Select Daniels Miscellany

Here are some Daniel/Daniels stories and accounts over the years:

Daniel and Daniels Today

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*  In Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Danyells of Cheshire

It was said that this early Cheshire family could trace their lineage back to the Roger Daniel who had come over with William the Conqueror in 1066.  In reward for his services he was granted lands at Filsham in Sussex.  His name was recorded there in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Some of his descendants may have moved north during the 13th century.  Robert D'Anyers was recorded in Cheshire in 1291 and from him came the Danyers and Danyells of Daresbury in the next century.  Thomas Danyell appeared at Over Tabley in the 1380's and a later Thomas Danyell married Maud Leicester there in 1440.  Meanwhile Robert Danyell who served with John Devereaux in Scotland made his home around 1390 at Rydelegh. 

From the Daresbury line is thought to have come the Thomas Danyell who held lands at Frodsham in Cheshire and first appeared in records in 1440.  He was at various times a royal favorite, accused twice of treason and then pardoned each time.  He died in 1482.  During the turmoil of the War of the Roses he was considered a clever, charismatic, unscrupulous rogue whose exploits were recorded widely in contemporary documents.

The Daniel Family of Truro and Penzance

It was Richard Daniel, born in the parish of Kenwyn near Truro in Cornwall in the year 1561, who first established the family fortunes.  He apprenticed himself to a draper in London and later became wealthy as a merchant in Germany and Holland.

His son Alexander
was sent in 1599 at a young age to Truro to live with his uncle Jenkin.  Jenkin Daniel had received some of his brother’s wealth and became the mayor of Truro in 1615.  His son Jacob followed him as mayor in 1632.

Alexander by this time had married and moved to Madron near Penzance.  He kept a journal where he displayed his particular view of life.  For instance, he believed that God took a personal interest in his life and he even thanked Him for saving his sight when an apple fell in his eye.

He died in 1668 and was buried in Madron churchyard with the following inscription:

“Belgia me birth, Britain me breeding gave
Cornwall a wife, ten children and a grave.”

One son George became a successful businessman in Penzance and founded a school for poor children in Madron on his death in 1710.  This school was still in existence as a voluntary school in 1937. 

Reader Feedback - Early Daniels in Virginia

I am the founder in 2002 and project manager for the Daniel DNA Project which has over 500 Daniel men participating.  They represent dozens of unrelated Daniel families. 

The notion that the family of William Daniel of Middlesex county, Virginia was the principal southern Daniel line is incorrect. There were several other major Daniel lines, as proved by Y DNA testing and primary record research. 

Other prominent 17th century southern Daniel lines with large numbers of descendants and extensive properties and lands were: 
  • Deputy Governor Robert Daniell of North Carolina who arrived in South Carolina in 1669.  
  • John Daniell whose will was probated in Isle of Wight county, Virginia in 1679.  
  • John Daniell who made his will in York county, Virginia in 1684.  
  • James Daniel, first recorded aged 30 in Essex county, Virginia in 1694.  
  • and William Daniel, a carpenter of Essex and Caroline counties in Virginia.  He already had a plantation in Essex county when he first appeared in records there in 1707.   
Best Regards 
Kevin Daniel (

Reader Feedback - Thomas Daniels at Roanoke Island off North Carolina

I am from the Daniels’ Family of Wanchese, North Carolina as my great great grandmother Mary T. Daniels married Daniel Baum III.  Mary was born in 1833 and died in 1908.  

The family has it that this family, along with the line of Josephus Daniels, came to New England and then was at Roanoke Island in North Carolina in 1765. The earliest known was Thomas Daniels, said to have been from Northern Ireland, but some have said New England and originally from Devon in England.  

Thomas had a son Josephus who had a son Clifford who was the father of Josephus Daniels, born in 1828.  He in turn was the father of Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) of newspaper fame.  

The Josephus of 1862 had a sister Mary T. Daniels who married Daniel Baum III.  Josephus and Mary were in fact half siblings and Mary’s mother was Milly Daniels, the daughter of another Josephus who married Julie Beasley whose line traced to the famed Lost Colony of 1590. 

The Josephus who married Julie was the son of William Daniels, the brother of Thomas mentioned above.  I have these lines to the 1760's but am curious if they would be from the Devon Daniels line in England.  I have looked into books about the Virginia Daniel(s) family and ones that come further west in North Carolina.  

Have you ever heard of where these could be from?  

Clyde Gallop (

The Daniel West India Merchants

On the north wall of the cloisters in Bristol Cathedral there is a headstone inscribed as follows:

“Sacred to the memory of Thomas Daniel esq, a respectable merchant of this city who was born in Barbados on March 14, 1730 and departed this life on February 23, 1802.”

He had come from a mercantile family that had settled in Barbados in the mid-17th century.  In 1764 he returned to England where he developed a substantial business in the Caribbean sugar trade out of Bristol.  He owned ships that would bring the sugar from Caribbean plantations back to England.  This business he handed over to his son Thomas Daniel Jr. on his death in 1802.

Thomas Jr. acquired slave plantations throughout the Caribbean, including the Sunbury plantation in Barbados in 1835.  He became so rich and powerful that he was known as the “king of Bristol.”  In Barbados he was a great friend of the notorious buccaneer Sam Lord of Sam Lord's Castle close to the Sunbury estate.  Thomas in fact installed chandeliers at Sunbury to match those at Sam Lord’s home.

The Sunbury plantation remained in family hands through Daniel’s niece and her descendants until 1981.  It now functions as a restaurant and museum.

Jack Daniel and Whiskey

Jack Daniel was the founder of the Jack Daniel whiskey distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee in the late 1800’s.  Exactly when he founded it is not quite clear.  Early records were destroyed in a courthouse fire.  The company says it was founded in 1866.  Others have maintained that it was not founded until 1975.

Jack “the Lad” Daniel was the grandson of Joseph or Job Daniel who had emigrated to North Carolina from Wales in the late 18th century. 

Family members back in Wales claim that his whiskey recipe came from Wales.  The recipe apparently first surfaced in an 1853 book written by a Llanelli herbalist in Carmarthenshire whose name was Daniels. Lillian Daniels Probert, still alive at 97, remembered her grandmother using the book to make herbal remedies and ointments and was given the book by her.

Bebe Daniels the Actress

Bebe Daniels was born by chance in Dallas, Texas in early 1901, the only child of Danny and Phyllis Daniels.  Her emigrant Scottish father had changed his name from Daniel MacMeal to Danny Daniels when he founded his California-based traveling stock company.  His wife and leading lady had given birth to Bebe as the troupe toured through Dallas.

By the age of four Bebe was a frequent actor in her parents' company, by seven she had made her movie debut, and at fifteen she was playing the leading lady to Harold Lloyd in Hal Roach's Lonesome Luke silent-film series.  Cecil B. De Mille discovered her dancing in a restaurant and took her to his Paramount Studios at ten times her old salary. Her film career extended into the 1930’s. 

She had by that time married the actor Ben Lyon and after the war enjoyed a second career in London, writing and producing the hugely popular Life with the Lyons which featured the whole Lyon family.  It played on radio for twelve years between 1950 and 1962.

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