The following, regarding John Donnell, was extracted from the book, History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Boyd Crumrine, editor):
John Donnell came from Winchester, Va., in the year 1776, and settled in the territory that afterwards became a part of Cecil township. He located a tract of land under a Virginia certificate. This certificate recites that "John Daniel is entitled to 400 acres of land in the county of Yohogania, situate on the waters of Shirtee, to include his settlement made in the year 1776, also a right in pre-emption to two hundred acres adjoining thereto." Another tract also was granted him on a Virginia certificate April 20, 1780. The first tract was surveyed to him Aug. 3, 1785, and was named "The Forest," containing four hundred and eighteen acres, adjoining land of Thomas Bracken, Henry Donald, Matthew Ritchie, and the widow Moore. The other tract was surveyed to Presley Neville and Matthew Ritchie on the 26th of January, 1788, and named "Hope," and contained four hundred and eight acres. John Donnell was the son of Henry Donnell, who also came from Winchester, Va., and settled near John Canon. He came into possession of a portion of this land, and on the 19th of May, 1790, sold to his son John seventy-one acres of land adjoining that of John. Henry Donnell had three sons, ----John, Joshua, and Charles. The last two came into possession of land adjoining their brothers. The land owned by Joshua is now owned by Andrew H. Giffin. The land owned by Charles is now in possession of the heirs of John Curry. Joshua and Charles, after a few years, sold their farm and went West. John Donald [Donnell?] married Rebecca Evans, of Ten-Mile, in Amwell township. They settled on the land he took up, and had seven daughters and one son. The daughters married and settled in Mercer County, Pa. He married as a second wife Janet Lyle, of Peters Creek, in Peters township, by whom he had four daughters and three sons. The only one living of these children is Charles, a son, who lives on the old homestead. Henry, another of the sons, married Anna, the daughter of David Hay, of Chartiers township. They settled on the homestead also, where he died Nov. 9, 1881, in his eightieth year, leaving a widow and three children, of whom John H. Donnell and a sister live at the homestead. Mrs. Henry Donnell also lives there still, having resided there over fifty years. Of the eight hundred acres purchased by John Donnell, the present owners are Andrew H. Giffin, W. W. Gladden, John Conner, David Beaboat, John M. Smith, and John H. Donnell.
Crumrine, Boyd (ed.), History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Company, 1882).