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Archiver > DUNN > 1999-09 > 0937774607

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Subject: [DUNN-L] DUNNs of Guilford/Rutherford NC>Franklin Co. GA>Caldwell Co.KY
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 16:56:47 EDT

This is being posted to both the DUNN list and the Franklin County, GA list;
I am also sending it to some Kentucky DUNN descendants who have discussed the
origins of Joseph DUNN of Caldwell County, KY, who is one subject of this

I am trying to identify James DUNN of Franklin County GA, who appears in
conjunction with William DUNN and Joseph DUNN in some early records from the
1790s, and may be the same man as (or the father of) a James Dunn present in
Franklin land records in the 18-teens and 20s.

My own "brick wall" ancestor John Dunn, born in North (or possibly South)
Carolina about 1796, seems to have subsequently moved in close conjunction
with families who had lived around this group of Dunns; he also named his
eldest son James. While so far the evidence is all circumstantial, I am
seeking to learn more of this James, and to determine if he may be the same
James Dunn who sold land in Rabun County in 1825, only two miles from where
my John Dunn was living, and very near where James Stonecypher had been one
of the earliest settlers; James Stonecypher, who also lived near my John Dunn
in Hall County, acquired his land from John Stonecypher of Franklin County,
and was apparently the latter's son; John Stonecypher owned land adjacent to
William and Joseph Dunn, was executor of William's estate, and had originally
sold the land to the Dunns. This Dunn-Stonecypher connection makes these
Dunns look likely to be the origin of my John, though the exact connection
cannot yet be established. James Dunn of Franklin County also owned land in
Gwinnett County, to the south of Hall (but paid taxes on it in Franklin).

I am still uncertain about the origin of James, or how he related to William
and Joseph, but am posting what I have gathered on the latter two Dunns in
hopes someone can share something about James.

William Dunn was in Orange County NC by at least 1757, when he starts to turn
up in land records; his land and that of one Simon Dunn lay in the Great
Troublesome Creek area in then Orange County (north of present Greensboro in
what became Guilford Co in 1771. The land would today be in either northern
Guilford or southern Rockingham Co.) Since a Simon Dunn appears later in
Lincoln County and the name appears in later generations of William Dunn's
family, I suspect that Simon was either a son or a brother; there is also
reference (see below) to a Simon Jr.

I have found no certain clues to the origins of these Dunns, though a Simon
Dunn descendant in a query to the Journal of the Genealogical Society of Old
Tryon County once stated that Simon came from Pennsylvania without citing a
source. The family were presumably Irish or Scotch-Irish from the name, and
(see below) there is evidence that at one time William, Joseph and Samuel
were Quakers (as they were expelled from the meeting). If so they may have
originated as Irish Quakers. A route via Pennsylvania to the Carolina
Piedmont would certainly be credible. I believe some descendant lines
(including my own if I am related) have generally been Methodists.

>From later Revolutionary pensions, we know that William's sons included
Joseph, Andrew, Samuel and Alexander. A Simon Dunn is also found on
Troublesome Creek, and the name Simon or Simeon frequently appears in the
family thereafter. William Dunn and "Simon Dunn, Jr." of then-Orange County
were involved in the "War of the Regulation" as Regulators; a 1771
prosecution of "The King vs. William Dunn" was among the prosecutions in the
wake of the Hillsboro Riot, and in May of that year, when Lord Tryon issued a
pardon for most of the Regulators, one of those excepted was Simon Dunn, Jr.

The family may also have been Quakers. Cane Creek Meeting House (now in
Alamance County but originally the Quaker meeting for much of then-Guilford
County) expelled William Dunn and his son Joseph in 1777, and Samuel Dunn in
1784, all for marriage "out of union", or marrying non-Quakers. The
juxtaposition of the names William, Joseph, and Samuel seems likely to be
more than a coincidence.

On 19 May 1772 William Dunn bought 300 acres on Hunting Creek of the Second
Broad River in then Tryon County. Several other land transactions exist,
including a claim for 100 acres in then-Tryon County on the waters of Upper
Camp Creek on Feb. 12, 1779. Later landholdings all seem to have been in the
Hunting Creek/Camp Creek area and the earlier ones may have been as well.
(Camp Creek was a tributary of the Second Broad River; it is now in
Rutherford County and was in Lincoln County before that, and Tryon

On 17 Feb 1778 Joseph Dunn took out a marriage bond with Jane LONG in Tryon
County, with William Dunn and William Long as the sureties. (Compare the date
with the Nov. 1777 expulsion of William Dunn and son Joseph for marrying out
of meeting by the Cane Creek Quaker Meeting, mentioned above.)

Two pension applications and other material give us information on the family
in the revolution. Joseph says in his Revolutionary War pension application
that he was born in Guilford Co. In about 1755 (he was aged 77 in 1832). He
was drafted in Rutherford County, and that his brother, Lt. Andrew Dunn, was
killed in the war; he also mentions a brother Samuel Dunn. Alexander Dunn
says he was born in 1762, and was in Rutherford County when he enlisted, and
mentions his brother Andrew, who was killed. Andrew Dunn's death is a matter
of public record, so it seems fair to assume that Andrew, Samuel, Joseph and
Alexander were all sons of William Dunn and all served in the war. Alexander
says he was at King's Mountain; Joseph says his light cavalry arrived just
after the battle.

A William Dunn also appears in some lists relating to the King's Mountain
campaign, and may refer to the father.

Joseph Dunn's application says that after the war he lived "several" years in
North Carolina, then moved to Georgia where he lived about 14 years, and then
moved to Kentucky. He filed from Caldwell Co., KY in 1832, and appears in
various records in that county and its predecessor (Livingston). Alexander
Dunn's application was also filed in 1832, states his residence then as
Monroe Co., GA, his birthdate as Dec. 18, 1762, and is stated to have died
Dec. 22, 1846, living with his son Uriah Dunn in Lafayette, Alabama.

Lt. Andrew Dunn, the brother mentioned by both Joseph and Alexander, was
killed in July 1780 and is mentioned on p. 81 of Lyman C. Draper's "King's
Mountain and its Heroes".

In addition to the Simon Dunn mentioned above on Troublesome Creek, there was
a Simon Dunn who served in the Revolution from Lincoln County and is buried
there; as the name is also used in the families mentioned I suspect he was
either another brother or a nephew or cousin of some sort. The names Simon
and Simeon as well as Joseph, Andrew and Samuel also appear later in the
Dunns of Transylvania County, NC and Fannin County, GA, who must be descended
from one of these lines.

My own interest focuses on Franklin County, GA, where apparently both William
Dunn (the father) and Joseph Dunn settled, and where William eventually died.

William and Joseph first appear in Franklin County, along with the
unidentified James Dunn and (once) a John Dunn, in the late 1790s. In the
same general period a William Dunna nd a Joseph Dunn appear a time or two in
the records of Pendleton District, SC, and they may have owned land there,
perhaps at the same time as in Georgia or NC; this northwest corner of SC
would also be the logical route between Rutherford County and Franklin
County. But I am not sure if those are the same William and Joseph. That the
William and Joseph of Franklin County are the same is pretty certain due to
Joseph's statement that he lived in Georgia for 14 years, and several deeds
showing Joseph's wife in GA was named Jane, the Jane Long of the earlier

The evidence for James Dunn is rather sparse. A 1796 deed mentions Joseph
Dunn as adjoining John Stonecypher; in 1798 both Joseph and William Dunn
bought land from Stonecypher. Both a James Dunn and a William Dunn appear in
the 1798 tax list of Franklin County; an 1803 tax lists shows both men
adjoined John Stonecypher. All this land was on Gumlog Creek. Later, from
about 1818 or so onward, a James Dunn appears on the upper waters of Clark's
Creek, which come within a mile or two of the upper waters of Gumlog; it is
not clear if this is the same James Dunn.

As mentioned at the beginning, my own ancestor, John Dunn, turns up living
near his brother in law Robert Smith in the 8th district of Hall County in
1820; there is evidence in the Franklin County records that James Stonecypher
of Franklin owned land in the same district of Hall, at a time when there
were only a few dozen families there. In the early 1820s James Stonecypher
became an early pioneer of the Tallulah area of western Rabun County, and
soon after, both John Dunn and Robert Smith settled near him, and a James
Dunn lived about two miles from John Dunn. My John named his eldest son
James. There were plenty of Dunns in Georgia at the time (too many) but the
Stonecypher link seems particularly suggestive. I am trying to establish if
James Dunn of Rabun was the same as James Dunn of Franklin, and how that
James was related to William and Joseph. (I suspect he is a younger son of
William, not an older son of Joseph, since Joseph had 13 children in
Kentucky. But I'm not sure.)

I hope that what I've spelled out here helps somebody, and will be glad to
cite documentation where needed.

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