McDaniels/McDanolds/McDonalds of Southwest
12/12/2014 12:18:29 PM
The McDaniel family line
begins with Columbus McDaniel
(also spelled McDanold and McDonald) who migrated south from the
upper East Coast through Maryland and into Virginia. He was said to
have been married to Betsy Bishop. When
they came to Virginia isn't known precisely, but their first three daughters
were born in Maryland and the
next child, Solomon, was born
either in Montgomery County, Virginia or Maryland in 1784 so
their arrival in Virginia occurred sometime around 1785.
While Columbus spelled his name "McDaniel" (based on
his will), it is spelled "McDanold" in the bible of the oldest son
of Columbus' son Solomon. Over the years, it evolved to "McDonald."
Various census and land documents show the name both ways in the
While we don't know Columbus' origin or his parents names what
we have been able to establish is very close DNA (both Autosomal
and Y) matches with a family of McDaniels in Berkeley County,
West Virginia, whose earlier ancestor is Alexander who came from
Frederick County, Md., and with one Enos McDaniel who
lived in Bedford County, Pa. and then Bourbon County, Ky.
Our best guess is that Columbus was related to these
individuals, but we don't know whether he was a son, father, or
cousin of one or the other, and because of the scarcity of
written records in the latter half of the 1700's, we likely will
never know. We also continue to believe that Columbus was
related to Jared McDaniel who settled in the Upperville, Va.
settled in the vicinity of Chatham Hill
which is located in Rich Valley about 12 miles
north of the city of Marion. At that time, Chatham
Hill was located in Montgomery or Washington County. Wilson's "Smyth
County" says a Columbia McDonald acquired 148 acres of land, March
4, 1793, on the North side of the Middle Fork Holston river. This
may or may not be the same Columbus McDaniel.
While the name could very
likely have been misread or misspelled, the Middle Fork of the
Holston River lies further south
around Marion. The
portion of the Holston that flows through Chatham Hill is the North
Fork. Virginia Valley Records, Rockingham County
Supplement says that on
Oct. 10, 1797, Michael and
deeded to Columbus McDonald, 180 acres
in Rich Valley,
Wythe County, Virginia, on the North Fork of
the Holston granted to Michael Cassell by patent dated Sept. 6,
1793, and we recently acquired a handwritten document signed by
Columbus McDonald in or prior to 1802 transferring 180 acres to
John Byars (or Byers). The document was witnessed by Elias
Bishop, son-in-law of Columbus who died in 1802.
All of the McDonald family males had
left the Chatham Hill/Marion area and Virginia by the mid-1880s,
although some of the daughters stayed and married into other
families. Those who left migrated northwest to Nebraska. Some went
on to Iowa and several of Columbus' grandchildren continued on to
California in the early 1900's. Records of them in Virginia are
sparse, but there are a few cemetery headstones of Columbus'
grandchildren in the Chatham Hill area. Other than the reference to
Columbia McDaniel purchasing land in 1793, the only specific records
we have found are entries on the 1810 and 1820 censuses referring to
Columbus and his children, and Columbus' will from 1821.
map of the Chatham Hill area
From the 1939 Hurlburt family history:
“So we must start with Columbus, who
is said to have used the spelling MacDanold. He lived in what is now
Smyth county, but what probably then was Montgomery or Wythe,
depending upon what time he came. He is said to have come from
Maryland, and either he or his father to have come earlier from
I have been interested in what Mrs.
Jos. C. Jeffords, 925 Virginia st., Charleston, W. Va. has told of a
Jared who immigrated with several children, who died near
Upperville, Va., in 1824, where his widow died in 1832. In the
records of Fauquier county, Va., the names of the Jared family
appear as McDonald, McDanold, McDaniel. Jared's descendants 40 years
ago were excited about a supposed great estate in Scotland to which
they had claim--and so were Columbus' descendants. Two of Jared's
sons, Jared and Samuel, married Marshall girls, and one of Columbus'
grandsons was Solomon Marshall McDanold. I have what are said to be
the names of all Jared's sons, and since the oldest was only 18
years older than a son of Columbus, Columbus must not have been a
descendant of Jared. But I have thought he might be a brother or
nephew--purely speculative on my part.
Columbus' wife was Betsy and I
suppose they married before coming there. I'm told she was Betsy
Bishop. Her granddaughter was Sarah Bishop McDanold, her
granddaughter, in turn, being Sarah Bishop Sexton. Columbus is said
to have had 2 or 3 sons. I was told that one was Amon, but it may
have been Absolom, as Mrs. Nan Gaddy told me there was a son,
Absolom, and I think he drowned leaving no family.”
Hurlburt family history (PDF)
What we know about Columbus McDaniel is
He is alleged to have come from
Maryland and possibly earlier the upper East Coast.
reported years of birth of his children, he migrated to
Virginia between 1780 and 1795.
He died in 1821 in Wythe Co., (now
Smyth Co.) Virginia.
appears as "Columbus McDaniel” on his last
will and testament.
He appears on the 1810 United States
Census and was shown living in Wythe Co., Virginia.
the Hurlburt history, Columbus
was married to Betsy Bishop who apparently died before him as
she is not shown on his last will and testament, nor is she
included in the 1820 census. While nothing has been found on
Betsy, their daughters Teresa and Sarah Salley, named daughters
Elizabeth Bishop. The name Bishop was used extensively as a
middle name for sons and daughters throughout the various
families connected to the McDaniels. We suspect that Betsy
was related to the Bishop family into which her sister
Teresa McDaniel married (Elias Bishop, son of Joseph Bishop
and Sarah Bouton), but there is no proof of that
Columbus and Betsy had at
least seven children as shown below.
will transcription, dated July
20, 1821 - -
(note: daughters Sarah, Orpha, and Elisabeth don't appear in the
will, however, their husbands do: John Hutton, Martin Bonham, and
Robert McReynolds. The sole daughter mentioned, Tary Wolf [Teresa]
was married to Phillip Wolfe in 1802, but it's likely he died prior
to 1821. In the following extract the name of John Helton should
read "John Hutton." This is clear from the full handwritten will
further below. There are inconsistencies between the extract and the
handwritten version. First, John Marshall is mentioned separately
from the others in the next paragaph and the entry says, "John
Marshals heir" (or heirs). Secondly, in the section mentioning John
Marshal, the will specifically states that Tary McDaniel's share of
the estate will descend to her first two children.)
In the name of God Amen
McDaniel of the County of Wythe and State of Virginia being
weak of body but of sound mind and memory knowing that it is
appointed Once for all men to die do make and ordain this my
last Will and Testament as follows to wit:
First I give and bequeath to Tary Wolf
(late Tary Bishop), Robert McReynolds, Martin Bonham,
Solomon McDaniel, John Hutton & Absalom McDaniel an equal
part of my Estate real and personal (except as herein after
mentioned) which is to be sold by my Executor to the best
advantage at two years credit except the land & that to be
divided in yearly payments and to be rented untill there
will be an opportunity for getting the value of it.
Secondly I give and
bequeath to John Marshals heirs an equal part of my estate
with those above mentioned. The part I here give Tary Wolf
to descend to her first children (William Elias, Betsy
Bishop) at her death.
Lastly, I hereby constitute and appoint
Solomon McDaniel my Executor of this my last Will and
Testament and hereby revoke & make void all other Wills and
Testaments by me made.
whereof I have hereby set my hand and seal this 20th day of
Acknowledge in presence of
Andrew H. Cox
At the Court held for Wythe County
the 11th day of September 1821.
This the last Will & Testament of
Columbus McDanield Dec? was presented in Court & approved by
the oaths of Robert Graham, John Dougherty & Andrew H. Cox
the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be
recorded. And on the motion of Solomon McDaniel the Executor
named in the said will who entered into Bond with William
Hays & John Dougherty his securities in the sum of three
thousand dollars. Conditioned as the law directs and took
the oath required by law probate of the said will is granted
herein in due form.
W. Mathews CC
View the handwritten will
extensive research on Columbus McDaniel, but haven't been able to
turn up any additional information about him except for some
speculation (in the Hurlburt history above) that he may have been
related to a Jared McDonald who settled in Upperville, Virginia and
died there in 1824. This undocumented speculation goes to the issue
of the relationship, if any, between Columbus and Jared since some
family names are common between the two. Those include the names
Marshall and Solomon. In the late 1980’s my wife and I visited a
cemetery in Upperville (we lived in the Maryland suburbs of
Washington, D.C. at the time) and found several McDonald gravesites.
None of the given names, however, matched anything we have on the
Columbus McDaniel side. Another piece of speculation is that
Columbus’ parents were possibly James McDaniel and Orpha Bowie, but
again, there’s no evidence, DNA or otherwise, to support this.
GENERATION 2 (click on
the names to follow their families):
Jenny (Tary) McDaniel
Bishop "Salley" McDaniel
Born about 1787 in Montgomery Co., Va (now
Smyth), he died about 1813 in Wythe Co. (now Smyth).
Little is known about Amon other than he wasn't married and had
no children. His death was said to have been by drowning.