Pennell surname

John Pennell b. ca. 1817 (Ohio?) d. Feb 22, 1893 age 76, m. Nancy Agnes Booth. She died April 8, 1893 age 74. MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS

Nancy was born in Ireland and came to America when she was 16 years old.  She was a month on the boat and came to live with her old maid Aunt who lived a mile south of the Pennell's place in Illinois.  

John and Nancy were married and lived on the county line in Illinois. The whole area was mostly prairie in those days. (This is the same farm my grandfather, Alfred Bartholomew, was born some years later). 

One day John and Nancy were going some place in a bobsled when a run away team of horses came plunging up behind them and frightened Nancy. This scared her so bad that she lost the twins she was expecting. After that they lived in Good Hope, Illinois and later bought a farm. John Pennell built the house and all the children were born there.

1. Rebecca Pennell,  2. John Pennell, 3. Nancy Pennell, 4. David Pennell, 5. John Pennell 

John was a blacksmith and had owned his own shop. After he bought the farm he started making sorghum and had a mill. At some point after this, John and Nancy took a notion to go to Missouri to live. Little is known about the family during this period of time. It was while they lived in Missouri they took up with the Seventh Day Adventist belief. It is told that Jenney and David (brother and sister) came back to farm the old place. Why they came back may be because some gal in Missouri wanted to marry David and he was not keen on the idea. Just when the family moved back to Illinois is not known. 


1. Twin died at birth

2. Twin died at birth

3. George Pennell died age 21, shot in the Civil War

4. William Pennell was in the civil war when he was 19 years old

5. John Pennell 1851 d. 1906 m. Lillie Lindsey. John  lived with his brother, David and his wife Cynthia, for five years after his parents died. David bought John's interest in the farm. After John died his widow sued David. Seems there was a loop hole in the way it was transacted. She got a $1000. Shortly after she was swindled by someone who sold her some gold stock. She moved to Prairie City about 10 miles away and the family lost touch with her and her children.


(1). Edna Pennell

(2). Jenny Pennell

(3). Verla Pennell

(4). Russell Pennell

6. Jenny Pennell 1849 d. 1921 buried Hickory Cemetery,  m. Curtis Merry. Buried Hickory Cemetery in Illinois

7. Robert Pennell  m. Ida   The family said she was a very nice lady. They moved to Oregon and lost everything in a flood. They died and are buried around Portland Oregon.

L-R: Jennie, Robert, William, David and John Pennell


8. David Franklin Pennell Nov 12, 1859 d. 1936, m. Cynthia Rebecca Scott Jan 5, 1888 at grandmother Scott's house. MY GREAT GRANDPARENTS


David Franklin Pennell


David Pennell

Cynthia Rebecca Scott use to go down to the Pennells for a visit when she a kid. Nancy, who was a good cook, would insist the she stay for supper before she went home. She remembered how Nancy would complain about not feeling so good but later would ask someone to bring her riding horse to the hitch rack. She liked to go visiting in the afternoons. She had a side saddle.

After David and Cynthia Rebecca were married, John and Nancy let David and his new bride share their house. They fixed an apartment area for them to live. The Pennell farm was only 1/4 mile from the Scott's farm. 

When Nancy died, she gave Effie, my grandmother and daughter of Cynthia Rebecca, her little dog, Birdie.  

David bought the farm after the death of John and Nancy Pennell. It consisted of 80 acres on the Northwest corner of the cross road. (The Scott's property was on the southeast corner of the cross road). The corner became known as the Sorghum corner as they made molasses. There use to be a post office on this corner too!

David claimed not to be Seventh Day Adventist although his parents took up with this religion while in Missouri. It did rub off on him however and it was a subject not talked about in their home.   

Left to right: Willie, Rebecca, Mary, Effie and Mable with doll and David Pennell on the right


L-R standing: Mabel, Mary and Effie

Sitting: Willie, Rebecca and David Pennell


(1). Effie Mae Pennell April 15, 1889 d. Sept 19, 1964 San Jose, CA m. Alfred Bartholomew Sept 11, 1911 Lewiston, Illinois  MY GRANDPARENTS.  See BARTHOLOMEW   for family info.

(2). Robert Pennell June 16, 1891  died young

(3). Cora Ada Pennell 1895 d. 1897

Cora Pennell

(4). William 'Willie' Robert Pennell April 4, 1898 d. May 1951  Killed when a large road grader dumped him and ran over him. He lived a day or two and died. He is buried in the Good hope Cemetery in Illinois. He married Gladys Lee Nov 30, 1920 McComb, Illinois.

Willie Pennell 

(the picture not clear but look at the sign on his truck)


L-R: Wayne (baby), Nondas and Mary Lee Pennell  


L-R: Mary Lee, Wayne, Nondas

and in front are Elinor and Darlyne Pennell


Uncle Willie Pennell's Family


A. Nondas Pennell b. Sept 22, 1921died May 18, 2009 m. Junior Thrasher Dec 27, 1944

Junior and Nondas Thrasher

NOTE: On my last trip thru Illinois in June 1985 I stayed with Nondas and as I left we had a brief conversation about my not having any keepsakes from Grandma Pennell. She went in the house (as I was sitting in the car to leave) and brought out 2 serving dishes that had been grandma Pennell's. That was so very kind of her to do. They sit in my china hutch now.

B. Mary Lee Pennell Aug 13, 1923 died July 3, 2004 m. Glade Walters

C. Wayne Robert Pennell April 3, 1928 died Jan 6, 1999 fell off roof, m. Mary Joel Young Aug 1959

Wayne Pennell

Photo taken at our house in Sunnyvale, California when he was visiting . The location is along the side of the house toward the back. The window was our kitchen window sitting over the sink.

D. Elinor Pennell  m. Marlin Pendell 

Elinor and Marlin Pendell

E. Darlyne Pennell

F. Elaine Pennell

(5). Mary Agness Pennell Nov 11, 1901 m. Lawrence L. Combs Feb 3, 1937  NO Children

(6). Mabel Anna Pennell June 1, 1904 m. 1st. Harry Meyers Feb 16, 1929 m. 2nd Earl Spry May 6, 1944. 


A. an infant son by 1st marriage

No other children.

Standing: Mabel and Harry Meyers

Sitting: Mary and Lawrence Combs


Mabel and Earl Spry

L-R: Mary, Effie, Willie, Grandma Pennell and Mabel


L-R:  Effie, Mabel, Rebecca, Willie and Mary



Aunt Mabel 

Mary Combs

In rocking chairs L-R: Grandma Rebecca Scott Pennell, her sister Leila Scott Wells, Nancy, Bessie (my mom) Tommy (my step father) and Aunt Mary Pennel Combs (daughter of Rebecca Pennell).

Photo are right: Tommy being silly with Grandmother Rebecca and Aunt Leila. 

(I was taking picture)

We were went through Illinois from California on our way to Florida to live. Tommy had just finished his time in the Navy.

Uncle Lawrence Combs feeding his hogs


Uncle Lawrence bottle feeding his lambs

I loved visiting Aunt Mary and Uncle Lawrence Combs (my grandmother's sister) in the McComb area of Illinois when I was a kid. They treated me so good! I loved feeding the little lambs with a baby bottle. I helped gather eggs, watched as they milked the cows, and all that good stuff. 

On one of my last visits, Uncle Lawrence gave me a couple pictures of himself when he was a child.  He said he had no one to pass them to since he never had any children and he knew I would take care of them. I am going to post them here to preserve that memory. I did take good care of them and here they are.


Lawrence Combs


Lawrence Combs