The Creel Families of Leeds Manor in Fauquier

Copyright © 2003, James D. Ball



Preliminary Discussion


By taking a fresh look at the Creel families in Fauquier new light is shed on a complicated family. These Creels appear in Leeds Manor in the early 1790s and their first known tax assessments were in 1796. There is no concrete evidence they were in Fauquier much prior to this, though it seems likely they came from Prince William.


A William, David and George Creel were on the 1782 Prince William tax roll indicating all were born about 1766 or earlier. With the exception of George, it is believed these were the same individuals as later found in Leeds Manor.


Many researchers have associated these Leeds Manor Creels directly with the Creel and Dodson families of the Bull Run and Thoroughfare area of eastern Fauquier. To the contrary, while there likely is a relationship, there is no evidence to support such a conclusion.


In taking a critical look at the first three generations of Creels in Fauquier it becomes apparent they likely descend from a single progenitor, an early William Creel. There is no evidence this William Creel himself ever resided in Fauquier.


Analysis of known information indicates eight identifiable children can be assigned to this early William Creel:


            William married Rachel Griffith

            David married possibly to Mary ___

            George married Mary Ball

            John “Jr” married Sally Cunningham

            Wormley, no further information          

            Judith married Baldwin Lunsford

            Harriet married John Cunningham

            Harrison married Elizabeth Lear


With the exception of William, Wormley and David, there is evidence tying each back to William the father. In the case of Harrison, his death record even states his parents were William and Elizabeth. Sons William, Wormley and David are tentatively assigned as belonging to the sibling group.


Arguments can be made against some of this rational. Never-the-less, these associations make sense in defining these relationships.


Each of these individuals are of the same generation and their birth dates range from the early 1760s for William, to the mid 1780s for Harrison. All are found in the Manor lands.


Identification of subsequent generations is simplified for the most part due to George’s family identified by descendant Toby Williams; and, to Harrison’s family disclosed in a bounty land application. Work remains as several third generation Creels remain unassigned.


Son William appears to be the senior sibling. His wife’s family at that time resided on the west side of Carter’s Run, above the Rappahannock. William appears to have petitioned the court in 1794 for a permit to build a mill on Carter’s Run. Instead, in 1800 he settled upon leasing land on Carter’s Run from Pickett and Blackwell. The lease named his wife “Martha” and son George and seems typical of a 3-life lease. Ten years later, William assigned this lease to Grigg (George) Blackerby.


Many researchers have assumed the 1800 lessee, William Creel and wife Martha, to be the progenitors of this family. This 1800 document is the only known instance of a wife named “Martha”. In as much as William, the father, would have been quite elderly at the time of the original signing, it seems incongruous this is the elder William and is unsubstantiated by tax records. Instead, it seems Rachel is misstated as “Martha” in the document, possibly due to the name being very common to the Griffith family. While infrequent, misstated names do occur in these records


Wormley Creel witnessed William Creel’s 1800 lease. This is the only known evidence of his existence. He may not have even lived in Fauquier and may not even be a son of William. However, Judith (Creel) Lunsford named a son “Wormley”, possibly to honor a brother. This given name is not found in the Lunsford family prior to this.


John Creel was living on land adjacent to and north of the land William leased. This land had formerly been owned by Thomas Stone and was adjacent to the land Benjamin Ball had purchased in 1761. That land too had originally been Stone’s land.


Son John apparently was called John “Jr”, not as a generational descriptor, but rather to distinguish him from another John Creel living in the area. One secondary reference indicates John to be the son of John, while another gives William as the father. It is believed the later is correct as the John Creel of Culpeper had no children and was actually of the same generation as “Jr ”, and Rev. John Creel had long removed from the county with his family.


John seems to have died early as his son Morris chose a guardian 1817. This Morris Creel is incorrectly attributed to another in an often cited reference. The existence of other children is undetermined and unlikely. In all probability John’s widow is the Sally Creel who married George Pursley in 1809.


Little is known of son George other than he was a farmer, fathered nine children, and died in Fauquier. His widow and several children removed to McLean County, Illinois. John Henry Creel, George’s son, stated in a McLean County Illinois history that his father’s father was a William Creel.


Little is also known of David other than information learned from tabular census data. Although they cannot be assigned as sons of David at this point, two probabilities exist: (1) Thomas Creel who married Lucretia Nalls and who had living with him in 1850 a Mary Creel who was the right age to be his mother. (2) David Creel who married Hannah Ball.


Fortunately, Harrison applied for a claim to bounty land on his father-in-law’s military service record. This application names his entire family as well as his wife’s siblings. Two sons, William and Harrison, have been difficult to determine from among multiple candidates.


While these families all had their Fauquier beginnings in the Manor lands along the lower Carter’s Run, later generations are found to have moved into The Plains area in NE Fauquier. This path and timing is common to not only the Creels, but also the Lunsfords, Griffiths, Flynns, and certain Ball lines. Indeed this is common to many families following the Marshall acquisition of the Fairfax leaseholds of Leeds Manor.


The family of William and Elizabeth Creel is presented in the following pages, along with appropriate documentation and source material. Following this are the unassigned individual families belonging mostly to the third generation.





The family of William and Elizabeth Creel as presented here is not fully cast in stone. Much more needs done in defining these families through wills and estate divisions, and possibly deed analysis of Fauquier County records in the mid-1800s. Meanwhile, it is hoped the material presented clarifies and corrects information found elsewhere.


This researcher welcomes any additions or corrections to this material.



James D. Ball

Uniontown, OH



Note that the following are PDF files requiring Adobe™ Acrobat Reader:


              Three-generation Creel Register Report

              Unassigned Creel Families