Daniels of Massachusetts Bay Colony - Daniels Name Evolution

The Evolution of Daniell, Daniel, Daniels Name

One of the difficulties Daniels Family researchers face is the use of several spellings of the name, Daniels. Many entries in official records of the day, e.g., Vital Records, show multiple listings of the same person (same birth date recorded) under headings using various spellings of the name Daniels. In addition, many previously published books use the same details, some using the Daniel spelling while others use Daniell or Daniels. As a result of this anomaly, I wasted months researching books for additional family history strictly using the modern (my line) spelling Daniels. I write this to encourage others to use information other than the double "ll", single "l" or "s" in continuing your family history research.

Robert, (GENERATION I) signed his will using two "l's", however, many books list the same man as Robert Daniels of Watertown and/or Cambridge.

Joseph Daniell, (GENERATION II) is identified using the spelling Daniell (sign in front of his home today) and Daniels (used to identify his homestead on the original map of Medway drawn in 1713. Author, Reverend E.O. Jameson of Medway, Sketches of Many Early and Other Families in Medway, Mass, wrote that some Daniell's continued to use the ancient spelling (double "l") at the time he was writing the book published in 1886.

Eleazer Daniels, (GENERATION III) and his wife Mary (Holbrook), headstone located in Pine Hill Cemetery on today's Mendon/Blackstone border, is etched with the name Eleazer Daniels. Note: Robert Daniell and Joseph Daniell's headstones cannot be located. So it's clear that he and his family used the modern spelling (my line at least). Researchers, however, using records such as the Mendon's Proprietors' Records will see many spellings of Eleazer's name when describing (recording) land transactions. On pages 125126127, & 128,  Eliezer Daniels, Eliazer Danills, Eliazer Danils, and Eleazer Daniel are used to name the same man. Are these different people? No, the paragraphs describing the transaction insure that the variable spelling is a reflection of the scribe's abilities and concern, or lack thereof, during the recording of the transaction.


Generation 1: Robert Daniell   Generation 2: Joseph Daniell   Generation 3: Eleazer Daniels  
Generation 4: Joseph Daniels   Generation 5: Nahum Daniels   Generation 6: George Daniels  
Generation 7: Jasper Daniels   Generation 8: Nelson Daniels   Generation 9: John Daniels  

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