The Doaks

This is one of the Scots-Irish families which migrated to the New World along with my Irvin ancestors. The Doaks intermarried with the Irvins, Alexanders, Dunns and Brewsters and migrated with them through Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah valley, then on to Kentucky and Indiana. Irvins, Doaks, Logans and McCampbells of Virginia and Kentucky, by Margaret (Logan) Morris, chronicles many of these early settlers.

The information on this page has been gathered by a Doak descendant and should be of value not only to Doaks, but to those others of us who are trying to trace our Scots-Irish ancestors' migrations, both before and after their arrival in America. The following e-mail was received in Sep 2002 from Ralph Doak, who lives in Ireland. Ralph is sorting out a lot of information on various Doak lines and would like to hear from any other cousins who are researching the Doaks. He's working on a Doak web site which we'll be glad to link to whenever it's "ready for prime time".

Not much progress re them pesky Doaks, I'm afraid, but the following may be of some interest to yourself and/or others.

  1. James Dunn m Jane Doak. I found a recent query from a Don Matson on the Doak board at as follows: "Need children's names & dates of Jane Doak & husband James Dunn of the Augusta Co., Va. area. James Dunn b. ca. 1756 but have no dates on Jane."

    I've dug around in my stash and can find next to nothing re the above union except a couple of references to the marriage citing pretty much exactly the same details as are given in the Margaret Logan Morris book, which was therefore presumably the source for this data.

    The apparent lack of any other source strongly suggests that the (bro & sis) James and Jane Doak who respectively married (sis & bro) Jane Fulton (née Dunn) and James Dunn may have been children of Davd Doak of Black Buffalo Lick. I am as sure as I can be that they could not have been children of my 4th gt-gdparents John & Mary Doak, whose children were born from about 1743 onwards, and those of John's brother Samuel and his wife Jane, née Mitchell, include no James and the Jane is quite thoroughly (and convincingly) otherwise occupied with a William Brown.

    nb Jane Fulton sometimes appears as Jennet/Jenet - she is said to have married James Doak 20 February 1786. Any further data you have re this James Doak and/or his sister Jane would be most welcome - they don't quite fit the Doak jigsaw in so far as I've been able to assemble same so far.

  2. Jane Doak, niece of Robert Doak, m S W Irvin. I note that the Jane Doak who married Samuel Williamson Irvin had an uncle Robert Doak at Shelbyville, Ky - do you have any further data re this Robert, also re this Jane's parents? The info I've been able to glean re the Black Buffalo Lick line is limited, alas, but it does seem possible the Shelbyville Robert may have been a grandson of the patriarchal David of Black Buffalo Lick.

    However, there is also a David Doak b ca 1778, son of the David who was the eldest son of Samuel Doak & Jane Mitchell, who may have been in Bracken Co, Ky, in the 1820s before moving on to Ohio in the 1830s. This David's sister Elizabeth, b 1779, married a John Larew who is said to have died in Kentucky. Elizabeth, however, died in 1836 in Adams Co, Ohio, which is where her brother David is supposed to have been by then. No brother Robert for this David, apparently ... which is in itself somewhat unusual for these Doaks.

    Apart from the David of Black Buffalo Lick line, there may also be a 4th brother Robert who simply doesn't appear in the Chalkley abstracts for Augusta Co, Va. This Robert is said to have married Hannah Breckinridge - does that set any of the bells in your database's belfry resonating?

    There are also two other Doak lines which may be of relevance - more re these later.

  3. Known/alleged early American Doaks.
    • 1704 Samuel Doak in East Nottingham Twp, Chester Co, Pa. Source for this appears to be Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds, Jeanette Tillotson Acklen et al, orig pub 1933. I haven't seen this yet.
    • 1724 Elizabeth Thankful Doak m John Fin(d)ley in Chester Co, Pa This probably comes from a history of the church known variously as the Rock Presbyterian Church or the Elk River Presbyterian Church - the same congregation but different names/buildings at different times. The present Rock Presbyterian Church, built in 1761, is at Fair Hill, Cecil Co, MD - State change courtesy of the Mason-Dixon line ;-)
    • 1724 John Doak(s) at Donegal Township, Chester Co, Pa. Cited in an apparently reliable history, this.
    • 1726 John Doak & Mother on Tax List for Donegal/Chester Co. Record still extant.
    • 1727 Elizabeth Doak & 'orphan' son David alleged entry on Chester Co Orphan's Roll - not to be found when a reliable researcher went looking for same only a few years ago & the Co Archivist was insistent that it would still be extant had it been there for a previous researcher to sconce.
    • 1729 James Doke among signatories of petition to create Lancaster Co. Record still extant.
    • 1733 & 1734 John Doak on jury/inquest service Chester/Lancaster Co. Records still extant.
    • 1737 Samuel Doak on jury/inquest service Chester/Lancaster Co. Record still extant.
    • 1739 Samuel Doak sells Lancaster Co property by no later than May. Recorded deed/transaction - reliable researcher.
    • 1739/40 John & Samuel Doak head to the Shenandoah Valley and jointly purchase some lands in the Beverly Manor patent - i.e. Augusta Co, Va. Recorded deed/transaction - reliable researcher.
    • Dec 1740 David Doak, son of Sam & Jane, baptised at North Mountain, Va, by Rev John Craig. Craig's baptism records - apparently reliable.
  4. In Chalkley's Augusta Co, Va, abstracts, these are the earliest refs to the respectively forenamed Doaks (nb spelling variants regularised)
    • 1742 John & Samuel Doak in Capt John Christian's Company of Militia. (nb 1746 entry specifiies John & Samuel as brothers)
    • Feb 1745/6 David Doak. "George and Robert Brackenridge to DAVID DOACK, £42, Virginia money; 300 acres in Beverley Manor, being the tract George now lives on."
    • 1747/8 Robert Doak, William Doak.
    • 1782 James Doak.

From that, I can only see 3 possible early Augustan Doak brothers - and David is as yet unproven as a brother. Doak family lore, however, likes to add the following siblings, although not all are added by all the family lore-mongers:

Of these, Elizabeth Thankful Finley is pretty much a certainty and it seems more likely than not that John Tate was her brother-in-law. Ann Breckinridge is for me as yet merely a possible - the only authority I've seen cited is a book by a later Breckinridge who avoids asserting the relationship as fact.

It should, however, perhaps be borne in mind that perhaps not all these early Doaks are necessarily to be found in Augusta Co ;-)

These are a couple of other Doak lines in which the name Robert is traditional (also James & William). They have already managed to cause some confusion with many wannabe researchers of 'my' Augustan Doaks - but in the present context I'm bringing them to your attention in order to attempt to rule them either in or out of the equations re your Doak connections


Robert Doak came from Harrisburg before 1780 and settled on land which was surveyed June 2, 1785, containing four hundred acres, named "Doak's Plain." Patent for it was obtained Sept. 17, 1790. He died in 1803, and left two sons, Robert and William, and one daughter, Jean, who was the widow of John Boggs, and at this time the wife of James Neal. The heirs sold to Robert Henry one hundred and thirty-five acres, March 28, 1803, and the same date two hundred to William Doak, and to John McMillen seventy acres; later, and in 1805, Robert Doak sold other land to John McMillen and Robert Hazlett. William Doak lived on his farm till his death in 1857, aged ninety-four years. He came to this section of country with his father, and settled on the farm where he and his father lived and died. He used to relate that they were driven from the place several times by the Indians, and once remained away two years.

NB there is also some potential for confusion with the Alson Moon Doak line - see below re these, also check Wes Doak's site at

nb Wes has a will of 'his' Robert at


Robert Doak (1750 - 1838) - Robert Doak was born in County Antrim, Ireland in 1750. He immigrated to the Colony of Pennsylvania with his three brothers in 1767. He enlisted in Captain Hay's Company in Northhampton County on January 6, 1776. This company was associated with others under the command of Colonel Siegfried and became a part of Col. Trespaugh's Battalion of Pennsylvania troops. Robert served as a soldier from January 6, 1776 to March 8, 1783. He fought in the battles of Germantown and Brandywine among others. He was one of the soldiers camped at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777 - 78 suffering from cold and lack of proper food and clothing. On the general roll of the Revolutionary forces dated May 14, 1778, his Company is the 6th Company of the 4th Battalion. Captain John Ralston was the commander. Bothers Robert, Moses and James Doak are on the roll of the company, which consisted of 83 men, James Doak being the Quartermaster.

Robert married Sarah McKribben the daughter of John and Sarah (Coburn) McKribben in 1784. They had ten children. He built a log cabin home and established a farm. (Located on land that is now Raccoon State Park in Beaver County, PA.) He was one of the subscribers to a school conducted by Rev. John Taylor. The school opened on May 2, 1779. Rev. Taylor, a Presbyterian, probably also preached in the school building. Rev. Taylor left for a larger opportunity and began teaching school in Pittsburgh on June 1, 1880.

Robert would travel about 30 miles to attend a Presbyterian church at Buffalo Village in Washington County. This church was founded in 1779 as the result of a revival. Robert would leave on Saturday and ride the 30 miles to church carrying his rifle to guard against wild beasts or Indians. After Sunday services he would return home on Monday. In 1784 Mill Creek Presbyterian Church was organized. Robert Doak was one of the charter members. Robert was chosen to pick up Rev. Scott, a professor at Princeton, and bring him back to be the first pastor. Robert left home in his Conestoga wagon on May 27, 1799 and arrived at Princeton, New Jersey, on June 17. On July 1, they left Princeton and arrived at Mill Creek in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, on July 20, 1799. The total travel distance was over eight hundred miles. To pay for his services the men of the congregation put up his harvest for him that fall. Robert died on October 4, 1838, at the age of 88. Sarah died on June 18, 1838. They are buried in the Mill Creek Church cemetery.

A site which I call Doak Central is John R Doak's site at I've been trading data and hypotheses with John R for a while and he is very definitely one of the good guys.

[From] ... comes:

We follow the brethren2 a few miles further, as they go on toward "Augusti Court House, a little town of some twenty houses, surrounded by mountains on all sides."

"On October 23 we started at daybreak [from Thomas Harrison's]. We had bought a small barrel of milk to use for dinner, but it broke and we lost all. Two miles farther we bought some meat, and then traveled six miles farther to North River, where we ate our dinner. This creek is half as large as the Lecha [Lehigh], but it is impassable at high water, nor is a canoe in the neighborhood." (12)

The brethren had thus come in their journey to the vicinity of Mt. Crawford. They tell of their dinner there of meat and dumplings, and of their experiences farther on, at Middle River, at Robert Bohk's, and at "Augusti Court House"; but having followed them to the borders of Rockingham, we bid them farewell.

(12) Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, October, 1904, pp. 144-147.

I am highly amused by the Bohk 'variant'...

Ralph points out that the surnames Doak and Doke appear among the list of "persons paying Personal Property Taxes in Rockingham Co.,VA in 1787. They were taxed on slaves, horses, mares, colts, mules, and cattle. They were also taxed if there was a male in the household age 16-21" at Sandi Evilsizer Koscak's Rockingham county site.3 We both wonder at this reference in Chalkley, Vol. III, page 518:

8th February, 1749-50. Robert Poage to John Poage, 308 acres. William Beverley. Corner Lewis land. Wallace's land. Corner Daniel Dennison. Part of 773 acres conveyed to Robert by Beverley 28th April, 1739. Teste: William Jameson, Erwin Patterson.

Could this be yet another misspelling of Doak, or an actual reference to Poage, a surname that did exist in the area?

Ralph has provided two compilations of Doaks, with various spellings, which you may find helpful:

  1. Doaks who were listed in various U. S. censuses.
  2. Doaks in the U. S. Civil War.

The second compilation includes links to the Civil War soldiers and sailors site with further information on each Doak and his unit. Please use your browser's BACK button to return to the Carey family album after viewing these pages.

Thank you Ralph for sharing with us!

1 Dec 2015. Ralph informs us that this site is no longer on the air. That is correct.
2 The "brethren" are two Moravian missionaries who were describing their 1853 journey through the Shenandoah valley.
3 Dec 2015. This site also appears to be unavailable. I haven't been in touch with Sandi for several years.

This page was last updated 3 Dec 2015.