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The Family and Descendants of John ISBELL of Virginia and England.

     These pages are a work in progress on the Isbell (Isbill) family.  They represent a summary of the many databases (some accurate, others somewhat questionable) and the isolated facts (or fables) I have found in over 20 years of research.  John apparently came to Virginia in 1664 and his sons, John (Jr.?) and William, followed in 1667 and 1669 respectively.  The two sons were surveyors, William being listed in Nugent's British Records as a surveyor.  John (Sr.) or his ancestors came from England. Some say that the Isbell line was originally French, claiming a descent line from Charlemagne's daughter, Isbell...or possibly even Norman-French; and the line came to England with William the Conqueror (William of Normandy) when he took the throne.  It is thought that the English and Scotish Isbells descend from Sir William Isabelle or Isbell of Normandy.  Still others suggest that the Isbell line is much older and originated in Spain in the first century A.D.

     Part of the Virginia Isbell family came into East Tennessee Valley in the 18th century, and were among those early pioneers who formed the Watauga Association in 1772 (in the current Elizabethton area).  Zachariah Isbell was listed as one of the first 13 commissioners of the association.  As the the settlements grew, many of the Isbell family settled in the Sweetwater Valley of Monroe Co., TN.  It is from this part of the Isbell family that my wife has her maternal roots.

     This database also includes other lines of the family, many of which went south from Virginia into the Carolinas, and then west into Georgia, Alabama and beyond.  Included are lines going into Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.  Some go still further west.  It is my desire to document as many of these lines as I can and include them in these pages.  As you look at these lineages, you may see yourself or a close relative.  I will make every attempt to protect the privacy of those individuals that are felt to be living by only including their name.  For those living, dates and places will be omitted.  Should you see data in these pages that you wish not to be included, please contact me and I will correct or remove the item.  I wish to thank the many Isbell families and descendants that have shared their family lineage with me either directly or indirectly (via my wife's family), with special thanks to Bonnie Isbell Hall, Peggy Isbell Hall, Ray Isbell, Frank Isbell, R.T. Lee, Jr., and Joy Locke plus many others.  As new information is obtained, I will update these pages.  Corrections and additions are invited.


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Copyright © 2001 by Ben N. Benson, M.D.