Will of John Gunn 1728-1780 Caswell County, North Carolina
This copy was submitted by Ted Willis, a noted Gunn researcher. Recorded in Caswell County, North Carolina Will Book A., page 110
In the name of God, amen. I, John Gunn being sick and weak, but of perfect since [sic] of menory do make this my last will and testament.
I do dispose of my estate in the form following;
I do give to my son Jesse all my land.
I give to my son James one cow and calf when he has a mind to take them.
I give to my daughter Sally, one bed of furniture and two cows and calves, also Gabriel and Daniel, one horse each to be delivered to them at age 18 out of my estate.
All the rest I leave to my wife during her life if she continues a widow and raise my children on, if she does not continue a widow when she married for my estate to divided equally divided [sic] among my children.
I do appoint my wife as executor and my son James as executor in witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand of seal this seventeenth day of August 1780.
Signed and Sealed John Gunn
Hudon Pryor Charles Bostick
cgm notes: John Gunn was the son of Thomas Gunn and Sarah Boatwright Gunn. He birth year of 1728 is estimated to have been in New Kent County, Virginia based on where his brother William's birth in 1725 was documented in New Kent Parish records and also by the sequence in which he was named in his father's will. It has been assumed that John resided in Lunenburg County, Virginia for the period that includes the year 1764, when he witnessed the will of John Cox. His name also appeared in 1769 in a list of insolvents for the County of Lunenburg, Virginia. By 1777 John Gunn appeared on the tax list in Caswell County, North Carolina. In 1788 he received a land warrant on the waters of Mill Creek in Caswell County, NC, this land later became annexed into Person County. His wife was not mentioned by name, but on a deed dated 10 January 1765 in Bute County, North Carolina, John and Olive Gunn sold land to Richard Whit. Bute County was formed from Granville County, NC. Olive would be the mother of John Gunn's children.
Some family charts, show a Mary Jane as a wife to John, if so, she would be a second wife. John and Olive were likely married about 1752 in Virginia. His will was not probated until the September 1799 court, after his wife died, 19 years after the death of her husband John. Purchasers from the estate were Gabriel Gunn, Nathan Scoggins, Edwin Owin, John Byns, Thomas McNeill, Stephen Austin. Smaller items were purchased by Elizabeth Gunn, William Boswell, Daniel Gunn, W. M. Huston, Magr Yancy Bayley, Rebecca Gunn, Jesse Gunn, Jesse Ragan, George Darby, John Coats, Nathan Ragan, Lewis Wilkerson, Lewis Parrot, James Richwood, Ralph William, William Ramsey, Samuel Cox, Rebecca McNeill, Gabriel Gunn, and Shadrick Owin.
A list of heirs is as follows: Thomas Gunn drew 1 lot of negroes Daniel Gunn drew one lot Squire Solomon, Gabriel Gunn drew Jack John Coats drew Diley and Usley Elizabeth drew Neil and James Jesse Gunn drew Cloe and Phebe Rebecca Gunn drew Sue Gabriel Gunn was Admin.
The children of John and Olive Gunn: Thomas Gunn b.c. 1753 Sarah "Sally" Gunn b.c. 1755 married John Coats John Gunn b.c. 1757 died 1781 in the battle of Eutaw Springs in Orangeburg, SC. Elizabeth Gunn b.c. 1760 Daniel Green Gunn b. 1763 Gabriel A. Gunn b. 1767 Rebecca Gunn b.c. 1769 James Gunn b. 1771 Jesse Thomas Gunn b. 1779
Why John Gunn left all his land to his son Jesse, who was just over one years old when his father died, is a mystery. Children Thomas , Sally, and John were 26, 24, and 22 respectively, and Daniel, Gabriel, and James were 17 and 12 and 6, and James was made an executor. There is speculation that James Gunn b. 1771 is not a son of John and Olive, but DNA shows that he is descended (with a 70% degree of certainty) from the Thomas Gunn/Sarah Boatwright line, and through the process of elimination, John and Olive Gunn are the most likely candidates for his parents. There are some family trees showing Senator James Gunn who was born in 1753 and died in 1801 as the son of John and Olive. This James Gunn left no known children. Only his birth year and Virginia origins would place him as a son of John and Olive. He does not appear to have been involved with the 1799 settlement of the estate after the death of Olive, or wife of John Gunn who died in 1780
The James Gunn born 1771 that I have listed as the son of John and Olive Gunn appeared in 1820 Census of Jefferson County, Georgia at the same time as Gabriel A. Gunn. John and Gabriel were the only Gunn heads of household in Jefferson County in 1820. The evidence is circumstantial, but the DNA shows James Gunn 1771 as a Thomas/Sarah Boatwright Gunn descendant.