Daniel migrated from Ireland to Maryland in 1715 soon after his marriage to Mary in Ireland, but no Irish records for them have been found. They settled in Kent County, MD, near the Chesapeake Bay. Both Daniel and Mary were Catholics (see later on Colonial record related to John Wilde with a reference to popery regarding Daniel & Mary). Daniel was recognized by The Huguenot Society at one time, but they deleted him in a 2016 review as they did not have supporting information. The surname as spelled in various Colonial records clearly indicates an Irish surname heritage for Daniel, and not a French one.
Daniel's wife, Mary O'Hara, likely was a native of Ireland and probably came from a Catholic family. Perhaps Daniel became a Catholic to marry her, or perhaps he was not a Huguenot. The various spellings of his surname in Colonial America records reflect Irish surnames rather than French surnames. French genealogists have advised the various so-called French spellings, such as De la Hunte, have no basis in the French language and do not reflect French surnames The likely Irish surname is Delahunty-- the anglicized form of the ancient Gaelic O Dulchaointigh. Other anglicized spelling variations of this Gaelic surname include Dolohunty, Delahunt, Delhunty, Dellunty, Dulanty and Dullenty. These anglicized spellings likely account for publications appearing from 1844 onward using the spelling of De la Hunti or De la Hunte and deeming the surname to be a French one.
Known Sources of Daniel;s Alleged French Ancestry
On page 7 of the 19 Oct 1844 edition of The Baptist (Nashville, TN), there is an artilce on Daniel's son, John Dillahunty. It states John's surname originall ws spelled De La Hunte with his ancestors being French Portestants who fled France for the Netherlands and soon moved on to Ireland; John's father (Danie) became a Catholic in Ireland and married a Catholic and migrated to Maryland in the early 1800s where John was born in Kent Co, MD, on 8 Dec 1728. Per the article, its info was written about 1816 by John's son Thomas, and passed on by Elder Whitsett (presumbaly James Whitsett, 1771-1849, first pastor of Mill Creek Church in the Nashville, TN, area, a peer of John and an exector of John's will. John had been involved with the establishment of Mill Creek Church and served as its moderator.
On page 375 of an early 1852 Masonic monthly magazine there is a tribute to Edmund Dillahunty of Columbia, TN. Edmund was a great-grandson of Daniel. He was born in 1800 and died in early 1852. Edmund himself likely was the source of the family history info in this tribute stating his "ancestors were Huguenots, who fled from France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes... they settled on Chesapeake Bay in 1715... the name is of French origin, and was originally spelt De la Hunti, but his grandfather, Rev. John Dillahunty, having at an early period received an appointment connected with the land office in North Carolina, the name was spelt as at present (meaning Dillahunty) in his commission, and under the advice of counsel he changed the spelling of his name so as to correspond with his commission...".
Pages 851-852 of "Annals of the American Baptist Pulpit...: by William Buell Sprague, D.D., published 1860 by Robert Carter & Brothers, New York, contains a two page tribute/bio of Daniel's son John (as a Tennessee prominent Baptist minister) which states John's "family name was French, and was writted De la Hunte. His ancestors were Huguenots, who, about the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, found their way to Holland. Thence the grandfather of Mr. D. removed to Ireland, where many of his descendants still reside. His father migrated to Maryland early in the eighteenth century..." The probable source for this info in the 1852 Masonic magazine tribute to Edmund Dillahunty.
Pages 233-234 of North Carolina Baptist Historical Papers, Volume 1, published in 1897, note the roles of Daniel's son, John Dillahunty, in the NC Baptist movement. With respect to the ancestors of John Dillahunty, this publication states his "family were French protestants. After the revocation of the edict of Nantes they fled to Holland, whence the grandfather of John removed to Ireland. His father married a Roman Catholic lady and they emigrated to Maryland, where John was born... He married Hannah Neal,, a Quakeress. For this they were disowned by their families. After waiting four years in the vain hope of reconciliation they removed to North Carolina...". Again, this French protestant reference probably stems from the 1852 Masonic magazine tribute to Edmund Dillahunty.
The 1897 North Carolina Baptist Historical Papers narrative was followed in a 1972, non-documented, monograph entitled "Cannefax-Gardner and Related Lines" by Margaret Gardener-Cannefax(1900-1984), a 5th great granddaughter of Daniel & his wife Mary. Her monograph is consistent with prior, undocumented, published accounts of the origins of Daniel and his father.
Colonial MD record entries located or Daniel:
- Dennis Clark of Kent Co, MD, named a grandson, John Wilde, in a will dated 11 Dec 1716. In a subsequent administration of the Dennis Clark estate on 15 Jan 1721, Mary Delahuntre was named as the mother of John Wild. On 27 Feb 1722, Peter Wild obtained an order from the Council of Maryland for his nephew, John Wild, "to be removed from the custody of Daniel Delahuntee and Mary his Wife his present Tutors and the said Peter Wild is hereby Ordered to take the said John Wild into his custody." Peter Wild's petition to the council stated that he would educate John Wild "in the protestant Religion as established by Law in the Church of England he being in danger of being perverted to popery by them” (referring to Daniel & Mary). In his will, Dennis Clark left Kent County property known as Kemps Beginning on Muddy Creek to his dau Mary Wilde, the mother of John Wilde who was b. 27 Jan 1714 in Kent Co, MD.
- Daniel "Duliente" was a "white man" on a 1721 tax list in Kent Co, MD, in the "Chester 100" area.
- Daniel "Delahunty", of Kemps Beginning, was listed as a land owner in the Kent Co, MD, debt book covering the period 1736-1757.
- A codicil dtd 8 May 1734 to the will of Richard Page in Kent Co, MD, mentions "Stacey and Mary Dillihunter, and Daniel Dillihunter." In his will dtd 3 May 1734, Richard Page also named "Daniel Dillehunter" and "Anne Staccey" as beneficiaries of the will. The connection of Richard Page with Stacey, Mary & Daniel is unknown; the likely were not related but were friends/neighbors.
- On 30 Apr 1746, "Daniel Dillihunt" witnessed the will of Nicolas Neal of Kent Co, MD (Nicholas was the husband of Daniel's daughter, Mary).
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Father: David De La Hunte
Kent Co., MD
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