Search billions of records on








Nimrod Lunsford Page 1





The Lunsford Family



The subject of this chapter is the brief history of one line of the Descendents of Nimrod Lunsford

(1767 1847), a long time resident of Burke County, North Carolina, and later, Alexander County in the same state.


Much research is now being conducted into the ancestry of this man, especially In Virginia records. The Lunsford Family has been resident in America at Least since 1649 when one Sir. Thomas Lunceford was resident in the Colony of Virginia. His antecedents in the Old World have been traced back to one

John Lunsford who married Thomasina Barrington and was living in Sussex County, England in the middle of the 15th century (ca. 1450). No connection has been made at present between Nimrod Lunsford and Thomas Lunsford.


1. NIMROD LUNSFORD (176? 1847) MD. (1.) Elizabeth Wyatt (176? 1849):

(2.) Jennie McCombs: (3.) Rebecca Foster. It appears that he was born in

Granville County, N.C. circa 1764. He was living in Iredell County in

1794: removed that county 1799. In 1800 he was resident in Burke

County, North Carolina. Nimrod Lunsford died in Alexander County, N.C.

In 1847.


The life of Nimrod Lunsford as revealed by official records is an enigma. He identifies his wife in his will as Rebecca. The next year (1848) an Elizabeth files claim to his estate in Buncombe County, N.C. It appears to be an inescapable fact that Nimrod Lunsford was a bigamist. Indeed, old family legends have it that he was married to three different women at the same time. This form of moral laxity was to be repeated in several generations of his descendents. Proceeding on these assumptions, a number

of researchers have compiled the following list of children:



Children by Elizabeth Wyatt:

1. Eli Lunsford (1784-1855) md. (1.) ? : (2.) Mary Henderson:



2. Michael Lunsford (1785-186?) md. Elizabeth Black (1/27/1797-10/2/1890)

Lived Iredell, Burke, Buncombe, and Cherokee Counties, N.C. Children:


a.                   Thomas Lunsford (1828-1903) md. Catherine Barbara Killian.

b.                   John Lunsford (1830-1905) md. Mary Matilda Pendergrass.

c.                   Elizabeth Mary Lunsford (1834- ? ) md. Francis Seabolt.

d.                   Michael Lunsford Jr. (1835- ? ) md. Nancy Guffay.

e.                   Rebecca Lunsford (1839- ? )

f.                    David Lunsford (1842-1926) md. Jane Weatherman.

g.                   Matthew M. Lunsford (1844-1924) md. Susan Pendergrass.



Nimrod Lunsford Page 4






Sarah Fortner Lunsford died in 1866 just two years after the end of the Civil War and all the grief it had brought. James Lunsford remained at the farm near the south of the Ivy River until his daughter, Mary Ann Lunsford, married Erwin Revis. This occurred on September 28, 1873. At that time Erwin and his bride took up residence on this farm and James Lunsford moved to another farm he had obtained as an inheritance from his father.


This second farm was located at the south of Sandy Mush Creek on the west bank of the French Broad River. It was an ideal location. The main ferry that crossed the river between Asheville and Marshal was located there. The Southern Railroad track was being built on the road bed of the Old Buncombe Turnpike which ran through this farm. On the east, or opposite bank, a new road was being built to replace the turnpike. A distiller by trade, James Lunsford began making and selling whiskey in large quantities to travelers on the road and those crossing at the ferry. He kept the whiskey in large 50 gallon drums. His whiskey had a great reputation and people came from as far away as Asheville and east Tennessee to purchase it.


James Lunsford had several affairs with local farm girls resulting in the births of several illegitimate children both before and after the death of his first wife, Sarah Fortner. Born September 29, 1829, he died January 18, 1901, on his farm. He was buried on a bluff overlooking that farm.


Children by Sarah Fornter:


1.       Mary Ann Lunsford (Sept. 13, 1858 Aug. 8, 1938) md. Abner Erwin Revis Sept. 28, 1873.


Known illegitimate children:


2.       Eliza Lunsford (1858 - ?) md. Hugh Carter (Lived in Tennessee)

3.       Elbert (Lunsford) Buckner

4.       Emma Lunsford





Return to Biographies Index


Return to Pages & Links Index


Return to Southern Roots Home Page


Deborah Lunsford Yates, 2000 - 2003

Last Updated Friday, September 19, 2003 6:16:20 AM CST