Back to Jane Beard married David Doak
[Note: Thank you to RED, Doak researcher of many years, who kindly authored this Doak family information.]
The first surviving records of the Doaks of whom this dissertation discourses are from Chester and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania. In 1729, the Governor of Pennsylvania was petitioned by the inhabitants of a portion of Chester County to allow the creation of a new county. Among the signatories were James Doak, Thomas Mitchell, and two Wilsons. A copy of the petition may be enlarged and viewed at this site .
Thomas Mitchell's daughter Jane married Samuel Doak and a Mary, reputedly nee Wilson, married Samuel's brother John Doak. Of the two Wilson possibles, I think William Wilson was probably my 5x great grandfather. John and Mary Doak named their youngest son William, and another son was called James Wilson Doak.
After the petition which created Lancaster County, John and Samuel Doak then both appear in the records as jurors and Samuel as a seller of land in 1739. There is but the one appearance of James Doak, the only Doak to have signed this petition, and it therefore seems likely that "family lore" among both the Doak and the Mathews families may well be correct and that the initial immigrants were James and Elizabeth Doak and their children.
James and Elizabeth and children had immigrated from Ireland in the 1720s, and the Mathews tradition is that the two families came over on the same boat, or if you prefer, ship, or sailing vessel (which tends to bring to mind a floating teapot!) Ballynure, County Antrim, was the Mathews' ancestral Ulster base but the Doaks may have been from neighboring Ballyclare, or even its neighbor, Doagh. (No prizes for guessing how that is pronounced.)
The Doaks were Ulster Scots and staunch Presbyterians, at least in the early American generations, after which moral turpitude allowed Baptists, Methodists, and even the subversion known as Quakerism to take root. They had clearly been relatively prosperous in Ulster and were probably involved in growing, weaving, and milling flax, activities in which they busied themselves when they reached America.
In the late 1730s, these Doaks left Pennsylvania and headed south in the great migration to the Shenandoah Valley, where they homesteaded in what would become Augusta County, Virginia. The party comprised David, John, Samuel, Ann, Thankful, and, possibly, Mary. A fourth brother, Robert, is frequently suggested by some, but the first two "sightings" of him, in 1740 and in 1753, have both proved to be cases of mistaken identity, a gentleman named "Robert Poage" thus being twice victimized.
John and Mary Wilson Doak moved on in 1747 to Lunenburg County, Virginia, and then again, about ten years later, when they settled in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Samuel and Jane Mitchell Doak remained in Augusta County, Virginia, where they raised, among others, a son named Samuel (1749-1830), who after "praying so hard that the battle was won" at King's Mountain devoted himself to preaching, educating, and disputing.
David Doak, whose first wife is reputed to have been Mary Breckenridge, moved to property which had-- or could have had-- one of my favorite addresses:
Doak's Mill & Mill Run, Black Buffalo Lick, Old Orange/Augusta/Botetourt/Fincastle/Montgomery/Wythe County, Virginia. (So much more poetic than a zipcode, don't you think?) This property was purchased in 1768 from John and Mary McFarland of Bedford County, Virginia and Robert and Martha McFarland of Orange County, North Carolina. It is a grim irony that one of David's sons, William, is believed to have killed a Joseph McFarlane in a duel, but it is not certain Joseph was a son of the vendors of 1768, although clear enough he had been a "damn Tory".
Pictured is the gravestone of David and Mary Doak. Credit is due to Mary B. Kegley and Janie Dillon of Wythe County, Virginia, and for the photograph itself to J. Linward Doak of Kentucky. Click on the image to enlarge. The inscription reads:
Among the fourteen children named in David's Doak's 1787 will were William, who was baptized in November 1747 at North Mountain in Augusta County, and Samuel, who was younger, but how much younger remains unclear. Both William and Samuel and their brother David served in Lord Dunmore's War in the Fincastle County militia company of Captain Robert Doak. Robert seems much more like a son than a brother of David (1710-1787) now that Mr. Poage's reputation is clear from the slander of having impersonated as a Doak in 1740 and 1753 records.
William Doak, who was at King's Mountain and perhaps also at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, was granted bounty land in what was then North Carolina and settled in what became Knox County, Tennessee. He was followed a few years later in 1789 by Samuel, who fled the jurisdiction of Virginia, perhaps under suspicion of sowing turnips sideways. Samuel operated a ferry across the Holston River and, following a few homeless years from 1797 onward, died in 1813 in Davidson County, Tennessee. It is Samuel Doak and his wife Annas (Agnes) who are now believed to have been the parents of David Doak, the husband of Jane Beard. Both families would have lived in Knox County during the same years, before David Doak and his father in law Samuel Beard's extended family all wound up on lands in Adair County, Kentucky on the 1801 Tax List there.
NOTE: For those who wish to delve even further into the Doak history and possible immigrant ancestors, read the link "The Identity Crisis of Immigrant Patriarch Doak" .