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Joseph Neeley (1776 - 1849) & Elizabeth Houston (1773-1870)

We believe that Joseph is the son of:

Samuel Alexander Neeley & Elizabeth Montgomery

who were at Fort Chiswell and owned land on the New River of south-west Virginia.  Alexander  served in the Revolution. He was a long hunter and helped to explore and settle the Cumberland River area. His heirs received a pre-emption land grant in what is now Sumner Co TN near present-day Nashville. Alexander was killed by Indians in 1790.

We believe Joseph to be the son of Samuel Alexander Neeley/Neely because:

  • of the inventory and land division of Alexander Neeley found in the loose records of Sumner Co TN.  In 1796, his land was divided between three sons or their heirs...John, William and Joseph. Maybe they divided the land at this time (6 yrs after Alex's death) because William was older and had been farming the land. John was dead and his two sons would inherit his one-third. Joseph would have been 20 years old and newly married. His first child Henry was born in 1796 in NC. TN was still a part of NC at this time. (This has caused confusion)

  • Our Joseph and Elizabeth's daughter Phoebe Neeley Baker was born near Nashville in 1799 according to the Sagamon Co., Illinois History book. In the division of Joseph's estate, he names all of his children and mentions daughter Phoebe married to William Baker. (Phoebe's son James was later to be known as Jim Baker, Mountain Man)

  • The Pike County Ill history book says the family were kinsmen of the Samuel Alexander Neeley who explored Kentucky with Daniel Boone in 1769.

  • Joseph named a son Samuel Alexander Neeley.

Some family researchers believe that Joseph is the son of William & Eleanor Neeley of Orange Co North Carolina. There is a will that names a Joseph as a son. But the birth date is not quite right.  I believe that other lines have proven that that Joseph married Nancy Horton and moved on to Indiana. Therefore, he is not our Joseph, although, I feel sure there is a family connection.

Who is the father of Alexander? ?  If you are a proven descendant of the long hunter, Alexander Neeley/Neely,  please take the "Y" DNA test and let us know the results.  If you would like to take the test; we would be willing to pay.

It is interesting that William Neeley of Neeley's Bend and Alexander were both early settlers of the Davidson/Sumner TN area.  That they both came around the time of the Donelson or the Robertson's party cause me to believe that they might have been cousins, brothers?? The McNeels/McNeils/McNeals and even a William McNeeley were also in Sumner Co. Is there a relationship there?? Alexander lived on the New River near Ft. Chiswell in now Montgomery Co. Va.  Some sources say he was from the Yadkin region of NC.  These two areas are fairly close. Many of the long hunts started at Ft Chiswell, VA.  There are records of James, John, William Neely/Neeley/Neelly in Montgomery Co Va. These seem to be the Virginia bunch of Neeley's. But many of the settlers from the Carolinas would come up to this area before heading west.   Recently, I have determined that Alexander might be part of Neeley/Neelys who settled for a time in Ulster Co New York. Of course, there is also a theory that he is the son of Victor Neely of the Carolinas.  More research is needed here.

 

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