Many versions of Doak 'family history' state unequivocally that the Samuel Doak whose will was proved in Augusta Co, VA, in 1772, arrived in America in 1704 and that he was then to be found at East Nottingham Township, PA
The information on which such claims are based appears to come from Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds compiled by Jeanette Tillotson Acklen (et al) and first published in 1933, in which the entry for the Doaks of Virginia begins:
"Samuel, David, John, Robert and Thankful Doak, children of James and Elizabeth Doak, emigrated from North Ireland and settled in East Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pa.
Thankful Doak was born on a ship coming over. There was a severe storm at sea and her parents, so glad to have landed safely, named her Thankful. Exact date of landing has not been found - about 1704."
Some have speculated as to whether 1704 was a regrettable typographical glitch which should have read 1740. I wouldn't be surprised if it was but of more significance is the prefatory Exact date of landing has not been found - about ... which is almost always omitted no matter whether the date is given as 1704 or 1740.
It should also be noted that the East Nottingham Township did not exist in 1704 - it was created in 1718. Nottingham Township itself only came into being in 1716 - before then there was just Chester County, into which in 1701 arrived a group of Quakers of English origin who settled an area which became known as the Nottingham Lots (sometimes Lotts). So, 1704, I suggest, should probably be 'taken off the menu' - 'our' immigrant Doaks were Ulster Scots Presbyterians not English Quakers (or, for that matter, German - I understand there were some early German settlers in the area with the name Dock, which has very probably confused some researchers) and it should also be noted that the Ulster Scots migrations to America did not begin in earnest until 1718. (1740 is totally 'off the menu', incidentally: for a number of reasons, some of which I've already posted: in brief, it's too late, demonstrably by at least 11 years.)
i. cease and desist forthwith, if not sooner, from any and all statements as if of fact as to 'our' immigrant Samuel Doak (with or without siblings and/or parents) arriving in America in either 1704 or 1740 1704 is merely a theoretical possibility at present - the most likely dates of birth for the immigrant brothers and their sister (Elizabeth) Thankful strongly suggest a later arrival - at which point I simply cannot resist pointing out that Thankful may just have been born at sea after all - and have been named for the ship rather than her mother !
ii. take note that (as far as I am aware) we do not know and therefore cannot verify the source/s for the data presented in Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds concerning the immigrant Doaks. Given the title, it seems likely that at least one Bible was involved but that is merely speculation - we can perhaps hope that Ms Acklen's source/s may be (re)discovered but they seem to have been 'missing' for over 75 years now so I for one am not holding my breath.
iii. (pursuant to 2. above) also take note that the names and number of Samuel's siblings and parents as given in Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds should not be taken as matters of fact unless and until confirmed by reference to one or more reliable corroborating source.
There are, alas, very few such available - at last count I had one 'sighting' of a James Doak (in this case Doke) in 1729 in Chester County but nothing for Elizabeth - an oft-cited 'Orphan's Roll' entry has proved chimerical: somewhat disconcertingly, it seems either never to have existed or to have disappeared from the archive in question. There are also records for a John Doak and a Samuel Doak in Chester Co and Lancaster Co, (the latter having been created from Chester County on foot of a 1729 petition signed by James Doke and, amongst others, also by Thomas Mitchell) but nothing for Robert Doak - leastways not in Chester/Lancaster Co, PA,
So, what of 'immigrant brother Robert' ?
The simple answer is that there seems to be no real evidence that he ever existed. There is a well-documented Robert Doak who arrived in Boston on a ship called the Elizabeth in 1718 but he (and his wife Margaret) settled in NH rather than PA, had no known brothers and just two known sons, James and John. John and his (probably widowed) mother appear to have been in Chester County, PA, in the mid-1720s but James, son of 1718 immigrant Robert, remained in NH and therefore simply could not have been either the James Doak 'from Virginia' warned out of Boston by the Selectmen in 1725 or the James Doke who signed that 1729 petition. (There is, incidentally, no evidence to support the contention that the last two 'sightings' were of the same individual - no matter how attractive a proposition that may seem ... I happen to like it a lot but it's merely speculative, and also surplus to requirements: a James Doke making common cause with the (probable) father of Jane Mitchell in 1729 is more than enough to work with.
From the Preface to The Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1736 to 1871, by Jos. A. Waddell (1886, Second Edition 1902)
"I have taken the utmost pains to secure perfect accuracy. The errors in details of most writers who have alluded to our county affairs and people, are remarkable. The writers referred to have not only copied from one another without investigation, and thereby repeated erroneous statements, but some of them have contradicted themselves in the same volume. Even the statements of the public records, especially in respect to dates, often require to be verified.
But while I have aspired to perfect accuracy, I do not flatter myself that the following pages are entirely free from error. I have stated nothing as a fact, of the truth of which I am doubtful. Many statements which I do not regard as certainly correct, are given on the authority of other writers, prefaced by the words, "It is said," or "It is related.""
It is perhaps somewhat ironic that Waddell's work contains the following (p 39, Second Edition)
"The Presbyterians of Augusta continued their "supplications" to the Presbytery of Donegal for a pastor to reside amongst them. In 1739, they first applied for the services of the Rev. Mr. Thompson who came and preached for a time. Next they presented a call to the Rev. John Craig. At a meeting of Presbytery, in September, 1740, "Robert Doak and Daniel Dennison, from Virginia, declared in the name of the congregation of Shenandoah, their adherence to the call formerly presented to Mr. Craig ;" and on the next day Mr. Craig "was set apart for the work of the Gospel ministry in the south part of Beverley's Manor.""
Waddell, alas, is somewhat lacking in the matter of footnotes and source detail but it is clear (and easily verified) that his source for the quoted excerpts may well have been Sketches of Virginia: Historical and Biographical by the prolific Rev. William Henry Foote, DD (2nd Series, Second Edition, 1856). Foote, incidentally, also appears to be quoting another (also unreferenced) source but the interesting aspect of his text is that it reads as follows (p 28):
"Robert Doag and Daniel Dennison, from Virginia, ..... "
And now to Lyman Chalkley, whose Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia have been a standard (and invaluable) work of reference ever since their publication in 1912.
A thorough search through Chalkley for the earliest reference to a Robert/Robt Doak (or Doack(e) or Doag(e) and so forth) will get you back only to 1767
Another useful reference tool is the annotated map of the Beverley (Manor) Patent of 1736 prepared by James Raymond Hildebrand and which seems to have been first published in 1954.
The only Doaks to be found are Samuel, John and David - the same three also appear in Chalkley as early as the 1740s - and, I should perhaps add, neither Robert nor indeed any Doak is to be found in the 1739 Borden Grant map also prepared by Hildebrand
However, the Hildebrand map does show a Robert Poage and in fact the name of Robert Poage, sometimes Poague, appears in both the Beverley (1739 & 1740) and the Borden (1742) grant lists.
It may also be relevant to note that John Poage appears, in his capacity as a Justice of the Peace, in documentation relating to the proving of the will of Samuel Doak in 1772 - the two families were very clearly distinct one from the other and certainly known so to be by 'the congregation of the Shenandoah' to which both belonged and who selected Robert Poage as a delegate to the Donegal Presbytery in 1740 - and this, in case any still wish to doubt, has also been confirmed by reference to the Donegal Presbytery records
So ... now add Robert Doak 1740 delegate to Donegal Presbytery from the Shenandoah congregation to that 'cease and desist' request as per 1. above - the earliest adult Robert Doak we can be sure* of in Augusta Co, VA, appears (Chalkley) in 1767
Source material &c re above:
1. Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds, Jeanette Tillotson Acklen et al
Doesn't seem to be available online except to purchase - book/CD formats available
2. The surviving records in Chester/Lancaster Co appear to have been thoroughly & reliably searched - more than once
It is probable we've already got all the data available from these sources, alas - wish I could believe otherwise
3. Dates re Townships readily available online using simple searches
4. Nottingham Lotts
http://www.churchman.org/Nottingham_hist.htm - very useful overview of the area's settlement in this
5 Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Lyman Chalkley
Online at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chalkley/
6. Annals of Virginia, Jos A Waddell
Online at: http://www.roanetnhistory.org/waddellsannalscontents.html
7. Sketches of Virginia, W H Foote
Full download available from http://www.archive.org/details/sketchesofvirgin00foot
8. Maps of the Beverley Patent and Borden Grant by J R Hildebrand
9. Combined Index for Beverley Patent and Borden Grant
*I do know there's a Robert Doak allegedly 'sighted' in Augusta Co, VA, in 1753, incidentally - I'll deal with that one in a future (fairly imminent) post to this forum
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