Somehow or other, my paternal line is connected to the Gunn family of Taliferro County, Georgia. I first discovered this blood tie via DNA testing results among myself and my father, and sister.
According to AncestryDNA ThruLines, William Nelson Gunn Jr (1814-1886) is my 4th great-grandfather. While there are times that the ThruLines are more through than lines, in this instance, I think that the proposed Gunn connection deserves a closer look.
Just where is the evidence for this?
Just who are the Gunns of Taliaferro County, GA?
In historical records, Raburn’s race is alternately described between Negro and Mulatto (descriptively pejorative). Given the term and the times, and because Raburn does not appear in US Census records before 1870, we can believe that he was born enslaved. William N. Gunn was a slaveholder. Raburn’s mother would have also been enslaved and so Raburn’s existence is evidence of atrocity. No matter if she was ‘treated kindly’ and she most probably was not.
Even so, Raburn married and raised a family. He passed away in 1927 and was buried at the Crawfordville Baptist Church Cemetery. No evidence that his wife and children were afforded the same burials.
According to numerous records on Ancestry, JR Gunn—-John Robert Gunn (1814-1886), was a brother of William Nelson Gunn Jr. The above-shown historical record is a Georgia U.S. Property Tax Digest (1871-1877) and it shows Raburn Gunn working for his most likely uncle.
Here is more information on the Gunn family history, written many moons ago, in 1925.
In a more than interesting records find, I located a land sale deed from 1868, showing that William N. Gunn sold 148+ acres of land to a certain Harry Stephens.
Harry Stephens was a freedman who, along with his wife Eliza and their children, at one time worked in enslaved servitude to Alexander H. Stephens, the vice-president of the C.S.A…
As far as I know now, I am not related to either Harry or Eliza Stephens. Still, one thing that is for certain in uncertain genealogical terrain, just when we think that we know the answers, we have more questions.
As I am continuing to learn more about the Gunns, I will have to pore over Taliaferro County court records for additional clues. There are already more than several deeds that I have glanced at. Stay tuned for more updates here.
For now, the DNA speaks.
This is our situation.
The Genealogy Situation Room