Cahall, Cahal, Cahail Information

Cahall, Cahal, Cahail Information

Cahall Births: 1600-1899
Cahall Births: 1900-2012
Cahall Burial Records
Cahall Death Index: 1600-2012
Cahall Divorce Index
Cahall Marriage Index
Cahall: Virginia Roots Time Line
Official Federal Census Dates
Townsend Family Connections

While certainty is an elusive in genealogy, one can often find sufficient evidence to make reasonable conclusions as to who their ancestors were. My research over the years has resulted in my having collected vast amounts of data about members of the CAHALL families. I have found relevant information disguised under numerous spellings of the name, including CAHAL, CAHAIL, CAHELL, COHALL, CAHOLL, KAHAL, etc.

Linking members of families who have been recorded on federal census records beginning with the 1850 census forward is not too difficult. Finding useful information for individuals prior to 1850 becomes more challenging, as the first five census endeavors listed only the name of the head of household. There was no indication as to where the head of household was born.

I have found reasonably credible information about fewer than 40 folks with the surname CAHALL who were born or resided in America in the 1700s. All of these folks lived at one time in either Maryland or Virginia.

Virginia Roots

The earliest reference in Virginia is to James CAHALL. According to Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. Vol. 3: 1695-1732, James was the recipient of acreage in Virginia in 1719. I have yet to see a copy of this book, so I do not know where his land was located. I have found nothing definitively linking him to anyone else with the last name CAHALL in Virginia. However, he was certainly old enough to be the father of Edward CAHALL.

Records show that an Edward CAHALL received a land grant in Halifax County, Virginia in 1764. In 1767 Pittsylvania County was formed from a portion of Halifax County. Edward is noted on numerous tax records and land transfer documents in Pittsylvania County between 1782 and 1806. He apparently married a woman named Nancy. The following individuals are presumed to be the children of Edward, as no documentation has been found suggesting another CAHALL of the appropriate age lived in Virginia during this time period.

  1. Abigail CAHALL married William D Murphy on 7 Mar 1786 in Pittsylvania County. Based on her marriage date and the 1830 census record for William Murphy she was born about 1771.
  2. Peter CAHALL was born between 1771 and 1775 based on census records. He married Molly Robertson on 25 Dec 1795. Peter CAHALL appears on tax records, census records, and land transfer documents for Pittsylvania County between 1796 and 1820. The 1830 census has him living in Rockingham County, North Carolina. By 1840 Peter CAHAL has moved on to Lincoln County, Missouri.
  3. Edward CAHALL was born about 1776. He married Elizabeth Hughes on 30 Nov 1801 in Henry County, Virginia. (Henry County was originally the western part of Pittsylvania County.) Between 1820 and 1840 Edward CAHAL was living in Davidson County, Tennessee.
  4. Elizabeth CAHALL married William Thornton on 4 Sep 1796 in Pittsylvania County. The marriage was performed by Reverend Clement Nance. Edward CAHALL granted Clement Nance 4 acres of land in 1785.
  5. Bethenia CAHALL married Henry Perkins on 29 Jul 1802 in Pittsylvania County.
  6. Barney CAHALL was born about 1781 in Virginia according to the 1860 census for Monroe County, Alabama. To my knowledge, Edward CAHALL was the only CAHALL of sufficient age in 1781 to be the father of Barney. When Barney moved to Monroe County, Alabama is not known, but he resided there between 1830 and 1860. He and an unknown spouse had at least three children.
  7. Rebecca Cahall was born about 1790 in Virginia. She appears to have married John Creekbaum on 24 May 1810, location as yet unknown.

It is possible Edward CAHALL fathered other children, as a 62-year-old F CAHELL (about 1788) appears on the 1850 census for Scioto County, Ohio. He is listed as having been born in Virginia.

Also born in Virginia was Nancy CAHALL (about 1792). She married John Stockham on 9 Jul 1808 in Scioto County, Ohio.

An Edward CAHALL is also known to have lived in Scioto County between 1820 and 1840. He was born about 1791, but no place of birth is evident. He married Sophia Noel on 9 Nov 1812 in Scioto County. Was Edward a brother of either F CAHELL or Nancy CAHALL?

This many folks with the surname CAHALL in Scioto County -- all born within five years of each other -- suggests they were related. But who fathered these three individuals? Since Edward is my third great grandfather, I would certainly like the answer to that question.

Maryland Roots

Edmund O'CAHILL, reportedly born to a family of weavers from Londonderry, Ireland, was first documented on tax records for Levy Books, Queen Anne's County, Maryland as Edmund CAHALL in 1729. I have found three individuals who were likely his children.

Edward CAHELL appears on 1749 tax records for Militia Township, Queen Anne's County, Maryland. According to an ancestral file (Batch No. 8926102; Sheet No. 65; Source Call No. 1553499) at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, Edward married Rebeckah Leonard in Queen's County, Maryland on 29 Jan 1735. Based on that marriage date and the alleged date of birth for Edmund O'Cahill, I estimate Edward was born between 1714 and 1717.

Jane Ann CAHALL, according to another ancestral file at the Family History Library, was apparently been born in Queen Anne's County in 1723. She at some point married an unknown STISS.

James CAHALL Sr. is first documented on tax records for Tuckahoe Hundred, Caroline County, Maryland in 1778. Five years later records have him listed as James CAHELL. (It should be noted here that Caroline County was formed in 1774 from portions of Dorchester and Queen Anne's counties.)

James apparently married Rebecca Roe. The following children are listed on most family trees for James and Rebecca:

  1. Clondsberry CAHALL appears on the 1790 census for Caroline County, Maryland. While he is cited in most family trees as a son of James CAHALL and Rebecca Roe, he could have conceivably been the son of Edward CAHELL and Rebeckah Leonard. I have seen no documentation supporting either set of parents.
  2. James CAHALL was born on 27 Jan 1749 in Queen Anne's County, Maryland according to the Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application of Edgar Roy CAHALL. He is documented on tax records for Tuckahoe Hundred, Caroline County, Maryland in 1778 as James CAHALL Jr. Five years later records have him listed as James CAHELL, Jr. Sometime before 1800 James moved his family from Maryland to Pennsylvania. He is listed on the Mason County, Kentucky census for 1800. He appears in Brown County, Ohio in 1830 as James CAHAL. On 1840 and 1850 census records he is listed as James Cahill.
  3. Solomon CAHALL was born circa 1751 in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. He, along with James Sr. and James Jr., is documented on tax records for Tuckahoe Hundred, Caroline County, Maryland in 1778. According to an index of marriage records, he wed Rachel Jones on 15 Mar 1789. While he owned land in Delaware, he and Rachel appear to have spent their entire lives in Caroline County.
  4. William CAHALL, born about 1753, appears on 1783 tax records for Caroline County as William CAHELL. This links him to both James Sr. and James Jr. Census documents suggest William never left Caroline County.
  5. John CAHALL was born about 1755. He also appears on 1783 tax records as a CAHELL, linking him to James Sr., James Jr., Solomon, and William. All documentation has him living his life in Caroline County.
  6. Amy CAHALL was born about 1759 according to ancestral files. I have seen no documentation to support her having been born to James CAHALL and Rebecca Roe. If she existed, she could conceivably be the daughter of Edward CAHELL and Rebeckah Leonard.
As is evidenced above, most of the early CAHALL family members remained in Caroline County, Maryland during the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was James CAHALL who dared to venture west. His children have been listed on documents as CAHALL, CAHILL, and CAHAL. If your last name is CAHALL or CAHAL and you can trace your lineage back to Brown County, Ohio or Knox County, Kentucky in the early 1800s, Edmund O'CAHILL/CAHALL is very likely your ancestor.

in the mid-to-late 1800s many individuals were documented as CAHALL after arriving in America from Ireland. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, folks with the surname CAHAL began arriving from Portugal, the Azores, Brazil, Yugoslavia and Russia. Occasionally, the name COHALL pops up. It is a very common name in Jamaica, but when found in the United States it is most often found as a mis-spelling of CAHALL.

In an effort to help your journey to clarification, I have posted links above to numerous text files which include data on hundreds of individuals with the last name of CAHALL, CAHAL, or CAHAIL. These text files contain information I have gleaned for individuals whose surname has been recorded somewhere as one of the following: CAHAL, CAHAIL, CAHALL, CAHELL, COHAIL, CAHOLL, KAHAL or KAHALL. Not included are individuals born outside the United States and Canada after 1800. (The exception would be when some members of a family were born in America, while others were born elsewhere before their parents immigrated.) No attempt has been made to include those individuals who have been recorded consistently as a CAHILL.

I have done my best to ensure the accuracy of the information included within these documents. However, much of the information comes from other family trees. For this reason, it is best to have a "buyer-be-aware" attitude toward the information presented both here and elsewhere. While I try to avoid placing information from questionable trees in these documents, sometimes wrong information that leads you to the correct information is better than having no information at all. Just remember that since I have no idea where such information came from, I cannot guarantee the information is accurate. The information contained in these files should be used solely as an aid to finding credible documentation. I have included the source of any information provided whenever possible to aid in such procurement.

While information from other family trees can be excellent, it is always best to view the documents cited for the source of said information. I have seen census records on a well known website where an obvious CAHILL has been transcibed as CAHALL. One can only guess how that happens, since the letter "A" and the letter "I" are not even close on any keyboard I have ever seen. But happen it does. Look at the document yourself. Do not rely on a transcription.

If you are new to genealogy research, here are a few tips:

Birth and marriage records are usually fairly accurate. I say "usually" because my own birth certificate contains a glaring error. The last name is spelled incorrectly. Obviously someone did not proof it before signing off on its accuracy. That said, most people involved in providing the information for birth and marriage documents are directly connected to the event, making the information as reliable as you are likely to find.

Death records are usually good for the date and place of death. They are also quite often the only source for a birth date, but keep in mind the individual who provided the extraneous information found on a death certificate may not have been as familiar with the deceased as you would hope. The names of parents are sometimes wrong because the person who reported the information simply was not certain.

I know of one instance where determining the correct date of the individual's birth could be challenging, despite numerous documents which allegedly contain said information. The birth date for Edward C Cahall reads 10 Oct 1894 on his headstone in Greensboro, Maryland. It reads 21 Oct 1894 in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), where it was presumably transcribed from his Social Security application -- which he would have had to sign. It reads 21 Oct 1896 on his World War I draft registration card -- which he did sign. To further add to the confusion, Edward is listed on the 1900 census for Henderson, Caroline County, Maryland as having been born in Mar 1896. If Edward was in my direct line of ancestors, I would begin by sending for a copy of his Social Security application to make sure the individual who entered his date into the SSDI did not do so incorrectly.

As is likely in the case of Edward C Cahall, census information can be inaccurate. Many folks in the 1800s were not formally educated. Hence, they may not have known how to spell their own last name. As a result, census takers would record what they heard. This often caused names to be misspelled. Further confusion comes from the fact that individuals sometimes went by their middle name or a nickname. Sometimes initials were used instead of names. The information may also have been provided by a neighbor and not the resident in question. Despite the shortcomings of census records, they can provide helpful clues as to where to look next.

From my own background, my second great grandfather Jacob Leonard CAHAIL has been included on census records and other documents as CAHAIL, CAHILL, CAHALL, and CAHALE. Most often it has been recorded as CAHAIL. Why he (or perhaps someone else) chose that spelling is unknown. However, most of my relatives who migrated to and through Iowa did. Prior to the CAHALL migration to Iowa, my ancestors -- including my third great grandfather and his siblings -- can most often be found under the spelling CAHAL or CAHALL.

If your ancestors migrated through Ohio, Delaware or Maryland, there is a wealth of documentation available in image format at, a free source provided by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Roughly a decade ago I discovered a marriage index for Scioto County, Ohio on a website that no longer exists. To help folks in their search for their ancestors I have posted the Scioto County Marriage Index in PDF format. The 308 page document includes over 6,500 marriage dates listed for both bride and groom.

Scioto County Marriage Records

This page belongs to Gerald William CAHAIL.