From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
The Dunkley family in America
Significant findings from 2000 research of the DUNKLEY family
of PA and SC by others have been shared by Lee Ann Gerhart &
Debbie Dunkley Williams. This information forms the foundation for
the DUNKLEY family and the earliest NEELY generation in America.
The DUNKLEY surname has many spelling variants, but all those
seen have a soundex code of D524.
Oliver DUNCKLEY - b. before 1670; d. before May 1716,
Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., PA. A land assignment dated Nov.
30, 1688 [Philadelphia Co. Deeds, Book E-2, page 89], indicates
Oliver was a carpenter and purchased land in Philadelphia County
from William HARMER. The Minutes of the Board of Property of the
Province of Pennsylvania records indicate that that on Apr. 26,
1690, Israel HOBBS and Oliver DUNKLEY received twenty pounds pay
for "work done by them at Pennsberry." On Aug. 2, 1690,
the minutes show that Oliver had not received ten pounds due to
him. On Nov. 22, 1690, two others were to receive three pounds
for inspection of the work done by HOBBS and DUNKLEY at Pennsberry.
And on Nov. 12, 1692, 2£ 1s 6d was paid to the Commisioners
"in part of the Ballance of Oliver Dunkly's account"
- apparently he had still not been paid in full for completed
work. The same land that Oliver purchased in 1688, further described
and located within the city of Philadelphia, was transferred by
Richard DUNCKLEY and his wife Esther to Richard HILL on May 24,
1716 [Philadelphia Co. Deeds, Book E-2, page 89]. In the 1716
deed, Richard is identified as the "only son and heir of
Oliver Dunckley late of the city of Philadelphia carpenter deceased."
Child of Oliver
- Richard DUNKLEY - d. 1734, Amity,
Philadelphia Co., PA.
Richard and Esther Dunkley
Richard DUNKLEY - d. 1734, Amity, Philadelphia Co.,
PA. Son of Oliver DUNCKLEY. The 1716 deed
for land inherited from his father described Richard as being
"of Manatawney in the County of Philadelphia in the Province
of Pennsylvania skiner," and names his wife Esther. His name
is found as a taxpayer in Chester Co., PA at Schuylkill and Coventry
from 1717 to 1730. A deposition taken in Mar. 1732 describes navigation
hazards in what was then part of Philadelphia County, including
"Jonas Yocum and Richard Dunklin also state that they got
fast on a fishdam with a canoe, on board of which was Dunklin's
wife and child, besides sixty bushels of wheat, and that for more
than an hour they were in imminent danger of being overset and
drowned." By 1734 he had moved to Amity, Philadelphia Co.,
PA, where his name appears on the landholder list with 100 acres.
On Feb. 1, 1734, the cost of rebuilding the Colebrookdale Furnance
included "To paid Richard Dunckley for hauling 18.104.22.168
of Inn Wall Stone from the Quarry to Schuylkill at 2s 9d per Tonn
- 4£ 14s 8d". On Jun. 6, 1734, administration of his
estate was granted to his widow, Esther. Married before May 1716.
Esther - While specific evidence that she was the mother
of his children has not been located, Esther was the wife of Richard
DUNKLEY in May 1716 and at the time of his death, and is presumed
to be the children's mother. She signed the bond for administration
of Richard's estate by her mark. The estate papers were also signed
by Oliver DUNKLEY, likely the son of the deceased, and Nicholas
Children of Richard and Esther
- Oliver DUNKLEY - d. before Mar. 1748, Philadelphia Co., PA.
Oliver died "intestate and without issue." A series of four deeds
traces the ownership of 150 acres of land in Amity Township,
Philadelphia Co., PA from the original patentee Justa JUSTASON (1704),
to Samuel SAVAGE (1716), to George SAVAGE (1717), to Oliver DUNKLEY
(1737), to John DUNKLEY by the heirs of Oliver DUNKLEY (1748), to John
PATRICK (1748), and to Henry VANREAD (1755?). These deeds clearly name
the eight siblings of Oliver DUNKLEY and three of their spouses, Victor
NEELY, Richard NEELY and John PATRICK. The transcribed deed wording is
unclear, but it also appears that John EWULE was John EWALT, the
husband of Sarah DUNKLEY.
- John DUNKLEY - Residing in Amity Township, Philadelphia Co.,
PA in 1748, John appears in Rowan Co., NC from 1753 to 1765,
along with brother-in-law Richard NEELY.
- Ann DUNKLEY - Married Victor
NEELY. The verification of the signing of the Mar. 30, 1748
deed by "Victor Nealy and his wife Ann Nealy" was done
by Benjamin CHAMBERS of Cumberland (formed from Lancaster) Co.,
PA on Oct. 15, 1750.
- Jean DUNKLEY - d. about 1748 possibly. Jean is named six
times in the Mar. 30, 1748 deed as one of the DUNKLEY siblings,
but she does not appear as a signer on the transcribed deed,
nor is she mentioned in subsequent verifications of signatures
to Oct. 1750.
DUNKLEY - d. before Oct. 15, 1755. Married and residing in Lancaster
Co., PA in Apr. 1748, Philadelphia Co., PA in May 1749, and called "of
East Nantmell in the county of Chester" in May 1750. Married John
PATRICK (d. 1765, East Nantmeal, Chester Co., PA). John was married
second on Oct. 15, 1755 to Abigail HOCKLEY, daughter of Henry HOCKLEY
and Esther RUTTER of East Nantmeal.
- Mary DUNKLEY - b. 1732; d. 1791. Married and residing in
Philadelphia Co., PA in May 1749. Married Richard NEELY, one
of the NEELY brothers.
- Hester DUNKLEY - Unmarried and residing in Philadelphia Co.,
PA in May 1749.
DUNKLEY - b. about 1715; d. Jan. 10, 1809; bur. Bedford, Cumberland
(now Bedford) Co., PA). Resided in Chester Co., PA in 1749, in East
Nantmeal in 1753, and in Amity in 1760. Married in 1749 to John EWALT
(b. about 1707; d. Nov. 12, 1792; bur. Bedford, Cumberland (now
Bedford) Co., PA). The surname appears as EWULE, but appears correctly
as EWALT on their grave marker's, with age at death for Sarah being 83
and for John being 85. The Mar. 30, 1748 deed names her as Sarah
DUNKLEY, but it is signed by John EWULE and Sarah, and the May 16, 1749
verification of her signature by Samuel FLOWER of Chester Co., PA names
"John Ewule and Sarah his wife." Children of Sarah and John EWALT:
Samuel; Mary; Henry; Rebecca; Esther; John; Anna; Sarah; and Richard.
- Rebecca DUNKLEY - Unmarried and residing in Chester Co.,
PA in May 1749.
The Neely family in America
The information on the NEELY family has been obtained from
a variety of sources. Much of the data is confirmed by and included
in the privately published Neeley Notes, by Hazel Gibson
JONES (Lubbock, TX: about 1993).
The Neely Brothers
As yet the parents of several Neely brothers of a Scots-Irish
ancestry who arrived in America before 1730 have not been determined.
While positive evidence has not been located, circumstantial evidence
seems to indicate that three brothers settled first in Chester
and Philadelphia Cos., PA. It is noted that the given name of
Alexander appears among the children and/or grandchildren of all
three supposed brothers.
- Victor NEELY - b. No. Ireland; d. late
1700s, Fairfield Co., SC.
- Richard NEELY - b. 1731; d. 1801. Residing in Philadelphia
Co., PA in May 1749, Richard appears in Rowan Co., NC from 1753
to 1765, along with brother-in-law John DUNKLEY. Grandaughter
and youngest daughter of son Francis, Temperance NEELY SMOOT,
at age 85, named her grandparents as "Richard Neely born
1731 died 1801 and his wife Mary Duncan Neely born 1732 died
1791." If the birth years are correct, Richard was about
age 17 and Mary about age 16 in Mar. 1748 when they were already
married. Married Mary DUNKLEY, daughter of Richard
DUNKLEY and Esther, and sister of Ann DUNKLEY, who married
Children of Richard and Mary NEELY:
Francis - b. Oct. 15, 1761; Rowan Co.,
NC; d. Nov. 7, 1829, Rowan Co., NC. Revolutionary War service.
Married on Dec. 26, 1793 to Mary HOLMAN (b. May 12, 1766; d.
Jul. 16, 1823). Children: Elizabeth 'Betsy' married Robert N.
FLEMING; Holman married Catherine BURROUGHS; Alexander married
Margaret BARBER; Nathan; Rebecca married Samuel LUCKEY; Mary;
Arthur married Isabella WELCH; Isaac did not marry; Temperance
married Alexander SMOOT; and Washington married Providence HEATHMAN.
Richard - Married Miss CAMPBELL.
Alexander - Revolutionary War service.
- Thomas NEELY - b. No. Ireland; d. after 1750, PA. A Jun.
22, 1765 deed of York Co., PA secures to Thomas NEELY, Jr. from
his siblings land that was granted to Thomas NEELY, Sr. in 1741.
This deed does not name son Matthew. Note: There is a difficulty
with some dates, since if daughter Mary was about the same age
as her husband John McGAUGHEY, and if her husband was born between
1711 and 1715, Thomas NEELY, Sr. was probably born before 1695,
some 35 or more years before his supposed brother Richard NEELY.
A careful review of available information does not resolve the
problem and suggests that Thomas was probably not a brother of
Victor NEELY and Richard NEELY.
Children of Thomas NEELY, Sr.:
Jackson - Married Ann and moved to York
Thomas - Married Hannah STAR and moved
to Mecklenburg Co., NC.
Mary - A 1765 document suggests that
Mary was first married to a Mr. MARSHALL. Married John McGAUGHEY
(b. 1711-1715, probably in Northern Ireland; d. 1777, York Co.,
PA), son of William McGAUGHEY and Margaret. Refer to the McGAUGHEY family for additional
details. Children of Mary and John: Thomas married Margaret MARSHALL
(daughter of William MARSHALL); Alexander; Jann (daughter); Jean
married; Mary; and Martha.
John - Married Susannah.
Samuel - Married Jane and resided in
Matthew - Reported, but unconfirmed son
of Thomas NEELY, Sr. Moved to Craven Co., SC.
Victor and Ann (Dunkley) Naily
Victor NAILY - b. No. Ireland; d. late 1700s, Fairfield
Co., SC. Reportedly of Irish heritage, his surname is variously
recorded as NAILY, NALLY, NALEY, NELLY, NEELIE and NEELY. Parents
unknown, but Richard is believed to be one of several NEELY
brothers of PA. Victor's wife was a called resident of Philadelphia
Co., PA in 1748, but they were in Cumberland Co., PA in Oct. 1750.
As a leader of a group of Sabbatarian Baptists, Victor left the
French Creek, PA area for Craven (now Fairfield) Co., SC in the
mid 1750s. Descriptions of neighboring lands in Lancaster Co.,
PA seem to indicate that Victor owned land in Robeson Township
on Apr. 26, 1751, but no longer owned the land on May 29, 1751.
His residence is also placed on Connecocheague Creek. Apparently
the NEELY family was several years enroute from PA to SC. The
Seventh Day Baptist Church was founded on Broad River, St. Mark's
Parish, Craven Co., SC in 1754. Apparently, Victor settled on
the Rocky Creek 150 acres by Dec. 4, 1756, and the Little River
100 acres by June 25, 1759, the dates of surveys of said land.
He and his family settled on the Little River, and Rocky Creek
of the Broad River, where he received Royal Land Grants totaling
250 acres in 1762. As a leader of the church in the Broad River
area of SC, meetings were held at his house. Ordained ministers
connected with the Seventh Day Baptists at Broad River included
Richard GREGORY (son of John), and Capt. Israel SEYMORE [Colonial
Clergy..., by F. L. WEIS 1955].
Ann DUNKLEY - Daughter of Richard
DUNKLEY and Esther.
Children of Victor and Ann Neely
- Richard - b. about 1742, possibly
in PA or VA; d. before Oct. 20, 1798, Fairfield Co., SC.
- Esther - b. Sep. 2, 1744, PA. Probable daughter of Victor
and Ann, but documentation is desired. Married William NETTERVILLE
(b. Dec. 2, 1736, Dowth, Meath, Ireland), son of Nicholas NETTERVILLE
and Catherine BURTON. The children of William and Esther were
born between May 1763 and Nov 1777 in the order given. Both sons
Charles and Jeremiah are found as the husband of Mary Owen MATHIAS
- probably one was, and perhaps both. The family finally settled
in Wilkenson Co., MS. Children of Esther and William NETTERVILLE: John; William; Jemima; Ann; Rachel;
Thomas; Charles; Jeremiah; and Jesse.
- Victor - d. 1795, Fairfield Co., SC. Received Royal Land
Grant of 100 acres in St. Mark's Parish, Craven Co., SC on Apr.
20, 1763. Served in the Revolutionary War 119 days in the SC
militia during 1781 and 1782. The 1790 Fairfield Co., SC Census:
Victor NEELY 2-1-2. Married Martha 'Patty'. Administration of
the estate of Victor was granted to Patty NEALY, John NEALY and
Samuel CLAMPET on Apr. 17, 1795, with heirs being his widow Martha
'Patty', and four children. Martha signed a Deed of Gift and
Relinquishment of Dower on Mar. 9, 1799 to her four children,
the Deed being witnessed by Richard NEELY, Howard ROBINSON, and
William YARBOROUGH. One John NEILY ("an orphan, under age
twenty one," and believed to be the son of Victor and Martha)
chose John PEARSON as his Guardian on Mar. 6, 1805 (Fairfield
County, Court of Ordinary - Letters of Administration, Guardianships
and Bonds, Volume C, p. 50), but it is not stated whether the
selection of a Guardian followed the death of his mother (at
that time an "orphan" was fatherless, not necessarily
motherless) or was for some other reason. Children of Victor and Martha NEELY: Victor married
Sarah; John possibly married Lucretia Jane BROOM/E (eight children);
Richard married Elizabeth; and Jerusha married Alexander LESTER.
- Alexander - Possible son. Received Royal Land Grant of 150
acres on McCray Creek, Craven Co., SC on May 18, 1771. Possibly
the Alexander NEELY in Sumner Co., TN in 1790.
- James - Possible son. The 1790 Fairfield Co., SC Census:
James NEELIE 1-0-0. Perhaps the James NEELY whose widow married John BOYD.
Richard and Ann (Moberly) Neeley
Richard NEELEY - b. about 1742, possibly in PA or VA;
d. before Oct. 20, 1798, Fairfield Co., SC. Son of Victor
NAILY. Richard received Royal Land Grants including 200 acres
on Beaver Dam Creek, Craven Co., SC on Jul. 1, 1763, 100 acres
on McGraw Creek, Craven Co., SC on Apr. 25, 1765, and 100 acres
on Broad River, Craven Co., SC on May 18, 1771. During the Revolutionary
War, he enlisted on Sep. 21, 1776 in the First Regiment of the
SC Militia, and re-enlisted in Dec. 1776. The 1790
Census of Fairfield Co., SC: Richard NEELIE 2-3-6 [2 males
over age 16, 3 males to age 16, 6 females]. His will
[Fairfield Co. Wills, Vol. 1, Sec. 2, pp. 78-79] is dated Jul.
24, 1793, certified Oct. 20, 1798, proved Jan. 17, 1799, and recorded
Jan. 19, 1799. Richard left 50 acres of land to his wife, an adjacent
50 acres to son Richard, 48 acres to son John, and additional
land to sons Clement and Alexander. [A land survey certified Nov.
19, 1766 by Jno. CALDWELL identifies 150 acres in Berkeley County,
granted to a Richard NEALY on Oct. 30, 1767.] It is estimated
that Richard and Ann were married about 1762.
Ann MOBERLY - b. about 1745-49, Bedford Co., VA; d.
about 1805, Fairfield Co., SC. Also known as Nancy MOBLEY, she
was called Ann in her husband's will, left 50 acres of land and
named executrix. 1800 Census
of Fairfield Co., SC: Ann NEELY 0 0 2 1 - 2 0 2 0 1. The children
are listed in the order named in Richard's will. Daughter of Clement MOBERLY/MOBLEY and Mary FOX.
Children of Richard and Ann Neeley
- Victor - b. about 1780. Has name of his paternal uncle and
grandfather. Over age 21 in 1793, he received a rifle and whipsaw
in his father's will, of which he was named executor.
- Mary - Has name of her maternal aunt and grandmother. Received
one shilling by father's will.
- Jane - Received one shilling by father's will.
- John - Received 48 acres and a set of smith's tools by father's
will. Possibly the John NEELY appearing on the 1812 tax lst of
Bedford Co., TN. 1800 Census of Fairfield Co., SC: John NEELY
2 1 0 1 - 3 0 0 1. Married by 1800, possibly late in 1790. On
Sep. 15, 1809, John wrote a letter to brothers Richard and Clement
in TN, indicating that John had a daughter Susannah born Jan.
9, 1809. Reportedly, one son was Victor NEELEY (b. 1792, Fairfield
Co., SC; d. about 1865, Benton Co., AL), who was the father of
John W. NEELEY (b. Sep. 21, 1845; d. Jul. 19, 1902, Rockwell
Co., TX) married Mariah E. BROOKS. Children of John
NEELY: Three sons and three daughters in 1800.
- Richard - b. about 1785, Fairfield
Co., SC; d. before Oct. 13, 1813, Bedford Co., TN.
- Ann 'Nancy' - Has name of her mother. Received one cow and
one calf in father's will. Married John BRENT/BRIANT (b. Fairfield
Co., SC; d. Nov. 22, 1822, Pike Co. , MS), who was a witness
to his father-in-law's will. Moved to MS in 1812. Children of
Nancy and John BRENT: John; James; Preston; and Meridith.
- Abigail - b. about 1763; d. after 1820, MS. She received
one cow and one calf in father's will. Married by 1780 Thomas
MEREDITH (b. about 1760; d. Mar. 26, 1812, Kittome Creek, AL),
a Revolutionary War soldier. Thomas was killed by Indians while
en route from SC to MS, starting the Creek Indian wars of 1813-1814.
Abigail may have married again in 1813, Amite Co., MS. Children
of Abigail and Thomas MEREDITH: John M. married Catherine JONES
(daughter of Ralph JONES); Mary married Thomas Reynolds; James
married Mary Ann 'Polly' FAUST; Sarah married William JONES (son
of Ralph JONES); Elizabeth married Mr. SASSER; Martha Ann 'Patsy'
married John HART; Thomas married Elizabeth RUGGLES; Nancy married
Rowland THOMPSON; and Catherine married Isaac H. WRIGHT.
- Susannah - Has name of her maternal aunt and great-grandmother.
Received one cow and one calf in father's will.
- Sarah - Received one cow and one calf in father's will. Married
- Clement - Has name of his maternal uncle and grandfather.
Received land jointly with brother Alexander in father's will.
Also received turning tools. On May 1, 1807, Clement and his
brother Alexander jointly sold 100 acres to John BOYD "on
waters of Little River, granted on 8 May 1771 to Richard NEELY
Sr." When Clement moved with his brother Richard to TN in
1807, they both carried letters of introduction signed by Gen.
John PEARSON. Clement NEELY received a commission as Lt. in the
28th Reg't, Bedford Co., TN on Jan. 11, 1810. A letter dated
Oct. 7, 1809 from John BOYD to Clement's brother Richard includes
the comment, "I suppose the next time I hear from you that
Clement and Susanah will also be tied in the same kind of knot."
Clement married Susannah HARRINGTON about 1810, and they moved
to Clay Co., MO in 1816 or 1817.
- Alexander - Has name of his paternal uncle. Received land
jointly with brother Clement in father's will.
Capt. Richard and Sally (Parker) Neely
Richard NEELY - b. about 1785, Fairfield Co., SC; d.
before Oct. 13, 1813, Bedford Co., TN; bur. in unmarked grave
Parker Cemetery, Raus, Bedford Co., TN. Son of Richard
NEELEY and Ann MOBERLY.
On Mar. 25, 1804, as an orphan minor,
Richard chose John PEARSON as his Guardian. On May 7, 1807, Richard
sold 100 acres of land on McGraw's Creek, branch of the Little
River, Fairfield Co., SC to John BOYD. This land is identified
as being granted to "Richard NEELEY Senior" on Apr.
25, 1765 and surveyed on July 1, 1763, and included 50 acres received
after his father's death, and probably 50 acres received after
his mother's death. It would appear that the land sale was preliminary
to Richard's removal to TN in 1807. When Richard moved with his
brother Clement to TN in 1807, they both carried letters of
signed by Gen. John PEARSON. The letter for Richard, also signed
by Gen. Richard WINN, apparently at a later date, read: "Whereas
the bearer hereof Mr Richard Neeley a Native and inhabitant of
this place being disposed to remove to the western country - These
are therefore to Certify for him, that I have known him from his
infancy to the present date, during all which time never have
heard of anything alledged disrespectful to his character that
he generally considered a good citizen an honest and industrious
well disposed person. Given under my hands this 30th April 1807."
A letter to him from John BOYD, dated Oct. 7, 1809, was addressed
"To Mr. Richard Neeley, living on Thompson Creek waters
of Duck River near the three forks, State of Tennessee."
On Jul. 23, 1810 he was a Capt. in the 28th Reg't. In 1812 he
was Capt. of the Militia returning the Bedford Co., TN tax list,
which included Clement NEELY, Richard NEELY, and Elijah PARKER.
Though there is no known record, it is possible that Capt. NEELY
was killed in action during the War of 1812. An accounting of
the estate sale for Richard NEELY is dated Oct. 9, 1813, and includes
household goods, farm implements and livestock totalling $386.55
[another researcher gives the total as $389.76, with the difference
possibly due to unclear figures or addition errs].
Among the buyers at the estate sale were his father-in-law Elijah
PARKER, brother-in-law Samuel PARKER, brother Clement NEELY, and
his widow's future husband James McGILL. Final settlement of the
estate was acknowledged on Aug. 5, 1830 by Richard's son Elijah
NEELEY's signed receipt of $171.00 from Elijah PARKER for "all
demands on him as administrator to my father's Estate." Richard
married about 1808 in TN.
Sarah 'Sallie' PARKER - b. Apr. 10, 1791, Granville
Co., NC; d. Oct. 17, 1884, Bedford Co., TN; bur. Parker
Cemetery, Raus, Bedford Co., TN [photo].
A family history article on the TURMAN family in Wayne Co., TN
is found on pages 408-409 in Wayne County, Tennessee History
and Families, published by the Wayne Co., TN Historical Society
(1995). This article explains that, after the death of Richard
NEELY, Sallie and her daughter Mary Ann lived with Sallie's father
Capt. Elijah PARKER. After Sallie remarried, Mary Ann continued
to live in the PARKER home, and was referred to at times as Mary
Ann PARKER. Sallie married second in 1816 James MCGILL. Children
of Sallie and James McGILL: Sallie married Martin SHOFNER; Lucy
married Newton CUMMINGS; Elizabeth; Priscilla did not marry; Dr.
James W.; William married Mary GARDNER; and Nancy. Daughter of
Capt. Elijah PARKER and Mary HARRIS.
Children of Richard and Sally Neely
- Elijah - b. Jul. 11, 1809, Bedford Co., TN; d. 1862, Madison
Co., AR; bur. Tuttle Cemetery, Washington Co., AR. Married on
Dec. 11, 1834, Amelia CALDWELL (b. May 2, 1818, Bedford Co.,
TN; d. Jan. 25, 1891, Parker Co., TX; bur. Springtown, Parker
Co., TX, with memorial marker in Tuttle Cemetery, Washington
Co., AR), daughter of Samuel CALDWELL and Anna DEAN of Spartenburg
Co., SC. The family moved to Washington Co., AR in 1852, along
with his McGILL half-siblings. Children: Sarah Ann married Tom
BATEMAN; Samuel did not marry; Casandra married Humphrey ENYART;
Susannah married John W. MEREDITH; Richard Alexander married
Mary Ellen TIMBERLAKE; Mary Frances married Britton Adams MERRICK;
William Jefferson died in infancy; Josephine married Tice HARRIS;
Lucy Edna married Thomas JOHNSON; and Catherine married William
- Mary Ann - b. Jul 10, 1811,
Bedford Co., TN; d. Jun. 11, 1858, Waynesboro, Wayne Co., TN.
Married John C. TURMAN.
- Martha - d. Dec. 10, 1813, Bedford Co., TN. Born after the
death of her father.