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Bulloch Genealogy by Roger Allen
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    Everyone in Bulloch County knows a Deal or two and almost everyone knows what an important part the Deal family has played in the founding and development of Statesboro and Bulloch County. Well, their family lines extend all the way back to a little village in Bavaria, Germany. Johann Adam Diehl was born in Einod, Rhineland Pfalz, in Bavaria and married Anna. They had (at least) five children.
    They were Anna Margaretha, born in 1711; Maria Catherina, born in 1713; Paulser, born in 1715; Peter, born in 1717; and Theobold (or Teevolt), born in 1733. The Diehl’s traveled from Rotterdam to Cowes in Southern England. Here they set sail aboard the ship “Three Sisters”, under the command of Captain Hewitt. Arriving offshore of Tybee Island, the ship was made to wait for ten days before landing. Unfortunately for the family, Johann (now also known as John) and his daughter Anna Margaretha both died aboard ship within sight of the colony of Georgia between December 21 and 31, 1737.
    Peter took over the family reigns, and they all settled near Vernonburg, the second settlement in the new colony. Peter met and married Nancy (Agnes) Bennett in 1747, which had moved to Vernonburg with her family from Robeson County in North Carolina. They had (at least) one child, named John (Johann) Diehl who was born in 1760. Some records showed his last name now being spelled as Dell. John died before 1841.
    This is where the Deal History gets curious. There are two distinct sets of records for what many say are the same two people. The first one goes like this: now a Captain in the settlement, son John married Mary Hodges in 1780, they moved to Bulloch County and had two children: Simon (also known as Peter) Deal, born in 1781; and Martha Deal, who is known to have married Matthew Gay at the same time Simon married Sintha (or Cynthia) Williams, on March 10, 1804 in Bulloch County, Georgia. Simon and Sintha had three children: James, born in either 1811 or 1812; William A., born in 1816; and Katie Lerie. James married a woman named Martha Brack in 1828.
    The second history takes a very different tack: John and his family lived on an island off the North Carolina Coast. This island, known at first as Devils Island, was known later as Deil’s Island, and then finally as Deals Island. The family moved from there to Tennessee. Later, John’s son Simon and his son James were reported to have moved to Bulloch County from East Tennessee, while James’s wife, Martha Brack, came from Burke County. Most genealogists consider this story to be curious but inaccurate, a mixing up of numerous family histories.
    The lines merge once again in Bulloch County, never to split again. James and Martha had several children: Jane deal, born in 1830, who married John Akins in 1812; and Calvin deal, born in 1832, who married Sarah Mikell in 1854.
Frances Cook Deal has assembled a record that shows numerous more children being born to James and Martha: Matilda, born in 1836; Sarah, born in 1837; John, born in 1842; William, born in 1844; Lydia (or Arlydia), born in 1845; James Kalip, born in 1847; Mitchell, born in 1848; Allison, born in 1849, and Laura, born in 1852. According to Frances Deal, when James died, leaving Martha at home with (as many as) ten children, Martha and Calvin were named as the administrators of his estate.
    Jane and John Akins had one child, Cavern Akins, born in 1860. Calvin and Sarah Deal had one child, Jasper C. Deal, born in 1858. Matilda married Ely Warnock in 1855, and when he died, married John J. Hodges several years later. Sarah married Thomas H. Mikell. John Deal married Mrs. Susan Ann McElveen Simmons in 1867 after he returned from fighting in the War Between the States. William married Eliza Waters in 1860. Lydia married a Mr. Abstant from Effingham County.
    James married Mrs. Elizabeth Deal Grimes in the late 1860’s. No information can be found as to Mitchell’s lifetime. Allison married Mrs. Missouri Lee Brack and then when she died married Julia Lee, having a total of ten children by his two wives. Laura married a Mr. Williams, but little more is known.
    The most famous of Bulloch County’s Deals was born to John Deal, son of James, and his wife Susan Ann McElveen Simmons on January 2, 1868, was Colonel Albert Mitchell Deal. He grew up with siblings Cornelia Francis, Sarah Martha, John Morgan, Ann Jane, Daniel Lawrence, Susan Ophelia, Benjamin Erastus, and James Harrison Deal. Now, if you’ll pardon the pun, you know why the Deals are such a big deal in Bulloch County.

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