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Thomas DONNELL

Male 1765 - 1833  (68 years)


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  • Name Thomas DONNELL 
    Born 11 Jun 1765  Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Dec 1833  Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 

    • (1) Source: Thomas J. McBryde .

      (2) Donnell, Camilla, and Donnell, Emma A., The Donnell Family, Greenfield, IN: The William Mitchell Printing Co., 1912, pp. 22-23:

      THOMAS DONNELL . . . , born June 11, 1765, at Carlisle, Pa., was the oldest child of James and Catharine Donnell. He and his sister Elizabeth undoubtedly received the ordinance of baptism from Dr. Duffield before his parents took their first journey into the wilderness of the upper Shenandoah valley, when he was only two years old. Something of the rugged life of that region must have lingered always in his memory, for he was ten years old when the family undertook their second journey northward and over the Alleghenies to the newer frontier of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He must have told his children of the hazardous flight from the Indians to the safer bounds of Dr. Powers' Congregation, when he was twelve years old. He may have even a more rueful recollection of the Doctor's semi-annual catechising visits. Later, he may have had a share of Indian fighting, for his name appears in the list of Pennsylvania rangers, paid for service, about this time.

      Whatever the feelings of the older flatboat voyagers down the Ohio, in the spring of 1784, we may be sure the adventure was enjoyed by a boy of eighteen. So, too, was the rebuilding of the old Ruddle Station, captured four years before by the Indians, which was rechristened Hinkson. There was plenty of hunting and scouting to be done in succeeding years. But very likely young Thomas was a good deal sobered by the tragic death of his parents, leaving him the head of a very helpless family. In the spring of 1788 he returned to Pennsylvania, and on June 16 of the following year, at the age of twenty-four, he married. Nancy Barr. There is a tradition that his suit was not favored by the bride's parents: that Thomas cut the Gordian knot by riding to her home and saying: "Nancy, will you go with me, or stay here." Nancy mounted behind him and went, in true Lochinvar style, never to see her home or kindred again. It may give color to this story that her father James Barr was a prominent man on the frontier, a lieutenant of militia, member of the convention of July, 1776, and afterwards of the State Legislature. The Kentucky frontiersman may not have been to his liking as a son-in-law. In the fall, the young couple voyaged down to Maysville in a flatboat, reaching Hinkson in December, 1789, and settling on a farm near the mouth of Taylor's Creek, in February following.

      There they lived more than thirty years, and their eleven children were born there.

      In September, 1823, with all his family not previously settled in Indiana, Thomas Donnell removed to Decatur County and settled on land he had entered the year before, and by some believed to be the first land settled in the county, having been occupied by John Fugit in February, 1819. The farm has remained in his family ever since, now owned by his great-grandson, Luther Donnell Hamilton. Three months later Mr. Donnell and his wife became charter members of the Sandcreek, now Kingston, Presbyterian Church. They lived ten years in the new home, with most of their children settling around them. Mrs. Donnell's death was tragic. Wandering from her home in April, 1833, in a fit of mental aberration, she was found next morning, in the woods, dead from exposure. Her husband survived her only a few months, dying in December, 1833. It is said he contracted the pneumonia that caused his death while carrying on horseback a contribution of fresh meat to his pastor, in the kindly pioneer fashion. Gone for nearly eighty years, with only a few surviving grandchildren, it is not surprising that almost nothing is known of Mr. Donnell's personal characteristics. Robert A. Hamilton is probably the only person living who has even a faint recollection of his appearance. He recalls him as taller and stronger than most men of his age. In his youth he must have been like his fellow pioneers of Kentucky, whom Byron described :

      "And tall and strong and swift of foot were they,
      Above the dwarfing city's Pale abortions."

      There were eleven children: . . .

      [1] James, b. 1790. . . .

      [2] Sarah, b. Apr. 22, 1792. . . .

      [3] Catherine, b. Sept. 11, 1794. . . .

      [4] Robert B., b. Feb. 12, 1797. . . .

      [5] Samuel, b. June 24, 1799. . . .

      [6] Margaret, b. Sept. 18, 1800, d. in Kentucky, 1817. . . .

      [7] Nancy, b. Apr. 1, 1804. . . .

      [8] Thomas, b. Mar. 17, 1806. . . .

      [9] Luther A., b. July 7, 1809. . . .

      [10] Eliza J., b. July 7, 1809. . . .

      [11] John R., b. Mar. 4, 1812. . . .
    Person ID I13463  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 25 Nov 2018 

    Father James DONNELL,   b. 1739, Big Spring, Cumberland County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1784, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Catherine GIBSON,   b. Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1784, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 1764 
    Family ID F6809  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Nancy BARR,   b. 1 May 1771, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 1833, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Married 16 Jun 1789  Westmoreland County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Thomas DONNELL,   b. 17 Mar 1806, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Aug 1863, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)  [natural]
     2. Nancy DONNELL,   b. 1 Apr 1804, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1846, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years)  [natural]
     3. Luther A. DONNELL,   b. 7 Jul 1809, Nicholas County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1868, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)  [natural]
     4. John Russell DONNELL,   b. 4 Mar 1812, Nicholas County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1890, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)  [natural]
     5. Eliza Jane DONNELL,   b. 7 Jul 1809, Nicholas County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Mar 1894  (Age 84 years)  [natural]
     6. Margaret DONNELL,   b. 18 Sep 1800, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1817, KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 16 years)  [natural]
     7. Sarah DONNELL,   b. 22 Apr 1792, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov 1846, Orange County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)  [natural]
     8. James DONNELL,   b. 1790, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1863, Keokuk County, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)  [natural]
     9. Catherine DONNELL,   b. 11 Sep 1794, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 May 1846, Orange County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)  [natural]
     10. Samuel DONNELL,   b. 24 Jun 1799, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Feb 1847, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)  [natural]
     11. Robert Barr DONNELL,   b. 12 Feb 1797, Bourbon County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1882, Decatur County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 25 Nov 2018 10:18:54 
    Family ID F6076  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart