Caswell County Family Tree

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  • ID: I4068
  • Name: Thomas Gunn III 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • Reference Number: 4068
  • Birth: 1738 in Amelia County, Virginia
  • Death: ABT 1800 in Caswell County, North Carolina
  • Note:
    Thomas Gunn, Jr./III (c.1738-1800)

    Because of the number of Thomas Gunns he often is referred to as Thomas Gunn III; but also seen as Thomas Gunn, Jr.

    See: Gunn and Burruss Family Tree; Some Descendants of Thomas Gunn III (1738-1800), Gwen Gunn Shoemaker (1976).

    The following is from 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.

    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.

    Thomas Gunn III has been established as a DAR Patriot for Revolutionary War service and his descendants are eligible for membership in organizations that require that service. His eldest two sons were the only children old enough to actively serve in the Revolutionary War. Nothing is known aboutf the oldest son, Elisha, except that he evidently died without heirs before his father's will was written in November 1800. The second son of Thomas Gunn III, Sterling Gunn, served with distinction in the Revolutionary War.

    Thomas Gunn III was born in Virginia and died in Caswell County, NC. He lived in Brunswick, Nottaway, Lunenburg and Amelia Counties in VA before moving to NC in 1791. He was married first to Susannah Burnett (daughter of John Burnett) and had nine children before she died c.1778. Thomas Gunn III married second Sarah Davenport (Amelia County, VA records). Sarah Davenport Gunn's death date is unknown, nor if she died in Virginia or after the move to North Carolina. Sarah Davenport Gunn at least two children. Thomas Gunn III married third Ann Worsham. Thomas Gunn III fourth married Eleanor/Eloner (Nelly) Halverson on 24 October 1797 (Caswell Co, NC records). Eleanor/Eloner (Nelly) Halverson Gunn had two children before Thomas Gunn III died.

    Thomas Gunn III's son James Gunn purportedly took a large family Bible with him when he moved to Tennessee. On the family record pages in the Bible, he listed the birth dates of his brothers and sisters but showed the two youngest as the children of "second Marriage," as James Gunn was a young boy when his mother died and his father remarried within a few months he probably considered the second wife, Sarah, as the first wife.

    Researchers are advised to proceed with caution with respect to the various wives attributed to Thomas Gunn III and the children he purportedly had with each wife. Here we have listed the wives and children to the best of our knowledge. The entries made by James Gunn and others in the family Bible are to be treated carefully.

    Apparently, a biography of Thomas Gunn III's son, James Gunn, in a Methodist Church History provides: "Their parents were Episcopalians, and brought up their children under strict discipline. James was the first to make a public profession of faith in Christ and unite with the Methodists." The biography added that Thomas Gunn III and his other children soon followed James Gunn into the Methodist church.

    Children of Thomas Gunn

    1. Elisha Gunn
    2. Starling/Sterling Gunn
    3. Daniel Gunn
    4. Mary Gunn
    5. Thomas Gunn
    6. James Gunn
    7. Griffin Gunn
    8. William Gunn
    9. John Gunn
    10. Sarah (Sally) Gunn
    11. Priscilla Gunn
    12. Allen Gunn
    13. Anderson Gunn
    14. Pinckney Gunn

    Virginia Census, 1607-1890
    Name: Thomas Gunn
    State: VA
    County: Amelia County
    Township: 11 18
    Year: 1782
    Record Type: Continental Census
    Page: 12
    Database: VA Early Census Index

    1790 United States Federal Census
    Name: Thomas Gunn
    County: Caswell
    State: North Carolina

    1800 United States Federal Census
    Name: Thomas Gunn
    Township: Hillsboro
    County: Caswell [possibly Orange County]
    State: North Carolina
    Free White Males Under 10: 2
    Free White Males 10 to 15: 1
    Free White Males 16 to 25: 1
    Free White Males 45 and Over : 1
    Free White Females 10 to 15 : 1
    Free White Females 26 to 44 : 1
    Number of Slaves: 26
    Number of Household Members Under 16 : 4
    Number of Household Members Over 25 : 2
    Number of Household Members: 33

    Caswell Co. Will Bk D, Jan. Ct. 1801, p.2: Thomas Gunn-Will-w.13 Nov 1800. Wife Eloner Gunn; sons John, Allen, Sterling, Daniel, Thomas; son-in-law Ellis Evans; sons James, Griffin, Anderson, Pickney; daughters Sally Burton, Priscilla Gunn. Exec.: James Burton and son Griffin Gunn. Wit: C. Dixon, Moses Ingram, Ann Green.

    From Land Records--Caswell Co, NC:

    Deed--26 October 1791; from Abram Miles, of Caswell County, NC to Thomas Gunn, of Notoway County, Virginia. Thomas bought from Abram Miles for $500 pounds money of Virginia the following described land in Caswell County: "A certain parcel of land situate lying and being in the county of Caswell on the waters of Moon Creek containing seven hundred and forty acres more or less and bound as follows to-wit: Beginnin at a white oak near said creek thence east to a stake on William Quines line thence south on James Kitchersons line to a corner white oak thence west to a corner white oak saplin thence north on Abram Purkins line now Lions line thence Lyons line west to a double maple on James Millers line thence north on Millers line (71?) north to a paplar thence east to a corner white oak thence north to a paplar on the Clay Branch thence down the branch to the mouth of the branch on the creek thence up said Creek to the (bent) then crossing said creek to the beginning."

    In his will, Thomas left the "tract whereon I now Live" to his widow Eloner and his sons John and Allen. Eloner was to have 1/3 part at the lower end during her life or widowhood; John, 250 acres at the upper end; and the remainder of the tract to Allen.

    Thomas Gunn executed a will on November 13, 1800:

    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 widowhood.

    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.

    Father: Thomas Gunn II b: ABT 1700 in Charles City County, Virginia
    Mother: Sarah Boatwright b: BET 1700 AND 1705 in Amelia County, Virginia

    Marriage 1 Susannah Burnett b: ABT 1738 in Virginia
    • Married: ABT 1760 in Lunenburg County, Virginia 1
    1. Has No Children Elisha Gunn b: 11 JUL 1761 in Lunenburg County, Virginia
    2. Has Children Starling Gunn b: 09 MAY 1764 in Brunswick County, Virginia
    3. Has Children Daniel Mark Gunn b: 20 MAR 1766 in Brunswick County, Virginia
    4. Has No Children Mary Gunn b: 27 DEC 1767 in Amelia County, Virginia
    5. Has Children Thomas Gunn b: 10 APR 1770 in Nottoway County, Virginia
    6. Has Children James R. Gunn b: 16 AUG 1772 in Amelia County, Virginia
    7. Has No Children Elizabeth Gunn b: JAN 1774 in Amelia County, Virginia
    8. Has Children Griffin Gunn b: 11 MAR 1775 in Brunswick County, Virginia
    9. Has No Children William Mac. Gunn b: 09 MAY 1777 in Amelia County, Virginia

    Marriage 2 Sarah Davenport
    • Married: 17 DEC 1778 in Amelia County, Virginia 1
    1. Has No Children John A. Gunn Sr.
    2. Has Children Sarah Gunn b: 09 APR 1782 in Amelia County, Virginia

    Marriage 3 Ann Worsham b: in Amelia County, Virginia
    • Married: 11 JUN 1782 in Caswell County, North Carolina 1
    1. Has No Children Priscilla Gunn b: 10 NOV 1786 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    2. Has Children Allen Gunn b: 03 DEC 1788 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    3. Has No Children James Gunn
    4. Has No Children Thomas Gunn

    Marriage 4 Eleanor Halverson b: in Caswell County, North Carolina
    • Married: 24 OCT 1797 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    • Note:
      North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004
      Name: Thomas Gunn
      Spouse: Nelly Alverson
      Marriage Date: 24 Oct 1797
      Marriage County: Caswell
      Marriage State: North Carolina
      Source Vendor: County Court Records - FHL # 0478484-0478488
      Source: County Court Records at Yanceyville, NC & Family H
    1. Has No Children Anderson Gunn b: 20 AUG 1798 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    2. Has No Children Pinckney Gunn M.D. b: 31 MAR 1800 in Caswell County, North Carolina

    1. Details: Gunn and Burruss Family Tree
    2. Details: Some Descendants of Thomas Gunn III (1738-1800), Gwen Gunn Shoemaker, Compiler (Privately Published, Eldon, Missouri, 1976)

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