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Home: Surnames: Durnell Family Genealogy Forum

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Joseph Durnell of Armstrong, Clarion, Venango Co., Pa.
Posted by: Patrick Collar (ID *****9272) Date: October 21, 2009 at 09:57:42
  of 119

My name is Patrick Collar and I have been researching Joseph Durnell, but he is very elusive in records. From family tradition, the name was originally pronounced Durn-al. The other story I know is that three Durnell brothers came to America, one settled in Western Pa. and the other two continued west and weren't heard of again. I started this search because my great great great grandparents are John S. Durnell (b.abt 1817 d. July 1, 1883) and his wife Laura (b.1822 d. 1895). They were residents of Allegheny Twp., Butler Co., Pa. John is listed as a head of household there 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, as a farmer and even taylor by occupation. They are both buried in unmarked graves on the Durnell plot at the Allegheny Presbyterian Church Cemetery in that twp., down the road from where there farm was. Prior to that Church, I know they attended church at Stone Church (Scrubgrass Presby.), just over in scrubgrass Twp, venango co. where their son, Joseph Durnell married in 1868. A distant relative of mine sent me listings for other Durnell's who attended there, mentioned in records, The name is uncommon in this area of western Pa. at the time, and that also figures in that it's part of the same family. Joseph Durnell is listed in Richland Twp., Venango Co. in the 1820, and 1830 census.
The Presby. Church in Allegheny Twp., was not organized until 1876. before then my family attended over at Scrubgrass Presby. (Stone Church) in neighboring Scrubgrass Twp., Venango Co., Pa. My known ancestors that appear in records at Stone Church:
1.William E. Durnell and Hannah M. Cox -no date recorded.
(these are my great grandparents and they in fact were married June 7, 1905 by Rev. J. K. Lowther at the Allegheny Presby. Church. Why it's recorded here at Stone Church, I don't know.)
2.Jennie A. Durnell and J. G. McAnallen - June 7, 1905.
(this is William's sister and it was a double wedding over at Allegheny Presby. Church.)
3.Laura Durnell and Howard J. Parks - Dec. 4, 1894.
(This is William and Jennie's sister.)
4.Jonathon Durnel and Miss Eilizabeth Womer - Jan. 9, 1868.
(These are my great great grandparents, and according to pention records when they were married at Scrubgrass it was stated as occuring in Stone Church's parsonage.)
5.Joseph Durnell and Miss Julia A. Pearce - Jan. 31, 1867.
(this is Jonathon's brother).
6.Miss Abbie Durnell and William G. Morton - June 30, 1883.
(rhis is Jonathon's sister).
7.James C. Durnell and Miss Hattie E. Gibson - Oct. 23, 1873. (this is Jonathon's brother).
8.Miss Nancy Durnell and William A. Gibson - Sept. 10, 1872. (This is Jonathon's sister).
9. Elizabeth Durnell and W. L. Anderson - March 1, 1853.
(I think this is Jonathon's aunt. 1840 census of Joseph Durnell does have a age bracketed female,under age 5, and age bracket 5 - 10 age.)
10.Mrs. Sarah Dernald (Durnell) and John D. Cunningham -
July 12, 1849. ( I beleive Sarah is the widow of Joseph Durnell, he does not appear in the 1850 census.)
The hard to prove theory that Sarah is the widow of Joseph Durnell, is proved by the fact that no other Durnell families lived in the area at the time. I did send away for the death certificate of Susannah (Durnell) Miller. She is buried at Stone Church. her death certificated states she was born Feb. 27th, 1836 in Perry Twp., Arm. Co., Pa. and died Jan. 25, 1918 in Allegheny Twp., Butler Co., Pa. stating her birth as in 1836 in Perry Twp., Arm. Co., Pa. does prove her to be a dau. of Joseph Durnell. 1840 census he is residing in Perry Twp. and does have a dau. that fits in the 0-5 age bracket. But listed as Susannah's parents are John Durnell and Sarah Shoup, both born in Pa. I found that her children were all born after Joseph Durnell died and may have remembered that their grandfather's name begain with a J, but in the Durnell family, I found that with the J names is always John, Jonathon, James, Joseph. I have found in other research that death certificates can be a source of mistakes by relatives filling them out. I beleive that Joseph Durnell and Sarah Shoup are Susannah's parents.
The 1820 Census of Richland Twp., Venango Co., Pa. pg. 15, image 32, roll m33_114:lists:
Joseph Darnell, 1 male (26-45), 1 male (under 10), 1 female (16-26). The oldest male is Joseph Durnell, the male listed under 10 is my great great great grandfather John S. Durnell (b.abt.1817). This is the second link why I think Joseph is John S.'s father. The female listed at (16-26) is Sarah (Shoup) Durnell, b. 1798. I beleive Sarah is Susannah and John's mother and Joseph's wife. In the household next door is Elizabeth Shoup, Susannah's mother. I did some research and found that the family of Solomon and Elizabeth Shoup first resided, after leaving Arm. co. and then southern Clarion Co. abt. 1816., This is where I believe Joseph Durnell, met and married their daughter Sarah Shoup, who is listed in genealogy as being born 1798. Solomon Shoup, Sarah's father died in 1817. It appears in the Census records in 1820. The remaining Shoups' moved to Richland twp., Venango co., widow Elizabeth Shoup, is residing next door to son in law, Joseph Durnell, and on the other side of her, her son Jacob
Shoup, has his own household, and 14 households away her other son John Shoup resides. A search at Franklin, venango Co., Pa's courthouse has shown no deeds for Joseph Durnell, or any of the Shoups this early, they must of all rented or squated. Joseph Durnell does not show up in any deeds, at Clarion, Kittanning or even Butler Courthouses either.
According to census records Joseph Durnell was born between 1790-1794. I don't think he traveled from another state by himself, but he does fit in the proper age bracket to be the son of four possible men. example:
1800 Census: under 10 (b.1790-1800) households of:
1.John Durnell, Lower Darby twp., Delaware Co., Pa.
2.Edward Durnal, Derry twp., Northumberland Co., Pa.
3.Isaac Darnel, Newbury, York Co., Pa.
4.Thomas Durnall, Cedar Ward, Philadelphia.
But also promising is the 1810 Pa. Census. Four men have sons that are 16-25 age bracket (b. bef 1794):
1.Samuel Durnell, Luzerne twp., Fayette Co., Pa.
2.Thomas Durnall, Newlin twp., Chester Co., Pa.
3.Araon Durnal, West Bradford twp., Chester Co.,Pa.
4.Jno (John) Darnal, Greenwood twp., Northumberland Co., Pa.
According to the History of Fayette Co., Pa. it states:
"Samuel Durnell was a Chester County shoemaker, and about 1800 located in Luzerne twp. upon a place now owned by William Roberts where he resumed his trade of shoemaking. He bought a farm later, and in 1819 he sold it, intending to remove to Ohio. While making preparations for the journey, he was taken ill, and died." If Samuel Durnell was Joseph Durnell's father, this would make sense to go to Clarion Co. and settle if his father was planing on going to Ohio. but other than a son that fits Joseph's age bracket this theory can't be proved. A look at a Durnell genealogy from 1955, does not list enough info on Durnell's in Fayette County, to make a connection, but this orgin would seem more possible than Joseph traveling accross the whole state by himself. Using Census records, church records, internet info, I have put together what the Joseph and Sarah Shoup Durnell family most likely existed, I believe it to be 98% accurate, but would like other peoples info to help prove it. as follows:
Joseph Durnell was born in Pa. 1790-94 and died 1841-1849, probably in Perry Twnp., Arm. Co., Pa. About 1816 he married Sarah Shoup in Clarion Co. or Venango Co., Pa. Sarah Shoup was born 1798, probably in Westmoreland Co., Pa. to Solomon and Elizabeth (Lightcap) Shoup. She died bef. 1870, probably in Venango Twp., Butler Co., Pa.
1.John S. Durnell, b.abt. 1817, prob. Venango Co. Pa. and
d. July 1, 1883 in Allegheny Twp., Butler Co., Pa. He m.
about 1840 to Laura. She is supposedly the dau. of
Henry Kingsley and Abigail Dunbar. She was b. 1822 in
New York and d.April 11, 1895 in Allegheny Twp., Butler
A. Jonathon K. Durnell m. Elizabeth Womer
B. Joseph Durnell m. Julia A. Pearce
C. Sarah A. Durnell m. Sterling S. Sloan
D. James C. Durnell m. Hattie Gibson
E. Nancy Durnell m. William A. Gibson
F. Abagail Durnell m. William Morton
G. Susannah Durnell
H. Alexander Durnell, likely died young
2.Jonathon Durnell, b. abt 1822 and d.bef. 1860, prob-
ably Clarion Co., Pa. He m. Rachel. She was b. abt.
1830 and d. bef. 1860. He was a Lawyer by occupation,
and is found residing in Helen, Clarion Co., Pa.
in the 1850 Census. I believe he and his wife and
two dau. died before 1860. His son John is found
in the 1860 census residing with his mother, Sarah (Shoup
)Durnell Cunningham and his step father John D. Cunning-
ham in Venango Twp., Butler Co., Pa.
A. Rosannah Durnell
B. John Durnell
C. Lucinda Durnell
3.Nancy Durnell, b. abt. 1825, maybe Butler Co., Pa. and
d. Feb. 28, 1896 Ormsby Junction, McKean Co., Pa. She m.
Friend Walters.
A. John Walters
B. Mary Walters
C. William Walters
D. Henrietta Walters
E. Katie Walters
F. Lizzie Walters
G. Gardner Walters
H. Nevada Walters
4.Solomon Durnell, b. abt.1830. In the 1850 census, he is
residing in his brother John S. Durnell's household in
Allegheny Twp., Butler Co.,Pa. 1860 census he is in
northern Armstrong co., Pa. occupation - boatbuilder.
He m. Elizabeth.
5.Elizabeth Durnell, b. 1835-1840. She married W. L.
Anderson, March 1, 1853 at Stone Church.
6.Susannah Durnell, b.Feb. 27th, 1836 Perry Twp., Arm. Co.,
Pa. and d. Jan. 25, 1918 Allegheny Twp., Butler Co., Pa.
She married James E. Miller. He was b. 1833 and d. 1911.
A.Lula Miller
B.Mary Elizabeth Miller m. U. Harper Eakin
C.Sarah Augusta Miller m. Thomas Anderson Crawford
D.John Franklin Miller m. Carrie Estella Jamison
E.Erskine James Miller m. Margaret Hulings
F.Isabella Miller
G.Ellen Jane Miller
H.a infant Miller
I.Ida Miller m. William E. Jamison
J.Robert Harry Miller m. Luella bovard

If any one has questions, answers, or additions please add or even ask questions,
Patrick Collar

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