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Neel Family

Updated May 27, 2014


James Herbert Neel was the only son of Ione Donalson and James Lee Neel of Texas. My father told me our Neel name was originally Neely or Kneely or something like that. The earliest Neel of our line in America was probably the father of John T. Neel born about 1765 in South Carolina, who married Sarah Hutchins. In 1840, widow Sarah and sons John T. Neel, Sr. and William "Alexander" Neel, born in NC, were in TN. Many descendants now spell our name Neal. William Alexander Neel/Neal moved to KY and then back to TN. In TN and KY our family lived by, Edward and Ellen Neel/Weil O'Connor, probably the sister of James and Wm Alex, living next to our John T. Neel in 1850 who paid the bond for the marriage of Ellen and Edward O'Conner. In turn, Edward paid the bond for William Alexander Neel's marriage to Amelia (Permilla) Mixon. It's possible our surname was originally Wiel as Ellen's descendants believe.

John T. Neel married Martha A. Lemonds, daughter of David Lemonds and Esther Martin. John T. Neel was the brother of James H. Neel who married Narcissa Gray, parents of James W. and Lavinia (living with John T. and Martha in 1850) and other sons Richard and Sidney Gray Neel/Neal. John was the guardian of James' children James W. and Lavinia Neel, not their father. John's cemetery info is below. John and Martha's son James Alford Neel married Mary Ann Dudley daughter of Ransom W. Dudley of Weakley, TN, (born in VA, of royal descent) and his first wife, T.J. Their son James Lee Neel was my grandfather. He married Ione Donalson, daughter of Angus W. Donalson and Nancy "Nannie" Nora Smith. Both James Lee and Ione D. Neel descend from the Egyptian Pharoah Rameses, as well as British and European royalty.

Ione Donalson's parents were Lucy Bridges Shores and Warren Franklin Donalson, son of William Donalson and Rachel Bush, daughter of Sanders and Mary Bush a descendant of Lady Godiva through her Percy line. Sanders was an American Revolution soldier with Capt. Kennedy's company July 6, 1777. Sanders was the son of Abraham and Rachel Bush. Our Abraham was the son of William Bush of Maryland, according to DNA results.

I was the first DAR member to prove Sanders Bush an ancestor, thanks to William Glenn Bush for his help with early records. I entered the DAR through Thomas Owen with cousin, Annelies Mouring, Esq. a descendant of George W. Smith, brother of my ggreat-grandfather, Algernon Sidney Smith, sons of Nancy Owen and James Hans Smith (aka Shmidt and Johannes Schmitz). Nancy Owen was the daughter of Kentucky distiller Robert Owen descended from Owen Owen and Ann Wood of royal descent.

A Hollander, James Hans Smith was born 11 Sept. 1799, Berks Co, PA. According to the birth record sent to me by Annelies, he was the son of school teacher William "Billy" Smith, Jr. and Miss Rebecca Mans, who later married and had other children. Hans was in the war of 1812 exactly 19 days when they discovered he was only 14 and sent him home. In 1818 Hans was a School teacher with his father in Boalsburg, PA. He taught school in KY where he met and married Nancy Owen. In 1826 he received a land grant in Clay Co. and later one in Palmyra, Lincoln Co, MO. Hans was a state legislator of Congress and the Senate of both MO and AR. Hans was murdered in Houston, Texas in 1852. His wife, Nancy and servant and family friend, Jerry went by wagon to bring their hero home.

Hans' son Al Sidney Smith married Rebecca Geaslin, daughter of William King Geaslin and Ruth Lambert Pace, daughter of William Pace and Ruth Lambert. DNA has been proven this line goes back to Richard Pace and Isabel Smythe through John and Elizabeth Lowe Pace. The Lambert line goes back to William Lambert 1669-1716 and wife Anne Bradshaw, daughter of Robert and Anne.

Barbara Jean Neel

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Family Photos

  • James Lee Neel family 1942 (286 KB)
    James Lee Neel family in 1942. Far left son Herbert, son-in-law Thomas,daughter Mary, son-in-law Clint Price, daughters Hazel, Nan and Nan's daughter Carol, James Lee and second wife Louise Spears is on the right holding Nan's daughter Wanda.
  • Angus and Nancy Donalson (221 KB)
    Angus Washington Donalson married Nancy "Nannie" Nora Smith 25 November 1890, parents of Edna, my grandmother Ione, Eva and Fay Donalson.
  • James Lee Neel family 1950 (213 KB)
    Herbert, Mary, their step-mother Louise, Nan, James Lee, and youngest daughter Hazel in front.
  • BJ, Mary, Nancy and James H. Neel (81 KB)
    This photo was taken about six months before my dad, James H. Neel passed away. Left to right: Mary Neel, Nancy Neel, James "Herbert" and in front, his daughter Barbara
  • Barbara Neel Blizzard (14 KB)
    Daughter of James Herbert Neel and first wife Bernice Lorraine Hadley.
  • John T Neel tombstone (260 KB)
    John T Neel tombstone section E #3029 of National Cemetery, Mound City, Illinois, as stated in his burial records. John was first buried in Paducah, Kentucky and his remains were moved to the present location in 1871 when the new National Cemetery was formed. Photo taken by his gg-great-granddaughter Elizabeth M. Blizzard, MS. The stone appears to be cracked but it is not. It has a layer of granite going through it that has not deteriorated by rain and wind as the rest of the softer stone has, Elizabeth said. If anyone wants an image of the back of the stone which shows the granite completely goes through the stone, please email me and request it.
  • Bernice Hadley 1945 (231 KB)
    Bernice Lorraine Hadley, first wife of James Herbert Neel, sang on the radio, which was live at the Hollywood Bowl, on the first "I am an American Day," for the President of the USA in 1939.
  • Hans Smith Land Grant Clay Co MO (359 KB)
    Land grant of 160 acres in Clay County, Missouri of Hans Smith, granted in 1828, at the time of President John Quincy Adams.
  • James H. Neel and Frances (176 KB)
    James Herbert and his third wife Frances Morrow. Frances' younger brother, West Texas Sheriff, Leroy Morrow is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma.
  • Hans Smith Land Grant Palmyra, Lincoln Co MO (377 KB)
    Land of Hans Smith in Lincoln County, Missouri, 1848, granted by President James K. Polk. Hans was very impressed with President Polk and had named his youngest son in his honor four years earlier, in 1844: James K. Polk Smith
  • Angus Donalson Family 1907 (134 KB)
    Angus Washington Donalson Family in 1907 taken with his mother Lucy Bridges Shores wife of Warren Franklin Donalson in Texas, who are buried in Bourland Cemetery, Keller, Texas. Angus and Nancy Smith Donalson were the patents of my grandmother Ione Donalson Neel, wife of James Lee Neel.
  • William Alexander Neel marriage record (282 KB)
    William "Alexander" Neel, marriage to Permilla "Amelia" Mixon, third from the top. As a widower William lived with his youngest daughter Nancy B. Neel. He as well as his brother John T. Neel families moved to Kentucky before the war between the states started, and later returned to Tennessee. William was born in North Carolina.
  • Ione and Eva Donalson at College (358 KB)
    This School photo was taken at Denton College for Women near their home in Texas. My grandmother Ione Donalson, far right was standing beside her sister Eva Donsldon. Ione was a school teacher after graduation from college.
  • Lurman Neal, USArmy (52 KB)
    Lurman Neal, my 3rd cousin once removed, the great-grandson of William Alexander Neel and wife Amelia, looks a great deal like my father, James Herbert Neel in photo below. Lurman's lineage is: John and Sarah Hutchins Neel/Neal/Weil, their son William and Amelia Neel/Neal, their son James Thomas b. 1858, Ky, and Nancy Philips Neal, their son Percy Fone and Ada Belle Gamil Neal, their son Lurman Arvel Neal.
  • James Herbert Neel USArmy 1945 (215 KB)
    James "Herbert" Neel in his Army uniform from a 1945 photo given to me by my father "Herb." He looks a lot like his cousin Lurman Neel above. Their great-grandfathers were brothers, sons of Sarah Hutchins/Hutchinson Neel and husband John Neel aka Neil/Weil.
  • James Herbert Neel, USArmy Newspaper clipping. (14 KB)
    From a newspaper.
  • Nancy Owen Smith tombstone (39 KB)
    Nancy Owen married James Hans Smith, ancestors of Ione Donalson through her mother Nancy Nora Smith Donalson. Nancy's father Algernon Smith was the son of James and Nancy Owen Smith.

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