Sunday, April 25, 2010

Will of Rev. James McNeil (c1763-c 1834)

Will of James McNiel (c 1763-c 1834)

22 Jul 1833 , Reddies River, Wilkes County, North Carolina

Rev. James McNEIL (c1763-1834), son of Elder George and Mary (COATS) McNEIL

James McNiel's Will, Wilkes County, North Carolina, Book 4, p. 179

In the name of God Amen, I James McNiel of Reddies River Wilkes County State of North Carolina being weak in body but of Sound mind and perfect memory and considering the uncertainty of this present life do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following viz. In the first place I commend my soul to God who gave it and my body to be decently buried at my decease at the discretion of my Wife and family the expenses whereof and all my just debts to be discharged as soon as expedient. 2nd as to worldly substance it has pleased God to bless me with, I have already given the following amounts first to my oldest son Larkin McNiel Decd the sum of three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and to John McNiel my second son three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and unto my son Simeon Eller three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and unto George McNiel the sum of three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and unto William McNiel the sum of three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and unto Oliver McNiel the sum of three hundred and twenty five Dollars, and in the next place I give and bequeath unto my other two daughters to Wit Nancy and Rebecca the tract of land and Mill which I purchased of the estate of Robert Viars decd. which I price at three Hundred Dollars, also each of them a Horse worth twenty five Dollars and a good bed furniture to each of them worth thirty Dollars and each of them a Cow and Calf worth ten Dollars, and all that the above lacks of making the sum of three Hundred twenty five Dollars to each of them to be made up to them a good Saddle and bridle, and Hock or Household and Kitchen furniture to make them equal to the first mentioned children. And unto my youngest Son Eli I give and beqeath all the balance of the land whereon I now live which I have not deeded to William and Oliver McNiel to be his at the death of his mother which I price at three Hundred Dollars, also the young colt and the yoke of oxen (illegible here) which is in my will that he have (illegible) think expedient, and the colt when he arrives at the age of Twenty One years, which will make him equal with the aforementioned children. And then it is my will that my beloved Wife Polly have full possession and enjoy the benefit of the said tract of land as long as she lives if she thus prefer to do so. And all the balance of my estate I leave with her for the purpose of paying my debts and making up the two aforementioned daughters, to Wit, Nancy and Rebecca equal with the rest and for her own proper use and benefit. And that she have full power after all the children be made equal the sum of three Hundred and twenty five Dollars each, to dispose of the balance as she may think proper among the children, and lastly, I leave my beloved Wife Executrix and my Son William Executor to this my last Will and testament, revoking all other wills by me heretofore made. In Witness whereof I the said James McNiel have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this 22d day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand eight Hundred and thirty three and in the presence of these Subscribing Witnesses.

Test James McNiel
Larkin Shepherd
Thomas McNiel

Letter written by G. W. McNeil, Sr. 28 May 1898

Letter written by G. W. McNeil, Sr. 28 May 1898

28 May 1898 , Maple Springs, Wilkes, North Carolina

From" George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," by James W. Hook, 1957, New Haven, CN, pg. 400-404. [This book is on-line in's Card Catalogue. and in many libraries]

The following important letter written in 1898 by George W. McNiel Sr.3, son of Thomas McNiel2 and grandson of Rev. George McNiel1 was published in the memorial booklet above referred to. It helps to name and identify descendants of Rev. McNiel. Maple Springs, Wilkes Co., N. C., May 28, 1898. ' Mr. W. H. Eller,' Dear Cousin and Friend: - With respect to you I will answer your kind letter of June 25, 1896, hoping that you will excuse my neglect of not answering sooner. 'I will gladly give you all the information concerning the McNeils in Wilkes that I am able. My grandfather, George McNeil, came from Scotland and his two brothers, John and Thomas, also came from Scotland. They left their native land, looking back with love as long as they could see a green leaf, on account of their religious freedom. George McNeil, my grandfather, came into the State of Virginia and married a Miss Coats, and as the country settled up, being a Baptist minister by profession, was called for to constitute Baptist churches and to attend as pastor of Baptist churches. He came into Grayson County, Va., after which he came into Wilkes County, N. C., and constituted and attended churches here. He attended more or less churches down the Yadkin River. He was pastor of a church near the head of the Yadkin River. He lived in Wilkes County in about two and one-half miles of New Hope church on the north fork of Lewis' Fork Creek. He was afterwards registrar of deeds of Wilkes County (this was about the date of 1802). His son, William McNeil, volunteered in the war of Revolution, and his son, Joseph McNeil, said he would volunteer and go with William, but he was not old enough. George McNeil and wife lived near the farm of Esq. Henry Lenderman, late deceased; from this union six sons and two daughters were raised, viz.; John, who married a Cleveland and who lived near Greenville, S. C., where Col. Benj. Cleveland, the hero of King's Mountain, lived; my uncle, William McNeil, moved to the State of Tennessee, Clayborn Co.; my uncle, James McNeil, settled in Ashe County, but moved to Redie's River in Wilkes and married a Miss Shepherd - they raised six sons and three daughters; uncle Joseph McNeil lived on the homestead of his father and married a Miss Wilson and they raised three sons and three daughters. The Rev. James McNeil, his second son, was well known by his friends as a Baptist minister, living near Moravian Falls, N. C., at the time of his death, and was a faithful and respected preacher of great ability. The eldest son of Jos. McNeil, being named Larkin, married a Ferguson and raised three sons named respectively, Franklin, John and Milton; Franklin being a soldier of 1861. The Rev. Milton McNeil, and family are well known in the county of Wilkes. My uncle, Benj. McNeil living on South Lewis Fork, three miles from old Lewis Fork Baptist Church, married a Miss Lips and raised seven sons and one daughter, all moving west but Enoch McNeil, who died near Moravian Falls in the year of 1865 or 1866. 'My father, Thos. McNeil, married a Miss Parsons, being a daughter of Rev. James Parsons, of Surry County, living on New River, near the Old Fields in Ashe County, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He labored as a Baptist minister in Ashe and Wilkes Counties. 'You stated that you wanted me to give information about any ministers living at that time. I will give the names of Rev. Thomas Proffit and Rev. Smith Ferguson, who won many friends. 'My father, Thos. McNeil, and my mother raised three sons and three daughters. The oldest being named James and being near fifty years of age, who died near Salisbury in the service of the Southern States on Feb. 16, 1855. The second son, Jesse McNeil, died from typhoid fever at his father's home on North Lewis Fork on the date of June 8, 1830, being near twenty years of age. I, the youngest. My father, Thos. McNeil, lived to the great age of eighty-three years. He died September 8, 1865, He had two sisters not yet mentioned in this article. Their names were: Elizabeth and Polly respectively. Elizabeth married Robt. Bingham, of the State of Virginia, being a Revolutionary soldier and living once near Hall's Store, Stony Hill. They raised three sons named respectively William, Joel and George; Esq. George Bingham, of Watauga County, raised five sons, one of whom, Maj. Harvey Bingham, well known by many friends, went to the Senate of North Carolina in 1876. Mr. Thos. Bingham, having many friends, represented Watauga County three times in Legislature of North Carolina. Esq. John Bingham and Dr. Philmore Bingham are known by many friends. My aunt, Polly McNeil, married, Mr. Henry Miller, a son of Uncle William Miller, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and lived on the farm where Mr. F. D. Hall now lives on the south fork of Lewis Fork Creek. They raised two daughters, one married a Parks, the other a Lankford. Mr. Harry Miller lived on a farm in Caldwell County on the Yadkin River, moving from there to the State of Illinois; Uncle Henry Miller's grandaughter wrote to me giving her name as Mrs. Clarisa Rebecca Parks. My uncle, James McNeil, raised his family on Redie's River, having six sons and three daughters, the oldest named Larkin; others were John, George, William, Oliver and Eli. Fanny, married Capt. Simeon Eller, Rebecca, married the Rev. John Vannoy, a Baptist minister well known in Wilkes and Ashe; the younger sister being Nancy and married Edward J. Dancy, who lived in the town of Wilkesboro about the date of 1840. 'I further state that I was acquainted with Esq. John McNeil, Jr. He lived in Overton County, Tenn. He visited North Carolina about the date of 1840. His grandfather was uncle James McNeil, Sr. His widowed mother was a Miss Vannoy. He has or had four brothers, viz; John, Jesse, Neil and James. The Rev. John Vannoy, a Baptist minister who married Miss Rebecca McNeil, lived in Ashe County on Beaver Creek. He was pastor of the old Baptist church at Beaver Creek many years. They had many friends as far as they were known, and raised quite a large family of children, four sons and four daughters, viz.: Jesse, William, James and Wiley, Mary, Louisa, Tilda. Mr. James Eller, of Wilkes County, married Louisa and Henry Hardin married Miss Tilda. The latter named moved to Colorado. Mr. Jesse Vannoy was in the late war of the '60's and died there. So I will not write any more. I have given the most important history according to my knowledge of the McNeils in Wilkes. 'With my best wishes I will now close. Your friend and cousin, G. W. McNeil, Sr.'

Will of John McNeil (c1758-1848)

Will of John McNeil (c1758-1848)
1 Jan 1848 , Franklin County, Georgia

Abstract of the Will of Rev. John McNeil (c 1758-1848), son of Rev. George and Mary (Coats) McNeil, written 1 Jan 1848 and probated 1 May 1848 in Franklin County, Georgia

Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1926, Chas. P. Byrd, publisher, Atlanta, GA [this book is on-line on microfilm on and in many libraries]

Vol. I, p. 314, Index of Will Book B, Franklin County, GA, 1848-1867
John McNeil
Jan. 1 1848--May 1, 1848

" Of advanced age." Wife Frances with whom I have lived in social quietude 62 years; son Benjamin, daus. Jerutha McNeil, Francis Looney, property of both to be in trust of son Benjamin McNeil, who with "wife Frances" Exrs. Wittnesses: John McFarland, Elijah Griffin

Note: His wife was Frances "Fannie" Cleveland and daughter Frances Looney was Sarah Frances "Fannie" Cleveland Looney, married to Noah Looney

All Rights Reserved
Teresa McVeigh 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Elder George McNEIL (c 1720-1805)

Elder George McNEIL was born abt 1720 in Glasglow, Scotland and died 7 Jun 1805 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. According to family tradition, he was educated to be a Presbyterian minister, but after his arrival in Virginia he became a Baptist minister. About 1750 he moved to North Carolina and eventually settled in the area that is now Wilkes County. He is listed there on the 1790 and 1800 Censuses. He marched and served as chaplain with the forces of Col. Benjamin CLEVELAND which fought at the Battle of King's Mountain  October 7,1780, a pivotal victory by the American Patriots against the Bristish forces in the Southern Campaign.

26 Oct 1905 a granite marker was erected at the grave of Rev. George McNeil in the family cemetery at Parsonsville, Wilkes County, North Carolina, according to the book "George Michael Eller and his Descendants..." by James W. Hook (New Haven, CN, 1957).

Front face of Memorial to Elder George McNEILL 
Elder George
Was Born
In Glasglow
In or About
The year 1820
And departed
This life
June 7, 1805

Back face of Memorial to Elder George McNEILL

He was one of the
pioneer Baptist
Preachers and org
anizers of the Yadkin
and later of the
Mountain District
Baptist Associations
who was a patriotic
citizen and companion
of the American
Army in the War
of the Revolution

Committee members to erect the memorial (all descendants of George McNEILL)
Committe [sic]

Thanks for the photos from A Family Tree: Roots to Buds

All Rights Reserved
Teresa McVeigh

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Morgan Harbin Looney, Doc Holliday, and Margaret Mitchell

John Henry "Doc" Holliday (1851-1887) was the son of Henry Burroughs and Alice Jane McKey Holliday. Henry's brother was Dr. John Stiles Holliday. In 1855 John began construction of a Greek Revival style house in Fayetteville, GA and it was completed in 1856.

Pg. 32-33
[The house]
was on loan to the Fayetteville Seminary for use as faculty headquarters and a student dorm. Dr. [John] Holliday served as a trustee of the school, which was originally slated to be named Fayetteville Female Seminary. By the time it actually opened, it was the Fayetteville Academy. The new school was built on land that had been owned by Uncle James Johnson [married to Henry Burroughs Holliday's sister] before the school trustees purchased it from him for one hundred and fifty dollars. They, in turn, sold it to the academy for a mere five dollars. Located two blocks south of the courthouse, the school opened in 1857 as a coeducational institution. It gained considerable renown when the trustees, including Dr. Holliday, contracted with the highly regarded Morgan Harbin Looney and his brother George Cleveland Looney on January 16, 1857. The quality of the academy was important to the citizens because there was no public school until 1872 in Fayette County. The Looney brothers fulfilled everyone's expectations as the academy became well known over the entire state of Georgia. Dr. Holliday enrolled his sons, George and Robert, in the Academy.

John Henry was schooled at home, then went to an academy in Griffin, GA. He later went to Dental School, moved out west and became a gunslinger.

Abstracted from the book "Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait" by Karen Holliday Tanner, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1998

Off the Georgia Encyclopedia page for Fayetteville, GA

Led by Morgan Harbin Looney, the academy became known as Fayetteville Seminary. Margaret Mitchell's grandmother was one of its early pupils. In the 1930s, as Mitchell was researching her novel Gone With the Wind (1936), she came to Fayetteville and visited the graves of her great-grandfather's family, many of whom were buried in the city's cemetery. These ancestors formed the basis for Mitchell's O'Hara clan. Scarlett O'Hara herself attended the fictional Fayetteville Female Academy in Gone With the Wind, and her character was based on stories that Mitchell's grandmother told.