Daughter of a GUNN|Taliaferro County, GA

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?

According to AncestryDNA ThruLines, it is suggested I (along with my father and sister) am connected to 5 DNA matches through William Nelson Gunn Jr.

Just who are the Gunns of Taliaferro County, GA?

My father’s paternal grandmother was Salusha Williams, born Salusha Gunn in Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, GA.
Salusha was the daughter of Eva Greason, born Eva Gunn in Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, GA.
Eva was the daughter of Raburn Gunn, born about 1834 in Crawforville, Taliaferro County, GA. AncestryDNA testing results hypothesize that Raburn’s father was William N. Gunn…

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.

Raburn Gunn married Jane Shanks (1838-1914) and they had at least four children: William Gunn (1861-1946), Benjamin Gunn (b.1873), Mamie Gunn (b.1876), and Eva Gunn (1881-1965), my 2nd great-grandmother.
*It is noteworthy to see that Raburn was buried in Crawfordville Baptist Church Cemetery. It does not seem that there are any of Raburn’s Black family buried there. Harry and Eliza Stephens are also buried at Crawfordville Baptist Church Cemetery.
Georgia, County Voter Registrations, 1856-1941 70 year old Raburn’s (birth year is noted as 1824) Georgia voter registration for 1901.

Raburn Gunn worked for JR Gunn, according to this Georgia US Property Tax Digest

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.

John Robert Gunn

Here is more information on the Gunn family history, written many moons ago, in 1925.

The Gunns, by Robert R. Gunn

THIS Alexander H. Stephens…

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…

On 2 Jan 1868 William N. Gunn sold 148 3/8 acres of land to Harry Stephens.
Pages 84 & 85 of Taliaferro County, GA Deed Book G, showing the above-mentioned land sale.
Harry and Eliza Stephens and Their Children {George Jefferson Gable} “Despite its small size, this modest family portrait is monumental in its meaning—a poignant episode in the journey of African Americans. Harry and Eliza Stephens and their children—Quinn, Fanny, Ellen, Dora, and Tim—were enslaved at Liberty Hall, home of Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy. Having survived slavery and the Civil War when so many other families were broken and dispersed, they present themselves as a proud, loving, and indivisible family unit. At the right edge, George the gardener and stable man at the nearby Crawfordville school holds a United States flag.” Image and Description are courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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

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