Saturday, July 4, 2015

Daniel Mitchell, Patriot

Robert Mitchell (1714-1799) immigrated to Pequea, Pennsylvania, from Londonderry, Ireland. He later migrated to Bedford County, Virginia, where he became a prominent land owner. He and his wife, Mary Ennis, Enos, or Innis had several children, including a son named Daniel. Daniel's descent from Robert Mitchell is validated by Robert Mitchell's will, dated 23 April 1781 and proved on 25 Feb 1799:

"...To my son Daniel I give 100 acres of land where he now lives...Executrix and Executor: my wife, sons Daniel and Samuel."

Daniel married a woman named Margaret and together they had nine children. Daniel died intestate about 1821. In 1828 Daniel's son, Stephen, filed a bill of complaint in the Virginia Chancery Court against his widowed mother and others. In that bill of complaint he states his father died about 7 years ago. His father owned a parcel of land consisting of 133 acres in Bedford County near Otter and Falling creeks. The widow and nine children were to receive equal amounts of that land. However, Stephen believed sub-dividing the parcel into ten portions would devalue the land and wanted the court to order the sale of the property. Then the heirs would divide the cash.

Snippet of Virginia Chancery Court Cause No. 1831-019

In Stephen's initial bill of complaint eight of the ten heirs are named:
  • Margaret Mitchell, widow of said decedent and heir of Robert Mitchell, decedent
  • William Mitchell
  • Gabriel Mattox and Polly his wife late Polly Mitchell
  • James H. Mitchell
  • Jesse Mitchell
  • Daniel Mitchell
  • Samuel Mitchell
  • William Stephens and Matilda wife, late Matilda Mitchell
Only seven children are named in the initial bill of complaint. I do not know who the other two children may be. Perhaps they were minors? Perhaps they had already been given their portions? I know they were still living. It also appears that this bill of complaint supports the theory that Daniel Mitchell was the son of Robert Mitchell.

Snippet of Virginia Chancery Court Cause No. 1831-019

And that's the rub...

J. T. McAllister's Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data and John H Gwathmey's Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775-1783, Volumes I and II both list a Daniel Mitchell who took his oath of office on 24 May 1779 and served in the Virginia Militia as an ensign.

I went to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) website and searched their Genealogical Research System (GRS). An applicant had successfully proved that Daniel Mitchell served in the Revolutionary War and was Ancestor No. A080447. I purchased the application and later the supporting documentation.

It appears, if the application and supporting research are correct, that the Daniel Mitchell, who served as an Ensign in the Virginia Militia is not the son of Robert Mitchell. Instead, he was the son of Robert's brother, Daniel Mitchell, who likely emigrated from Ireland with brother Robert and migrated to Bedford County, Virginia at the same time.

This Daniel Mitchell had a son in about 1750 also named Daniel who married Judy Pruitt. Son Daniel's will was probated in 1822 in Shelby County, Kentucky. It is this Daniel Mitchell, who was the proven patriot and not my Daniel Mitchell.

Snippet from the DAR application of Rosemary Bradford Skirm,
descendant of Daniel Mitchell, Patriot

I still have lots to do to verify this is correct. I only have the Chancery Court Case as a source document for my Daniel Mitchell. So I need to collect a lot of offline records from Bedford County, if they exist, to learn more about him and read Robert Mitchell of Londonderry Ireland and Some of Descendants in the United States, which was compiled Stith Thompson and is available on Ancestry.com!

I'm sure I'll discover more blogging fodder. But in the meantime, this Independence Day, I am celebrating the service of Ensign Daniel Mitchell (c1750-c1822) my four times great grand uncle.

As an aside, the Mitchell family immigrants and their early descendants have given me fits. They are all named Robert or Daniel and they always seemed to move west into the wilderness where records of any type were extremely rare.

Update 9/26/2015: Tina Taunton Boutall's comment on this post cleared up a lot of issues I was having with sea of Robert and Daniel Mitchells connected to my trees in ways I do not have totally solved. First, and most confusingly, an entire generation was erased due to the similarities of wives' maiden names.

A Robert Mitchell of Scottish heritage married Mary Innes and lived in northern Ireland. Among other children, they had two sons, Robert Mitchell and Daniel Mitchell. Both of these sons immigrated to what became the United States. The son, Robert Mitchell, married Mary Enos in Delaware and they are the Robert and Mary Mitchell that removed to Bedford County, Virginia. Robert and Mary (Enos) Mitchell had several children two of which were named Robert and Daniel Mitchell.

The original Robert Mitchell of Ireland and his wife, Mary Innes' son, Daniel, married Mary Caldwell. They also had two sons they named Robert and Daniel. It is their son, Daniel, who served in the Revolutionary War.

6 comments:

  1. I descend from Daniel Mitchell and Judith Prewitt. No disrespect but this info is incorrect. Feel free to contact me at tinaboutall@gmail.com. - Tina Mitchell Boutall

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  2. I am still looking for the parents of my block wall, Joseph Mitchell (or Michell or Mithcel) born c 1791 in North Carolina. He married a Sarah MNU born c 1792 in Virginia. Found a Sarah Harrison who married a Joseph Mitchell in Greensville VA and seems to be related to a Robert Mitchell. DNA says we are related to Campbell, McCutcheon, Thompson and Rayburn all from PA and Augusta VA areas at some point.

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    1. Be sure to read my update to this post. In it I correct some mistakes I made and it may be more helpful in your search for Joseph Mitchell. http://tangledrootsandtrees.blogspot.com/2016/07/revisiting-daniel-mitchell-patriot.html As far as I know, Joseph Mitchell is not a son of brothers Daniel (<1714-c1775) or Robert Mitchell (1714-1799), who were sons of the original Mitchell immigrant, also named Robert Mitchell

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  3. Thanks Schalene! I guess I should check this email account more often than I do! You may be correct. I have popped for the Big Y dna test at FTDNA. Hopefully, it will help resolve this line, eventually. I did find some Mitchell cousins that married into the Payne and Edwards lines in Georgia, but they may not be directly related to Joseph either.

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    1. The mystery continues. Got the BigY results back from FTDNA and it appears my Mitchells were probably Campbells at one point. Very few folks have tested in our genetic block, but it seems to relate to the Campbell family in Inverary Castle. I guess the results will be analyzed further to refine haplos and matches, but it could take years before they get around to it.

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    2. I know the Mitchell family I descend from was Scottish but I don't know where in Scotland they were from. I know some of them settled in Londonderry and some from that group came to the American colonies.

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