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Saturday, September 17, 2016

William Bonnell of Mercer County, Kentucky Had a Brother Samuel Bonnell Who Stayed in New Jersey

Marjorie Gibbs asked:
I have been following all this with great interest. It must take some kind of record for the depth and breadth of the research you have done, and the careful sorting and analyzing. it’s fascinating. 

Would you retrace a little to help me follow the descent from the original William? I assume the evidence now shows Samuel Bonnell (3) the more likely father of our “Kentucky Bonnells.” Is that right? William Austin suggested that Isaac4 was William’s father. That no longer seems to be the case — Samuel was William’s father, instead of Isaac. Does this mean Isaac4. (Nathaniel3,2, was not our William’s ancestor? Or was it Isaac4’s brother, Samuel4? Or was our William’s progenitor Samuel3, and not Nathaniel at all? Would you line this out for me, please? It looks to me as though you have found three generations of Samuels that weren’t even on Bill Austin’s radar. Is that right? Sorry if I appear rather dense on following this. It’s not your fault.

John’s reply:
Thanks for the note, I know all of this can get quite confusing, especially with the duplicate names.  

I think we’ve now established with reasonable confidence that William Bonnell of Mercer County Kentucky was the son of Samuel Bonnell [2] who was born in Woodbridge New Jersey (26 May 1707), reached maturity in Somerset County New Jersey, spent most of his adult life as the Constable of Windsor, New Jersey, and was an elderly companion of William during his first several moves in Virginia.  

The body of evidence indicates that Samuel (2) had at least one other son, also named Samuel [3], who would have been William’s brother, probably born about five to eight years before William.  Samuel (3) appears to have stayed in New Jersey after the rest of the family moved to Virginia, at least through the Revolutionary War.  

William and Samuel (3)’s paternal grandfather and Samuel (2) father was Samuel Bonnell (1) who is listed on page 57 and 58 of William Austin’s book.  We now know that Austin’s write up is incomplete.  Samuel (1) did not die in 1715 (that was a different Samuel).  Instead, he remained in the public record until at least 1728 and probably 1739.  

Our discoveries reinforce  Austin’s assessment that Samuel (1) split with his wife Abigail and son Benjamin.  It now appears that he took up a relationship with a Susannah (Randolph?) which resulted in the birth of Samuel (2).  The genealogy from here is straightforward and in accordance with William Austin and Claude Bunnell’s work:  Samuel (1) was the son of Nathaniel, who was the third child of the original immigrant William Bonnell.  So, our direct line to the original immigrant was:

-William (of Mercer KY, b. ~1742 in Somerset or Middlesex County, New Jersey)
    - Samuel Bonnell (2) (b. 26 May 1707 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; d. probably in late 1770s  in Virginia)
         - Samuel Bonnell (1) (b. ~1675 in Elizabethtown, NJ, d. probably 1740s in Somerset County, NJ)
                 - Nathaniel Bonnell (b ~1640-1642, probably in Massachusetts)
                        - William Bonnell – the original immigrant.

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