James William Neel1,2

(19 December 1803 - 6 August 1865)

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Relationship3rd great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Tracy
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Tracy Family Pedigree

Some Background

James William Neel was also known as William Neal. James' surname is rendered primarily with either of two spellings, "Neel" or "Neal" and very rarely as "Neil" or "Niel". Most Census returns show it as Neal, but his grave marker, which probably is the best indicator of James' own preference is inscribed, "James Neel". The Morman Trail Company rosters for the two companies he joined use that "Neel" spelling and the middle initial "W." (Interestingly, both rosters give his son James, Jr., the spelling of "Neal".) His descendants by way of his daughter America Ann Boyce have confidently passed his given name on as "William" rather than "James" and probably this comes from them having apparently known only his middle name. "William" perhaps is confirmed by those roster entries. These are the only two sources suggesting James had a middle name as he never seems to have used it anywhere else.3,4,5
FatherJohn Neel (14 Jun 1778 - 18 Apr 1845)
MotherRebecca (Clarissa) Guess (10 Apr 1778 - 30 Nov 1828)

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildJames William Neel was born on 19 December 1803, in Madison Co., Kentucky. Proof that age is only a number, his age on the 1860 census in Folsom, California is given as 55 years which would make the year of his birth 1805 and the census for the same year in Michigan Bar, taken just two days later, is recorded as 60 years, which would make the year of his birth 1800. His birth year as inscribed on his grave marker is 1803.6,7,8,9
GroomHe married Lydia Vanderpool, daughter of John Vanderpool and Ellender Meadors, circa 1831 in Ray Co., Missouri. Since both the Neel and Vanderpool families resided in Ray Co. in this timeframe, presumably this is where their marriage would have taken place.10
Second MarriageCirca 1853, in Consumnes, Sacramento Co., California, James William Neel married second Amelia. Probably... the year is calculated based on the year of the birth of their first child, Ann Eliza. No official record for this marriage has been found to date and her surname is unknown.11,12
DeceasedHe died on 6 August 1865 in Cosumnes Township, Sacramento Co., California, at the age of 61.13,4,14
InterredHe was buried in Live Oak Cemetery, Consumnes Twp, Sacramento Co., California.15,16,4

Children with Lydia Vanderpool:

Children with Amelia:

Family Lore

As does almost every family, we have our share of stories that are passed from generation to generation... here is some Family Lore that pertains to both James Neel's family and the family of Henry Tracy who married James' daughter Bathilda Neel.

Some Life Events of Interest

James William Neel was appointed guardian for Mary Ann Neel on 14 March 1849 in Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Mary Ann was James' 15 year old niece, the daughter of his sister Sally who had died around 1841. (No married name has been found to date for Sally, and the guardianship records give Mary Ann the surname of Neel.)
     "Now at this day comes here into Court James Neel and prays the court here to appoint him Guardian of the person and estate of Mary Neel a minor. It is therefore ordered by the request of said Mary Neel a minor over the age of fourteen years and that the said James Neel be appointed the guardian of her person and estate and then he be required to give bond to the State of Missouri in the sum of one hundred dollars, that appearing to the court to be double the value of the estate of said minor conditional for the faithful discharge of his duties as guardian according to law."
     Three weeks later it was recorded that James posted the bond with his brother, David H. Neel serving as security.
     It would not be unreasonable to speculate that the extended Neel family felt that Mary Ann, who had until this date been under the guardianship of John B. Hines (relationship unknown), would be of help to James in caring for her younger cousins. It was around this time, or perhaps a year or two earlier, that James' wife Lydia had died leaving him with three children under 10 years of age, the youngest being Bathilda who was about 3 years old in 1849.
     It is also quite likely that the extended Neel family was contemplating a move West and bringing Mary Ann back among her relatives was part of their preparations for making such a move. The surviving Neel brothers and their families all relocated to Utah in the next few years, James and David H. in 1850, the year following this guardianship arrangement; John Jr. and his family departed in 1855.17,18

Emigrated

On 20 June 1850, James William Neel, at the age of 46 years, emmigrated from Crooked River Township, Ray Co., Missouri. His children James, John, America, Henry, George and Bathilda and his niece Mary were named as accompanying him. The family arrived at the City of the Great Salt Lake Thursday, the 19th of September, 1850, fourteen weeks (98 days) after having left Bethlehem, Mills Co., Iowa on the Missouri River, that place being the gathering location for wagon trains about to go west to Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.
     The family lived in Utah Territory for a few years before moving on... but by 1860 James and his family (including America Ann and her husband, though not James' niece Mary) had relocated to Cosumnes, Sacramento County, in California's "Gold Country" which had apparently been the family's destination from the beginning of their migration West.3,19,20,21,22

Military

Military Service"Between July and late September 1832, James Neel served as a private in the 4th Regiment of Missouri Mounted Volunteers in the Black Hawk War. This conflict arose when a band of 1,000 men, women and children of the Sauk tribe under Chief Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois to occupy their former homes along the Rock River. Black Hawk's band contended that they had been tricked out of their lands while the Governor of Illinois regarded the entry of the Indians into the State as a military invasion.

"The late 1830s witnessed growing tension between newly-arrived Mormons and the “old settlers.” In September 1838, state officials called up militia to keep the peace, although the troops often merely harassed the Mormons. James’ previous military experience may have been the reason he was elected captain of a company of Mounted Volunteers from Sept 13 to Sept 22, 1838 in the so-called “Mormon Wars.” Serving under his son during the campaign was John Neel, Sr.

"The tensions erupted into armed conflict on October 25, 1838 in the “Battle of Crooked River” which took place on the border of Caldwell and Ray counties and resulted in the deaths of three Mormons and one Missourian. Two days later Missouri Governor Boggs issued his infamous “exterminating order” that insisted Mormons leave the state or be exterminated. State troops and militia from western counties were mustered up to drive the Mormons out. From October 29 through November 10, 1838, James and brother David Hugh served in a company of Mounted Volunteers under James T. Houston along with a number of their Vanderpool relatives."23,24

Community Service

In 1829, at Crooked River Township, Ray Co., Missouri, James William Neel was appointed to the office of constable for the township, to serve for a term of one year.25
For the Sacramento County General Elections held in 1862, 1863, & 1864, James served as an election judge for the Cosumnes Township polls located at Cumming's Hotel in Sebastopol, Sacramento Co., California.26

Land and Property

PatentJames William Neel received two land patents on 7 September 1838 in Ray Co., Missouri, for 240 acres of Public Lands that were purchased from the General Land Office:
Certificate No. 8148... "the East half of the South-West quarter, and the West half of the South-East quarter of Section twenty-four, in Township fifty-three, North of the Base Line of Range twenty-seven, West of the fifth Principal Meridian, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Lexington, Missouri, containing one hundred and sixty acres". And a second tract abutting the first, Certificate No. 8572... "the East half of the South East quarter of Section twenty four, in Township fifty three, North of the base line of Range twenty seven, West of the fifth principal Meridian in the Distric of Lands subject to sale at Lexington, Missouri, containing 80 acres...27

Residences and Censuses

He was probably one of the two males age 20 to 30 listed in the household of his father, John Neel, in the 1830 Federal Census of Ray Co., Missouri.28
He appeared on the 1840 Federal Census of Crooked River Town, Ray Co., Missouri. He is listed in the 20 & under 30 column. His household includes four other males; one in the under 5 column - Henry, presumably an infant; two in the 5 & under 10 column - 8 year old James and 6 year old John; and one in the 15 & under 20 column - a person unaccounted for. There are two females, one in the under 5 column - 4 year old America Ann; and one in the 20 & undr 30 column - wife, Lydia.29
He appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Utah Co., Utah Territory, enumerated in April 1851. His children James, John, Ann, Henry, George and Bathilda were listed as living with him. James (Sr.) and his eldest sons, 18 year old James (Jr.), and 16 year old John, are farmers. Also listed in his family is his niece, 16 year old Mary. James is shown as having been born in Kentucky, all of the children in Missouri.30,31
He appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of the Thomas McGee Household, Folsom, Granite Twp, Sacramento Co., California, enumerated 18 July 1860. James (his age is given as 55 years) and his sons, John (25 years) and George (17 years) are shown living in a family group of six men (headed up by a Thomas McGee) that also includes his 26 year old son in law, Asa Boyce. His daughter Bathilda (14 years) is in the house next door; his daughter America Ann Boyce (23 years) and her son, James Omory Boyce (5 years) are listed in the house next to that. All of the adult males are miners, America Ann was listed as a seamstress, and Bathilda is shown as attending school. (The family members are shown as living in the first three consecutive dwellings listed on the page of the census return.)32
Two days after being ennumerated for the 1860 census in Folsom, Granite Township, James William Neel and Amelia Neel appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Michigan Bar, Cosumnes Township, Sacramento Co., California, enumerated 20 July 1860. Their children Alonzo, Edward, Sarah, John, Henry, George and Bathilda were listed as living with them. Note that James' age is given as 60 years this time, and that this included previously listed John, George, and Bathilda (presumably she is the individual whose name is unclear but is shown with the gender (F) and the age (14 years) who had attended school within the year).
     It appears that whomever - probably Amelia? - provided the information to the census-taker in Michigan Bar didn't realize that James and his older children had already been counted in Folsom... probably because they were actually present in Folsom at the time. In any case, James was counted twice, the major differences between the two listings are that in Michigan Bar he was five years older, and owned real property valued at $200 and personal property valued at about $125.33

Sources - Citations

  1. [S180] Letter from Jean Thomas & Aldyn Ward Fournier (unknown author address) to Clare Maxine Ohlheiser Tracy; JN2-LTR-128 Paper Files of Sean C Tracy (Tracy Home Office), Names James as "William."
  2. [S210] Find A Grave, online at findagrave.com; Photographs and data are submitted by volunteer members - Text only data should be confirmed by additional sources, Find A Grave Memorial# 29085682; Photo.
  3. [S167] "Summary of Company Reports: Justus Morse Company (1850) and Shadrach Roundy Company (1850)", 3 April 2016, Sean C. Tracy (e-mail address); Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  4. [S761] Roger Martin (#46900070) findagrave.com photographer, Grave Marker for James Neel, Photograph, 16 August 2008, Live Oak Cemetery, Consumnes Twp, Sacramento Co., California, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy (Tracy Home Office).
  5. [S180] Letter, Jean Thomas & Aldyn Ward Fournier to Clare Maxine Ohlheiser Tracy, Names James as "William Neal."
  6. [S761] Grave Marker for James Neel , Photograph, 16 August 2008, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, shows year of birth.
  7. [S166] Stuart Dee Neel, "Stuart Neal eMail - 6 January 2005," e-mail message from e-mail address to Sean C. Tracy, 6 January 2005, ANCESTORS - Genealogy\\Digital Copies of Sources\\eMails\\Neal.
  8. [S744] James Neil household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, population schedule, Michigan Bar, ConsumnesTownship, Sheet page no. 117 written in left top corner, no. 401 stamped in right top corner of the page, dwelling 1014, family 983; Washington: National Archives. James and some members of his family are found at this location. James and other members of his family are also included on 1860 census for Folsom, Granite Twp, same county & state - Source #743, age given as 60 years.
  9. [S743] McGee - Thompson - Boyce households, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, population schedule, Folsom, Granite Township, Sheet page no. 248 - written in both top corners of the page, dwelling 2289, 2290, & 2291, family 2174, 2175, & 2175, Washington: National Archives. Some members of James' family occupy first three dwellings on this page, James in first, Bathilda in second, America Ann in third. James and other members of his family are also included on 1860 census for Michigan Bar, Consumnes Twp, same county & state - Source #744, age given as 55 years.
  10. [S170] Stuart Dee Neel, "Stuart Neel eMail - Neal Family," e-mail message to Sean C. Tracy, 6 March 2005, ANCESTORS - Genealogy\\Digital Copies of Sources\\eMails\\Neal.
  11. [S761] Grave Marker for James Neel , Photograph, 16 August 2008, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, gives age of Ann Eliza.
  12. [S210] Find A Grave, online at findagrave.com, Find A Grave Memorial #29085690 - Ann Eliza aged 3 yrs - Death date: 1856 - Photo - Accessed 31 Mar 2016.
  13. [S793] All California, Mortuary and Cemetery Records, 1801 - 1932 (Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010) Digitized by ancestry.com - subscription database. Original data: California State Library – Burial Records. Microfilm, 19 rolls. California State Library. Sacramento, California. Mortuary Records (Northern California), 1849-1900. California State Library. The Book of the Dead – San Francisco, El Dorado County and Tehama County Cemetery Records ca. 1850-1862. California State Library. The Book of the Dead – San Francisco Masonic Cemetery Records, ca. 1800-1900. California State Library. The Book of the Dead – Northern California Cemetery Records. California State Library. The books contain index cards with vital records on them. index card transcribed from V.R. - Accessed 31 Mar 2016.
  14. [S746] Stuart Dee Neel, “History of the Hugh Neel Family in America,” Family History Website: Neel Family History ( http://www.neelfamilyhistory.com/ui17.htm ); Accessed: March 2005 & February 2016, http://www.neelfamilyhistory.com/p96.htm#i94
  15. [S210] Find A Grave, online at findagrave.com, includes photo of grave stone with age at death inscribed.
  16. [S793] California Mortuary and Cemetery Records, 1801 - 1932, place.
  17. [S802] James Neel - Guardian and Mary Ann Neel - Minor, Guardianship, Ray Co. : Probates, 1838-1850, vol B-C, ppg 348 & 357 (14 March 1849); Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  18. [S746] Stuart Dee Neel, “Hugh Neel Family History”.
  19. [S799] Luke William Gallup, “Reminiscences and diary 1842 May-1891 Mar : ppg 122 - 141 : MS8402,” Digitized Copy of Manuscript, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History - The Overland Travel Database: ( https://history.lds.org/overlandtravels ); Accessed: 2 April 2016.
  20. [S800] Jno H. Krause, “Captain S. Roundy’s company report, 1850 September,” Digitized Copy of Manuscript, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History - The Overland Travel Database: ( https://history.lds.org/overlandtravels ); Accessed: 2 April 2016, gives details of James and John Neal equippage.
  21. [S169] James Neel household, 1850 Utah Territorial Census, Utah Co., Utah, Utah Territory, population schedule, Sheet 134 (Stamped) 267 (Written), dwelling 209, family 209; Washington: National Archives. Utah became a U.S. territory in September of 1850. Its federal census took two months to complete and was not begun until April of 1851. Therefore, the “1850” U.S. Census for Utah Territory is actually an 1851 enumeration, places family in Utah.
  22. [S743] McGee - Thompson - Boyce household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, places family in California.
  23. [S746] Stuart Dee Neel, “Hugh Neel Family History”, locations and dates.
  24. [S747] James Neel, Military Service Records,.
  25. [S803] History of Ray County, MO., Carefully Written and Compiled From The Most Authentic Official and Private Sources, Including a History of Its Townships, City, Towns and Villages (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Company, 1881), pg. 240; named as "James Neil, of Crooked River."
  26. [S801] "Official : Election Proclamation", Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, Sacramento Co., California, Aug 1862, Aug 1863, Nov 1864, name included in listings for township polling locations.
  27. [S798] James Neel, Land Patent, 7 September1838, Homestead Certificate No. 8148, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy,Tracy Home Office.
  28. [S750] John Neel household, 1830 U.S. Census, Ray Co., Missouri, page 389, line 18 of 28; NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls; Roll: 73; Washington: National Archives.
  29. [S745] Jas Neal household, 1840 U.S. Census, Ray Co., Missouri, Crooked River Town, line no. 8 of 30; Washington: National Archives.
  30. [S169] James Neel household, 1850 Utah Territorial Census, Utah Co., Utah, Utah Territory, Line #6.
  31. [S168] Stuart Dee Neel, "Stuart Neel eMail - 7 March 2005," e-mail message from PRIVATE to Sean C. Tracy, 7 Mar 2005, ANCESTORS - Genealogy\\Digital Copies of Sources\\eMails\\Neal.
  32. [S743] McGee - Thompson - Boyce household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California.
  33. [S744] James Neil household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California.
  34. [S169] James Neel household, 1850 Utah Territorial Census, Utah Co., Utah, Utah Territory.
  35. [S743] McGee - Thompson - Boyce household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, names, ages, place of birth.
  36. [S744] James Neil household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, names, ages, place of birth.
  37. [S210] Find A Grave, online at findagrave.com, Find A Grave Memorial #29085690 - aged 3 yrs Death date: 1856 - Photo - Accessed 31 Mar 2016.
  38. [S744] James Neil household, 1860 U.S. Census, Sacramento Co., California, names, ages, place of birth, relationships.
  39. [S210] Find A Grave, online at findagrave.com, Find A Grave Memorial #29085708 - Birth date: 1860 Death date: 1865- Photo - Accessed 31 Mar 2016.
Last Edited8 Dec 2017

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