I spent some time recently reviewing information pertaining to the life of Capt. Hugh O'Neale, the "indian fighter", who lived in Charles County, Maryland in the mid 17th century.
This is the same Hugh O'Neale that D Michael Iradi emailed Ron O'Neal about in the summer of 2006, a copy of that email is at the following URL, posted by Ron O'Neal:
Near the bottom of this web page is a reference to "two different Henry O'Neale's" that may be father and son.
With regards to this Henry O'Neale, I'd propose to O'Neal[e] researchers that Capt. Hugh O'Neale, the Indian fighter and at least one of these Henry O'Neale's are one in the same person.
I believe the following land records bear this out:
In a deed dated 1672 Sep 26, Elias Doughty is selling land he originally acquired from Capt. Hugh O'Neale in 1666 to a John Hadden. This Elias Doughty was the brother of Capt. Hugh O'Neale's wife, Mary Doughty Van de Donk O'Neal.
In this deed, Doughty (or Doughty's attorney) refer to O'Neale as "Henry O'Neale and his wife Mary"
In an earlier deed, Elias Doughty had sold another portion of this property, and that deed referred to the original patentee as "Hugh O'Neale and his wife Mary"
The chain of title for this land, from the Maryland archives, shows that Capt. Hugh O'Neale originally acquired a patent to this land AFTER marrying Mary Doughty Van der Donk. The patent was granted from the Duke of York. Hugh and Mary O'Neale then assinged their patent to Mary's brother, Elias Doughty.
The entire text of this patent is reprinted in Appendix A of the book The History of the Town of Kings Bridge, now part of the 24th Ward (New York City). Published 1887. Author: Thomas Henry Edsall
I've listed Hugh and Henry tentatively as the same individual, and cited many of these sources in a file at rootsweb if you'd like to review or comment on any of this:
I'm not sure if we had corresponded in the past (it's been a while since I looked at O'Neal(e) stuff.)
As per your theory that Hugh and Henry O'Neal are one in the same person: specifically as per the deeds you have researched, yes, it appears they are the same person in the documents you've cited, at least at first glance.
However, if so, the question now becomes:
1. "Did Hugh actually call himself 'Henry' ?" (i.e. was either "Hugh", or "Henry", a nickname for the other?), or...
2. Was "Henry" a scribe's error (not uncommon for the era), and if so, was it:
a. a random error, or
b. an error, because he was actually confused with another family member?
If his father were named Henry (pure speculation), then he could have been named after his father (and used "Hugh" as a nickname to distinguish him from his father), or, he could have even been confused with his speculated father Henry in the documents, who was possibly the owner/squatter on the tract of land, before Hugh conveyed it to yet another. Perhaps this conveyance of inherited land/homestead was part of the "written agreement" between Hugh and James, that Hugh apparently reneged on.
My "psychic instinct" (LOL) tells me that his proper name was likely "Hugh", and that the times he's mentioned as "Henry" are scribes mistakes - for whatever the reason. The real clue, will be the signatures on these original deeds.
That being said, Mary IS a common enough name (particularly in a Catholic Colony). If Hugh had a sister Sarah (who had married his wife's brother, which seems to be the case), then that means that there was probably an O'Neale "family" present in MD at the time, and that Hugh was not just a single, lone immigrant to America.
Also, the fact that he was successfully sued by a James "Neale", indicates to me that he was likely sued by a brother named James (who had simply dropped the ethnic " O' " from his surname), and that the suit may have possibly had something to do with an inheritance.
So if there are siblings Hugh and Sarah, and possibly James, why not a father (or brother) named "Henry" as well?
Is it possible that the parents of Hugh, Sarah and probably James could have been a Henry and Mary O'Neale?
I'm just throwing theories out here.
Also, my thoughts on the marriages of the O'Neale siblings into the Doughty family, is that the meeting of the siblings occurred in MD, and not in NYC/L.I. area. The meeting likely occurred due to old man Doughty having fled to VA (with his family), where Doughty then married the sister-in-law of the then Governor of MD. So, what this means, is that the O'Neales would have definitely been protestant Scotch-Irish, and not Catholic Irish, since they NEVER would have survived in the Doughty family as Catholics.
Also, for some reason I have in my mind, that Hugh and his wife had removed to North Carolina (and as you had pointed out, probably to escape debt/law), but I can't seem to find that source particular sourcenow. They were a real pair, those two....
Also, Elias returned to L.I. (where he grew up) with his wife Sarah O'Neal, presumably in connection with his father being practically "tarred and feathered" out of the VA and MD areas. So I believe the references to Sarah O'Neal as born in Dutch-controlled Nieuw Amsterdam/L.I. are completely erroneous, and no proof of her having been north of MD prior to Doughty's ouster from there, has ever been presented to my knowledge.
I don't know if I have sent this to you already, but attached are the notes (such as they are) that I have collected on that clan of crazies to date.
Do keep me in touch regarding any further developments.