8514 Rockmoor, San Antonio, Texas 78230
© 1997 Charles W. Johnson, M.D.
GUNTERS AND HARRISONS OF "CHEROKEE" ALABAMA AND BUNCOMBE COUNTY NC.
In my February 1997 Harrison Notes, beginning on p 1, I reported the information from the Indian Archives on Thomas Harrison with the Cherokee wife and daughter Jenny Harrison, a half breed, who married Samuel Gunter of an important Cherokee family. Jenny also had half sisters named Lovett since Thomas Harrison's wife had previously been married to another white man named Lovett. When Jenny died her heirs were her half sisters, since she had no children. Her half sisters were Susanna, Lucy and Lydia Lovett. Susanna had a child named John Brown. Lucy, no issue. Lydia had two children: Eleanor Beavert and Nancy Shipley.
In my January 1995 Harrison Notes, p 6. I give the list of members of Newfound Baptist Church in Buncombe 1803? or 1805?. A photocopy of this was published in the book SNELSON LINEAGE & HISTORICAL RECORDS by Leona Williams Smith. The membership list was also published in A LOT OF BUNKUM, Fey 1992. On this list is NANCY GUNTER, twice (or two Nancy Gunters). Also on the list were other associates of Harrisons though no Harrisons per se. Rachel Snelson was on the list. She was daughter of Joseph Harrison and Margaret Hill and married to the pastor's son (Rev. Snelson's son Joseph). Also of interest were Daniel Ponder, the Granthams, Pattersons, Davises, Blacks, Miller (Rachel m 2nd Miller), Addingtons (Rev. Jeremiah Harrison m an Addington) and others.
Since Gunters were involved with Harrisons in both Buncombe and in Alabama, it suggests the possibility that the Gunters, so prominent in Cherokee affairs and involved with Harrison neighbors there, that it would be a good idea to check into the Gunters of Buncombe. I find none in the 1800 census of Buncombe but there are a number of Gunter deeds there and in HERITAGE OF BUNCOMBE COUNTY, both volumes, are articles about Gunters. I find them also in HERITAGE OF MADISON COUNTY, NC and Greene County, TN.
As far as deeds I find in the deed index: Augustine Gunter 1794, David 1810, James 1823, William 1807, Augusta 1790 (Augustine?). They had property on the French Broad and Bear Creek (I thought only Hawkins lived on little Bear Creek). Incidentally, I find no Lovett deeds but I do find Lovell deeds.
It would be easy to go into considerable detail about Gunters but I will be brief. BUNCOMBE HERITAGE Vol. II, Art 246 is about Rick V. and D. June (Honeycutt) Gunter. He was the only son of Donald Charles and Maggie Eileen (Silver) Gunter. He grew up in Spruce Pine, Mitchell County NC. He is Managing Editor of the Asheville Times and a writer with numerous awards. His wife also has been a newspaper woman.
In BUNCOMBE HERITAGE Vol. I #359 and 360, is considerable information. The immigrant John Gunter came to America from Gloucester about 1663 and settled in the Chesapeake Bay area near Captain William Claiborne and ever since the name Claiborne and Augustus as a first name infiltrates the Gunters. Augustus was a first name for Claibornes. There were two John Gunters very early and they confuse the picture. One was wealthy and brought over 60 people. Another John Gunter was an indentured servant, but both associated with Claibornes and both prospered. The family moved to the Granville, Halifax, Edgecombe area of NC, then on to Burke and Buncombe County. In the 1790 census of Burke was Augustus, Claiborne and John Gunter. They were there also for the 1800 census. About 1804 some Gunters from Burke/Buncombe moved
to Warren Co. TN at short Mountain, now in Cannon Co. By 1812 they were also in Smith County, TN. Descendants of Augustus Gunter Sr. lived in Jackson Co. AL and also in Marion Co. TN. Some names of those in Jackson Co. AL were Augustus Jr, Mary, JOHN G., SAMUEL, Sally, James and William. A descendant of this group was Julian Caldien Gunter, Governor of Colorado 1916-1924. They were also in Pickens Co. AL and McMinnville, TN. A Samuel moved to Arkansas (no date).
Nothing is said about Cherokee connections or Guntersville, AL. Listed are some researchers. One was MRS. CHRISTINE HARRISON whose notes were preserved in the Barnes Papers of the Tennessee Genealogical Society at the Tennessee State Library in Nashville.
Article 360 is about a branch of John L. Gunter who moved from Short Mountain to Mississippi. He founded LaGrange, MS. This family had a number of Methodist Preachers, one of which was age 16 when he was ordained!
I have skipped much detail but the articles reveal that there are many branches unexplored and no attempt is made to be specific on many of the branches. The earlier genealogy is more complete than the later genealogy.
The MADISON NC HERITAGE and the HISTORIC GREENE COUNTY, TN AND ITS PEOPLE, reveal that a branch of this Gunter family discussed above, moved to Shelton Laurel area of Madison County and branches of that line moved to Greene Co. TN.
The parts of Tennessee mentioned are in and around Chattanooga and so near the TN River where Gunters of AL lived. Jackson Co. AL is where Guntersville is and Thomas Harrison. Chances are that the Gunters of Buncombe and Newfound Baptist Church are the same family as were at Guntersville and of Samuel Gunter who m Jenny Harrison. However, we cannot draw too much from this. We can surmise that Thomas Harrison of Buncombe and Gunters of Buncombe both got into the Indian Trading business close to each other and both married Cherokees, but of course this could very well be a different Thomas Harrison.
ROWAN COUNTY REGISTER, May 1997, p 2751. Article about Rowan County Loose Estate Papers. Phillip Cecil 1812 Dower of Julia Cecil, widow of Phillip. The Editor has a note: On the 1809 Rowan Tax list of CAPT. GUNTER, Phillip Cecil was charged with 150 a and 1 white poll. This property on Rich Fork of Abbott's Creek on both sides of the great road from Guilford to Lexington .... this is in present Davidson County, NC where Lexington is the county seat... so, Gunters also in present Davidson County and important enough to be a Captain.
FROM TRESSIE NEALY. She acquired several pages from the internet. This is about Gov. John Sevier's Diary and a separate communication about his Journal (perhaps the same thing). Whoever furnished this to the internet was primarily concerned with a gggg grandfather Reuben Payne and his brother James Payne, both of wham knew Gov. Sevier. The Diary is in the McClung Museum Historical Collection , Knoxville, TN. It interests us because of his fairly frequent mention of Harrisons. I presume this is an abbreviated version and the original would be interesting to pursue in Knoxville.
Feb 1796, Tuesday 22 at home. Mrs and Mr Casson, Mr. and Mrs. Weir and Miss Jimmy and Betsy, Mr. McKee & his lady, Mr. Debardeliben, James Sevier and his lady, Mrs. Jack Sevier, CAPTAIN HARRISON & MR EVANS staid the night. Wed 23 Capt Harrison, Mr. Waddle and Mr. Evans took Brak. & set out for Jonesboro. Rained some in the evening.
June 1800 Tues. 10th Set out in company with Colo. Harrison for Knoxville
Mr. Sherrills (presumably his father in law) continued very ill... Colo. Harrison and myself dined at Waddle, lodged all night at Mr. Henry Ernests. (I do not know about Henry but Ernests were leaders of Methodism in Greene Co. TN and intermarried with Harrisons there. Evans were related to Harrisons in Augusta Co. especially the family of Thomas Harrison founder of Harrisonburg, and Evans were heirs of Thomas while living in E.TN.)
JOURNAL OF GENERAL JOHN SEVIER (1790-1815) ..This appears to be a military journal of a campaign.
Monday 31, May 1790. I left Staunton about 3:00 and arrived at Rockingham at 8 (evening), 25 miles. Tuesday June 1, set out at 11 fed and dined at Reuben Harrisons pd 1/. From thence to New Market... he was heading to Philadelphia to Congress.
1793 he is heading a force of Col. Doherty with 179 officers and men, Col. Kennedy 108 men, ...Kelly with 183 men. .. 10 Oct. Copt. Evans , Van (sometimes spelled Vann) rearguards. He was at a creek half way from Tennessee to Highawassee... 29 Oct 1793 Camp at Springtons town after 24 miles progress Col. Kelly officer of the Day. Captain Richardson's Cavalry & HARRISONS Infantry, Van & Carsons rearguards . ...Sunday 13 Oct. 1793. Cap Gest & Allison Van & HARRISONS Rear Guards... (there are numerous mentions of Harrisons as rear guard. One camp site it was called Coon and Hightower's which I presume is at Hightower Georgia and he is in the area of the Tennessee River perhaps near Chattanooga, punishing some upper Cherokees of that area.
I wonder if a Harrison of this expedition in 1793 decided he liked the area and stayed or returned to marry a Cherokee and was named Thomas?
FROM HELEN NIEWENDORP. She reports a James Harrison on the 1830 census of St. Clair Co. IL. This is where Rev. Thomas Harrison (presumably Jr.) was with his large family, but she finds no obvious connection to Rev. Thomas. I have previously reported that there was a James Harrison, Esq. in the area of Maries Co. MO a bit later before whom Rev. Thomas Snelson appeared to file his Rev. War Pension record. Rev. Snelson was former pastor of Newfound Baptist in Buncombe and a son m a daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Hill) Harrison.
Helen has been working over the censuses of Buncombe County and finding interesting stuff not previously noticed. I had sent her my copy of the 1810 census which was published serially in A LOT OF BUNKUM a few years ago. At the time I noticed that sane pages were missing and BUNKUM pointed that out but said that the missing pages were coming later. I do not think they ever did. So, Helen has provided me with the missing pages, which, of course, contain the most important people!. She now has a photocopy of the original of the 1800-1840 censuses of Buncombe as published by S-K Publications. The photocopies are excellent and much better than the microfilm it comes from as I recall.
One of the missing pages of the 1810 census is 247 which lists John Harris located between Samuel Cole and Valentine Thrash. In 1820 John Harris is gone. John Harris is apparently John HARRISON her ancestor!
Also some others on the missing pages were: Nancy Carrell, Clem Davis, Reason Davis, William Grantham, Rachel Grantham.. she is interesting in that the census shows 1 female 0-5, and one 10-15 and that is all!.. something wrong there in that household - most likely the census taker but surely Rachel 15 or less was not head of a household and who did she belong to anyway? .. John Carrel, Bartlett Davis and many other Davises and Blacks.
1820 Census Buncombe
p 72. Nathan Harrison 32-11-, 2121- 5 in agriculture. This is a household of 13. We do not know 11 children. Could have been some deaths. This would be in the Sandy Mush area and neighbors were: Nathan Singleton, Jesse Roberts, Richard Crockett, Enoch Erwin and James Duckett
p 70. Nathaniel Harrison age 26-45 living alone but next door was Margaret Harrison (his mother) age 45+ 2 boys 10-16, 2 girls 1626, Living adjacent were: John Black, John Ensley, Charles Brown, Rachel Nelson (Rachel Snelson? who was a daughter of Margaret Harrison, Samuel Low and ?--es Hawkins. (That would be James Hawkins, my wife's ggg grandfather)
1830 Census shows 2 Nathan Harrisons . One is 20-30 with a wife under 20 and one girl under 5.. this should be Nathan son of Rev. Nathan. Rev. Nathan has a much smaller household than the previous census with he and his wife 50-60 with 5 children. Adjacent to Rev. Nathan was Jeremiah Harrison 20-30 with a 15-20 wife and 1 boy under 5., This should be Jeremiah, son of Rev. Nathan. At this time Rev. Jeremiah was in Macon County area
1840 Census. Here is Thomas Harrison, my wife's gg grandfather and blind son of Rev. Nathan. He is living next to Sam Lowe and Thomas Hawkins. (This on Turkey Creek.. In the 1820 census next to Sam Low was James Hawkins, now dead but son Thomas now and next door to Thomas Harrison. Hawkins' daughter Caroline, the girl next door was later to marry Jesse Harrison, son of Thomas and these my wife's great grandparents.
Helen has also done some census work in St. Clair County, IL and other places in IL. Most of this is the family of Rev. Thomas Harrison but some stray Harrisons there. One was a marriage of Robert Harrison to Ann Gregg 3-9-1826. Another was Burr Harrison m Deborah Wilson 3-30-1839.. that name Burr gives this line away - the Burr Harrison line which probably moved over from Kentucky
HISTORY OF THE LITTLE COVE, Cumberland Co. PA by Harry E. Foreman 1967 (now Franklin County) These are excerpts by Helen. One of the families of interest to her is Newhouse from her husband's line, but also other lines of interest to us. This is an area of contention as to borders of MD and PA. Settlers were there by 1730. This was also an area besieged by Indians in the period of 1755-1756. Most of the settlers were Welsh Baptists with some few Huguenots, Germans and Presbyterians. Here was the fort of David Davis (of interest concerning the Davises of Buncombe). Other families were: Shelby, Davis, Polk, Lofton, Houston, Reese, Alexanders and Harrods - all famous families. David Davis born 1713. In the Little Cove with his fort in 1755, then moved to Mecklenburg, NC in the 1760's. He died and is buried there at Steele's Creek Presbyterian. He m Elizabeth James, dau of Rev. James a Baptist minister of the Seven Day order who was killed by Indians in attacking the fort. (Note that many of the above names ended up in Mecklenburg).
In 1750 the inhabitants signed a petition to the PA Legislature seeking relief. Unknowingly they were in a forbidden area reserved for Indians but to no avail, their lands were given back to the Indians and their houses burned.
Another resident of this area was Rev. Francis Cummings. He later was very instrumental in the Shenandoah Valley of VA and ended up in GA - a Presbyterian leader of the early church there.
David Davis had a daughter Betsy who m William Henry who is thought to have taught the first Sunday School in KY. William C. Davis moved to York Co. SC . George W. Davis also moved to York SC. They gave their birth
place as Frederick Co. MD. The Shelbys m Alexanders and Davises and Polks - the stuff of Presidents and famous Governors. Shelbys show birth places as Frederick Co. MD but also in PA -the controversial area.
FROM PATRICIA COTHRAN of Asheville, NC.
my translation of the above: Mr. Robert Work (?) or the Sherriff please to pay over when collected ?to Robert Allen what is due me for my attendence in the Suit Joseph Harison vs Wilson and others and this shall be your receipt for the same Nov. 5th 1821 Nathan Harrison. (Witness) E.R. Allen.
Patricia Cothran explains in a letter that she ran across this receipt signed by Nathan Harrison and witnessed by her gggg grandfather E.R. (Eli Rieves) Allen in 1821. This was sent by a cousin and Patricia is not certain but she thinks it came from Alexander County, NC. However, she can easily find out. The Allens were in Wake County and then in Alexander/Iredell, and then Eli came to Buncombe in 1858. So, this note was signed by Nathan in a county other than Buncombe.
Comment: If indeed this is Rev. Nathan's signature and he was in Alexander/Iredell at the time, this could be very important as to origins of Rev. Nathan and his wife Sarah 0gelsby. In 1821 Rev. Nathan was firmly ensconced in Buncombe with a big family but he has been found in other places as a traveling Methodist Circuit Rider, like in Haywood County and Black Mountain. There are indications that he had Georgia connections before Buncombe. We have noticed that a bunch of the Iredell people associated with Harrisons showed up in Buncombe.
But before getting too excited about this... 'this could very well be Nathan Harrison of the Watauga County Harrisons, and the Joseph Harrison involved in the suit could be young Rev. Joseph Harrison or his father Joseph of the Iredell/ Watauga bunch. On the other hand, though some vacancies exist,
I do not find a suitable Nathan Harrison of the Watauga bunch who was alive in 1821. There was a Nathan Harrison b 1826 who was a nephew of Rev. Joseph Harrison of Watauga but that is too late. This remains a fascinating mystery. Could this be a Nathaniel Harrison who signs as Nathan? The Joseph Harrison of the suit mentioned could not be Joseph Harrison of Buncombe because he died 1811.
Patricia Cothran of Asheville is writing a book about a church in Buncombe but I do not know which one. She does not have Harrison ancestry but she is very interested in the Buncombe Harrisons because she keeps running into them, especially Nathan.
FROM BETTY JO HULSE. She too has been checking out Gunters. In TENNESSEE COUSINS by Worth Ray, p 197 under Sevier County, he starts out with a review of the first settlers and especially the Henry Family of Henry's Fort at mouth of Dumplin Creek. There were five brothers Henry including Major Samuel, Hugh, James, William and Robert. Perhaps all were sons of a Hugh Henry.
Hugh Henry b 1796 was m four times. First wife unknown, 2nd wife Patsy Gunter the Cherokee half breed daughter of John Gunter, an old powder maker and Indian Trader who settled at Gunter's Landing (later Guntersville) in Alabama. Third wife was Mrs. Anna (Clench) Fields , the widow of the famous Richard Fields, Cherokee Chieftain.
By wife Patsy Gunter, Hugh had a son Patrick Henry who married three times: 1. Sarah Stares of Alabama, 2. Allie Alford and 3. Mrs. Laura (Gibbs) Todd.
Hugh Henry was the grandson of the pioneer Samuel Henry of Watauga to Sevier County... p 201. Patrick Henry, son of Hugh and Patsy Gunter was a second cousin of the famous Will Rogers. Clement Vann Rogers, father of Will Rogers was the grandson of Elizabeth Hunt Gunter, daughter of John Canter of Gunter's Landing who was a sister of Patsy Gunter, the mother of Patrick Henry. Elizabeth Hunt Gunter died in Claremore, OK the home of Will Rogers.
In my April 1997 Harrison Notes, several pages were devoted to information from Betty Jo Hulse regarding York SC deeds and people connected with Harrisons there such as the Henrys. We have had further correspondence and more information along these lines. She has sent copies of deeds and other documents in that area of York SC that were granted in North Carolina, before the borders were defined: NORTH CAROLINA CAS IN SOUTH CAROLINA by Brent Holcomb.
Joseph Black got his land in the area of Clark's Fork of Bullock's Creek in 1767 along with several other Blacks: Gowin (Gawin) Black, Matthew Black, Thomas Black, John Black and Joseph Black all of whom except Thanes and John were on Clarks's Fork. She also sent passages from LGT showing these same people of York SC came from Augusta Co. VA about the same time that Nathaniel Harrison (1765 survey there with Thomas Harrison and Robert Black as chain carriers. Jacob Gardnier got land there 1765. Daniel Ponder (the notorious Tory) who signed the same oath as did Nathaniel Harrison and demanded by Ezekiel Polk during the Revolution. Ezekiel Polk was ancestor of President Polk and the same family as the pioneers of Mecklenburg.
Recall that there was a Robert Harrison of Buncombe with a deed or two and no one knows to wham he belongs. He may have gone to St. Clair Co. IL (see earlier), and he may have been the same Robert Harrison mentioned in LGT who was son of Daniel Harrison. She points out that most of these people moved from Augusta to the area about the same time, but Isaiah Harrison Jr moved considerably earlier with land in Anson Co. in 1753 (Swan Ponds).
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