Thomas Gunn, Jr. (ca. 1738 VA - 1800 NC), James B. Kerner (2007)
Thomas2 Gunn, Jr. (Thomas Gunn, Sr.1) was born in or near Amelia County, VA circa 1738.18 Amelia County, VA was formed from Brunswick and Prince George Counties in 1734. Nottoway Co., VA was formed from Amelia County in 1788. Before Nottoway County established its own government, it was known as Nottoway Parish, a district of Amelia County. Thomas served in the Virginia Colonial Militia during the French and Indian War. He was paid five pounds, six shillings for militia service in 1756, During the French and Indian War, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed an act for the defense of the frontier of the colony on September 14, 1758. Thomas Gunn was among those soldiers mentioned in the schedules attached to that act. Thomas was listed in the Amelia County unit.
Thomas Gunn (or his father) was mentioned in court records in Lunenburg Co., VA in 1758. Note: Lunenburg Co., VA was formed from Brunswick Co., VA in 1746. On April 4, 1758, Thomas Gunn of Amelia Co., VA purchased 300 acres near his sister, Edith Hogan, on the north side of the Roanoke River in Lunenburg Co., VA, (present-day Mecklenburg Co., VA). Note: Mecklenburg Co., VA was formed from part of Lunenburg Co., VA in 1765.
Thomas Gunn (or his father) was listed as a resident of Lunenburg Co., VA per the 1760 tax lists.
On July 15, 1760, Thomas Gunn (or his father) received a land patent for 333 acres on the north side of Little Creek.
On June 22, 1761, Thomas, or his father, witnessed a deed in Brunswick Co., VA.
On May 9, 1764, Thomas was living in Brunswick Co., VA pursuant to the Revolutionary War Pension Application of his son, Starling Gunn.
In 1764, a Thomas Gunn was listed as a tithable in Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg Co., VA, with two tithables.
In 1765, Thomas (or his father), along with James Gunn, were mentioned in the estate of Samuel Jordan in Amelia Co., VA.
On January 26, 1777, Thomas Gunn of Nottoway Parish, VA purchased 215 acres in Lunenburg Co., VA (one record states this was Amelia Co., VA).
In 1780, Thomas was drafted into service by the State of Virginia in the Revolutionary War, but his son, Starling Gunn, went in his stead. Starling's pension application stated that he was living in Amelia Co., VA at that time. Later that same year, Thomas supplied the Patriot Army passing through Amelia Co., VA with twenty-one bushels of wheat and five hundred pounds of beef, for which he was later reimbursed six pounds.
On February 8, 1783, Thomas sold 60 of the 300 acres he had purchased back in 1758.
Thomas Gunn, or almost certainly, his nephew of the same name, was listed on the 1784 Tax List of Caswell Co., NC. That Thomas Gunn had 200 acres on Mill Creek in the Nash District and lived near Mary Gunn, who had 600 acres on Mill Creek. Mary Gunn was the widow of John Gunn who died circa 1780 in Caswell Co., NC. John Gunn apparently had a son also named Thomas Gunn, who died in neighboring Person Co., NC in 1796. The Nash District of Caswell Co., NC became part of Person Co., NC at its formation in 1792.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. died circa November, 1800 in Caswell Co., NC.19 The Rev. James Gunn Bible states that he died October 28, 1800, but that can't be the right month since his will was signed on November 13, 1800, and the estate was inventoried on December 15, 1800. Rev. James Gunn was probably operating from memory and confused the month of his father's death. Thomas Gunn, Jr. is recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as having provided service to the Patriot Cause during the American Revolution.
Thomas Gunn executed a will on November 13, 1800. It reads as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. I, Thomas Gunn, of Caswell County, State of North
Carolina, being in low health but of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God, do
constitute this my Last Will and Testament, in manner and form following, to wit:
Inprimus, I lend to my beloved wife, Elenor Gunn, one third part of my land to be laid off at the lower end where I now live and three negroes called Adam, Sam, and Molly Smith, two cows and one feather bed and furniture during her natural life or
Item, I give and bequeath to my son, John Gunn, two hundred and fifty acres of land, part of the tract whereon I now live, to be laid off at the upper end to him and his heirs or assigns forever, also three negroes called Rachel, Archy, and Jacob, one feather bed and furniture, and one cow and calf.
Item, I give and bequeath to my son, Allen Gunn, all the remainder of the tract of land whereon I now live, to him and his heirs and assigns forever, also three negroes called Milly, Charles, and Betty, one horse of the value of one hundred dollars, one cow and calf, one feather bed and furniture.
Item, I give to my son, Sterling Gunn, two negroes called George and Phillis, now in his possession.
Item, I give to my son, Daniel Gunn, three negroes called Godfrey, Anny, and Aggy, now in his possession.
Item, I give to my son, Thomas Gunn, three negroes called Eve, Sie, and Delpha, now in his possession.
Item, I give to my son in law, Ellis Evans, two negroes called Milly and Arram, now in his possession.
Item, I give to my son, James Gunn, two negroes called Moses and Esther, now in his possession.
Item, I give to my son, Griffin Gunn, two negroes called Chloe and Hampton, and one hundred dollars to be raised out of my estate.
Item, I give to my daughter, Sally Burton, two negroes now in her possession called Chloe Flippin and Davy, and one called Peter.
Item, I give to my daughter, Priscilla Gunn, three negroes called Anncia, Isaac, and Danbey, also one mare called Crawl Bottom, one cow and calf, and one feather bed and furniture.
Item, I give to my son, Anderson Gunn, two negroes called Dic and Sydny. Item, I give to my son, Pinkney Gunn, one negro boy called Herod.
It is my will that old Sam, Lucy, Jack, and Grace live on this plantation where I now live, if they see cause, or (can) go with any of my children (as) they please.
All the remainder of my estate not disposed of by this Will, it is my desire shall be sold by my Executors and, after my debts are paid, be equally divided among my wife and all my children that are alive, share and share alike.
Lastly, I nominate and appoint James Burton and my son, Griffin Gunn, to execute this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of November, Anno Dom 1800. Signed Thomas Gunn. Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of C. Dixon, jurat, Mosey Ingram, jurat, and Ann Green, her mark.
The will was proven in the Caswell County Court during the January, 1801 term. James Burton and Griffin Gunn were appointed Executors of the estate. His estate was inventoried on December 15, 1800, and an estate sale was held in which all of his adult children bought items. His estate was quite large and varied and consisted of the following items, among many others: slaves, 740 acres of land, including a ten-acre section with a mill, a copy of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, a book of the works of Fletcher, a dictionary, hymn books, prayer books, American magazines, feather beds, chairs, trunks, furniture, decanters, wine glasses and tumblers, pewter plates, oxen, hogs, geese, ganders, bay horses, cows, barrels of corn, and farm implements of every sort. In January, 1804, the estate Executors submitted their report to the Court of moneys netted from the sale of estate items. They reported that they had one thousand seventy pounds, five shillings and seven pence to distribute to the heirs.
According to Gwen Gunn Shoemaker: "On 5 October, 1801, Elinor Gunn [his widow] deeded to Griffin Gunn and James Burton (the executors of Thomas Gunn estate) 10 acres, her right of dower in 3rd part of said land on fork of Moon Creek. This was probably the 10 acres with mill which was bought at the estate sale by Starling Gunn. When Allen Gunn died in 1848 his brother John bought much of the real estate Allen owned, including the 'home place.' We have not learned who the present owner of this land is so we have not identified the exact place where Thomas Gunn lived."
Thomas Gunn's son, Allen Gunn, died in June 1848, without a will in Caswell Co., NC. He was well off but never married and had no children. Accordingly, a Chancery Court proceeding had to be held to determine his heirs at law and distribute his large estate. His estate records are voluminous, but much genealogical information about the Thomas Gunn family can be found therein. In one pleading, dated August 1, 1848, Allen Gunn's siblings petitioned the Court to sell his real estate as follows:
"Allen Gunn, Senr., late of Caswell County, departed this life intestate in the month of June last being seised [sic] of considerable real estate in Caswell, that is to say as follows, one tract of land of about seven hundred and fifty acres known as the Homestead on the waters of Moon Creek adjoining the land of John Gunn, Senr., and others, one tract of land about two? hundred and fifty acres, known as the Ingram Tract . . . on Moon Creek, which runs through it, one other known as the Mill tract, with the good grist mill on it containing sixty acres more or less . . . (he also owned) a certain house and lot in Yanceyville on the corner of the public square known as the John H----- (illegible) house and lot. [This could be the John Herndon Graves house.]
Now your petitioners would respectfully show unto your Honor that the said Allen Gunn, Senr. never married and left no lineal descendants or heirs at law and his real estate, therefore properly descends to his brothers and their descendants, namely, your petitioners: Starling Gunn, John Gunn, and Sally Burton, and Priscilla Burton, the last two sisters, and the two first brothers of the intestate, and Thomas Gunn and James Gunn, who are also his brothers, and the children of his deceased brother, Griffin Gunn (these are named),....(and the) children of Mary Evans, deceased (these are named), who was sister of the said intestate, and the children and descendants of Daniel Gunn, deceased, and of Anderson Gunn, deceased, and of Pinkney Gunn, deceased(unnamed because these names were then unknown to petitioners). The petitioners then asked the Court to sell the real estate and divide the proceeds among the heirs.
Another petition was filed in about 1850 by Allen Gunn's heirs to sell Allen Gunn's considerable personal property consisting of slaves, stocks of horse and cows, sheeps, hogs, goods, money, etc., all in "large amounts." They stated as follows in pertinent part: "Allen Gunn, Senr., in or about the year 1848, departed this life intestate and a single man, having your orator (John Gunn) and your oratrix (Sally Burton), as two of his next of kin, and also the following others him surviving - namely, Starling Gunn, a brother who resides in Caswell County, and Thomas Gunn, another brother who resides in the State of Tennessee . . . (and the) children of his deceased brothers and sisters as follows, to wit, the children of Griffith Gunn, deceased (these are named) . . . and the children of James Gunn, deceased, another brother, namelyAlexander, William, James, and Wynn, and several others whose names cannot be ascertained, and thechildren also of another brother, now deceased, to wit, Daniel Gunn (these are unnamed as unknown) . . . and the children also of another deceased brother, Anderson Gunn (names unknown) . . . and the children also of Mary Evans, deceased, sister of the said intestate (these are named) . . . and another sister residing inTennessee whose name is Priscilla Payne or Priscilla Burton. The above, your orator and oratrix furthershow that the above is a true statement of all the next of kin of the said intestate. . . ."
The petitioners went on to express their dissatisfaction with the speed in which the Administrator of the estate, Dr. Allen Gunn, was disposing of the personal property.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. married either two, three, or four times. He first married Susannah Burnett in Virginia, circa 1760. The marriage likely occurred in or near Brunswick Co., VA. Her identity is based upon family tradition, and I have seen no proof as to Susannah’s surname, but family tradition states that her father was Richard Burnett. Her son, Rev. James Gunn's Family Bible, states that Susannah Gunn died Dec. 27, 1796. The listing is right next to the listing for James’ father. It would only be natural for James to list his parents' deaths. In my view this listing refers to his mother, Susannah Burnett Gunn, and thus the later marriages to Sarah Davenport and Ann Worsham were for a different Thomas Gunn. Other researchers disagree, but the evidence for the other two marriages is scant, in my view. Additionally, Starling Gunn, in his Revolutionary War pension application, stated that he gave his mother [Susannah Burnett Gunn] his discharge papers after the surrender of Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown. That surrender took place on October 19, 1781. Thomas Gunn, Jr.’s supposed second and third marriages took place in December, 1778 and January, 1782 respectively. Starling Gunn's mother was Susannah Burnett Gunn, so if this is accurate, then the marriage to Sarah Davenport was clearly for another Thomas Gunn.
There was another Thomas Gunn who died in 1796, who was living in either Amelia Co., VA or Mecklenburg Co., VA in 1782. One or both of these questionable marriages were probably his. Susannah Burnett was born in VA July 12, 1740.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. possibly next married Sarah Davenport (very questionable) in Amelia Co., VA, December 1, 1778.20 Security was John Tucker. I have listed this marriage to recognize that several researchers believe it to be for our Thomas Gunn, Jr., but based upon the foregoing evidence, it does not appear to be so. This marriage, however, has helped descendants join the DAR. The following record appeared in deed records of Amelia Co., VA: "To all whom these presents shall come, Sarah Davenport of the County of Amelia, sendeth greetings, whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized between the said Sarah and Thomas Gunn of the County aforesaid . . . Sarah Davenport and Thomas Gunn, both of Amelia County, planning to marry, in love and affection that said Gunn has for Sarah's children, Sarah Davenport and Samuel Davenport, and five shilling, gift of three negroes from the estate of George Davenport, dec'd, father of children, Sarah and Samuel. . . ." Curiously, Thomas Gunn signed with only one "n" in Gunn, further evidence that marriage may have been for a different Thomas Gunn. The document was dated Dec. 1, 1778 and was proven in court on April 25, 1782. If our Thomas Gunn, Jr. actually next married Ann Worsham, then Sarah would have died circa 1778-1782, possibly in childbirth. On April 27, 1782, the Executors of George Davenport, Dec'd, assignees of Thomas Gunn, filed a "Claim against the Public on Account of Horses and Other Property Impressed or Taken for Public Service" in the Amelia County, VA Court. They filed same for, "2 Beeves, 470 pounds of meat, Sep. 1781, for Continental use, five pounds, 17 shillings and 6 pence." It appears as though George Davenport, not Thomas Gunn, actually provided this service to the Patriot Cause. However, Thomas Gunn was also reimbursed for 21 and 1/2 bushels of wheat for five pounds, 7 shillings and six pence. Sarah Davenport was most likely born in Virginia. Sarah was the widow of George Davenport, whose will was proven on September 2, 1773 in Amelia Co., VA (Will Book 2, pages 104-105, 116). George Davenport and Sarah had nine children together.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. possibly next married Ann Worsham (questionable) in Amelia Co., VA, January 11, 1782.21 William Osborne was surety. In 1782, there were two Thomas Gunns listed in the Virginia Tax Lists, one in Amelia Co., VA (with 11 whites and 18 blacks), and one in Mecklenburg Co., VA (with 12 whites and no blacks). Mecklenburg Co., VA had been formed from a section of Lunenburg Co., VA in 1765. Our Thomas Gunn, Jr. appears to be the one listed in Amelia Co., VA based upon his son, Starling Gunn's, pension application which placed Thomas in Amelia Co., VA in 1780 and 1781, and based upon the fact that the neighbors of the man in the 1785 listing (who is certainly our man), are mostly the same men as in the 1782 listing.
The 1785 VA Tax List shows only one Thomas Gunn, in Amelia Co., VA. This man in 1785 is almost certainly our Thomas Gunn, as he was listed as a close neighbor of Ellis Evans (his son in-law, who married his daughter in 1785). Thomas was listed with 11 white souls, 1 dwelling, and 8 other buildings. Slaves weren't listed that year. The 1787 VA Tax List shows Thomas Gunn living in Amelia Co., VA with one male age 16-21 (Thomas, III who was born 1770?), 23 slaves, 5 horses, mares, colts and mules, and 28 cattle. This also seems to be our Thomas Gunn, Jr. In 1788, Nottoway Co., VA was formed from part of Amelia Co., VA. Nottoway Co., VA Court Orders dated June 4, 1789, show Thomas Gunn and Ellis Evans [his son-in-law] as being neighbors near, "The falls of Great Nottoway into the main road at Bolling's old field." Researchers appear to be split on the issue of whether the Thomas Gunn who married Ann Worsham was actually ours. It appears possible, considering that court records apparently show, (I have not seen these records), that Thomas Gunn, Jr.’s daughters, Sarah Gunn (born April 9, 1782), and Priscilla Gunn (born November 10, 1786), were only half-sisters, and thus had different mothers. However, Gwen Gunn Shoemaker, who had access to the voluminous Allen Gunn estate records located at the North Carolina Archives, did not include Ann Worsham as one of the wives of Thomas Gunn, Jr. The Allen Gunn estate records, which I have copies of, unfortunately do not list the wives of Thomas Gunn, Jr. The only time a half-sibling was mentioned in those records was for Anderson and Pinckney Gunn. In fact, the Allen Gunn estate records offer no evidence whatsoever that Thomas Gunn, Jr. married Sarah Davenport or Ann Worsham and I'm starting to believe that the man who married these two women was actually the Thomas Gunn who died in Person Co., NC circa 1796. Additionally the Rev. James Gunn Family Bible records that Thomas Gunn, Jr. had only two wives, with Anderson Gunn and Pinckney Gunn being the only offspring from the "second wife." Additionally, a power of attorney form dated September 11, 1852, prepared by John W. Gorham of Robertson Co., TN, to make a claim on the estate of Allen Gunn in North Carolina stated the following: ". . . The said Allen Gunn, deceased, late of the County of Caswell . . . through his full brother, James Gunn, deceased, late of the County of Robertson . . . whose daughter intermarried with Wm. B. Gorham, and they had the following children . . . myself, and Priscilla, who intermarried with John L. Yates . . . my mother . . . has been dead many years and my father . . . is also dead."
John W. Gorham's sisters, Emily and Priscilla, made similar statements in power of attorney documents. Clearly, the Gorham siblings would have had access to their grandfather, Rev. James Gunn's, Bible record when they stated that Allen Gunn and James Gunn were "full brothers." Additionally, Daniel Gunn's children, when filing their power-of-attorney forms in the Allen Gunn estate stated that their father was a "full brother" to Allen Gunn. All these statements concur with the James Gunn Bible record, but same are clearly incorrect if Thomas Gunn, Jr. actually married Ann Worsham, in which case Allen Gunn would have been only a half-brother to James and Daniel Gunn, not a full brother. Gwen Gunn Shoemaker opined that James Gunn was possibly too young to remember his father's second wife, Sarah Davenport, and therefore assumed that most of his siblings born before 1797 were James' full siblings. This seems a little spurious.
It may very well be that Thomas Gunn, Jr. actually only had two wives, Susanna Burnett and Eleanor Alverson, especially when one considers that the Rev. James Gunn Family Bible records that a Susannah Gunn died December 27, 1796. It would be natural for James Gunn to record his mother's death, not his stepmother's death, in his personal Bible. That Susannah Gunn is very likely the first wife of Thomas Gunn, Jr., Susannah Burnett. Further, Starling Gunn’s Revolutionary War pension application proves that Starling’s mother (Susannah) was alive after the Battle of Yorktown, which took place on October 19, 1781. If Susannah Burnett-Gunn died in 1796, then that date matches perfectly the rest of the entries showing Anderson Gunn (born 1798) and Pinckney Gunn (born 1800) being the children of "the second wife," i.e., Elenor Alverson, whom Thomas Gunn, Jr. indisputably married on October 24, 1797. To further complicate the matter, Sarah Gunn's husband, James Burton, apparently stated in a court record in 1802 (that I have not seen), that Sarah Gunn [born Apr., 1782] and Priscilla Gunn [b. Nov. 1786], a minor, were only "half-sisters." James Burton was made Priscilla Gunn's guardian at this time.
In any event, Thomas Gunn, Jr. had either two, three, or four wives, the identity of only Eleanor Alverson being proven beyond reproach. Ann Worsham was born circa 1750-1760 (?). Her father, Henry Worham, was born in 1727. She conceivably may have gone by Susannah, per the apparent 1796 death listing in the Rev. James Gunn Family Bible. ANN was the daughter of Henry Worsham. Ann died December 27, 1796 (?) in Caswell Co., NC.22 Thomas Gunn, Jr. lastly married Elenor (Nelly) Alverson in Caswell Co., NC, October 24, 1797.23 James Burton, his future son-in-law, was bondsman. Nelly was born circa 1755-1774.24 Her parents are unknown, but Caswell Co., NC deed records for the time period of her marriage to Thomas Gunn show Elisha, James, and Jesse Alverson, who were likely relatives. Some researchers have speculated that her name may have actually been Anderson based on the name of her firstborn son, Anderson Gunn.
After Thomas Gunn, Jr. died, Eleanor married Jacob Quine in Caswell Co., NC, November 9, 1801.25 Benjamin Quine was bondsman. In 1804, Jacob Quine was listed in Caswell Co., NC Guardian Account records as being the guardian for Pinckney Gunn and Anderson Gunn. On October 21, 1809, Daniel Gunn sold to Allen Gunn his interest in Moon Creek land that had been laid off for life to the widow of Thomas Gunn, deceased, Eleanor Gunn (now Quine). On February 10, 1810, Griffin Gunn sold land on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC, which Griffin had acquired from Jacob Quine, who had inherited same from William Quine, deceased. Jacob was the son of William Quine from the Isle of Man. Jacob may have moved to Grainger Co., TN after the marriage to Elenor Alverson Gunn.
Elenor next married James Davis in Caswell Co., NC, October 23, 1816.26 She was married as Nelly Quine. The bondsman was Thomas Hooper, witness was Azariah Graves. On March 21, 1817, James and Eleanor Davis of Caswell Co., NC sold 243 acres on Moon's Creek to Allen Gunn, "Eleanor Davis being the widow of Thomas Gunn, deceased."
A Thomas Gunn was listed as the head of a family on the 1790 Census in Caswell Co., NC.27 This census listing was more likely that of Thomas Gunn, his nephew by the same name, since the census lists the property as being in the Nash District, which became part of Person Co., NC in 1791. However, in 1791, our Thomas Gunn purchased a very large tract of land for 500 pounds, consisting of 740 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. He purchased the land from Abraham Miles as "Thomas Gunn of Nottoway Co. VA." This tract of land, northeast of Yanceyville, NC apparently stayed in the Gunn family until at least 1848, when it was sold in his son, Allen Gunn's, estate sale. On December 8, 1798, Thomas Gunn, Sen. purchased 2 1/2 acres on Moon's Creek. The deed was witnessed by G. Gunn and Jas. Burton.
On July 16, 1799, Thomas Gunn, Sen. of Caswell Co., NC, purchased 7 more acres on Moon's Creek. James Burton witnessed the deed.
On October 5, 1801, Elenor Gunn, widow and relict of Thomas Gunn, deceased, quit-claimed 10 acres with a mill on Moon's Creek to James Burton and Griffin Gunn, the executors of the Thomas Gunn estate. The land represented the one-third part which she claimed as widow's dower. On April 7, 1806, Starling, Daniel, Thomas, James, Griffin, and John Gunn, along with James Burton, and John Payne, all of Caswell Co., NC transferred "for love and affection" their rights to 247 acres on Moon's Creek, adjacent to James Burton and Allen Gunn, it being one-third part of tract of Thomas Gunn, deceased, and laid off for Eleanor Gunn, now Quine, widow of said Thomas Gunn for her life. On March 21, 1817, James Davis and Eleanor Davis of Caswell Co., NC sold to Allen Gunn 243 acres on Moon's Creek, "being land allotted to Eleanor Gunn, widow of Thomas Gunn, deceased, and now Eleanor Davis." The land was adjacent to that of James Burton. Thomas Gunn, Jr. was listed as the head of a family on the 1800 Census in Caswell Co., NC. (m. 45+, f. 26-45, m. 16-26, m. 10-16, f. 10-16, and 2m. <10). He owned 26 slaves.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. and Susannah Burnett had the following children:
1. Elisha Gunn was born in Virginia July 11, 1761.28 This Elisha Gunn is often confused with Elisha Gunn (1757 VA - ca. 1839 TN), the son of James Gunn and a Revolutionary War Veteran. Elisha, by most accounts, died fairly young as he is not listed in his father's will in 1800 and no record of him seems to exist after that date. One source states that he married Elizabeth Nance in 1780 in Virginia.
2. Starling Gunn was born in Brunswick Co., VA May 9, 1764.29 STARLING died August 13, 1852 in Caswell Co., NC, at 88 years of age.30 He wrote a will on May 15, 1849. The will was proven in October, 1852 in Caswell Co., NC. He is buried at Yanceyville Methodist Church. Starling Gunn is recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as being a soldier in the American Revolution. His tombstone reads as follows:
"Sacred to the memory of Starling Gunn, a soldier in the war of Independence, who fired the first cannon at York and was an eye witness to the surrender of Cornwallis. He was for more than 40 years, a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He died August 13, 1852. Age 88 years, 3 months, and 4 days."
Starling applied for a federal pension based upon his Revolutionary War Service. His application reads as follows:
State of North Carolina, Superior Court of Law, County of Caswell, November Term, 1832; On this 6th day of November, 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Superior Court of Law now sitting, Stirling Gunn, aged sixty-eight years, on the 9th day of May last, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832; That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers as herein stated: Sometime in the fall of the year 1780, perhaps in the month of September, but at this distant day this Declarant cannot now state, he (the Declarant) substituted himself in the place of his father, Thomas Gunn, who was drafted under the following named officers, to wit, Capt. Edward Momford in the Company commanded by Col. Elliot. That at this time this Declarant resided in the County of Amelia and State of Virginia, and he was marched under the said officers to Petersburg and from thence to a place called Cabin Point, where they were stationed and remained guarding the landing and the coast around until they were discharged after serving a tour of three months, as well as this Declarant now recollects. He was discharged together with all the Amelia troops around Christmas, but whether a little before or afterwards, this Declarant cannot now particularly state. In this tour, this Declarant received no discharge, nor did any of the troops who were discharged at the same time, they being marched back as far as Petersburg under their said captain, and from thence they severally took their course to their several homes. Some time in the month of February, 1781, or thereabouts, the enemy under a General Philips came to Petersburg and took and burnt a part of the town, and this Declarant together with all the force which could be collected in the surrounding country volunteered to go down and drive them away. This Declarant, at this time, volunteered under Captain John Knight and was marched to Petersburg, but when they arrived the enemy had fled and the volunteers, of whom this Declarant was one, was discharged or disbanded and returned home after serving or being absent from home fifteen days. Some time in the month of March, 1781 following, this Declarant was drafted in the Amelia Militia under Captain John Knight, [who was listed as a neighbor of Thomas Gunn per the 1782 VA Tax List], in the Company or Regiment commanded by Col. Meriwither and was marched first to Petersburg, and from thence by forced marches a circuitous route to Richmond and was in sight of the fire when Manchester was burned by the enemy, got in to Richmond and endeavored to prevent the enemy crossing the James River into Richmond, but was compelled to retire and was driven from place to place before the enemy until we got up into the mountains in Culpeper County, being at his time under the General Command of General LaFayette.
In Culpeper County, this Declarant, together with five other captain's companies, were discharged after serving a tour of three months. After they were disbanded and were on their march home, they were pursued by the enemy's horse and were overtaken (this Declarant thinks) in Goochland County, and the Captain together with a good many of the soldiers were taken prisoners. This Declarant made his escape and got home in Amelia County in the month of June, 1781. Some time in the month of the same June, as well as this Declarant now recollects, though at this distant day it's impossible for him now to recollect, he was drafted again under a Captain Anderson in the Company or Regiment commanded by Col. Richardson. But Captain Anderson, becoming indisposed, retired from the army until after the capture of Lord Cornwallis. And we were put under an officer by the name of Cobb, who took command of the company as captain. This Declarant was marched to old Jamestown under the aforesaid named officer. From thence we marched to Williamsburg and there remained some time. And from there we followed in pursuit of the enemy to Yorktown where we besieged the enemy. At this place this Declarant was, by arrangement of the officers, taken out of the Infantry, into which he had volunteered in Williamsburg, and was put in the Artillery and assisted in digging the trenches and building the forts at Yorktown.
This Declarant was in the fort and assisted in firing the first gun that he recollects to have been fired upon the enemy. Captain Price and Col. Lamb were his immediate officers in the artillery who acted under the orders of the Brave Genl. Knox. This Declarant also was present at the hoisting of the American flag in the fort. This Declarant continued in the artillery and fought during the siege until the Capture of Cornwallis, and afterwards until his term of service expired or until he was discharged. He thinks he got his discharge about the time of the expiration of his service, but at what particular day, he cannot now recollect. He first applied to his captain and asked to be discharged, being at that time sick, but did not get it, and shortly afterwards Col. Richardson wrote and gave him his discharge and he returned home. He thinks he got home, Amelia County, Virginia, about the first of November, 1781. Therein the whole time which this Declarant served his Country during the War of the Revolution was something about nine months and fifteen days. The country through which this Declarant marched was in and through the State of Virginia.
This Declarant was well acquainted with a great many regular officers who were with the troops where he served. He knew Col. Lamb, Col. Price, Genl. Mecklenburg, Genl. Wayne, Genl. LayFayette and Genl. Washington. This Declarant would state that he has long since lost his discharges and now has no documentary evidence to prove his services, and knows of but one man in this County where he now lives, Caswell County and State of North Carolina, by whom he can prove his service -- by Sgt. Joseph Dameron. I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declare that my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State. The following interrogations propounded by the Court to the applicant and answers:
Question 1st. Where and what year were you born? Answer -- I was born in Brunswick County and State of Virginia, as I have been told, on the 9th day of May, 1764.
Question 2nd. Have you any record of your age and if so, where is it? Ans. I have a record of my age recorded in my Family Bible.
Question 3d. Where were you living when called in service? Where have you lived since your service as a soldier of the Revolution? Answer -- I have lived in this (Caswell) County for forty years and am known to most all of the citizens, any or all whom will prove my character for truth and good behaviour. I am not certain that I can prove my services or any part of my services by any but one man, Joseph Dameron, who was in the army with me at Cabin Point, and I have to rely upon my own oath.
Question 4th. How were you called into service? Were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute?, and if a substitute, for whom? Ans. The first tour of duty which I served I substituted myself in the place of my father, THOMAS GUNN, who was drafted. I next volunteered to drive the enemy from Petersburg. I was next drafted, and again I was drafted in the militia, from which I was permitted to volunteer in the infantry, (after) which I was selected and placed in the artillery at Yorktown.
Question 5th. State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops where you served….as you can recollect and the general circumstances of your service. Ans. I knew General Washington, General Lafayette, General Knox, General Wayne, and General Mecklenburg, Colonel Lamb, and Captain Price.…and others. I (served) in three militia regiments, which I have before mentioned. I know of several regular regiments, but it is improbable for me now to recollect their numbers and names. The general circumstances of my service, I have before endeavored in some degree to detail.
Question 6th. Did you ever receive a discharge from the service?, and if so, by whom was it given, and what has become of it? Ans. For some of the tours which I served, I did not receive written discharges, it being unnecessary or we were disbanded. But for the tour in which I served at Yorktown, I received a written discharge from Col. Richardson, which I afterwards kept as a curiosity, and gave it to my mother. I expect it has long since been destroyed. [Thus Starling Gunn’s mother was still alive by October 19, 1781, putting Thomas Gunn, Jr.’s supposed marriage to Sarah Davenport on December 1, 1778 in serious doubt].
Question 7th. (Do you know of anyone who can attest to your) services as a soldier of the Revolution? Ans. I have lived in this (Caswell) County for forty years and (am) known to most all of the citizens, any one of whom will prove my character for truth and good behaviour. I am not certain that I can prove my services or any part of my services by any but one man, Joseph Dameron, who was in the army with me at Cabin Point, and I have to rely upon my own oath.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid. Jeremiah Graves, C.S.C., Starling Gunn....
We Richard Mastin, a clergyman residing in the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, and James Rainey, residing in the same County and State, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Starling Gunn, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be sixty-eight years of age, that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid. Richard Mastin, James Rainey, Jeremiah Graves, C.S.C.... And the Court do hereby declare their opinion after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogation prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Richard Mastin, who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman residing in the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, and that James Rainey, who has also signed the same, is a resident of the said County of Caswell and State aforesaid, and is a credible person and that their statement is entitled to credit...
I, Jeremiah Graves, Clerk of the Superior Court of Law of the County and State aforesaid, to-wit: County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings in the matter of the application of Starling Gunn for a pension. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 6th day of November A. Dom., 1832. Jeremiah Graves, C.S.C.
After the war ended, Starling Gunn got married. He married Mary Elizabeth Hooper in Brunswick Co., VA, October 5, 1785.31 Starling was listed on the 1787 VA Tax List in Lunenburg Co., VA. On March 31, 1791, Starling purchased 100 acres on Rattlesnake Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by Daniel and Jerusha Gunn. It was likely Starling who enticed his father to move to Caswell Co., NC from Virginia. On September 7, 1791, Starling purchased 300 more acres on Rattlesnake Creek. The deed was witnessed by Daniel Gunn. On October 3, 1797, he purchased 50 more acres on Rattlesnake Creek. The deed was witnessed by Jas. Burton. On January 31, 1799, Starling purchased 200 more acres on Rattlesnake Creek. The deed was witnessed by Jas. Burton. Mary Hooper was born in VA April 15, 1768.32 MARY was the daughter of Zachariah Hooper and Susannah Walker. Mary died March 3, 1843 in Caswell Co., NC, at 74 years of age.33 Her tombstone reads as follows: "Sacred to memory of Mary, wife of Starling Gunn, a consistent member of the M. E. Church, who died Mar. 13, 1843, A.E. 74 y's 10 m's + 16 d's." Starling Gunn was eulogized by an anonymous person. This poignant eulogy can be found in the Caswell Co., NC Courthouse and reads as follows:
Died, in Caswell on the 13th of Aug., Sterling (Starling) Gunn. Mr. Gunn was born in Notaway County, Va., the 9th of May, 1764, and at an early age joined the American Army, and rendered the services of a true and brave soldier until peace was declared. He was under command of Marquis Lafayette at the surrender of Cornwallis, and assisted in placing (and) firing the first gun upon the British at Yorktown. For his good services and conduct he was rewarded by a command in his company. Having passed some of his best years as a soldier, in striving to obtain the unmeasured blessings of freedom, he seemed to feel that it was a high obligation upon him to exercise all the privileges and perform all the duties of a citizen. He rarely if ever failed to go to the polls to express his choice of views by vote; and though of such advanced age yet at our last election his venerable person was to be seen at the ballot-box, exercising that right which is as powerful in the preservation of liberty as the cartridge-box was in securing it. Kind in his manner, and playful in his disposition, all who approached him felt their attachment deepened and their reverences heightened for the gray-haired patriot and patriarch. For fifty years he was a pious and exemplary member of the Methodist Church; and his whole life was in harmony with his holy profession; so was his death a perfect manifestation of the Divine feelings that dwelt within him. He saw the shadow of the wing of death falling upon him, yet it produced no alarm; no fear as to consequences. On the contrary, he seemed to feel no sting in the pains of death, that the triumph of the grave was no victory.
The venerable authors of our liberty are fast passing away! But one other remains in our midst, and the unchangeable laws of life and death show to us that in all probability the gates of the grave will soon open to receive him! As they drop one by one into the tomb, we all might well pause from busy life and drop a tear to their memories as a token of gratitude for the rich valor, as preserved for us by their prudence.
Starling Gunn was listed as the head of a family on the 1800 Census in Caswell Co., NC.34 His pension application stated that he had lived for four years in Lunenburg Co., VA after the war immediately preceding his move to Caswell Co., NC. On January 27, 1801, Starling purchased 39 acres adjoining his own land from Daniel Gunn. On March 13, 1801, he purchased 37 more acres on Rattlesnake Creek. Noel Burton witnessed the deed. Starling Gunn appeared in the 1810 U.S. Census for Caswell Co., NC. On February 23, 1810, Starling purchased 148 acres on Rattlesnake Creek. On August 10, 1811, Starling purchased 10 acres on Moon's Creek from Griffin Gunn and James Burton, the executors of Thomas Gunn, deceased. On September 23, 1811, Starling sold 10 acres on Moon's Creek to James Burton. On March 16, 1812, Starling purchased 179 acres on Rattlesnake Creek from Thomas Gunn, Sen. adjoining the land of Susannah Hooper. On July 25, 1814, Susannah Hooper of Caswell Co., NC deeded several slaves "for love and affection to her son-in-law, Starling Gunn." The deed was witnessed by Griffin Gunn. Per When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County, North Carolina; 1777-1977: "Itinerant ministers were welcomed in homes along the way and they often stayed for extended periods of time when they found a warm welcome and an attentive congregation. It was recalled at a later time that Revolutionary veteran Starling Gunn reserved a special room in his modest home as the 'Preacher's Room.' It was described as being comfortably furnished and often used. Tradition relates that it was Gunn who constructed a building that came to be known as Piney Grove Methodist Church.
From hewn logs he and his neighbors erected a 40 by 24 foot building for the use of any minister who passed; a partition three feet high across the back of the building marked off an area for any slaves who wished to attend." Starling and his wife were apparently buried near the old log church but were re-interred in the Yanceyville Methodist Church cemetery in 1950. Starling also was listed as the head of the family in the 1820, 1840, and 1850 U.S. Censuses in Caswell Co., NC. On the 1850 U.S Census Slave Schedules he owned 24 slaves. Starling's home in Caswell Co., NC is still standing. The house is located about a mile and a half north of Yanceyville off of Murray Road. It is located on the Dan River Work Farm.
3. Daniel Gunn was born in VA March 20, 1766.35 He lived for a time in Robertson Co., TN. DANIEL died January 15, 1832 in Putnam Co., IL, at 65 years of age.36 On May 17, 1852, Graves Gunn issued Power of Attorney to James M. Gunn of Robertson Co., TN to collect any moneys due him from the estate of Allen Gunn, deceased. Graves Gunn did so "through my father, Daniel Gunn, deceased, late of the County of Putnam, State of Illinois, who was full brother to the said Allen Gunn, deceased." On April 5, 1852, Daniel Gunn's daughters, Ann Gunn Denton, Susannah Gunn Rice, and Lucretia Gunn Parsons filed same, giving Power of Attorney to James M. Gunn. Daniel Gunn married twice. Daniel Gunn married JERUSHA WINN in Lunenburg Co., VA, November 16, 1786.37 Surety was Philip Snead. Daniel Gunn, or possibly his cousin of the same name, was listed as "not tithable" on the 1787 VA Tax List for Amelia Co., VA. On March 31, 1791, Daniel Gunn and Jerusha Gunn witnessed a deed for Starling Gunn, who purchased land on Rattlesnake Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On September 7, 1791, Daniel witnessed another deed for Starling Gunn. On January 6, 1795, Daniel Gunn of Caswell Co., NC purchased 100 acres on Rattlesnake Creek adjacent to Gunn's line and Jacob Miles. The deed was witnessed by Jacob Miles, Sr. Land was granted to Daniel Gunn on the waters of Country Line Creek in Caswell Co., NC on December 20, 1799, with the grant being issued on November 30, 1801. It is possible that this was his cousin, also named Daniel Gunn, but that is unlikely because the cousin seems to have been in neighboring Person Co., NC at that time.
On November 22, 1799, Daniel purchased 157 acres on Country Line Creek. The deed was witnessed by Thomas Gunn, Jun. On January 29, 1800, Daniel purchased 56 acres on Country Line Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On May 16, 1800, Daniel sold 300 acres on Rattlesnake Creek adjoining the lands of Starling Gunn and Jacob Miles. On February 16, 1804, Daniel purchased 4 acres on Country Line Creek. The deed was witnessed by James Gunn. Daniel sold three slaves in Caswell Co., NC on January 15, 1805 for the sum of 228 lbs. Daniel sold 248 acres on Country Line Creek on November 1, 1805. On October 21, 1809, Daniel sold to Allen Gunn all his interests in 247 acres on Moon's Creek, adjoining James Burton. Said land being one-third part of tract of Thomas Gunn, deceased, and laid off for Eleanor Gunn (now Quine), widow of said deceased for life. JERUSHA WINN was born in VA June 18, 1769.38 She is also referred to in records as Jemima. Her father, John Winn, is found on the 1782 VA Tax Lists in Mecklenburg Co., VA, as was Thomas Gunn, Daniel Gunn's father. JERUSHA was the daughter of JOHN WINN and ANN STONE.
Daniel Gunn married secondly Nancy Burton in Caswell Co., NC, October 19, 1818.39 Griffin Gunn was bondsman. Daniel was listed as the head of a family in 1820 in Robertson Co., TN. He and his wife were both listed as being born before 1775. They lived near Thomas Gunn, also born before 1775, and Graves Gunn, age 26-45. Daniel apparently settled in Illinois in about 1829. Daniel was listed as the head of a family in Ten Mile, Tazewell Co., IL in 1830. He was listed as being age 60-70, with no female older than 15-20, thus Nancy apparently died before 1830. NANCY BURTON was born before 1775.40
Nancy died circa 1820-1830 in Robertson Co., TN or IL.
4. Mary Gunn was born in VA December 27, 1767.41 MARY died July 4, 1796 at 28 years
of age.42 One source records that she died October 29, 1849 in Putnam Co., IL, but this is at odds with the Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible and the fact that her husband, not her, was a named beneficiary under her father's will in 1800. She married ELLIS EVANS in Amelia Co., VA, December 14, 1785.43 Ellis Evans was born circa 1765-1769. The will of his father, William Evans, was proven in Amelia Co., VA on October 26, 1780. One unverified source states that his father was Thomas Evans. Ellis, like his brother-in-laws, Thomas and James Gunn, was a Methodist Minister (see Rev. Thomas Gunn’s biography for further information). Ellis Evans was listed on the 1785 Tax List for Amelia Co., VA. He was listed as a head of a family on the 1810 U.S. Census for Caswell Co., NC. Ellis was the son of William Evans. After Mary’s death, Ellis Evans married secondly Polly Martin in Caswell Co., NC, April 27, 1797.44 On January 29, 1795, Ellis purchased 175 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On October 29, 1795, he purchased an additional 166 acres on Moon's Creek. The land adjoined that of Daniel Gunn. The deed was witnessed by Wm. Gunn and Jas. Burton. On April 25, 1797, Ellis Evans and William Gunn witnessed a deed for Griffin Gunn on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On February 18, 1799, Ellis Evans of Caswell Co., NC sold 175 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by Thomas Gunn, Jun. Ellis Evans died circa 1820. His widow was awarded a widow's allowance on January 28, 1820.
5. Reverend Thomas Gunn, M.E. was born April 10, 1770.45
6. Reverend James Gunn, M.E. was born August 16, 1772.46
7. Griffin Gunn was born in VA March 11, 1775.47 On April 25, 1797, Griffin purchased
78 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by William Gunn
and Ellis Evans. On June 21, 1798, Griffin sold 28 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. In 1801, he was appointed as Executor to his father's estate in Caswell Co., NC. From 1801 until 1805, Griffin served as guardian for his minor brother, Allen Gunn, pursuant to order of the Caswell Co., NC Court. On January 6, 1807, Griffin purchased 228 3/4 acres on Rattlesnake Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The land adjoined that of Starling Gunn. On January 7, 1807, he purchased 163 1/2 acres on Moon's Creek from Jacob Quine. The land was adjacent to Allen Gunn's. Griffin Gunn was a merchant and served as a county trustee.
Griffin Gunn died March 23, 1826 in Caswell Co., NC, at 51 years of age.48 His estate
was inventoried in Caswell Co., NC on October 17-18, 1826. He married Dorothy Mimms Mitchell in Petersburg, Prince George Co., VA, May 28, 1807. On October 20, 1807, Griffin Gunn of Caswell Co., NC purchased 100 acres on Rattlesnake Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On December 31, 1808, he purchased more land on Rattlesnake Creek and a lot adjoining the Caswell County, NC Courthouse in Yanceyville. DOROTHY MITCHELL was born circa 1790-1791.49 After Griffin Gunn’s death, she married JOHN C. HARVEY in Caswell Co., NC, March 21, 1827.50 The bondsman was Dr. Stairling H. Gunn (sic) and the witness was Paul A. Haralson. It is possible that the Dorothy Gunn who married here was not the widow of Griffin Gunn, but the dates seem to match up very well.
John C. Harvey appeared as the head of a household in 1830 and 1840 in Caswell Co., NC.
Griffin Gunn was listed as the head of a family on the 1810 Census in Caswell Co.,
NC.51 On February 16, 1810, Griffin sold 163 1/2 acres on Moon's Creek adjacent Allen
Gunn to Allen Gunn. Griffin had acquired same from Jacob Quine. On July 13, 1811,
Griffin sold 100 acres on Rattlesnake Creek. On September 1, 1814, he purchased 287
more acres on Rattlesnake Creek. The land seems to have adjoined the Caswell County
Courthouse. On August 26, 1816, Griffin Gunn and Dorothy M. Gunn witnessed a deed for
Allen Gunn in Caswell Co., NC. Griffin also appeared in Caswell Co., NC in the 1820 U.S. Census.
8. William Gunn was born in VA May 9, 1777.52 On October 29, 1795, Wm. Gunn and
Jas. Burton witnessed a deed for Ellis Evans on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The
land adjoined that of Daniel Gunn. On April 25, 1797, William Gunn and Ellis Evans
witnessed a deed for Griffin Gunn for land on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. On
September 20, 1797, William and Griffin Gunn witnessed a deed for Joseph Waters in
Caswell Co., NC. Most sources state that William died before his father's will was written in 1800, since he was not named in the will.
Thomas Gunn, Jr., and Sarah Davenport (questionable) had the following children:
9. John Gunn was born in VA February 25, 1780.53 John Gunn died September 22,
1863 in Caswell Co., NC, at 83 years of age.54 A John Gunn served in the War of 1812 in the 5th NC Regiment, Caswell Co., NC. It was likely this John Gunn. John’s brother, Allen Gunn, served as well, possibly in the same unit. John executed a will on September 22, 1862. The will was proven in the Caswell Co., NC Court in April, 1863. The will mentions his wife, Huldah Gunn and declares that his gravestone should read, "Here lies an honest farmer, a poor man's friend and a rich man's patron." He married HULDAH WARE in Caswell Co., NC, January 28, 1807.55 Elijah Graves was bondsman. On August 21, 1811, John Gunn purchased 81 3/4 acres on Moon's Creek, adjacent to Allen Gunn's land. The deed was witnessed by Allen Gunn and James Burton. On April 5, 1815, John Gunn sold 81 3/4 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC to Allen Gunn. John was listed as the head of a family on the 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 U.S. Censuses in Caswell Co., NC. The 1860 Census lists that his real estate was valued at $7,000.00 with his personal property (slaves) worth $27,600.00. John was listed on the 1850 and 1860 U.S Census Slave Schedules for Caswell Co., NC owning 27 and 28 slaves respectively.
Huldah Ware was born in NC circa 1784.56 Her name was also spelled Haldy. Huldah was the daughter of Thomas Ware. Huldah died circa 1863-1865 in Caswell Co., NC.57 Her
estate was probated in Caswell Co., NC in 1865.
10. Sarah (Sally) Gunn was born in Virginia April 9, 1782.58 SALLY died circa April, 1857 in Caswell Co., NC, at approximately 75 years of age.59 On the 1850 U.S. Census, Sarah Burton was listed as living in the household of one of her children in Caswell Co., NC. She was listed as age 65 and born in VA. On August 8, 1850, Sarah Burton of Caswell Co., NC, gave power of attorney to "my brother, John Gunn, Senr." to collect any monies owed her "from the estate of my brother, Allen Gunn, deceased." Sarah executed her will on June 22, 1855 and same was proven in the Caswell Co., NC Court in April, 1857. Sarah married JAMES BURTON in Caswell Co., NC, January 19, 1800.60 Elijah Graves was bondsman. James Burton was the uncle of Noel Burton, who married Sarah's sister, Priscilla Gunn. There were two James Burtons listed as the heads of families in the 1790 U.S. Census for Caswell Co., NC. On October 29, 1795, Jas. Burton and Wm. Gunn witnessed a deed for Ellis Evans on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The land adjoined that of Daniel Gunn.
There were again two James Burtons listed as the heads of families on the 1800 U.S.
Census for Caswell Co., NC. On December 8, 1801, James Burton purchased 185 3/4 acres
on Hogan's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by John Gunn. In 1801,
James was appointed as Executor to his father-in-law, Thomas Gunn's, estate. In April, 1801, James was apparently appointed guardian in Caswell Co., NC "for his wife's halfsister, Priscilla Gunn," who was still a minor. He still was her guardian in 1804 per court records. On July 26, 1803, James Burton purchased 137 more acres on Hogan's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by Griffin Gunn and John Payne. On September 23, 1811, James purchased 10 acres on Moon's Creek from Starling Gunn. On October 2, 1811, James sold 124 acres on Moon's Creek. The deed was witnessed by Starling Gunn.
On February 7, 1812, James Burton and Sarah Burton witnessed a deed for Elisha Alverson in Caswell Co., NC. James was listed as the head of a household on the 1830 U.S. Census in Caswell Co., NC. JAMES BURTON was born in Goochland Co., VA circa 1762.61 James was an Assistant County Sheriff for Caswell Co., NC in 1794 and was Caswell County's Representative for the North Carolina General Assembly from 1806-1808. JAMES was the son of NOEL BURTON. JAMES died December 17, 1838 in Caswell Co., NC, at 76 years of age.62 He died intestate and his estate was probated in Caswell Co., NC.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. and Ann Worsham (questionable) had the following children:
11. Priscilla Gunn was born in Caswell Co., NC November 10, 1786.63 Priscilla died May 12, 1869 in Robertson Co., TN, at 82 years of age.64 Her obituary in the July, 17, 1869 edition of The Nashville Christian Advocate reads as follows: "PRISCILLA BURTON. Priscilla Burton was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, November 10, 1786. She professed religion and joined the Methodist Church when about 20 years of age and lived a consistent member 60 years or more. She was the daughter of Thomas Gunn, Sr., and sister to Thomas and James Gunn, local preachers in Robertson County. She was married twice.
After her second marriage, which was to Noel Burton, she removed with husband to Robertson County in 1832, where she remained till her death, May 12, 1869. Her husband died about 5 years before. Since her husband's death, she has resided most of the time in the family of John H. Dunn, whose wife is a relative." She married first JOHN PAYNE in Caswell Co., NC, September, 1802.65 Thomas Harrison was bondsman. In April, 1801, James Burton was listed in Caswell Co., NC records as the guardian of "Priscilla Gunn, orphan of Thomas Gunn, deceased." On April 23, 1802, James Burton and Priscilla Gunn witnessed a deed for John Ware in Caswell Co., NC. In 1804, James Burton was still listed as the guardian of the "wife of John Payne," per Caswell Co., NC guardian account records. JOHN PAYNE was born circa 1776 and died before 1822. Priscilla next married NOEL BURTON in Caswell Co., NC, April 8, 1822.66 Noel Burton was the nephew of James Burton, who married Priscilla's sister, Sarah Gunn. In 1835, Noel and his brother-in-law, Thomas Gunn, witnessed a deed for Joseph Gunn in Robertson Co., TN. Noel was listed as the head of a family in the 1840 U.S. Census in Robertson Co., TN. He and his wife were listed as being age 50-60. They lived near Thomas Gunn and James Gunn. Noel was again listed as a head of a family in the 1850 U.S Census in Robertson Co., TN. He and Priscilla lived next to James M. Gunn in the 5th District. On February 13, 1851, Noel and Priscilla Burton, of Robertson Co., TN, gave power of attorney to collect any monies due Priscilla Burton from the estate of Allen Gunn, deceased, with "the said Priscilla Burton being a daughter of Thomas Gunn, deceased, and sister of Allen Gunn, deceased, both of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina." On March 21, 1860, Priscilla Burton and husband Noel Burton, gave power of attorney to James Garner to receive her share from the Allen Gunn estate settlement in Caswell Co., NC, Allen Gunn being Priscilla Burton's full brother.
Noel Burton was born in NC circa 1789.67 There was a Noel Burton listed in the same
NC unit as Allen Gunn in the War of 1812. There was also a Noel Burton listed as a Corporal in the 5th Regiment (Atkinson's) of the NC Militia, in which a John Gunn also served. However, Noel Burton had a cousin by the same name, who was born in 1793. It is unclear whether one, or whether both served. NOEL was the son of ROBERT BURTON and MARY HARRISON. NOEL BURTON died May, 1864 in Robertson Co., TN.68
12. Allen Gunn was born in Caswell Co., NC December 3, 1788.69 From 1801 until 1805, Allen's older brother, Griffin Gunn, served as his guardian pursuant to order of the Caswell County Court. On April 7, 1806, Allen purchased from the other heirs of his father, Thomas Gunn, deceased, their right's in 247 acres on Moon's Creek adjacent to James Burton. Said land being one-third part of the tract of Thomas Gunn, deceased, and laid off for Eleanor Gunn (now Quine) widow of said deceased for life. On February 16, 1810, Allen purchased 163 1/2 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC from Griffin Gunn, who had acquired same from Jacob Quine. Allen served in the War of 1812 as a soldier for 11th Company, detached from the Caswell Co., NC Regiment. Some unverified sources state that he also served with his brother, John Gunn, in the 5th NC Regiment. On April 5, 1815, Allen purchased 81 3/4 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC from John Gunn. On August 26, 1816, Allen Gunn purchased 50 acres on Moon's Creek in Caswell Co., NC. The deed was witnessed by Griffin and Dorothy M. Gunn. On February 28, 1817, he sold 50 acres on Moon's Creek to James Davis.
On March 21, 1817, he purchased 243 acres on Moon's Creek from James and Eleanor Davis, Eleanor Davis being the widow of Thomas Gunn, deceased. The land was adjacent to that of James Burton. Allen was listed as the head of a family on the 1830 U.S. Census for Caswell Co., NC. He lived near John Gunn. Allen Gunn was apparently a physician. In 1834, he helped build a female academy in Yanceyville, Caswell Co., NC, in order "to promote and encourage female education." ALLEN GUNN died June, 1848 in Caswell Co., NC, at 59 years of age.70 In the 1840 U.S. Census, Allen was living alone in Caswell Co., NC. Allen never married and had no children. Accordingly, his large estate was divided among his brothers and sisters, and among the children of those brothers and sisters who had predeceased him. The voluminous court record paper trail has helped further prove the relationships of the extended Gunn family. Allen's wealth apparently was at least partially created from slave trading, as it appears that he and partners were so involved.
Thomas Gunn, Jr. and Elenor Alverson had the following children:
13. Anderson Gunn was born in Caswell Co., NC August 20, 1798.71 In 1804, his mother's new husband, Jacob Quine, was listed in Caswell Co., NC Guardian Accounts as being Anderson's guardian. ANDERSON GUNN died October 8, 1837 in Robertson Co., TN, at 39 years of age.72 His estate was probated in Robertson Co., TN in 1837. Estate records show the estate sale took place on July 1, 1837. James M. Gunn was Administrator. Buyers included: Thomas Gunn, Starling Gunn, J.M. Gunn, Alex'dr Gunn, Martha Gunn, John Gunn, John A. Gunn, and his unnamed widow. The following is excerpted from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee; Robertson County: "J.A. Gunn, one of the prominent farmers....of Robertson County, was born.....(of) the fruits of the union of Anderson Gunn and Martha Robinson (sic). The father was of Scotch descent, and was born in Virginia in 1800. His early life was spent in the avocation of a saddler, but he was a farmer the major part of his life. He died in Robertson County in 1838. The mother spent her entire life-time in Robertson County, where she was born in 1804, and departed this life in 1862."
On October 14, 1851, George R. Gunn, of Robertson Co., TN, issued a power of attorney to receive any monies due him and his minor siblings from the estate of Allen Gunn, deceased, of Caswell Co., NC. George R. Gunn "being a son of Anderson Gunn, deceased, the said Anderson Gunn being a half brother of Allen Gunn, deceased." On November 1, 1851, Jackson Gunn, of Robertson Co., TN also issued a power of attorney to receive his inheritance from the Allen Gunn estate. It stated, Jackson Gunn "being a son of Anderson Gunn, deceased, the said Anderson Gunn being a half brother of Allen Gunn, deceased." Anderson Gunn married MARTHA ROBERTSON in Robertson Co., TN, April 8, 1821.73
Anderson was listed as the head of a family in the 1830 U.S. Census in Logan Co., KY. Logan Co., KY borders Robertson Co., TN. He lived near Benjamin Townsend. They also apparently lived in Todd Co., KY about this time. On March 5, 1836, he sold his interest in his uncle, Allen Gunn's, estate in North Carolina to his half-brother, Allen Gunn.
Martha Robertson was born in Robertson Co., TN in 1801.74 Some records spell her
name Robinson. Martha was the daughter of Joseph Robertson and Nancy Sugg. Martha died in 1861 in Robertson Co., TN.75 She was buried at Hart Cemetery about six miles north of Springfield on Highway 431 in Robertson Co., TN.
14. Pinckney Gunn was born in Caswell Co., NC March 31, 1800.76 His father was approximately 62 years old when Pinckney was born. In 1804, his mother's new husband, Jacob Quine, was listed in Caswell Co., NC Guardian Accounts as being Pinckney's guardian. On March 5, 1836, Pinckney and his brother Anderson, sold their interests in their uncle, Allen Gunn's, estate in North Carolina to their half-brother, Allen Gunn. Some unverified records state that Pinckney was a physician and married a woman named Elizabeth.
A Pinckney Gunn graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1834. That man may have been his cousin, William Pinckney Gunn born 1813, the son of Griffin Gunn. PINCKNEY GUNN died November 18, 1836 in Sumter Co., FL, at 36 years of age.77 He was killed in action in the Second Seminole War. His estate was probated in Robertson Co., TN in 1837. Estate records show that the estate sale took place on February 18, 1837. Mentioned as buyers or debtors to the estate were, among others: Jno. A. Gunn, Anderson Gunn, W.B. Gorham, and J.W. Gorham. Also noted was, "March, 1837 - cash rec. from Treasury Department for 5 months & 2 days pay serv. Mounted Vol. - $331.68."
The following is excerpted from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, Robertson County, at pages 854, 855:
In 1836 a company was organized under a call from Gen. Gaines for service on the frontier of Louisiana against the Mexicans. The captain of the company was L.J. Henry ..... Among the privates and noncommissioned officers were .... John W. Gorham, ... and Pinckney Gunn. Gunn was afterward made first lieutenant. On July 4, 1836, the company reached Fayetteville, Tenn., when it was placed in the Second Regiment Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Col. Trousdale. The regiment served about seven months in Alabama and Florida, experiencing the hardships incident to Indian wars. Pinckney Gunn was killed and Wesley Walker and Iredel McIntosh were wounded. According to service records held in the Tennessee State Archives, Pinckney was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Company of Captain L.J. Henry in the 2nd TN Regiment commanded by Col. William Trousdale. He was in a brigade of Mounted Volunteers. He enlisted June 25, 1836 in Springfield, Robertson Co., TN, and was killed in action on November 18, 1836.
His unit was called out in 1836 to protect the Sabine Frontier. He was killed in the approach to the Battle of Wahoo Swamp which occurred on November 21, 1836 in Sumter County, FL. During that battle, an army of 2,500, consisting of militiamen, Tennessee volunteers, Creek mercenaries, and U.S. Regulars, were led by Florida Governor Richard K. Call. They encountered Seminole forces led by Osuchee and Yaholooche at Wahoo Swamp, Sumter Co., FL. The U.S forces drove the Seminoles into retreat and the battle was considered a U.S. victory. The following is excerpted from a letter written by Mary Gunn Webb: "A half-brother, Pinckney, was killed by Indians in Florida during the Seminole War. His nephew, John Gorham, carried his uncle Pinckney's body before him on a horse to a place of safety and buried it. He later interred it among his own people." [See the newspaper articles found elsewhere in this book for further information and context regarding Pinckney Gunn's military service].
18 Virginia Colonial Militia, page 201; Brunswick Co., VA Deed Book 6, page 720 (John Stevens, Jr. to Robert Hicks, witnessed by Thomas Gunn, deed recorded July 27, 1761).; Mecklenburg Co., VA Deed Book 5, page 184 (Francis Bressie of Lunenburg Co., VA to Thomas Gunn of Amelia Co., VA, 300 acres on the north side of the Roanoke River, dated Apr. 3, 1758, recorded Apr. 4, 1758).; and Lunenburg Co., VA Tithes, (1764, Thomas Gun, 2 tithables, Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg Co., VA).
19 Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible (Thomas Gunn departed this life October 28, 1800). (hereafter cited as Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible); DAR Patriot Index, Part II, page 1255 (Thomas Gunn, b. 1738 VA, d. p. 11-13-1800 NC, md. (1) Susanna Burnett (2) Sarah Davenport (3) X (4) Eleanor ----, PS VA); and Caswell Co., NC Will Book D, 1801, page 21 (Will of Thomas Gunn).
20 Virginia Marriages to 1800 (Online Database) (Thomas Gunn to Sarah Davenport - Dec. 01, 1778 in Amelia Co., VA); Amelia Co., VA Deed Book 16, page 50; Abercrombie and Slatten, Virginia Publick Claims; Amelia County (Iberian Publishing Co.), pages 15, 36, 41, 57 and 60 (hereafter cited as Virginia Publick Claims); and Kathleen Booth Williams, Marriages of Amelia County, Virginia; 1735-1815 (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. (1992)), page 49 (Thomas Gunn married to Sarah
Davenport on Dec. 1, 1778, surety was John Tucker, of Amelia Co., VA, page G-1) (hereafter cited as Marriages of Amelia Co., VA).
21 Virginia Marriages to 1800 (Online Database) (Thomas Gunn to Ann Worsham - Jan. 11, 1782 in Amelia Co., VA); 1787 Virginia Census, Vol. 1, page 357 (Thomas Gunn, Amelia Co., VA tithable list); Marriages of Amelia Co., VA, page 49 (Thomas Gunn married Ann Worsham Jan. 11, 1782, surety was William Osborne, page G-1); and Original Amelia Co., VA Marriage Bond, Marriage Book 2 (Thomas Gunn to Ann Worsham dated Jan. 11, 1782).
22 Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible, (Susannah Gunn died December 27, 1796).
23 Caswell Co., NC Marriage Bond #15644 (Thomas Gunn to Nelly Alverson, bond dated Oct. 24, 1797).
24 1800 U.S. Census, Caswell Co., NC (Thomas Gunn household, oldest female in house is age 26-44).
25 Caswell Co., NC Marriage Bond #17636 (Jacob Quine to Elinor Gunn, bond dated Nov. 9, 1801); and Katherine Kerr Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Deed books; 1777-1817 (Southern Historical Press, Inc.), page 299 (Deed Bk. Q, pages 80-81, 84-85) (hereafter cited as Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817).
26 North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868 (Online Database) (James Davis to Nelly Quine, bond dated Oct. 23, 1816, Caswell Co., NC, bondsman was Thomas Hooper, Azariah Graves was witness); and Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777- 1817, page 365 (Deed Bk. R, pages 348-349).
27 Caswell Co., NC Deed Book G, page 226-227 (Abraham Miles to Thomas Gunn "of Nottoway Co., VA," deed executed on 26 Oct. 1791); and Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 129, 197, 200, 222, 276, 365 (Deed Bk. G, pages 226- 227; Bk. L, pages 54-55, 111; Bk. M, page 130; Bk. P, pages 4-6; Bk. R, pages 438-439).
28 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible (Elisha Gunn - July 11, 1761). (hereafter cited as Rev. James Gunn Family Bible).
29 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Starling Gunn - May 9, 1764).
30 Caswell Co., NC Will Book Q, page 562 (Estate of Starling Gunn); DAR Patriot Index, Part II, page 1255 (Starling Gunn, b. 5- 9-1764 VA, d. 8-13-1852 NC, md. Mary Elizabeth Hooper, Pvt. VA PNSR); Application for a Pension based upon Revolutionary War Service, U.S. National Archives (Starling Gunn, 1832); The Pension Roll of 1835, page 408 (Starling Gunn of Caswell Co., NC awarded pension of 30.00 annually for service in the NC Militia, placed on pension rolls on Jan. 5, 1833, pension commenced Mar. 4, 1831, age 70); and Roster of Soldiers From North Carolina in the American Revolution (The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution (1932)), page 424 (Starling Gunn of Caswell Co., NC awarded pension commencing March 4, 1831 for service as a Private in the NC Militia, age 70) (hereafter cited as Roster of NC Revolutionary Soldiers).
31 Tombstone Record of Mary Gunn.; Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 129, 131, 180, 197 (Deed Bk. G, pages 232-233, 265-266; Bk. K, page 131; Bk. L, pages 59-60); and 1787 Virginia Census, Vol. 2, page 1239 (Starling Gun, Lunenburg Co., VA, one slave).
32 Tombstone Record of Mary Gunn.
33 Tombstone Record of Mary Gunn.
34 Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 212, 215, 299, 313, 318, 342 (Deed Bk. L, page 342; Bk. M, pages 11-12; Bk. Q, pages 72, 315, 319, 405; Bk. R, page 168); and William S. Powell, When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County, North Carolina; 1777-1977 (1977) page 440. (hereafter cited as History of Caswell Co., NC).
35 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Daniel Gunn - March 20th 1766).
36 Putnam Co., IL Coroner's Inquest of Daniel Gunn, report dated June 20, 1832 mentions date of death as being January 15, 1832 and place of death being his home in Putnam Co., IL).
37 Dorothy Wulfeck, Marriages of Some Virginia Residents; 1607-1800 (hereafter cited as Marriages of Some VA Residents); Marriages of Lunenburg Co., VA, page 54 (Marriage bond of Daniel Gunn, Jr. of Lunenburg to Jerusha Winn, 9 November, 1786. Surety was Philip Snead. Married 16 November, 1786 by Thomas Crymes, referring to page 7 of original records); U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Alabama Pre-1908 Homestead & Cash Entry Patent and Survey Plat Index (hereafter cited as Alabama Pre-1908 Land Records); Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 129, 131, 160, 209, 255, 257, 299, 302 (Deed Bk. G, pages 232-233, 265-266, Bk. J, page 73; Bk. L, pages 276, 284-285; Bk. O, pages 8, 32; Bk. Q, pages 80-81, 136); and 1787 Virginia Census, Vol. 1, page 357 (Daniel Gunn, Amelia Co., VA, one male age 16-21, three slaves, he is not tithable).
38 Lunenburg Co., VA Will Book (Will of John Winn, names child, Jerusha Gunn).
39 Caswell Co., NC Marriage Bond #15633 (Daniel Gunn to Nancy Burton, bond dated Oct. 19, 1818).
40 1820 U.S. Census, Robertson Co., TN (Daniel Gunn and oldest female in house were both older than age 45).
41 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Mary Gunn - Decr. 27, 1767).
42 Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible, (Mary Evans departed this life December 27, 1796).
43 Virginia Marriages to 1800 (Online Database) (Ellis Evans to Mary Gunn, 14 Dec., 1785, Amelia Co., VA).; and Marriages of Amelia Co., VA, page 39 (Ellis Evans married to Mary Gunn, daughter of Thomas Gunn, who consents. Surety was John Evans, married by Simeon Walton, page E-1).
44 Marriage Bond #15177, Caswell Co., NC (Ellis Evans to Polly Martin); and Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 163, 179, 197 (Deed Bk. J, pages 135-136, 139-140; Bk. K, page 108; Bk. L, pages 56-57).
45 Jean M. Durrett, et al. (1987), Robertson County, Tennessee Cemetery Records page 41 (Rev. Thomas Gunn born Apr. 10, 1770) (hereafter cited as Robertson Co., TN Cem. Records); Rev. Thomas Gunn Family Bible, (Thomas Gunn was born April 10, 1770); and Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Thos. Gunn - April 10th 1770).
46 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (James Gunn - Augt. 16th 1772); and Robertson Co., TN Cem. Records, page 80 (Rev. James Gunn born Aug. 16, 1772).
47 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Griffin Gunn - March 11th 1775); and Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 179, 189, 276, 277, 283, 291, 341 (Deed Bk. K, pages 108, 279; Bk. P, pages 9-10, 39, 162, 316-317; Bk. R, pages 155-156).
48 Caswell Co., NC Will Book L, page 77 (Estate of Griffin Gunn).
49 1810 U.S Census, Caswell Co., NC (Griffin Gunn, oldest female in household was aged 16-26; in the 1820 Census she was aged 26-45), 1830 U.S. Census, Caswell Co., NC (John C. Harvey and oldest female in house both age 30-40), (I also have assumed that she didn't marry Griffin Gunn until at least age 16).
50 Caswell Co., NC Marriage Bond #000015809 (John C. Harvey to Dorothy M. Gunn, bond issued Mar. 21, 1827).
51 Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, page 299, 322, 341 (Deed Bk. Q, pages 84-85, 475; Bk. R, pages 155-156, 358).
52 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (Wm. Gunn - May 9th 1777); and Caswell Co., NC Deed Books; 1777-1817, pages 163, 179 (Deed Bk. J, pages 135-136; Bk. K, page 108).
53 Rev. James Gunn Family Bible, (John Gunn - Feby. 25th 1780); and 1860 U.S. Census, Caswell Co., NC (John Gunn born ca. 1780 in VA)