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The History of The First Peelle Family in America

Many family stories tell about three brothers who came from some place and settled somewhere.  Our family has a similar story attributed to a Mr. Francis Clark who supposedly asked "Did you ever hear the story about three Norseman who can from Scandinavia, one settled on England called Peelle, one settled in France called Peale, and one settled in Germany called Pehl."  We do not know Francis Clark, nor the origin of this fable, but it is interesting that the English spelling "Peelle" is exactly that of our Virginia line.  Our research has proven the spellings of "Peal", "Peel", "Peele", and "Peelle" into one single American family.  We do not claim that all of the families with these spellings in America are related, however these four do have a common tie to one ancestor in our "Peelle" family.

There may be some truth to Mr. Clark's statement.  An Englishman, the Right Honorable Jonathan Peel (1799-1879), is the author of a rare book entitled: The Peels, A Family Sketch which he wrote in 1877.  He makes a similar claim in his works on the English origin of the Peel family.  He did not mention the three brothers, but he does claim that the oldest English Peel ancestor came from Denmark, a Danish War Lord, whose name was Ligulf.

The Right Honorable Jonathan Peel was born in 1799 and is the 5th son of Sir Robert Peel, the 1st Baronet, and his wife Ellen Yates.  Jonathan's father was a governor of Christ's Hospital, Vice President of the Literary Fund, and Member of Parliament for Tamworth from 1790-1818.  More importantly, Sir Robert invented the calico print and in his lifetime he was the world's largest cotton manufacturer for which he was given his title of Baronet on 29 November 1800.  Sir Robert left nearly for 2,000,000 in his 1830 estate.  Jonathan's eldest brother Sir Robert Peel, the 2nd Baronet, was Prime Minister of England and formed the "Bobbies" city police force in 1829.

Jonathan himself gained Royalty status through his marriage to Lady Alicia Jane Kennedy, the daughter of Archibald Kennedy, the 1st Marquess of Ailsa.  Jonathan, a brilliant genealogist, researched his ancestry and documented his efforts in The Peels, A Family Sketch only two years before his death in 1879.  He was a Member of Parliament from 1826-1868 for Huntingdon, a Lieutenant General in the Army, and Secretary of State for War.

The history of The First Peelle Family in America begins with a voyage of the "Margaret & John" that originates in England and carried our ancestor Lawrence Peelle to Virginia, arriving in late March or early April 1621.  Choose any subject from the floating "Select One" drop down menu on the left and just follow the signs.  You may skip around but we recommend that you start with the one labeled "The Voyage" and then continue...

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