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Joseph J O'Neil (1804 - abt. 1878)

Colonel Joseph J O'Neil
Born in Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1823 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about at about age 74 in Cocke Co, TNmap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Jan 2010 | Last significant change: 22 Sep 2022
20:14: Brian Peek added Joseph J O'Neil (1804-abt.1878) as father of James A. O'Neil (1838-1901). [Thank Brian for this]
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  • Per the book "Cocke County, Tennessee, and Its People" by D. Mills, 1992, of Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, page 188:

"Colonel Joseph J O'Neil (1804-1878) was born in Tennessee, a son of Darius B & Mary Polly (Brackney). He earned the title of Colonel as a result of his training soldiers at the old musterfield for duty with the local militia. He also taught penmanship. At one time Joseph owned land alongside the Pigeon River, which he apparently sold to the Gray family. O'Neil later moved to Wilsonville where he lived in the two-story log house now owned by Mrs Mandy Belcher. Still later he built a two-story home which stood opposite the intersection of the Bill Jones Road and Thinwood Drive (Old Knoxville Hoghway). This home was more commonly known as the Howard Gray Place.

Joseph married, according to family tradition, his first cousin, Nancy (1804-survived by her husband). The O'Neils were Methodists. On September 10. 1860, Joseph joined others in pledging to build a frame meeting house in Wilsonville, a project which never materialized due to the Civil war.

During the Civil War, O'Neil sided with the Confederacy and after the war's end in 1865 found himself in serious financial straits. By his death, however, he had recovered his prosperity.

Joseph & Nancy were the parents of ten children: Pleasant (ca. 1824-1860) married Mary Green; Marshall Darius (ca. 1829-1889)m married 1) Elizabeth Susong 2) Malinda Hall: William B. (13 May 1831-18 December 1886) married Mary Mahulda Mason; Ajeline (ca. 1826-ca. 1875), married John thomason; James A (14 June 1838-22 February 1901) married Orleans Ursula Mason (a sister to Mary Mahulda); Elizabeth (3 October 1836-14 February 1892) married George L Ogden; Joseph J (ca. 1833-1891) married Mattie Raines; Nancy (ca.1844- ) married Dr Oliver O'Neil; Margaret (ca 1841-1901) married 1) Robert Henry 2) Robert Shipley; Jesse J (11 November 1841-15 October 1891) married Julia (Sneed) Lane.

According to the late Cora (Massey) Mims, Col Joseph and Nancy O'Neil are buried in the O'Neil Cemetery across from their last home.

submitted by: Rubylee Revis, PO 176, Hazelwood, North Carolina"


  • Joseph and Nancy O'Neil (this was her maiden name also) were 1st cousins born on the same day same year (4 Mar 1804). They married at age 20 in 1824. But we don't know the names of her parents, which would have been Darius's brother

1850 CENSUS: JOSEPH WITH WIFE & CHILDREN - Cocke Co, TN - Oneil, Joseph (46) b. VA; ONeil, Nancy -wife (46) b. TN; ONeil, Marshal - son (21); ONeil, William - son (19) b. TN; ONeil, James - son (12) b. TN; ONeil, Jesse -son (3) b. TN; ONeil, Elizabeth - daughter (14) b. TN; ONeil, Margaret - daughter (9) b. TN; O'Neil, Nancy - daughter (6) b. TN

1870 Census: JOSEPH WITH WIFE & CHILDREN - Oneil, JJ (65); Oneil, Nancy (66); Oneil, Nancy A (25); Oneil, Jessie (23); Evans, Sarah - domestic servant (18)

  • 1870 Census was living next door to Son William ONeil (39) with his wife Mary M (25); Mary V (5); Nancy (3); Joseph (4/12)
  • 1870 Census also living near son J J Oneil Jr (35) with his wife Martha (26) & daughter Elmona (9/12)


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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Joseph by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Joseph:

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