’s third son, William H. Harrell, was married on November 12, 1868 in Hertford County to Millie Ann Harrell the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Harrell. The record also lists William as the son of John and Delilah Harrell.[17] There are a couple of possible reasons why William’s father was listed as John Harrell. The first is that in fact Delilah’s first husband was a John Harrell who died before the 1850 census, and before she married Isaac Harrell. There was only one John Harrell who was in the county in 1840, and who was gone by 1850. It was the John who was born in [page 180] 1804-1810, but that John Harrell left a will in which he named his children and his wife, Harriet—he did not name a son William. So Delilah’s first husband was probably not named John, but her third husband might very well have been. Which gets us to the second possible reason William might have been referred to as a son of John Harrell on his marriage record. It was not uncommon to have a marriage record name a step-parent as a parent—especially if the young person’s birth-parent had been dead for a number of years as was the case with William H. Harrell.


            The best candidate for Delilah’s third husband was 4th Generation, John Harrell (b. 1813) from Gates County. After John moved to Hertford County with his family, then lost his wife, Margaret Spriggins, he may have married Delilah Harrell. That is why he gets mentioned here. (He is discussed in greater detail in chapter 11.)


Delilah Harrell’s Children


            The 1870 census shows that Delilah and two of her younger children were living with her son, George T. Harrell age 33, and his family. That census entry indicates Delilah had two more children, probably with Isaac. The list of Delilah Harrell’s children is also probably the list of George (b. 1791-1800), and Isaac (b. 1815) Harrell’s children. The breakdown of the list probably goes as follows:


Delilah’s children with first husband:               George T.               b. 1837   

                                                                       James                     b. 1841                   

                                                                       William                  b. 1843 (m.1872 or 1868, or both)

                                                                       John                       b. 1845                   

with Isaac:                                                     Starkey                  b. 1852                   

                                                                        Mary E.                 b. 1855


According to the 1870 census, her son, William H. at age 27, was head of his own household. Sons, James D. and John, were also heads of their own household but shared a dwelling in 1870.  


George T.’s father was Delilah’s first husband—probably George (b. 1791-1800). The 1870 census entry shows George T.’s family was well established at that time.


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

Harrell, George T.         age 33   farmer              $100  $100                                        page 431

Harrell, Sarah                age 33

Harrell, Wilson              age 10

Harrell, Irvin                 age   9

Harrell, Calvin               age   7

Harrell, Charles             age   5

Harrell, Lafayette          age   2

Harrell, Delilah              age 60

Harrell, Starkey             age 18

Harrell, Mary E.            age 15

[page 181]                                               

George T. Harrell (b. 1837)—5th Generation


            Delilah was George T.’s mother, and the two youngsters listed below her name were probably her youngest children. Starkey (born 1852) and Mary E. ( born 1855) were probably children of Isaac Harrell.


            George T.’s wife, Sarah, died soon after the 1870 census was taken. In 1870 , George T. age 33, and wife, Sarah age 33, lived next to Joseph Hoggard age 42 and his wife, Elizabeth Hoggard, age 45. Apparently Joseph Hoggard also died soon after the 1870 census, because in June of 1873 G. T. Harrell age 35 married Eliz. Hoggard age 40,[18] almost the girl next door.


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

Harrell, G. T.                age 45  farmer                         

Harrell, Elizabeth           age 53

Harrell, Calvin               age 17  son/laborer

Harrell, Charles             age 15  son/laborer

Harrell, Henry               age 13  son/laborer

Harrell, Jerome             age 10  son/laborer

Hoggard, Isabella          age 17  niece

Harrell, Nancy              age 43  sister    (b. 1837)

 [page 182]

            George and his relatively new wife, Elizabeth, had Isabella Hoggard living with them—she was undoubtedly from Elizabeth’s family. Nancy Harrell may have been George’s step-sister, daughter of John Harrell (see 1850 census entry for John [b. 1813] in chapter 11), but she would have been only 35 years old in 1880 not 43—this could have been a case of transposed numbers that should have been 34.


            In January 1888, George T. married again at the declared age of 50 years old. He married Lisa Hoggard age 25, probably the young Isabella Hoggard living with George and Elizabeth in 1880, and listed as Elizabeth’s niece. The marriage was witnessed by George’s brother, J. D. Harrell.[19]


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

Harrell, George T.         age 62  shoemaker        born July 1837

Harrell, Isie                   age 37  wife                  born June 1863


George and Isie were living in the town of Winton, in their own home free of any mortgage. Isie states they had been married 10 years, and had 5 children, none of whom were still living in 1900.


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

Harrell, Issa                  age 46  widow


            In 1910 Isie was a widow living alone in the town of Winton, in a home of her own with no mortgage.


George T. and Sarah Harrell’s Children


                                                                                                           1870                        1880

George T.’s children:              Wilson                     b. 1860                    10                            gone

                                                Irvin                       b. 1861                    9                              gone

                                                Calvin                     b. 1863                    7                              17

                                                Charles                   b. 1865                    5                              15

                                                Henry                     b. 1868                    2                              13 (Lafayette)

                                                Jerome                    b. 1870                                                    10


Wilson Harrell (b. 1860)—6th Generation
Irvin Harrell (b. 1861)—6th Generation
Calvin Harrell (b. 1863)—6th Generation
Charles Harrell (b. 1865)—6th Generation
Henry (Lafayette) Harrell (b. 1868)—6th Generation
Jerome Harrell (b. 1870)—6th Generation

 [page 183]

James D. Harrell (b. 1841)—5th Generation


            James D. was living with his parents, Delilah and Isaac Harrell, in 1850. I do not know if these people are related, but in August 7, 1853, a George T. Harrell was recorded as marrying Mary Jane Trotmann in Gates County. I suspect this could have been the marriage of James D. to Mary Jane with brother George T. as a witness—then a mix-up in the transcribing occurred. I suspect some sort of recording error because, in 1870, James D. Harrell was listed with his wife, Mary Jane Harrell—their household included the following:


            There were obviously two families living in one dwelling. James, his wife and two children, and his brother, John, and his family. James D. and his wife, Mary, were apparently temporary residents of Hertford County. They did not own their own farm, and the family was not in Hertford County for the 1880 census. They were probably nearby, however, because in January of 1888, J. D. Harrell was a witness at George T. Harrell’s marriage to Lisa Hoggard in Hertford County.


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

Harrell, Jas. D.              age 30              farmer  $200                                         page 420

Harrell, Mary Jane        age 38

Harrell, Jamie W.          age   3

Harrell, Albany              age 10/12

Harrell, John                 age 25              shingle getter

Harrell, Emma               age 24

Harrell, Annie I.            age   1


James D. and Mary Jane Harrell’s Children


            They had left the County by 1880, so this may be a partial list of their children.


Jamie W. Harrell (b. 1867)—6th Generation


Albany Harrell (b. 1869)—6th Generation


William H. Harrell (b. 1843)—5th Generation


William was with his mother, Delilah, in Isaac Harrell’s household in 1850 at the age of seven. Isaac Harrell was probably his father. William Harrell, married Millie Ann Harrell, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Harrell, on November 12, 1868 in Hertford County[20] (Thomas Three and Elizabeth Harrell are covered as Elijah Two’s children earlier in this chapter). Their young family had the following look in 1870.

  [page 184]

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

Harrell, W. H.               age 27  farm laborer                                                      page 433

Harrell, Amelia A.         age 20

Harrell, Thomas H.        age 4/12

Harrell, Elizabeth           age 50


            William H. was a farm laborer with no land of his own. Elizabeth Harrell was Amelia Ann’s mother. 


W. H. Harrell was a witness at the wedding of W. J. Harrell (b. 1866) and Mollie Carwell, age 30, on January 23, 1906. It took place at the home of James Phelps and his wife, Nancy Harrell (b. 1853).


William H. and Amelia Ann Harrell’s Son


Thomas H. Harrell (b. 1870)—6th Generation


John Harrell (b. 1845)—5th Generation


            John was with his mother, Delilah, in 1850 in Hertford County, and with her somewhere in 1860. By 1870 he was married and back in Hertford. John (age 25) and his wife, Emma (age 24), and daughter, Annie (age 1), were living with his older brother, James D. Harrell and his family at that time.


By 1880, John and his wife, E. F. (Emma), were in their own place in the Winton district, and had apparently lost their daughter, Annie, but had gained two young sons since 1870. Their household in 1880 was as follows:


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

Harrell, John                 age 35  laborer

Harrell, E. F.                 age 30  wife

Harrell, J. C.                 age   7  son

Harrell, C. D.                age   3  son


John and Emma Harrell’s Children


J. C. Harrell (b. 1873) (son)—6th Generation


C. D. Harrell (b. 1877) (son)—6th Generation

 [page 185]


Starkey Harrell (b. 1852)—5th Generation


            Delilah Harrell’s son, Starkey, was first recorded with her when they were living with his older brother, George T., in 1870 (his younger sister, Mary E., was also with them). Starkey was 18 years old at the time. I have not been able to find him since that citing.


Mary E. Harrell Hill (b. 1855)—5th Generation


Mary E. Harrell was first noted in 1870 at the age of 15, living with George T. and her mother, Delilah. There is a good possibility the young lady in the Overton household in 1880 was Mary E. Harrell, daughter of Delilah.


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

Overton, Elizabeth         age 32  head                                        

Overton, Chas.              age 11  son, laborer

Overton, William           age   4  son

Harrell, M. E.                age 23  female, domestic servant


The Mary E. Harrell, age 25, who married Charles Hill, age 28, in Winton on May 19, 1881 was most certainly Delilah’s daughter. The witnesses were J. S. Shaw, T. W. Harrell, and E. Love.[21]


Enoch Harrell (b. 1800-1810)—4th Generation


            Enoch Harrell emerged as a head of household in 1840. He could have been Eley Harrell’s oldest son, or Elijah Two’s second son.


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

Head of Household:  Enoch Harrell, age 30-40                                                 page 59

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 5-10



Enoch apparently had  lost his wife by the 1840 census. He may have taken his children to another location because he was not in the county for the 1850 census, nor any after that.


John Harrell (b. 1810-1820)—4th Generation


     John (b. 1810-1820) was another one of those 4th Generation Harrells who appeared for the 1840 census, and then not again in the county. John could have been Elijah Two’s number 3 son—which means he could have been Enoch’s younger brother. The latter is a possibility. Enoch and John lived near each other when they made their one appearance for the 1840 census. It is also possible, however, that John (b. 1810-1820) was the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd son of Thomas Harrell Two. The only citing we have for John (b. 1810-1820) is the following:

 [page 186]

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

Head of Household:  John Harrell, age 20-30                                                    page 60

household members:      males               females

                                    1, 0-5                1, 20-30

                                    1, 20-30

                                    (no slaves)


Joseph Harrell (b. 1829)—4th Generation


            Joseph (b. 1829) was one of the 4th Generation Harrells who fit the age category of Eley Harrell’s fourth son. Joseph and Martha appeared alone in the 1860 census.


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

Harrell, Joseph              age 31  farmer  $600     $430                                         page 107

Harrell, Martha             age 30


Joseph and Martha both reported they were born in Hertford County, but I did not find a 21 year old in the county named Joseph in 1850. Joseph and Martha Harrell’s household was not in the county for the 1870 census.


William Harrell (b. 1825)—4th Generation


            William (b. 1825) did not fit any of the age categories for the sons of the 3rd Generation Harrells considered in this chapter—i.e., Eley, Elijah Two, Elisah, or Thomas Two. He was, however, a good fit for Josiah and Anna Harrell’s third son.


            William was the right age for Josiah and Anna Harrell’s third son. Their third son was living with them in 1840, and he would have been 25-29 years of age in 1850—he is the best possibility (see chapter 8). In addition to his age, there are two factors which make it a good possibility. The first is the fact, according to the families information given in the 1860 census, that William was born in Hertford County. The second bit of circumstantial evidence that suggest a connection to Josiah and Anna Harrell also comes from the 1860 census—at that time William was living one dwelling away from John B. Taylor and his family. John B. Taylor’s daughter, Amanda, age 12 in 1860, married Josiah and Anna Harrell’s fifth son, Nicholas J. Harrell, in 1867. Other probable members of Josiah and Anna’s family noted that they also had known Amanda Taylor from a young age (see John Wilson Harrell in the section above).


            In any case, William and his young family first appeared in the county records in the 1850 census. William was a farmer but apparently did not own the land he worked. His other wealth also seems to have been minimal. Margaret Faincloth was probably his mother-in-law. The young Mary Taylor is unidentified (she may have been John B. Taylor’s younger sister).

 [page 187]

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

Harrell, William age 25  farmer  $45                                                       page 317

Harrell, Mariah              age 27 

Harrell, Mary E.            age 2

Faincloth, Margaret       age 65

Taylor, Mary                 age 23


            By 1860, William’s wife, Mariah, was gone, and he apparently had a new young wife, Mary A., who was also born in Hertford County. In addition to their daughter, Mary Elizabeth, William and Mariah had two new daughters, M. T. and E. S., listed in the 1860 census—they were probably twins born in 1852.


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

Harrell, William             age 35  farmer  $0         $25       born in Hertford Co.      page 124

Harrell, Mary A.           age 19                                      born in Hertford Co.

Harrell, Eliz.                  age 12                                      born in Hertford Co.

Harrell, M. S.                age   8  female                          born in Hertford Co.

Harrell, E. S.                 age   8  female                          born in Hertford Co.


            William A. Harrell was 37 years old on July 5, 1861 when he enlisted in the C. S. A.’s army as a private in Hertford County. His household does not appear in Hertford County for the 1870 or 1880 censuses, and there is no strong evidence his daughters married in the county.


William and Mariah Harrell’s Children


Mary Elizabeth Harrell (b. 1848)—5th Generation


M. S. Harrell Modlin (b. 1852)—5th Generation


            There is a good probability that William and Mariah Harrell’s daughter married Frederick A. Modlin on September 19, 1869. The bride’s name was given as Martha T. Harrell; her age was given as 20; and her parents were identified as William and Maria Harrell.[22] If the age given in the 1860 census was correct, then she was probably closer to 18 when she married—if, on the other hand, she was not a twin, and her age in 1860 was closer to 10, then the age given at her marriage would make sense. The ages recorded for Martha Harrell Modlin in the 1870 and 1880 censuses yield the following birth years: 1850 and 1851 respectively.


            Frederick and Martha Modlin were living next door to Josiah and Anna Harrell in 1870—Josiah and Anna, as William (b. 1825) Harrell’s probable parents, would have been Martha’s probable grandparents. Frederick was identified as the son of Nathan and Christian Modlin. (I believe Frederick’s father was Nathan Harrell Modlin, who was identified as N. H. Modling in 1860, and Harrell Modlin in the 1870 census. See the discussion of Josiah’s neighbors, the Modlins, in chapter 8.)

 [page 188]

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

Modlin, Frederick C.      age 20  farmer

Modlin, Martha              age 20


            By 1880, Frederick and Martha had three children, and were still farming.


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

Modlin, Frederick          age 29  farmer

Modlin, Martha S.          age 29

Modlin, Alla P.              age   7  daughter

Modlin, Wm. H.            age   6  son

Modlin, Joseph L.          age   2  son


Martha S. Harrell and Frederick Modlin’s Children


Alla P. Modlin (b. 1873)—6th Generation
William H. Modlin (b. 1874)—6th Generation
Joseph L. Modlin (b. 1878)—6th Generation


E. S. Harrell (b. 1852)(female)—5th Generation


            I have found no indication of who William (b. 1825) and Mariah Harrell’s youngest daughter was, or if she survived childhood.


William Harrell (b. 1830)—4th Generation


            William (b. 1830) was also possibly the fourth son of Eley Harrell. He was born in Hertford County as were his wife and three daughters. This William (b. 1830) was five years younger than the William (b. 1825) described above, but the resemblance of his families in 1860 is remarkable. An important difference is this William (b. 1830) was only located in the county for the 1860 census, and not again.


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

Harrell, William             age 30  day laborer        $40                                       page 61

Harrell, Mary                age 10  daughter

Harrell, Eliz.                  age   8  daughter

Harrell, Ellen                 age   8  daughter




[1] This was recorded as Grant No. 176, in Book 142, page 135. It is available as item no. 189 on the microfilm number S.108.736 from the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

[2] Hertford County, Will Book A, page 253.

[3] A copy of the family history information is available in the Bible Collection at the North Carolina State Archives. The original Bible is in the possession of Rachel Modlin of Ahoskie, North Carolina at the time of this writing.

[4] Hertford County, deed Book D, pages 47-52.

[5] Hertford County, Marriage Register, 1868-1971, vol. 1. On microfilm number c.051.63001, at the North Carolina State Archive, Raleigh, North Carolina.

[6] Raymond Parker Fouts, vol. II, page 109.

[7] Grant no. 167 issued November 17, 1834. File no. 180 as filmed in Secretary of State—Land Office Grant, Warrants, Plats, etc., microfilm no. s.108.736.

[8] Hertford County, Will Book “A”, page 235.

[9] Frances T. Ingmire, Chowan County North Carolina Marriage Records, 1742-1868 (Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, Georgia.

[10] Mary E. Houghton, age 16, was living with her mother, Elizabeth, in Sarah Pettijohn’s household in Chowan County for the 1850 census.

[11] Grant no. 239 issued March 14, 1855. File no. 252 as filmed in Secretary of State—Land Office Grant, Warrants, Plats, etc., microfilm no. s.108.736.

[12] Hertford County, deed Book A, page 573.

[13] Hertford County, deeds 1870, Book A, page 573; 1871, Book A, page 771.

[14] Hertford County, deed Book B, page 189.

[15] Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory for 1884, page 382.

[16] After Amanda died, Nicholas Harrell and his younger children moved to Georgia. I checked the 1910 Soundex for North Carolina and Georgia for John Wilson Harrell and did not find him. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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 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 10 (Immigrants to the 3rd Generation of Hertford County Harrells)

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