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!

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.


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

  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.

    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. 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

  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.

    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.

    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.

  4. The younger Daniel married Judith Pruitt, a widow of an unknown Pruitt. She was the daughter to Thomas Watkins who lived on 700 acres on Falling River. This is proven by a sale by Daniel and Judith, in Kentucky, of those same 700 acres to he brother Absalom Watkins, recorded in Campbell County in 1793, The 700 acres were originally in Bedford County, but became Campbell County in 1782.

    I believe Judith was the eldest, with brothers Absalom, Samuel, and Thomas (maybe others). They might of been under age when their father died, 700 acres and rights to slaves were hers as long as she remained unmarried.

    Brian Walls, Columbia MD and Winchester, VA

    1. Thank you, Brian. I will make the correction to Judith in my tree.

    2. Judith Prewitt was the daughter of Michael Prewitt Sr and Elizabeth Simpkins. Will proved Shelby County KY. She was not Watkins' daughter.

  5. Brian... Respectfully, not so. Judith was indeed daughter of Michael Prewitt. The surveyor Thomas Watkins had a fond affection for Judith and in his 1769 will noted this: "if Judith should or does live as she now is, unmarried (underlined), and in good repute, not giving any just cause of a stain on her character as a virgin until after my decease..." she was to get the land he was leaving to his wife. That's the 700 acres you mention. So her unmarried name was Judith Prewitt, and she was a virgin, so not a young widow. Michael Prewitt, her father, was assigned with Joshua Morris to be executors of the will and "handsomely rewarded for their troubles." (Will Book 1, p. 188, Bedford County, VA.) Daniel Mitchell, later husband of Judith, traveled with Michael Prewitt to Fayette Co., KY which later became Jessamine County in 1792. Daniel and Judith named a child "Michael Prewitt Mitchell." Another was named "Robert Prewitt Mitchell," for a brother. Hope this helps. Scott Fisher, Salt Lake City

  6. I just located this... the 1798 will of Michael Prewitt naming "Judy Mitchell" as his daughter.
    Item... all my house hold and kitchen furniture together with my still and plantation utenshals (sic) be equally divided amongst my Eight children to wit, James Prewet, Judy Mitchell, Elisher (sic) Prewet, Michael Prewet, Byrd Prewet, Joseph Prewet, Robert Prewet, and Joshua Prewet, to them and their heirs forever I do appoint my sons Elisha Prewet, David Mitchell, Byrd Prewet and Joseph Prewet, Robert Prewet, Executors to this my last will.

    In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal.

    Michael Prewet (Seal)

    Scott Fisher / Salt Lake City

    1. Scott, thank you for taking the time to clear up the debate about who Judith’s father was and providing the text of the will of Michael Prewitt.

  7. Hello

    I've been reading your fascinating blog about the problems of sorting out the Mitchells. I too, have hit a snag in my research regarding my GGG Grandfather Bedford Mitchell born 1802 in Kentucky. I can't seem to find out who his parents were. I know he received a land grant (200+ acres), owned a slave, and was married twice. He had a son from his first marriage (a son also named Bedford) and several children from his second marriage. Two of his children from his second marriage were Greenville McNeel Mitchell and Beverly Crump Mitchell (my great great grandfather). Greenville McNeel was a big shot in the Civil War (retired as a Brigadier General eventually). Considering this, I'm surprised I can't find out more about Bedford other than he died in Coles County, Illinois in 1856. Someone, somewhere has to know something. Bedford, Greenville and Beverly (for a man) are unusual names. I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.


    Lori Mitchell Lisanti

  8. Oh My Goodness!! I am also tracing my husbands line of MITCHELL's, but I am trying to get beyond 1830 in Mitchell TWP, St Frncis Co, Arkansas. My current positively identified mitchell is Joshua Mitchell. He had 2 wives, #1 Elminia Layne and #2 Delphia Serenia Hawk. I have no positive identity for his father. He shows up in the 1840 census for Mitchell TWP, Poinsett Co, Ark. next to Andrew Mitchell, Both are close in age 20-30 yrs. There is a Daniel C. Mitchell 50=60 yrs nextdoor. There is also an Eliza, William and an Allen, all MITCHELL's and in same age range of 20-40 yrs.
    Jump back to 1830 Census and Daniel 40-50, as well as, SAMUEL 40-50 is listed in Mitchell TWP, St Francis Co, Ark. Looking for a tip to find where they migrated from.