I am going through the vast information that I have on the Marvelous Marvel family. One bit of information that is included in the book of information assembled by Muriel Louise (Marvel) Smith and Robert Smith. In the book is a PRODENY INDEX that was created in August of 1996. This index was computer generated and is a very good data base of the Marvel families. According to the cover page in the binder of information states – ” This document is a compilation of information on the progeny of John Marvell, who was a seventeenth century emigrant to America. One information source was a series of reports distributed at the annual reunions of the 1920 through the 1933.” “Lineage Code – (Mrs. Midred) Burwell, introduced a system of cross-referencing that (has) been invaluable….”
I was going through the Index and it reminded me of why I had such a hard time completing my early genealogical charts on my Marvel family. When I started many years ago, the only Marvel information that I knew at the time was my father (Donald L. Marvel) and my grandfather (Virgil Marvel). From there, I did as much research on line as I could. Family Genealogy information gathering has been become easier today because a lot of information and data is now located on line because of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. “Back in the Day”, I had to schedule trips to my local library as well as make trips out East to Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia to check out their archives.
One of the main resources for the Marvel line was a book by Nugent called Cavaliers and Pioneers. Many family trees were located on Ancestry.com and I used them in my search for my ancestors. Through many connections I found my great-grandfather – David J. Marvel. That lead to his father, my great-great-grandfather Robert Marvel. There the ‘trail’ went cold at the time. As many have found, there are a lot of Robert’s, David’s, Phillip’s, Thomas’s, and John Marvels in the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia area during the late 1700’s and 1800’s. Several trees that I found had my Robert Marvel (III) aligned with Phillip Marvel (1758-1794) as his father and Elizabeth Short (1762-1798) as his mother. In fact, one ‘authority’ the book on the Marvel Family History by Virdin was the main source for this information. I had a problem with this association. Phillip and Elizabeth died before my Robert Marvel was born (1805 by most sources). Phillip and Elizabeth Marvel’s Robert Marvel was born in 1787. He was married to a young lady named Ester (Last name unknown) and they lived in Delaware during their lifetime.
As many know, family stories that are pasted down from generation to generation are not always ‘factual’. You have to take the stories and find ‘facts’ to back them up or find the truth.