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To Everyone Researching The McDanel Family, Please read.

Replies: 10

Re: To Everyone Researching The McDanel Family, Please read.

Posted: 1277864389000
Classification: Query
Surnames: McDanel
As requested, here is some of the information I have on the progenitors of the entire McDanel Family of Beaver County Pa.

The following excerpt (in part) is from the "Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver County," Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1914, Page 915

"It is no extraordinary occurrence, in fact it is a daily happening, for one of a family to be seized with a desire for new scenes, new faces, new opportunities, and new life. It is, however, worthy of more than passing mention, when an entire generation hears the call of the wanderlust, leaves home and parents, and fares forth into a strange, undeveloped country, whence come stories of wild men and beasts far wilder than the stories. But such was the truth in the case of five McDanel brothers - William, Eli, Smith, John, and Joseph, who came to America from Scotland prior to the Revolution. All purchased large tracts of land in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, on which they erected, after clearing the land, homes of logs, the farm owned at the present time by Samuel McDanel, being one of those originally belonging to the five brothers. They were the American fathers of a family that has become a large and prominent one in Pennsylvania, and from which branches have spread into the neighboring states."

Although the five aforementioned brothers appear to be the progenitors of the actual McDanel surname in Beaver County, they were not the only McDanel family to come to Beaver County. There were potentially sisters and/or first cousins that came as well. One was Eliza McDanel mentioned in another of the posts in this thread, wife of Samuel Hazen. Another is Rachel McDanel (1783 - 1847), wife of Samuel Mecklem. Rachel is a sister of the five brothers.

Several areas of my research bear mentioning:

I have every reason to believe, the above text was provided to the writers by Richard Baxter McDanel, son of Abraham & Anna Moore McDanel, and grandson of William - eldest of the five brothers. Bear in mind, the account was provided circa 1913 - 1914, over one hundred years after the family migrated to Beaver County.

In the account, I have reason to believe a couple of inaccuracies exist.

First is the reference in the above excerpt to "leaves home and parents." Although it is quite possible the five brothers arrived in Beaver County first, I am 100% positive their parents either came with them or arrived at a later time. I base this fact on a copy I have of Archibald McDanel's (father of the five brothers) last will and testament, which was recorded in the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas on the 23rd of July 1819. It specifically bequeathed his belongings to his wife Margaret, the five brothers (by name), and three daughters - Mary, Rachel, and Eliza. Footnotes to this paragraph are two point of interest. 1. Archibald's wife is quite often mistakenly referred to as Rachel in many of the on-line trees. Possibly a middle or actual first name; or quite possibly a mistake. 2. Specifically addressed to Carolyn (, I am not sure your Eliza you refer to as the daughter of Jethro McDanel, is not the Eliza in the above referenced will. I would love to compare notes and sources with you.

Second, is the reference in the above excerpt to "who came to America from Scotland prior to the Revolution," implying the five brothers immigrated to America. Our McDanel immigration to America occurred quite some time prior to the Revolution. Dr. James Roy Harris of Orem Utah, Professor Emeritus Ancient Studies, a McDanel descendent via Rachel McDanel Mecklem's line, and an earlier researcher of the family, who made several trips to Scotland and Ireland, documents in a 1991 publication (in which most of the research occurred during the 1960s and 70s) (and again, which I have a copy of) the original immigrant to America as Brian MacDonnell (Brian McDonald) (note McDonald is the anglicized version of MacDonnell). For you fellow history enthusiasts, Brian is reported to have been a lieutenant in Colonel Thomas Tool's Irish Volunteer Regiment in the cause of King James II at the Battle of Boyne. On a land grant dated November 18, 1689, prior to his immigration, Brian obtained 590 acres on William Penn Jr.'s Manor in one of the "three lower counties" of colonial Pennsylvania, which would eventually become the state of Delaware. The land was in or near the village of Brandywine Springs on the Red Clay Creek, in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County (Delaware), six miles west of Wilmington. Brian reportedly immigrated to the colonies from County Wicklow, Ireland, circa 1691. According to Dr. Harris, our line, (Archibald McDanel - father of the five brothers), descends from Brian's brother Archibald, who immigrated at some point soon after his brother (Brian), and also settling in Mill Creek Hundred. Brian's brother Archibald is apparently the first in four successive generations of Archibalds. Brian's brother Archibald, which I'll refer to as Archibald Sr. and an unknown wife, had Archibald Jr. who married Abigail [unknown maiden name]. Archibald Jr., subsequently had Archibald III who married Margaret Smidt (anglicized Smith - and reportedly the namesake for the numerous given names of Smith in the McDanel, Mecklem, and Hazen families, e.g., Smith McDanel Hazen, for one!), who in turn, had Archibald IV, born c. 1751, and married Margaret [unknown maiden name] - parents of the five brothers, who died in Beaver County c. 1819.

I hope everyone is following along! I'm getting confused typing this small dissertation!

Of note in Dr. Harris' work is one of the earliest remaining headstones (and that may have been 30 to 40 years ago) in Delaware is that of a Mary McDanell (note the spelling) who "departed life on September 11, 1743." Also, the fact one of the earliest known works on this family was Frank V. McDaniel's (again note the spelling), "Contributions to the Early History of Bryan McDonald and Family," Winterburn, Cambridge U. Press, 1878.

It probably goes without saying, but, it appears during the early 19th century and before, the names of MacDonnell, McDonald, McDaniel, McDaniels, McDanel, McDanell, McDannel, etc., were often used by our early ancestors. Obviously, it would be an insurmountable project to piece all of our clan back together. However, I have set a personal goal of patching together all of the Beaver County descendents of this family. If you are a descendent of a known Beaver County ancestor of this family, I would love for you to send me a "Register Report," if you are a Family Tree Maker user, from your earliest Beaver County ancestor. I would also consider establishing a McDanel Family gathering place at Ancestry's My Family site, if there is enough interest. There, and by invitation only, I would post much of this information I have gathered.

Finally, and I could go on, I am the gggg grandson of Eli (1788-1874). I am a genealogist with OCD!!! LOL!!! Is there any other type? As such, I consider all information I have gathered on Eli's line to be 100% accurate. I do not exude same confidence regarding the other lines. Much of the information on collateral lines has come from fellow researchers. As mentioned in a previous posting in this thread, my trees can be viewed at both Rootsweb and Ancestry. The tree on Ancestry in maintained more frequently than the one on Rootsweb.

I'll be glad to entertain any further inquiries, but please do not always expect this detailed a response (this took me all evening!) or this timely a response!

Kevin Futato
Marion Township, Pennsylvania
(sight of first McDanel land purchased in Beaver County)
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Robertsdotter 1233000635000 
Heather McDan... 1241578984000 
bpiwetz 1277440322000 
wvdonna62 1277578052000 
kejafu 1277779639000 
bpiwetz 1277791051000 
Robertsdotter 1277815903000 
wvdonna62 1277831202000 
kejafu 1277864389000 
Robertsdotter 1277902019000 
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