(The following information is gathered from The Daniels – Daniells Family, Vol. 2, A Genealogical History of the Descendants of William Daniell of Dorchester and Milton, Massachusetts 1630 – 1957, compiled and edited by James Harrison Daniels, Jr., 1959.)
William Daniel ( -1678)
On March 20, 1630, a group of Puritans sailed from England on the Mary and John, a ship of 400 tons. Among the passengers on the ship was John Grenaway (Greenway), whose daughter Catherine was to become the first Daniels mother in the new world. The voyage took 70 days and was comfortable and accompanied by daily “preaching and expounding on the Word of God.” They settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts which is now a part of Boston. The town prospered. A meeting house was built in 1831 which was a place of safety in case of problems with the Indians. Everyone was required to attend church and come armed and all houses had to be built within one half mile of the meeting house. Dorchester established the first free tax-supported school in America. Girls were not admitted for several years but Katherine somehow learned to read.
Katherine married William Daniel (there was no uniform spelling of the last name for several generations) about 1645. There is no record of how or when he came to America but recent researchers have reported that he was the son of Peter Daniells and Christina Grosvenor. John Grenaway left land to William and Katherine in the area which became Milton and they built a tavern there. For many years the people of Milton had to travel to Dorchester for church which was mandatory in the colony. This was a great hardship in bad weather “perhaps with the father on horseback, the mother on a pillion behind him and the children trudging through the snow”. The church was not heated. The people stood during prayers which could last an hour. The sermon might last two hours.
Katherine undertook to teach some of the local Indians to read and was so successful that the commissioners of the colony commended her and provided 12 pounds in payment plus another 3 pounds to continue for another year.
The couple had 6 children including John, our ancestor. Their daughter, Mary married Jonathan Wood. When her husband was killed in an Indian uprising, Mary who was pregnant went into shock and died in childbirth. The child was named Silence.
John Daniel (1648-1718)
John was born in Dorchester but spent most of his life in Milton where he was an Inn keeper and was active in town affairs. He was married to Dorothy Badcock. They had 11 children including two sets of twins, but only 7 survived to adulthood. John prospered as an Inn keeper and was one of the wealthiest men in the town. In 1683, a public holiday was held and a minister read an address of loyalty to the king. Many signed it but John and several others chose not to. This was almost 100 years before the revolution.