James Daniel (1747 - 1820)
Sarah "Sally" Cocke (1755 - <1830)

Finally! The evidence on the parentage of James Daniel has been confirmed by DNA testing!

James Daniel was born 31 December 1747. Family write-ups have proposed various identification and parentage for this James Daniel:

1. That he is descended from Governor Robert Daniel of South Carolina. However, Robert's descendants are well-traced and our James is not among them.
2. I have researched various Daniel families of Virginia, including the family of William and Ann Daniel of Brunswick County VA. William named a son James in his will of 1786 and the family of Jame's wife, the Cockes, had also been in Brunswick earlier. However, the tax lists date their children and their James was born in the 1770s.
3. That he is one and the same or the son of the James Daniel of Granville who died in 1785. This is clearly disproved by the tax lists of Granville. There is a full explanation at genforum message 1782 and at genforum message 2125 (both open in a new window, just close when done) . To further complicate this particular identification there is the issue of the marriage of this James Daniel (d. 1786). You can read an explanation of this at genforum message 2112 (also opens in a new window). However, the link to the actual marriage bond is old, here is the marriage bond of James Daniel and Salley Cocke.

After re-entry into research on the various Daniel families and a number of "aha's" from the records, I was very satisfied and convinced that James is the son of James Daniel and Jane Hicks of Albemarle county Va, son of Robert Daniel and Margaret Price, son of Capt. William Daniell of Middlesex. But the proof was always going to be clouded by the old confusions. The Daniel Surname DNA Project now has tests from descendants of Chesley and Josiah Daniel, both proven sons of James Daniel of Albemarle and Jane Hicks. And at last I found a descendant of our James to test and the match was a perfect 37/37, thus confirming the records. Read the record evidence that James is the son of James of Albemarle.

Sally Cocke was born in 1755, daughter of William Cocke and Rebecca Edwards who had married 23 July 1754 in Brunswick county VA. Extensive research has been done on this Cocke family back to Richard Cocke (1600-1665) of Henrico County Virginia: a well documented source is Cockes and Cousins, volume 2, by Virginia Webb Cocke, 1974.

By the early 1770s James Daniel was in Granville County, North Carolina, as was the Cocke family. The 1771 Granville tax lists show William Cocke with 5 taxables and no carriage wheels and in the same grouping James Daniel with 2 taxables and no carriage wheels; no later information I have found indicate who this other taxable is. However, it could be his brother John and again I would refer you to my "theory" above. In a second grouping of D- Names is Anne Daniel (widow of John who died 1762), their son the "other" James Daniel (the constable), and still further away is Chesley Daniel, who I now believe is James' brother.

James Daniel married Sally Cocke in Granville on 30 November 1772; James' signature on the bond is at the beginning of this page and Sally's father also signed the bond.

Just a few months later James Daniel, Chesley Daniel, and Joseph Roberts were witnesses when Benjamin Harrison executed his will in Granville on 7 January 1773. It was probated at May court of 177- [sic, as found in Granvile Will Book 1 p. 36-37]. The following week, on 13 January 1773, James was a witness to a deed (K110) between John Johnston and James Downeyfor 369a on both sides of lower fork of Grassey Ck, bound by James Pettegrew's corner, Drury Smith's line, King's line, and Downey's line. The other witness, who proved the deed at February court of 1773 was David Knott, who was closely tied to Chesley Daniel's family.

James' and Sally's first child, Rebecca (Rebecke in records) was born in 1773 or 1774, then William in 1776. They probably lost a child after that, maybe two, Elijah in about 1781, and then Lewis was born about 1783-84, John C. in 1784-85, Jane about 1787, Elizabeth about 1789. George was born on 13 July 1792. A daughter was born about 1793, but must have died young. Susan was born in 1795, Sally about 1798, and Margaret R. on 7 March 1800. [N.B. Later family data says Lewis was born in 1781, but the tax lists clearly show Elijah coming of age first, Lewis does not appear on them until 1807 (for the year 1806). He is probably the poll counted in James Daniel's listing of 1806, James being beyond poll age. This would put Lewis' birth about 1783-4.]

The Granville land records (Book L, p. 251) show that on 8 January 1778 James Daniel of Granville bought 233 acres on the north side of Crooked Run from Michal Pealor/Peelar of Roan (Rowan). The witnesses were George Roberts, Absalom Davis, and Wilm Cocke. The price for this land was a token 5 shillings sterling. This needs to be further investigated for family relationships and origins.

Next, George Roberts sold 250 acres to James Daniel on 3 February 1778 for 226.13.4. The land is described as being on both sides of Tar River and crossing Crooked Run. There were no witnesses and George Roberts acknowledged the deed in the February court of 1778. (Granville Deed Book L, p. 237)

James Daniel is listed in the Tar River District (p. 169) as taking the Oath of Allegiance on 22 May, 1778, as shown in the State Records of North Carolina. Various relatives of his are in their respective districts. The oaths read as follows:

I will bear faithfull and true Allegiance to the State of North Carolina and will truly endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the independent Government thereof against George the third, King of Great Britain and his successors, and the attempts of any other Person, Prince, power, state or Potentate, who by secret arts, treasons, Conspiracies or by open force shall attempt to subvert the same and will in every respect conduct myself as a peaceful orderly subject and that I will disclose and make known to the governor, some member of the Council of State, some Justices of the Superior Courts or of the Peace, all treasons, Conspiracies and attempts committed or intended against the State shall come to my knowledge.
"And that all persons being quakers, Moravians, Menomists & dunkards & under the circumstances above mentioned in Law, shall make the following affirmation or depart the State."
I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will bear true Fidelity to the independence State of North Carolina and to the Powers & authorities which are or may be established for the good governments thereof and I do renounce any Fidelity to the present King of Great Britain, his Heirs and successors, and that I will disclose and make known to the Governor, some member of the Council of State, Judge of the superior Court or Justice of the peace, all Treasons, Conspiracies or attempts Committed or intended against the same which shall come to my knowledge.

The next available tax list for Granville is for 1780, now broken down by districts. The Tar River district shows George Roberts and William Cocke and nearby is James Daniel with 503 acres, 3 slaves age 10 to 40, 3 slaves age 5 to 10, 2 slaves under 5, 7 horses, 12 cattle, with a total valuation of 4330.10.6. There is a 20 acre discrepancy here, but the next land deed helps clarify it. The other Daniel families, including the "other" James are much farther east in the Henderson and Nutbush districts (which would be cut into modern day Vance county).

Deed Book O, p. 151 shows that James Daniel sold 20 acres of land to Thomas Person on 6 January 1780, for 100 current money of North Carolina. The land was between the branches of Sheltons Creek and Crooked, adjoining Person's corner. The witnesses were Thomas Critcher and Phillip Lewis and the deed was recorded in the August court of 1781. This 20 acres must have been included in the 1780 listing, although there is no record of James Daniel purchasing it that I have found.

In the Granville records, after Book N is a Book of State Grants: p. 176 #345, 1 Mar 1780, for 50 shillings for every 100 acres, to James Daniel 98 acres, on the waters of Tar River, Persons Corner, Allins line, Daniels line. The grant is signed by Richard Caswell. Another note about the 1780 tax list is that James Daniel is listed directly before Thomas Person and William Allin.

The 1782 tax lists again show our James Daniel in the Tar River district with 563 acres, 3 negros age 16 to 40, 2 negros age 7 to 16 or 40 to 50, 2 negros under 7 or over 50. He is also listed with 10 horses or mules, 11 cattle, and the amount of the assessment is 613.12. James is very near George Roberts and William Allin. The discrepancy in acreage is not unusual or surprising, but I haven't found any records to account for it yet. The Cocke family has now been cut into the Island River district.

The court records of Granville show the following road entry for 3 February 1783 (Volume 6, Minutes). Note the names involved are very familiar to the Daniel family in other land entries:

Feby 3, 1783. "The following persons are appointed to lay out a Road the best & most convenient way from near Shearmons meeting house to a Road laid out from Caswell Court house to Granville County line viz't. John Washington William Philpot, James Meadows, Jacob Slaughter William Allin Philip Lewis, Rich'd. Fowler Miles Wells Stephen Merrit, Jo's. Langston, Thomas Person Ja's. Daniel Tho's Goss George Roberts John Williams Ephra Frazier William Kennon William Gill & that John Washington, with the hands of Ja's. Daniel Ja's. Hester Jo's Langston, Miles Wills William Oakley Tho's. Oakley Hezekiah Habgood Harrison Duncan William Philpot William Cocke, Person's hands at his Mill, open & keep the same in repair."

In the 1785 tax list the other James Daniel and relatives are clearly separated from our James and Sally, who are now listed with no acreage, 1 free poll, 4 slaves and no other data (wheels, stud horses, etc.). They have probably already handed over their land as reflected in Deed Book O, p. 413, where James Daniel deeds 555 acres to John Thorp for 279 Virginia money. The land is on the north side of Tar River and Crooked Run. The witness was John Washington and the deed was written on 2 November 1785, recorded in November of 1785. James Daniel does not appear again in Granville after the 1785 tax lists. The "other" James Daniel of Granville had also died by November of 1785 so only his heirs show on the list in the other districts.

This is a map from the USGS Mapping Information Geographic Names Information System and the Tiger Map Server at the U.S. Census Bureau. I have marked the geographic names in James Daniel's Granville, Caswell, and Person county deeds. Shelton's Creek is along the orange dots, Crooked "Fork" along the green. Those indicate where James' land in Granville was in the 1780s. The land was very possibly in the eastern portion of what is today Person, but that area was part of Granville at that time. The purple dots are the north fork of the Flat River and the blue dot is where Flat River Primitive Baptist Church is (more on these areas in the next section). St. James District of Person, where James Daniel is listed as being taxed, is literally the southeast quarter of the county.

James and Sallie and their children had moved to that part of Caswell county which would later become Person county. The Daniel family belonged to the Flat River Primitive Baptist Church which was located about 4 miles south of Roxboro. The crossroads today are Flat River Church Road and Bessie Daniel Road. Although the earliest records of the church were destroyed, the Minute Book from 1786 - 1890 still exists. On the front page of the book is the following dedication:

"This Book is a present from Robert Paine, Senr to the Babtist Church on Flat River, Person County, to have the old church book transcribed in it from the year 1786. 3rd Saturday in March ---. By the Revd George Roberts, October 4th 1806."
There is also a list of members: it is separate for men and women, but the married couples are clearly in order on the two lists. Among the members are James and Salley Daniel and John and Lucy Womack (their daughter Elizabeth later married Elijah Daniel). Also shown are Mathew and Rachel Daniel, who don't seem to be related to our Daniels (but that's not proven yet), and what looks to be a single woman Betsy Daniel.

In the minutes, James Daniel is mentioned as a member in July of 1787. Mathew and Rachael joined in September and October of 1789. In September of 1789 Lewe, owned by James Daniel, is in the list of "Negro members" who joined the church.

Sally (Cocke) Daniel's brother, William Cocke Junior, also moved to Caswell and James Daniel and George Roberts witnessed his land purchase on 28 August 1788 (Caswell Deed Book F, p. 84). Then James Daniel and G. H. Mason were witnesses to the purchase of 312 acres by George Roberts (of Caswell) from William Green (of Warren). This land was bought for 312, located on Richland Creek adjoining William Jay. The deed was dated 25 October 1788 Book F, p. 144). The Richland Creek location of today seems only in the western portion of Person county, however at the time of these deeds it was referred to in tax list entries in the eastern districts as well.

On 20 April 1789 James Daniel bought this 312 acres in Caswell from George Roberts. The land was located on the "north fork of Flatt River...crossing Greens Hunting branch...." The initial payment was 130 Virginia money and this deed was acknowledged in open court. This area was cut into Person County in 1791 and was located in St. James District (the southeastern section of Person) in the area of Paynes Tavern. It is this 312 acres and its location that distinguish our James Daniel from the several other Daniel families of Caswell, and Person counties. Incidentally, the only tax lists extant for Caswell county are for 1777, 1780, and 1784. James Daniel does not appear on these lists, only Matthew.

A later North Carolina descendant also believed that "James Daniel and his brother William" received land grants in Tennessee from the State of North Carolina. I do not know that James did not receive one of these land grants, but given my belief that James is the son of James of Albemarle, I no longer believe he had a brother William. This idea about the land grants falls into line with the nature of other errors that the North Carolina descendants had made about James' family. Listed here are land grants in Tennessee to James and William Daniel.
#1199 James Daniel 160a 1783 Sullivan County on the North Bank of Holstien River
#2430 James Daniel 700a 1790 Greene County on the South Side of Holstien River
#2650 William Daniel 150a 1790 Hawkins County on the South side of Holstien River on Yances Creek
#2424 William Joseph Daniel, Warrant #823, 274a Tennessee co, 31 Dec 1793, assignee of the heirs of James Brown decd assignee of John Miers, Private, book B2-168
There is still research to do to confirm that this is our James Daniel and what happened to the land.

The 1790 census was created from tax lists and only lists names of the heads of households, there are no numbers of males and females. James Daniel is in the St. James district of Caswell county. However, James Daniel is reported in the tax lists from the founding of Person County. I have posted the Tax List entries of 1792-1815 for Daniel, Cocke, Womack, Pryor, and other related names. In 1793 (for the year 1792) James Daniel is listed with 1 free poll (in most of these records a poll is of age 21-46) and 5 black polls. From 1794-96 he is charged for 1 free poll and 6 black polls (actually he's not listed in 1795). In 1797 he has 2 free polls: this conforms with the census and would be James and Sally's son William coming of age. William never married and in his will of 13 May 1818 (recorded in August 1818) he left his estate to his brothers and sisters. From 1797 to 1800 James Daniel is listed with 2 free polls and 5 black polls. His sons Elijah and Lewis were still at home; the tax lists clearly show the coming of age of James' and Sally's sons.

Sally's father, William Cocke, died in 1796 and he gave to his "daughter Salley Daniel the sum of five pounds current money of this State" in his will written 12 March 1795, proven November 1796, recorded in Will and Estate Book 4, pages 50-53. Her mother Rebecca died 16 June 1796 and in her nuncupative will written down on 19 June "the 3rd day after her decease", she refers to the will of William Cock, deceased. Therefore Sally's father had died sometime between 12 March 1795 and 16 Jun 1796.

James and Sally's older children married in Person county. Rebecke married Richard Holeman in 1795. Lewis married Martha Lanier and they remained on the family land in North Carolina. Descendants lived in their house until the late 1970s. Elijah married Elizabeth Womack on 1 March 1801. Jane married William Hopson in 1806, and Elizabeth married James McCain in 1809.

The 1800 census for Person county shows James Daniel with the following family members, I have added the names:
1 male over 45 (James 52)
1 female 26 to 45 (Sally 45)
3 males 16 to 26 (William ~24, Elijah ~20, Lewis ~17)
1 males 10 to 16 (John ~14)
2 females 10 to 16 (Jane ~13, Elizabeth ~11)
1 male under 10 (George 8)
4 females under 10 (daughter ~6, Susan ~5, Sally ~2, Margaret R. infant)
There are 14 slaves listed with the family.

The 1801 tax lists (which are for 1800) show James Daniel with one white poll and 6 black polls, so the other 8 slaves are either males under 21 or females.

James Daniel is mentioned variously in the Person County Court Books, but not always reliably distinguishable from the other James Daniel of Hyco Creek farther north in Person. For example, on 3 March of 1801 in the Person County Record Book 3, p. 7 there is an "account of strays taken up" in the county. James Daniel is listed as having taken up 2 hogs. This may be either of the 2 James Daniels of Person County at the time.

Our James and Sally lived near the Paul Jeffreys family and that can help identify them. In Record Book 3, p. 74 is the December 1801 division of the estate of Paul Jeffreys to the Widow Jeffreys, Lucy, David, Elizabeth, and James. This division was administered by John Gwinn, James Daniel, and William Cocke [junior, Sally's brother]. A James Daniel also participated in the division of the estate of Edward Davis made on 9 November and recorded at December court of 1802. This second entry may or may not be ours.

On 7 Sep 1801 James Daniel bought 179 acres from Samuel Dickens, giving him $358 at the time of the deed. The land was described as adjacent to Joseph Traylor, Tapleys Creek, and Jeffrey. This deed was witnessed by John Clixby and recorded in Person County at the September 1801 court in Book C, page 293. Around the time his son Elijah turned 21, James Daniel sold this land to him, also for the same payment. The deed was written on 5 June 1804 and recorded at the June court of 1804. The witness was Richard Holdman, James and Sally's son-in-law (husband of Rebecke).

The 1803 tax lists show James with 1 white poll and 7 black polls. In 1804 he shows 6 black polls. Then on the list of 1805, recorded in September, he is listed in Captain Hubbard's Company, James with 312 acres, no white polls (he is over 46 years old and son Lewis has not yet come of age), and 5 black polls. Elijah has 178 acres, 1 white poll, and 3 black polls. In December of 1805 James Daniel was a witness to the receipt for a bill of sale from Josiah Cate to Richard Holeman [James' and Sally's son-in-law]. In 1806 James is listed with one poll (this would be Lewis) and 5 slaves. In 1807 James is listed with no polls and William, Elijah, and now Lewis are listed independently. In 1808 James is listed with those same sons, but again he has a poll who would be his son John coming of age. The 1809 tax lists only show James and Elijah, each with one poll, William and Lewis don't appear. After 1809 Elijah Daniel is no longer found on the tax lists, he had moved to Christian/Trigg county KY, where he appears in the 1810 census.

In the 1810 census of Person county James and Sally's family is listed as:
1 male over 45 (James 62)
1 female over 45 (Sally 55)
1 male 26 to 45 (Lewis ~27)
2 males 16 to 26 (John ~24, George ~18)
2 females 10 to 16 (Susan ~15, Sally ~12)
1 female under 10 (Margaret R. ~10)
The family is listed with 9 slaves.

The 1810 taxes only show James and son William, but in 1811 Lewis is again listed with them. The 1812 tax lists again have James, William and Lewis. The poll with James in these lists would still be son John.

On 2 November 1812 James Daniel sold his 312 acres to his son Lewis, and James and Sally were dismissed by letter from the Flat River Primitive Baptist Church that same month. Later descendants who lost track of James and Sally thought they must have died, but they actually moved to Christian county Kentucky. There was a significant migration from North Carolina to Kentucky and many families floated up the Cumberland River in their journey, possibly our Daniel family. They may have passed through Tennessee on the way as well. Elijah Daniel had already moved there in time for the 1810 census and the 1810 tax lists. James and Sally came later with their other children and their husbands and wives. James was over 66 years old and Sally was over 57 when they made this trip. There seems to be a crossover period between the Person county tax lists and the Christian county tax lists as James appears to be listed in both. In 1813 James no longer shows any land or slaves and Lewis Daniel is charged with the 312 acres. In the Person tax lists collected for 1814 (recorded in November of 1814) there appear James Daniel (no land) and sons William and Lewis, along with Richard Holeman, all listed in Captain Fowler's District.

As in Person county North Carolina, there was another James Daniel family in Christian county Kentucky. These two are again distinguishable by their location, but Perrin's history of the county, written last century "blends" the two. Our Daniel family settled on the Muddy Fork of the Little River in the Cerulean Springs district; the other family had come from Virginia earlier and was in the Roaring Springs district in the southern part of the county.

Our James Daniel was first listed in the tax lists in 1813 as having one white male over 21, 2 black males over 21 (no other blacks), 2 horses, and no land. He is near his sons Elijah and George and son John appears first in the 1814 tax lists. From 1815 to 1817 James has the same listing but is charged with 3 horses.

The estate of Joel Thompson was appraised and recorded in June of 1815 in Will Book C, p. 5. The appraisers were John Goode, James Daniel, and Richard Stow. The Goode name suggests this might be our James Daniel, but the Goode family was in both parts of the county, so it is not certain.

On 2 September 1816 James Daniel recorded the following affidavit in Christian County (Book G, page 82):

I James Daniel do swear that my removal to the St of Ky was with an intention to become a Citizen thereof and that I have brought with me no slave or slaves and will bring no slave or slaves with an intent of selling them. James Daniel (seal)
In 1819 James is taxed with 1 white male over 21, 3 black males over 21, but 4 blacks total, and 4 horses. The 4th black is not designated by sex or age, but based on James' will one of the men would be Bob and the "4th" would be Rachel. There are no recordings of land purchases by James, but his sons bought land over the course of the years, so James and Sally probably lived on their land.

James and Sally's younger children married in Kentucky, some after James' death. John married Nancy Harbour, George married Sarah Virginia Jones, Susan married John Jones, Sally married Isaac Miller, and Margaret married Thomas W. Hammond on 8 November 1824.

James Daniel wrote his will on 9 March 1820 and died by May of that year at age 72. His will was recorded in Christian County Wills and Estates Book C, page 308:

"Christian County Commonwealth of Kentucky to Wit: I James Daniel being sick and like to Death have made this my last Will and Testament I do give unto my wife Sarah Daniel (that is after all my Just Debts are paid) All the property I possess Namely One Negro man named Bob, a negro Woman named Rachel, Horses, Cattle, Hogs, and all the Household furniture and farming Utenseals and at her Death the same property to be equally Divided Between my five Youngest Children Namely Elizabeth McCane, George Daniel, Susan Daniel, Sally Miller, Margeret Daniel. I Do allso appoint my Son George Daniel and Isaac Miller my Executors and any Money or property that has been given to any of the above Named Legatees to be Discounted Out of their Equal part of the afore[~named] property in Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Ninth day of March in the Year of Our lord One thousand Eight hundred and Twenty --. Witness: Wm Johnson, Evander (his X mark) Johnson. Signed James Daniel, (seal). Recorded May 1820 by Jno Clark."
There are no other records of James' estate, inventories, sales, or settlements. Widow Sally Daniel appears to be living with her son George in the 1820 census along with her two younger daughters, Susan and Margaret, who also married later. George did not marry until 1828 and he is the only male in the household. Sally probably died by 1830: she is not included in census listings for any of her children. In the cemetery listings made in the 1960s there were no graves found for James and Sally. However, Charlotte L. Pulliam worked on the two James Daniel families and published articles about them in the "Cadiz Record" in 1937. At that time, with the help of a Mr. Stice, she eventually located them near Bainbridge "in the Hamby Graveyard on the Buttermilk road and not far from Clark's store". This suggests that they were living with or near their son John, as Elijah and George's lands had been cut into Trigg county in 1820. James' stone gave his birthdate as 31 December 1747 and death in 1820. Sally's only said she was born in 1755. In 1998 I travelled the whole of Buttermilk road and asked all I could find about graves in the area, but with no luck. That area looks now like it was somewhat redevoloped in the 50s, and the stones and their site are probably lost to us.


The following sources include James and Sally's times and places, but did not yield information specific to them. Some of these, however, may include information about lateral lines or descendants.
N.B. I am not including sources searched in SC and VA as there is no established link to those areas yet. I am also not mentioning compiled family histories such as by Heinemann, Ray, and Gee: they are too flawed and should not be used as sources - anything taken from them must be proved (or disproved) in primary source records for good research purposes.

Go to James Daniel and Sally Cocke in the Ahnentafel.

Go to James Daniel and Sally Cocke's family group sheet.

Go to Tax Lists 1792-1815 of NC Person County
Entries for Daniel, Womack, Pryor, Tapley

Go to the Table of Contents.