The Daniel Families of
Elbert and Madison Counties

Famous and Infamous

Revised Apr 2011 based on data found more recently (2005-2010)

When the Cherokee Indians ceded the land in the lower Piedmont region of upper Georgia including what is now eastern Madison County in the summer of 1773, a great migration of people moved into the state. Numerous farms were sold to settlers before the American Revolution began. During the Revolution, the overall population of Georgia decreased, attributed by some historians to the savagery and destructiveness of the Revolutionary conflict. After Wilkes County was organized in 1777, there were no more buyers for the remaining land parcels.

Soon after the war headright grants of land were offered free except for office and surveying costs, and many new settlers arrived in the area—including members of the Daniel family. William Daniel, formerly appearing in the records of Wake, Rowan and Granville counties in North Carolina, was originally granted 200 acres on Beaverdam Creek [in present-day Elbert County] on 21 Sep  1784, and appeared on the Wilkes County, Georgia, tax lists 1786-1790. He and wife, Nancy Daniel, bought land on Blue Stone Creek and sold land on Coldwater Creek in 1789. Allen Daniel first appeared in the records of Wilkes County in 1789 when William Allen bought land on Beaverdam Creek from William and Nancy Daniel with Allen Daniel as a witness. John Daniel first appeared in the records of Elbert County in 1803 when he bought land on Dry Fork of Vans Creek from Jeremiah Walker, which bounded on the land of Reuben Allen.

First let us review the background of the various DANIEL family puzzles, myths, legends and brick walls. Many of those "myths" had as their source three DAR applications, #42794, #92632 and #154345, all dated in the 1910-1920 era, which have since been disapproved by the National Society DAR when their professional genealogists discovered that the Revolutionary War service cited for the alleged "Capt. Allen Daniel of the 8th VA Regiment" was incorrect, and the name "Capt. Allen Daniel" was removed from the DAR Patriot Index. Whether the ladies who filed these DAR applications simply incorrectly interpreted the documents available to them in the early 1900s, or relied on misleading family legends, or engaged in some "creative writing" in order to join the DAR—because that's what ladies from socially prominent families were expected to do in that era—the false information in these three DAR applications misled generations of Daniel family researchers, as well as historians from both Elbert and Madison counties.

Most Daniel family researchers have unquestioningly relied on the DAR applications along with three published works that also relied heavily on the DAR applications and proffered vaguely similar stories about the Daniel families in this part of Georgia. The first book to mention the subject, originally published in 1940 and reprinted several times, was The Official History of Elbert County 1790-1935, by John H. McIntosh. On page 100 he stated:

"Allen Daniel [Gen.]...was born in Virginia in 1772.... The father of Allen Daniel was also named Allen. He was born in Virginia in 1738, and died in 1814. During the American Revolution he was Captain in the 8th Virginia Line Regiment."

And on page 101 McIntosh continued:

"There has been much confusion regarding Allen Daniel for the reason that his uncle, John O. Daniel, brother of Allen Daniel, Sr., was the father of a son who also bore the name of Allen. This Allen was the father of a son named Allen. Since all of them resided in Elbert County, and Allen, son of John, was near the same age as Allen, son of Allen, it can readily be understood why confusion has so often arisen. [Note: Allen, son of John, was born in 1810, while Allen, son of the alleged Capt. Allen, was born in 1772, a 38 year difference in ages.]

"John O. Daniel served in the Revolution with distinction and came to Elbert County in 1785 with General George Mathews."

The second book was William C. Stewart's Gone to Georgia, published in 1965 by the National Genealogical Society. On page 273 Stewart wrote:

"...Allen Daniel, Sr., a Revolutionary soldier, was born 1738 in Virginia, and died in Madison County, 1814, having previously lived in Elbert County. He married Mary Allen and had children Elizabeth (married Aaron Johnson), Allen, Jr. (born in Virginia in 1772, married Mary, daughter of Russell Jones, served in the War of 1812, died 1836), James (married Elizabeth, daughter of James Jones, and second Delilah Eunice Wilson) and Charity (married Elisha Johnson). Allen appears in the Wilkes County records as early as 1788.  In 1789 William Allen bought land on Beaverdam Creek from William and Nancy Daniel, with Allen Daniel as a witness...."

The third book, published in 1967, was Our Family, The Daniels, written by Clifford Daniel Smith and Fern Gholson Daniel. It obviously relied on information found in the DAR applications and the first two books then added some new twists of its own, stating that Capt. Allen Daniel:

"...came to Elbert County., Ga. from Prince Georges County, Virginia, in 1785, with his two brothers, John O. Daniel, Jr., and David Daniel. The two latter settled in Moss District, Elbert County, near Carpenter Mill. Capt. Allen Daniel settled in that part of Elbert County now known as Madison County."

Interestingly, a much earlier publication, Historical Collections of Georgia, written by Rev. George White, M.A., and originally published in 1854, mentioned John Daniel of Elbert County only for his longevity (he lived to be 80), and for Madison County mentioned only "General" Allen Daniel [Allen, born 1772, for whom Danielsville, Georgia was named]. Rev. White personally did the research for this book on location, talking with living children and grandchildren of the early settlers of these counties, yet he mentioned little to nothing about Capt. John Daniel or the alleged Capt. Allen Daniel, two men who were supposedly prominent citizens during their lifetimes, and certainly nothing about any relationship between these men.

Another early author, Rev. Groves H. Cartledge (1820-1899), in his Historical Sketches, wrote historical and biographical sketches of people in the frontier area of northeast Georgia and lived in Madison County, Georgia for most of his life. Many of his "sketches" were published in church periodicals during his lifetime. He, too, personally knew, associated with and/or served as pastor to the children and grandchildren of the earliest settlers of the Elbert/Madison counties area of Georgia. In one sketch originally written about 1885 and reprinted in Historical Sketches: Presbyterian Churches and Early Settlers in Northeast Georgia [a compilation of his works by Jessie Julia Mize and Virginia Louise Newton, published in 1960 and reprinted several times], Rev. Cartledge wrote:

"...In 1786, George Elliott, Sr., and his five sons...made the first settlement between the North and South forks of the Broad River [in Madison County, GA]. In 1787 and 1788, many others followed....

"About the same time Gen. Allen Daniel from Va,...and others settled on the Scullshoal and Bluestone creeks...."

Five different publications written by six different authors, but not one of them provided any source citations documenting any of the statements or claims, many conflicting, about the DANIEL family. So why, then, did later writers and family researchers:

  • believe that three men—the alleged Capt. Allen Daniel of Madison County, Georgia, Capt. John Daniel of Wake County, North Carolina/Elbert County, Georgia, and an elusive David Daniel—were brothers who came to Georgia about 1785, when there were major discrepancies between the published works?
  • theorize that the father of the three "brothers" was probably a John O. Daniel of Prince Georges County, Virginia, when no such statement was made and no source citations were included in any of the published works?
  • virtually ignore William Daniel (and his wife Nancy) even though he appeared extensively in Elbert County records in connection with [Gen.] Allen Daniel?
  • hold the conviction that Capt. John Daniel's wife's name was Margaret Means when no documentation existed to support that belief, and equally convinced that his middle name was "Osborn" when no such name was mentioned in any of the published works or any known court records and no source citation was listed to support this name?

"Tis a Puzzlement!"

Diane Carrington Bradford, a documented descendant of Gen. Allen Daniel of Madison County, Georgia and Webmaster of Leaves From Our Tree, decided in March 2004 to find the answers to these questions. After enlisting the able assistance of Garland Payne Daniel (Webmaster of The Daniel Families of America, Southern States), and some other family researchers including several of the participants in the DANIEL Y-DNA Project [hereafter referred to as the Wake-Elbert-Madison Group (WEMG)], we began in-depth research and discussion to either verify or disprove the previously published data/legends, with the result being that we debunked the legends to our satisfaction—or so we thought!

In 2005 when we [Bradford and Daniel] first wrote The Great "Osborn(e)" Controversy and posted it to this Web site, we based our conclusions on documentation that was available to us at that time. Since then, the DANIEL Y-DNA Surname Project has identified a group of ten (10) male descendants whose Y-DNA test results produced a statistically significant group match. Those test results linked the descendants of Gen. Allen DANIEL and Capt. John DANIEL not only to each other, but also to a documented descendant of Woodson DANIEL of Wake County, North Carolina (md. Nancy Gouge). Woodson, along with a David DANIEL (md. unknown) and a William DANIEL (md. Ann Nancy --?--) were strongly inferred by court records to be sons of Capt. James DANIEL of Goochland, Virginia (md. Elizabeth WOODSON). The other 5 DANIEL descendants appeared to have statistically significant matches to a documented descendant of Roger DANIEL, IV, of Virginia, but to date no documentation supporting such a relationship has come to light. Therefore, the chart depicting the Roger Daniell Y-DNA Group is labeled as "hypothetical."

Additional research [done 2005-2010] in Wake and Granville counties in North Carolina, as well as in Wilkes, Elbert and Madison counties in Georgia brought to light many additional documents, some of which support part of the conclusions we drew in our 2005 report, and some of which blow holes all through other conclusions. In those cases, we have most humbly eaten our rather large portions of "crow."

Our "Brick Wall" No Longer

The "good news" is that now we can answer many of the questions that have plagued Daniel family researchers for decades, and we can put to rest many of the "myths" that have posed as "family facts" for those same many decades. The following articles present the documented facts as we found them based on all the newly identified source records and arranged in roughly the chronological order in which the various DANIEL families arrived in Georgia.

Come with us as we examine...


"Myths vs. Facts

bullet The Great "Osborn(e)" ControversyGo to The Great "Osborn(e)" Controversy
Were Allen Daniel, Sr., of Madison County, Capt. John Daniel of Elbert County, and an elusive David Daniel really brothers? Did the three men really arrive in Georgia in 1785? Was Capt. John Daniel's middle name really "Osborn(e)?" Researched and contributed by Diane Carrington Bradford and G. Payne Daniel, two documented Daniel descendants.

"Capt. Allen Daniel," Patriot? — or Nonexistant?"Go to Capt. Allen DANIEL," Patriot? or Nonexistant?
Was Capt. Allen Daniel (b. 1738 Prince George's County, VA) a real person who moved to Georgia in 1785 and died in Madison County in 1814 or was he the product of incorrectly interpreted records, family legends, and/or "creative writing" by early researchers and aspiring DAR applicants?

Daniel Family Groups (documented)

bullet William Daniel & Family, Pioneer Settler, Land Wheeler-Dealer Go to William DANIEL & Family

Major General Allen Daniel, Civilian, Civil Servant, Soldier, Statesman Go Gen. Allen DANIEL's family
button Major General Allen Daniel: War of 1812 and Fort Daniel Go to War of 1812 and Ft. DANIEL
button Captain James Woodson Daniel: Cherokee Indian Removal, 1838 Coming soon
[coming soon]

bullet John Daniel: Captain of the Guard Go to John Daniel: Captain of the Guard
bullet Capt. John Daniel & Family: Pioneer Settlers Go to Capt. John Daniel & Family: Pioneer Settlers

button James Jenkins Daniel: Private, War of 1812 Go to James Jenkins DANIEL, military service


bullet The Roger Daniell Y-DNA Group (Hypothetical Family Tree) Go to The DANIEL Family Hypothetical Family Tree

bullet Daniel Y-DNA Project Web site Go to Daniel Y-DNA Project Web site


We compiled the lineages of these descendants to the best of our ability and present them here. Many hours of work by many contributing family members have been put into the research and documentation of these family members. We all have attempted to make the data as complete and accurate as possible, but we know that gaps and errors do exist. As with any genealogical research, this is a work in progress. Additions and corrections are welcomed. To protect privacy, we have omitted personal data on persons still living.

As a general rule the Webmaster updates this Web site at least twice per year, and certain pages are updated more often. Check the date at the bottom of each page of this Web site to see when it was last updated. The Webmaster has also posted GEDCOM files for the descendants of these families on the RootsWeb WorldConnect Project. The Webmaster updates those GEDCOM files each time new data is added to the research group's central database, so the files on the WorldConnect Project will always reflect the most current and correct family data.

Visitors who print out data from this, or any, Web site, should also print out the source citations (if available). Our source citations are included on this Web site, but the Webmaster did not personally verify all of them. The Webmaster did categorize each source as either primary or secondary.

  • Visitors may rely with reasonable confidence upon sources marked as primary since this category includes public records, photos of tombstones, family Bible pages, or original documents in the possession of the Webmaster or another family member.

  • Visitors should verify all data from sources in the secondary category before relying on the information. Secondary resources include published books and genealogy reports, information shared over the Internet without source citations, undocumented family stories or legends, etc.

  • If a source (usually a living family member) was marked both primary and secondary, it means that person possesses primary family documents for him/herself, his/her own spouse, children, parents and possibly grandparents. However, for generations beyond the grandparents, the visitor should treat the data as coming from a secondary source and verify it.


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This Web Site was Created Feb 18, 2000; major revisions Jul 2005; Jan 2010, Jul 2019.
Last updated October 19, 2019 3:09 PM

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