There were two McNeal/McNeel/McNeil families early in the Little Levels settlement: John and Thomas.
According to Price, the earliest was John McNeel, the first permanent settler in the Little Levels, having been born in 1745 in Frederick Co, VA and arriving from the Cumberland, MD area in 1765. Price says he married Martha Davis (born in Wales in 1740-42) and built the Whitepole (probably Methodist) Church in the Little Levels for her. Price gives five children: Miriam (who married John Jordan), Nancy ( who married Richard Hill), Martha (who married Griffin Evans and moved to Ohio on the Miami River), Abram and Isaac.1
According, again, to Price, the other was Thomas McNeil who came from the Capon Valley in Frederick County [actually this valley was in Hampshire County (created from Frederick County in 1753) although the ridge that runs along the eastern side of this valley is and was in Frederick County-rak], Virginia to the Swago Creek area of the Little Levels sometime during 1768-70; his parents were said to have come from Scotland, he married Mary Ireson of Franklin County, Virginia, and in 1770 entered 300 acres near what became the Joseph Pennel farm. Price lists six children: Jonathan, Absolum, Eboch, Gabriel, Naomi (who married a Smith and moved to Ohio), and Mary (who married an Ewing and moved to Ohio as well).2
So far as I know no one has suggested that these two. John and Thomas, were related. Having studied northern Virginia records a bit, I believe that they both 1) were of Scottish descent born in America (John's wife being Welsh), 2) were brothers, and 3) were elder brothers of Hannah McNeal, John Casebolt's wife -- as of yet I have no proof for any of those conclusions. I do note that Thomas McNeil's son Jonathan was the administrator of the estate of John and Hannah's second eldest son, Asahel/Isaac, and that John McNeal's son Isaac purchased a portion of the estate.3 Like the Casebolts, both of these McNeal families were early, strongly committed Methodists. Finally, the 1810 census indicates that the husbandless Hannah and her children then lived next door to John McNeal.
The following table lists the dates of Little Levels records relating to John, Casebolt and his immediate family:
1 Price, p. 135-44.
2 Price, p. 381.
3 Randolph Co, Wills, 2:44.
CASEBOLT -- An American Family Copyright 1992 - RAK
Ch.4 - Second Generation, South Page 4-11a
Last Revised: 7 September 2001
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