I've been steadily researching James H. Peel for a while now. I've visited the Surry County Register of Deeds office and found nothing but the license for his marriage to my 1st great grandmother, Anna (or Ana) Catharine Bennett.
I'm a sucker for a good story any time, but I'm especially interested in family histories. While researching James H., I found some information about the "founding father" of the Peel family. Apparently, whether you spell it Peal, Peel, Peele, or Pehl, all Americans with some variation of this name in their lineage can claim descent from one English immigrant: Lawrence Peele.
Lawrence Peele was a 19-year-old who was hired by the London Company in 1620 to settle in the Virginia Colony along with 799 others. He managed to survive the various calamities that befell many of the other settlers and started a family that would span many generations. Though the writers of the website I've discovered (The First Peele Family in America) have found no mention of Lawrence's wife, they did find evidence of his son (Robert, born 1635).
Some of the historical information that is relayed on the site was obtained from a book written by Jonathan Peel (1799-1879), The Peels, A Family Sketch.
The First Peelle Family in America is a website worth visiting, especially if you happen to be interested in the Peel family (any spelling of that name qualifies). The authors of the site (Horace and Marvin Peelle) have compiled some very detailed data about the history of the Peels since their arrival in Virginia. In fact, Horace is writing a book entitled The First Peelle Family in America. Visitors to the site can view an outline of his book, which also charts the progress that has been made on each section to date.
I confess that I haven't finished exploring The First Peelle Family in America website, but I'm looking forward to learning more about the research these individuals have compiled. I'm planning to submit an inquiry about James H. Peel, so we'll see if I get lucky.