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Reuben and Edmund DANIEL: Evidences

My fifth great-grandfather, Reuben DANIEL of Spotsylvania and Orange County, Virginia, who died in 1852 (after that part of Orange became Madison County), was a son of Edmund DANIEL of Spotsylvania County, who died in 1799. This connection involves several elements of proof.



1. The will of Edmund Daniel, executed and recorded in Spotsylvania County in 1799, gives "Reuben" as the name of one of the testator's sons (Spotsylvania County Will Book F, page 103).

2. Edmund Daniel's son, Reuben, probably lived in Spotsylvania County, because Edmund himself lived in Spotsylvania, and Edmund named Reuben as his attorney-in-fact in relation to the estate of his (Edmund's) brother, William Daniel, in 1796 (Spotsylvania County Deed Book B, page 205).

3. My Reuben Daniel (later of Orange County) lived in Spotsylvania County before moving to Orange, as shown by the following facts:

a. In 1809, my Reuben signed an indenture to rent a lot in Fredericksburg for seven years (Fredericksburg Deed Book D, page 55). The indenture says that Reuben was "of Fredericksburg," which was part of Spotsylvania County. I know that this was my Reuben, who later lived in Orange County, because his signature on the indenture matches his signature on an 1811 document regarding a debt that he assigned to his son, Hawsa/Hawsey Daniel, who I know was a son of my Reuben (Daniel assee [assignee] vs. Ferneyhough, Spotsylvania County Superior Court of Law, CR-SL-L, 443-84 (1823)). (As noted at item 11 below, Reuben's signature was somewhat distinctive.)

b. In 1814, my Reuben signed a deed of trust that was recorded in Spotsylvania County (Deed Book T, page 454). The deed says that Reuben was "of Spotsylvania." I know that this was my Reuben, because his signature on the deed matches his signature on the 1811 document regarding the debt assigned to his son.

c. In 1816, my Reuben signed an affidavit in the case of Humphreys vs. Long, which was pending in Fredericksburg. The plaintiff's notice of taking the affidavit says that it would be taken "at the house of Mr. Reubin Daniel in Orange County." If Reuben had not lived in the Fredericksburg area earlier, he probably would have had no reason to provide evidence for a case in that area. I know that this was my Reuben, because his signature on the affidavit matches his signature on the 1811 document regarding the debt assigned to his son (and because he was living in Orange County).

d. In 1819, my Reuben entered into a bond with Joel Lewis and J. Robins (J. Long assee [assignee] vs. Daniel and Lewis, Spotsylvania County Superior Court of Law, CR-SL-L, 522-1 (1820)). The bond says that Reuben was "of Orange Cty" and that Lewis and Robins were "of Spotsylvania Cty." I know that this was my Reuben, because his signature on the bond matches his signature on the 1811 document regarding the debt assigned to his son (and because he was "of Orange County").

e. My Reuben's wife was Elizabeth, and Reuben of Spotsylvania was married to an Elizabeth (as shown by an 1800 deed from Reuben and Elizabeth Daniel of Spotsylvania to Jacob Styers, recorded in Spotsylvania District Court Deed Book C, page 383).

f. In 1821, Linsay Daniel and Hawsey/Hawsa Daniel of Orange County, sons of my Reuben, acquired the same lot in Fredericksburg that Reuben and Elizabeth Daniel of Spotsylvania had once owned and conveyed to Jacob Styers in 1800 (Fredericksburg Deed Book G, page 407).

(Note: In many cases, evidence like that cited in items 1, 2, and 3 above, taken together, might be enough to establish a connection. In this instance, however, more evidence is needed, because, as noted in items 4, 5, and 6 below, there were other Reuben Daniels in roughly the same area at the time.)

4. In the 1810 census, there are three Reuben Daniels in Virginia. Only one of them was in Spotsylvania County, and only that one was of the right age to be my Reuben (that is, 45 and up). (Federal Census; 1810; Spotsylvania County, Virginia; page 106.)

5. The other two Reuben Daniels in the 1810 census, both of whom were in Culpeper County, were 16-26 years old and 26-45 years old (both on page 88), whereas my Reuben turned 45 years old in January 1810 (according to the family Bible of Reuben's daughter, Maria Daniel, and her husband, John Estes). Also, the Reuben Daniel of Culpeper who was age 26-45 in 1810 had only three children, all of whom were under 10 years of age, suggesting that he was at the lower end of that age range. By comparison, Reuben, the son of Edmund of Spotsylvania, was probably at least 45 years old in 1810, as shown by the following facts: (1) Edmund had at least eight children, since that is the number who were named as plaintiffs when Edmund's children sued his widow regarding the estate in 1801 (Daniel &c. v. Daniel, Spotsylvania County Court of Chancery, 1841-074/CC); (2) all of Edmund's daughters were married by 1801, when Edmund's children sued his widow; and (3) Reuben, son of Edmund, was probably the oldest of Edmund's sons, because (a) Reuben was one of the executors of his father's will in 1799 (Spotsylvania County Will Book F, page 103); (b) he was his father's attorney-in-fact in relation to the estate of his father's brother in 1796 (Spotsylvania County Deed Book B, page 205); and (c) he was the guardian of his brother, Edmund, when the elder Edmund's children sued Edmund's widow in 1801. (My transcription of the bill of complaint and answer in this 1801 suit is posted on the Web here. By the way, the year "1841" appears in the clerk's reference number for this suit, because the suit ended in that year.) (All external links will open in a new browser window.)

6. My research (and that of other relatives) has uncovered no record of any other Reuben Daniel in Spotsylvania County in the late 1700s and very early 1800s; moreover, other Reuben Daniels from the general area in the late 1700s -- who are listed below -- could not be the son of Edmund of Spotsylvania:

a. One Reuben Daniel died in 1779 in Orange County, Virginia (Orange County Will Book 3, page 3), whereas Reuben the son of Edmund was still living in 1801 (per the children's suit against Edmund's widow).

b. Another Reuben Daniel was a son of the Reuben Daniel (noted above) who died in 1779 in Orange County (Orange County Will Book 3, page 3).

c. One Ruben Daniell, born 1721 in Middlesex County, Virginia, was a son of Robert Daniell (Christ Church Parish Register, Middlesex County, Virginia, 1553-1812; by John Otto Yurechko; page 77).

7. My Reuben Daniel named one of his sons Edmond. (Reuben's page in my gedcom is here.)

8. Another child of Edmund Daniel of Spotsylvania County was named "Thomson" (Daniel &c. v. Daniel, Spotsylvania County Court of Chancery, 1841-074/CC); and Maria Daniel, a daughter of my Reuben, gave one of her daughters the middle name "Thompson." (Maria's page in my gedcom is here.)

9. One of the executors of Edmund Daniel, in 1799, was the testator's "friend" James Robbins (Spotsylvania County Will Book F, page 103), and my Reuben of Orange entered into a bond, in 1819, with a J. Robins ((J. Long assee [assignee] vs. Daniel and Lewis, Spotsylvania County Superior Court of Law, CR-SL-L, 522-1 (1820)).

10. a. There is only one Reuben Daniel on the land tax lists for Spotsylvania County, in 1802-1817.

10. b. The year when Reuben Daniel first appeared in the personal property tax lists for Orange County (1816), is the same year when Reuben Daniel disappeared from the personal property tax lists for Spotsylvania County. Also, the Reuben Daniel who appeared on the personal property tax list for Orange County in 1816 had the same number of tithables (2 free males over 16) as the Reuben Daniel who was on the Spotsylvania County list for 1815.

11. Both my Reuben Daniel of Spotsylvania and Orange, and Edmund Daniel of Spotsylvania, wrote the capital "D" in their surname in the same, somewhat distinctive way. This is illustrated on another page (this page may take a while to load).

12. A Reuben Daniel sought to clear his name of slander in 1802, by publishing a series of endorsements in a Fredericksburg newspaper (The Virginia Herald, June 11, 1802). As indicated by the following facts, this was apparently my Reuben Daniel, who later moved to Orange, rather than a second Reuben living in Spotsylvania at the same time. First, my Reuben (later of Orange) was in Spotsylvania by at least as early as 1809, and probably by 1796. Second, as noted earlier, there is only one Reuben Daniel in the Spotsylvania census for 1810. Third, the reference, in one of the newspaper endorsements, to the slandered Reuben's militia service against the "western insurgents" probably refers either to the "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794 or to one of the "Frontier Wars" of the 1790s (in which my Reuben could have participated), rather than to the earlier French and Indian War or Dunmore's War (which would have been too early for him).

Information regarding the Whiskey Rebellion and the Frontier Wars:

The Whiskey Rebellion was a "series of disturbances in 1794 aimed against the enforcement of a U.S. federal law of 1791 imposing an excise tax on whiskey. The burden of the tax ... fell largely on western Pennsylvania, then one of the chief whiskey-producing regions of the country. The grain farmers, most of whom were also distillers, depended on whiskey for almost all their income, and they considered the law an attack on their liberty and economic well-being.... In a proclamation issued in August 1794, President George Washington ordered the insurgents to disperse and requested the governors of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia to mobilize contingents of militia.... On October 14, 1794, Washington ordered the militia to proceed to the western counties" (quotation from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99, "Whiskey Rebellion"). The army thus mobilized numbered approximately 13,000 (according to Archiving Early America - Milestone Historic Events).

The Frontier Wars of the 1790s are referred to in the following books (I have not seen these books, only references to them): American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796, by Murtie June Clark (according to genealogybookshop.com, this book includes records from Virginia); Chronicles of Border Warfare, by Alexander Scott Withers (according to genealogybookshop.com, this book recounts conflicts in "the northwestern portion of colonial Virginia (an area which today encompasses parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania)"); and History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of Western Virginia, by Wills de Hass (according to genealogybookshop.com, this book tells of military activities on the "18th-century frontier adjoining colonial Virginia (now mostly West Virginia), Pennsylvania, and the Ohio Territory").



I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Alice Gimbert for her role in securing many of the documents referred to on this page.


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This page was last updated on May 18, 2004.


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