Randall Revell to Roger Revelle

360 years and eight generations of the Revelle family: an abbreviated genealogy.

Table of Contents


The Revell(e) family settled in Virgina and Maryland in the early 1600s. Descendants of Randall Revell can be found throughout the US. This page is an attempt to integrate some of the information that is available from web sources as well as from published and unpublished histories of the family. Suggestions for corrections, additions (and subtractions) are most welcome.

A short list of sources and links to other active webpages and Revelle family pages is available in the resources page. The three most complete pages of other branches of the Revell(e) family are David James Revelle's history of the Missouri Revelles (from Ethelred to Issac), William Leatherbury's descendants of Randall Revell and Ralph Tabor Williams descendants of Randall Revell and Katherine Scarborough pages (with extensive documentation on the descendants of Henry Scarborough pages. A recently found set of references is the Cullen Genealogy pages which emphasizes the ancestors of Katherine Scarbourough and the descendants of Sarah Revell. Nice graphics.

The Revell family is thought to have originated in Dauphine, France (southeastern France). There are two towns between Lyon and Grenoble called Revel that are possible candidates. However, there is a town called Revel in southwestern France, which some of us claim is the source of the family, but this is undocumented. It is a rather dull furniture-producing city about half way from Toulouse to Carcassonne. According to WRR, the Revells (the e was added in the late 19th century) were French Huguenots who fled France after the fall of La Rochelle in 1628. Given the proximity of Toulouse to La Rochelle, this seems a logical candidate, but the other two towns are as well. (There is also a town near Amiens north of Paris that is named Revelles. Thus, a quick tour of Mapquest suggests that there are at least 4 candidate towns in France.) Robert Bennett Beau, The Peopling of Virginia , 1935, discusses the Huguenot colony at Mannakin town (above Richmond) and goes on to mention the Revell family (page 8) as one of that group. By 1662, Torrence is showing Randall Revell to be a member of the Church of England.

According to WRR, Randall Revell was born in 1606 (DJR and Torrence show this as 1613 and I think that they are probably correct) and fought at La Rochelle in 1628. He emigrated to Bristol in 1629 with his father and mother and married an English girl, "the beautiful Rebecca." They then emigrated to Maryland in 1636. A very useful guide to Bristol includes maps and the history of Bristol.

The Chicago and New Jersey branches (circa 1903-1910) seem to have come later from England and Ireland. Most correspondence in WRR's files is from groups in Maryland and Washington state. Based upon my (WRR II) correspondence with David James Revelle, the North Carolina and Missouri branches seem to have descended from Randall Revell's first wife, Rebecca and their son Edward. William Leatherbury's web page on the descendants of Randall Revell Sr. traces his line from Edward, his son John, and his son Edward. Ron Brennan has shown how John Revel, who moved to Kentucky from Somerset County in the early 1800's was descended from Randall I, Randall II, and Charles Revell. Hodge and Kirland's pamphlet describes the descendants of Randall III through his son Joseph John Revell and his descendants in North Carolina.

Settlement in Maryland from circa 1636 until 1890s

Randall Revell (1606/1613-May 1685) was born in 1606 (DJR and Torrence show this as 1613, Leatherbury as 1610) and fought at La Rochelle in 1628. He emigrated to Bristol in 1629 with his father and mother and married an English girl, "the beautiful Rebecca." They then emigrated to Virginia/Maryland in 1636. The settled on the Manokin River at the Southern tip of the Maryland part of the "Delmarva" peninsula -- claimed by some at that time to be in Virginia, but later shown to be a part of Maryland.

(N.B. Although WRR reported Randall as being born in 1606, David J. Revelle and Patti Revelle-Miller show him as being born in 1613. They show a date of death of 1687 rather than the 1685 that WRR showed. I am not sure how accurate WRR's dates were and have no documentation on these dates. Leatherbury shows this as 1610. Hodge and Kirland seem to use WRR's dates.)

According to Torrence, Randall Revell (c 1613-1686-1687) was of Accomack County, Virginia, St. Mary's County, Maryland; Northampton County, Va., and Somerset County, Maryland. Randall Revell appears in Accomack County, Virginia, January, 1633/34; February, 1634/35, and September, 1636 (Northampton County, Virginia, records Vol I, pp 10, 28, 57). Randall Revell appears in St. Mary's County, Maryland, 1636: "Green's Point, alias Randall's Point, a freehold, 100 acres land due Randall Revell for transporting himself [into Maryland] in Anno 1636; surveyed for said Randall 17 October, 1640, patented same day and year; St. George's Hundred, St. Mary's County" (St. Mary's County Rent Roll, p. 12; and see also Liber ABH, P 79, Hall of Records, Annapolis). Later (same volume) appears: "300 acres due Randall Revell for transporting [into Maryland] his wife Rebecca and sons John and Richard; surveyed 14 Dec. 1641; patented 6 July, 1642." Randall Revell's name appears in the Maryland records between 1636 and 1644. Randall Revell is referred to as "cooper," March 9, 1641/42 (IV Arcv. Md. p 120). After 1644 Revell disappears from St. Mary's County, Maryland, after 1644 and about 1650 a Randall Revell, appears in Northampton County, Virginia (Wise, Accawmakce, p 136).

Randall Revell, of St. Mary's County, Maryland, is designated "cooper." Randall Revell, who appears in Northampton County, Virginia, about 1650, is also designated as "wine cooper" and "cooper", in April, 1656, and August, 1657, respectively, when he deeds (April, 1656) some cattle to "my son in law John Nicols" and (August, 1657) deeds cattle and horses "my only son Edward Revell" (Northampton records, Wills, Deeds, &c., 1657-1666, p 2. et. seq.). The records recorded above lead us to think that Randall Revell, of St. Mary's County, Maryland, 1634-1644, and Randall Revell, of Northampton County, Virginia, from about 1650 on, both of whom were desigated "cooper" were identical. There has so far been discovered no further record of Rebecca Revell (wife of Randall Revell) and John and Richard Revell, sons of Randall Revell in 1641 (see above). These sons were certainly dead in August, 1657, if Randall Revell, of St. Mary's County, Maryland, 1636-1644, and Randall Revell, of Northampton County, Virginia, about 1650 on, were identical persons, because Randall Revell, of Northampton County, Virginia, cooper, calls Edward Revell, in August,1657 "my only son". ...[Torrence goes on for several more pages. He is not terse.]

Randall was granted 250 acres in Maryland (Revell's Neck, aka Hogs Neck) in Somerset County. His first wife, Rebecca, seems to have died prior to 1660 (DJR/PR-M). (Leatherbury reports her to be Rebecca Nicholls, but has an improbable date. Hodge and Kirkland also refer to Rebecca Nichols.) Their children were:

Randall then married Katherine Scarborough (Scarburgh? or Pott) who died before May 5, 1688. She was born in 1627 in North Walsham, Norffolk and died May 5, 1685 in Somerset. (Torrence reports that it was commonly said that Katherine was Edward Scarburgh's sister. Leatherbury cites Whitelaw as saying that Scarburgh and Randall married the Pott sisters. Williams cites several sources as evidence for Katherine being a Scarborough.)

Randall was appointed by Lord Calvert to be one of the original commissioners to give land grants in Somerset County, Maryland. In 1657, Randall Revell was a member of the Virgina House of Burgesses from Northampton, Co.In 1668 Randall gave Lord Calvert 20 acres at Deep Point on the south side of the Manokin to be used for a county courthouse. "This was designed to the county seat of Somerset and was called Somerton. Little is known about this town; perhaps the river overwhelmed it. At any rate, at low tide some stones are uncovered off the point of Clifton that are supposed to be the foundation stones of the first courthouse. Across the river, some other stones near the shore are called the ruins of the original Somerset parish church, now submerged with all its graves." (Footner, 1944, p 111).

Edmund Scarburgh (Scarborough), one of the other original commissioners, wanted to drive out the Native Americans in the area. Scarburgh and Randall were dropped from the commission (1662) after Scarburgh tried by force to annex the Manokin area into Accomack/Northampton Co. Virginia. Accomack County is just south of the Md/Va line, Somerset just north. (Randall was too friendly with Scarburgh, and went down with him.) Scarburgh was said by Torrence to be a ruthless, powerhungry man who was responsible for several massacres of the local native Americans who were known as the Kickotanks or the Greater Assateagues.

It is likely that Scarborough was Randall Revell's brother in law, for it is generally assumed that Randall married Katherine Scarborough. Leatherbury and Brennan have suggested that Scarborough and Revelle married the Pott sisters, but this is unconfirmed. For more details on the Scarboroughs, see Ralph Tabor Williams descendants of Randall Revell and Katherine Scarborough pages (with extensive documentation on the descendants of Henry Scarborough pages. Joan Spiker has written me suggesting that Katherine was definitely a Scarborough. Her inference is based upon the change of status that Randall achieved upon marrying into the Scarborough family.

Randall Revell (II) born circa 1661, died in April 1717

Married Sarah Ballard of Manokin in October, 1682 and had 3? children: Then married Rachel Hall born 1677 (Torrence/Kennedy, but WRR did not list Rachel Hall.) For more information on Rachel Hall, see Williams. Rachel was was the daughter of Charles Hall, b. ca 1635 in England, d 13 Aug, 1695 in Somerset Co. Md. They had Mary Kennedy thinks that Randall had a second wife, Rachel Hall, and that Randall (III) was her son. Randall II is said to have built Clifton, a grand manor house in Revell's neck, but Footner thinks that its architecture is of a later date. "On a knoll in Revell's Neck, facing the river, stands the house Clifton, which is said to have been built by the second Randall Revell--the architectural detail suggests a later date. It enjoys a superb view out across a point of land decorated with straggling pines, to the open sound. Long a distressing ruin, Clifton has been purchased and restored in fine style--too fine, one might suggest, for the patina of age has been destroyed." (Footner, 1944, p 111). Clifton was said to be haunted (Marylander and Herald, 1928)

Randall Revell (III) ;born circa 1697 died 1744?

married Abigail (according to WRR) or Katherine (according to Torrence as well as Williams) and had 2 (or 3?) children: Randall III seems to have left no will, so it's hard to say what happened to his estate. Note that his father had two children named Randall, one born July 19, 1687 seems to have died young while the second Randall seems to have died in 1744. (Mary Kennedy's letters suggest that he may have married a Katherine. This agrees with Torrence. But this could be a confusion with the family of Charles whose son Randall did marry a Katherine {or an Abigail} -- see above. Williams shows Katherine and Randall III as having one child, Joseph John. However, Williams also shows Randall III as dying in 1739.)

Randall Revell IV -- born ? -- died June, 1799

Served as sergeant for 3 years in the Revolutionary War in Captain John Eccleston's company, 2nd Maryland Regiment, commanded by Colonel Thomas Price. He enlisted for 3 years (not for the term of the war) in September 1777 and was honorably discharged, June 1780. He married a woman from Norfolk, Virginia and they had 4 children:

David Revell born circa 1790?; died in April 1871

David lived in Fairmount, then known as Potato Neck, south west of Manokin, in Somerset County. Had at least 8 children:

According to the 1850 census, transcribed by Jerry Foard for the USGenWeb Archives Census Project, http://www.usgenweb.org/census., in 1850 David Revelle was 57 years old, was married to Ela (also 57) and had John (26), Caroline (20), and Margaret (15) living with them. Nearby there was David (27) and Mary (20) with a Mary (1) living with them. Sarah Ford (12) was also living with them.

George Roger Revelle,

born February 4th, 1818; died February 14, 1892

In his early days George was an oyster fisherman and was known his entire life as Captain George. He later farmed "Poplar Grove." He cast his first vote for William Henry Harrison and was a staunch Republican all his life and a firm believer in Lincoln Republicanism. He was County Commissioner for Somerset County, 1889-1891

He first married Martha White, September 3, 1840. (She died, March 25, 1860.)
They had 11 children:

On July 4th, 1860, he married Mary E. Ford, the daughter of William E. Ford and Rebecca Durme Ford. They, too, had eleven children.
The 1850 census lists Mary Ford (age 12) as living with William E Ford (40) and Rebecca Ford (32). Thus Mary was 22 when she married George.

In correspondence with Becky Miller, she reports that "I have been to the private grave site of your George R. Revell (1818-1892) on Landonville Road in Fairmount. His first wife Martha is buried there with him, but second wife Mary Ford is not (or at least we did not discover her stone). Do you know where she is buried? If not, do you have her vital dates? I have also been to the grave site of your David Revell, father of George R. He was born in 1790 and died 23 June 1871 per the tombstone. I have found errors on tombstones, so if you have a Bible or some family writing to substantiate the April 1871 death date, that would be primary evidence. His will was written in April and probated in July."

She goes on to say "The very well hidden grave site of George R. is overgrown and covered with ivy. If you look online at the 1877 atlas for Potato Neck (sorry don't have URL but search for Mike Hitch or 1877 atlas or link through Shari Handley's Eastern Shore page), you will see about a half inch down from the words Upper Fairmount P.O. to the left a road. At the intersection of that road (now Landonville Road) and the main road down the neck you will see the names Jno H. Ford, D.J. Revell, J.H. Revell and R. Parks. J. (John) H. Revell and D. (David) J. Revellĉare alsoĉsons of David and it's behind where that house was where the graveyard is. Jno H. Ford was George R. Revell's brother-in-law. At this writing I cannot quickly find which Ford Cemetery David Revell is buried in (there are several) and do not recall exactly where in Fairmount it is. I've been cemetery seeking for 12 years and found that in the early stages, while it was just last winter when George R. was discovered."

Thomas, George, William Roger, and perhaps Mary left the Eastern Shore and moved to Seattle, Washington, in the 1890s after they were educated at Western Maryland.

William Roger Revelle

Born 1874,Somerset Co., Md., died March 1960, Pasadena, California married Ella Dougan (she died in 1938)
(b) Children William Roger Revelle was born in 1874 and took his B.A. from Western Maryland College in 1895. After receiving his B.A., he and several brothers and sisters moved to Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada, where they practiced law. He was a member of Revelle, Revelle & Revelle. He married Ella Dougan from Vancouver. They had two children: Roger Randall Dougan Revelle and Eleanor Revelle Stackhouse. When Ella contracted TB, they moved to Pasadena where he taught school and continued (not very successfully) his law practice. Ella died in 1938 from typhoid fever.

In 1941 WRR married Mildred Keene (b 1884), a widow of a friend from Seattle. As a young lady she had climbed Mt. Rainier (with John Muir?). Following WRR's death, she moved back to Seattle in the mid '60s and died there in 1975. She was known as "Aunt Mildred" to the Revelle children. She had been a school teacher in Seattle.

In 1904, William Roger Revelle wrote a history of Revelle Family. (Documents relating to this are kept by William R. Revelle II in Evanston.) In January 24, 1906, he became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. His national SAR registration number was 17814, and his state number was 239. His documentation was a little confused and not entirely consistent. It includes a series of questions published in the Baltimore Sun around 1903. In a response, the editors suggest that Randall Revell had 10,000 acres of land in Somerset County and was born in 1606. His files also include a newspaper clipping from Oct. 21, 1904, describing a publication by Bishop Meade called "Old Churches and Families of Virginia" in which a list of the Huguenot colony at Manokin in 1714 is described. The writer wants to know where to find the list.

Among the documentation is an ad for an "historical narrative and genealogy of the Ely, Stacy, and Revell Families, who founded Trenton, Province of West Jersey, 1678-1683." WRR submitted his 1903 history to this narrative, but his article was originally rejected on the grounds that Randall Revell wasn't related to this branch. The editor later changed his mind and accepted the article. William Roger Revelle bought a copy of the book and gave it to one of his children. (He didn't remember which one.) (The location seems to have been lost.)

Roger Randall Dougan Revelle

(Born, Seattle, Washington, March 7, 1909, died
La Jolla, California, July 15, 1991).

An oceanographer and population scientist, Roger was foremost an educator. He took great pride in having helped found the campus of the University of California, San Diego. Much of the bibliographic material about him that is available on the web is produced by UCSD. For an introduction, see Who was Roger Revelle from the University of California, San Diego. For how he became interested in population science, see , Jerome B. Wiesner's recollections. A very thoughtful biography was prepared by his friends Thomas F. Malone, Edward D. Goldberg, and Walter H. Munk for the National Academy of Sciences. A nice photograph and biography are available from the San Diego Historical Society.

The Research Vessel R.V. Roger Revelle was named after Roger Revelle in honor of his contribution to oceanography. It was launched in April of 1995 and went into active service with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography fleet in the fall of 1996.

A list of resources available for web users interested in genealogy is available.
Last changed, January 29, 2000. See "What's New?"
Comments and questions should be sent to:
William Revelle
email: wr@revelle.net