Submitted by Dr. William L. Baran

     John Fleming Gunn born 1842 in West Finley, Washington County, Pennsylvania to William Gunn and Catherine, nee Richmond, and grandson of John Gunn and Martha McClure. He is listed in the 1850 West Finley Twp. Washington County Census as 8 years born in Pa.

     John Fleming Gunn died 31 Oct 1893 at West Finley, Washington County, Pa. He is buried in Chapel Cemetery, Burnsville, Washington County.

     The Class I ("Honorably Discharged") CIVIL WAR MEDAL of JOHN FLEMING GUNN, issued by the State of West Virginia, was claimed in June 2007 by Dr. William L. Baran, first cousin, three times removed. The soldier was the nephew of his gr-gr-grandmother.

National Archives

     G 1 Cav. W.Va. John F. Gunn Pvt, Co. B 1 Reg’t Virginia Mounted Vols. (This organization subsequently became Co. B. 1 Reg’t West Virginia Cavalry) Appears with rank of Privt on Muster and Descriptive Roll of a Detachment of U.S. Vols. Forwarded for the 1st Reg’t West Virginia Cav. Roll dated Wheeling W. Va Feb 23, 1864. Where born Washington Co., Penna age 23 y’rs; occupation Farmer; When enlisted Feb, 22, 1864; Where enlisted Wheeling, W. Va. For what period of time; 3 yrs. Eyes Blue; Hair Dark; Complexion Florid; height; 5 ft 4 in. When mustered in Feb. 23, 1864. Where mustered in Wheeling W. Va Bounty paid $60. Where credited W. Va Parkersburg Wood/Co. Dist sub Dist. 25. Remarks $13 First months pay.

     Appears on Returns as follows:

Mar. 1864 Absent without leave
May to July 1864 Oct. 1864 Absent without leave assigned Recruit has never reported to Co. no descriptive list rec’d.
Sept. & Oct 1864 Present first roll on which borne. Remarks: Recruit
Dec 1864 Absent (name appears also as John Grimes and J Guin
Absent Regt Teamster
Jany 1865 on duty Teamster Regt.
Feb 1865 Teamster for RWM.
Mar & Apr 1865 absent in Remount Camp Pleasant Valley, MD

     John F Gunn Pvt. Co. B 1Reg’t W. Va Cavalry. Age 23 years, appears on Co. Muster-Out Roll Dated Wheeling W. VA July 8, 1865; Mustered-Out Date July 8, 1865 Last Paid to Dec. 31, 1864 Clothing Account due soldier $30.88 Bounty paid $140 due $160.00 remarks: Recruit.


Martin V. Carroll was a cousin of:
Rebecca Jane Carroll wife of James Parker Allum; Thomas Maxwell Carroll; Robert H. Carroll
John F. (Fleming) Gunn was a cousin, through Simon Smith Carroll’s Wife Mary Jane Gunn’s brother, William Gunn.


Alexander A. Gunn, p. 463

     ALEXANDER A. GUNN. A biographical record of Washington Co. would be incomplete were not prominent mention made of the distinguished Gunn family, who have been connected with the history of this Co. from its earliest settlement.

     The Gunns, of whom we now write, trace their ancestry to Holland, whence, at the close of the fourteenth century, a branch of the family migrated to Scotland, where they found occupations, some as weavers, others as herdsmen. There, amid the beautiful and romantic scenery of the Highlands, were, for the first time, opened to the light of day the eyes of Alexander Gunn, who became the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, and who was the first of the family of whom there is any definite record. He never left the mother country, but died among his heather-clad hills at an advanced age. His son, William, was the first of the family to emigrate to America. He was a native of Aberdeenshire, where he married, about the year 1770, Anna Gunn (no relative). One child, Neil, was born to them prior to their leaving their native land. Sailing from Glasgow, this little family, after a voyage of nine weeks and three days, landed at Philadelphia, PA., where they remained some little time, and here was born, in 1778, John Gunn, father of the subject of these lines. In 1780 the family, now consisting of father and mother and two children, set out for the then "Far West" over the mountains, the mother seated on a horse, on either side of which was hung a hickory basket, like a pannier, in which each of the children was placed. In this manner, they reached Washginton Co., where they settled near where Brownsville now stands, in the wild forest, from which they hewed out for themselves a primitive home, and developed the fertile farm that is now the property of A. G. Patterson.

     When General Wayne started out on his expedition against the Indians, William Gunn joined him at Cincinnati, and remained with him until the expedition came to an end in 1792. During his absence the Indians raised his home, but his wife fortunately escaped in time with her two children, Neil and John, to Roney's blockhouse, less than a mile distant. The raiders did little damage, however, merely killing a couple of cows, and carrying off part of their carcasses to their camp. After his return Mr. Gunn lived upon his farm until his death, without being further molested by the Indians. He died in 1826. He had a family of eleven children, all now deceased, their names being as follows: Neil, John, William, Levi, Eliza and Christian (twins) Mary, Alexander, Marquis, Addison and David.

     John Gunn assisted his parents in the arduous work incident to the clearing up of a new farm in those early days, until 1814, when, he became united in marriage with Martha McClure, a native of Washington Co., and a graduate of Washington Seminary. Eight children were born to them, their names and dates of birth being as follows: Margaret Ann, 1816; William, 1818; Denny M, 1821; Mary Jane (Mrs. Carroll), 1823; Neil, 1825; Alexander A.; Catherine (Mrs. J.H. Carroll), 1830; Martha E, 1832; of these three are deceased: Margaret in 1869; William, in 1862, and Martha E. in 1852. John Gunn, the father of these children, died in West Finley township, October 8, 1848, the mother on March 26, 1833.

The Raymond M. Bell Anthology

The Gunn Family of West Finley Township, Washington Co., PA

      The first record of the GUNN family in West Finley is the purchase of land Jan 4, 1787 (DB D, 36) by Marcus (2) GUNN (son of John (1) ) and the taxing of the land to John (1) GUNN beginning in 1787. John (1) his wife, Elizabeth; sons, Marcus (2), Alexander (2) and possibly John (2) (in 1790 the father was called "Sr", and daughters Ann, Catharine, Mary, Jane and son-in-law William (2) GUNN (DB U, 723) likely came to West Finley from the British Isles late in 1786. The 1850 census lists Jane as born in Ireland in 1780. If so, the GUNNS came from Scotland via Ireland. William (2) GUNN, who married Ann (Daughter of John (1) ) GUNN (likely his cousin) was said to have been a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

      Benjamin (2) GUNN, born in Scotland 1771 (1850 census) was probably a brother of William (2). Benjamin's son, Franklin (3), said his father was a native of Aberdeenshire. Benjamin (2) came to America in 1812, to West Finley in 1817. William (2) was said to be a son of Alexander (1) GUNN, who died in Scotland. John (1) and Alexander (1) may have been brothers. Another John (2) GUNN who was in West Finley 1809-11, may have been a third son of Alexander (1). William (2) and Ann's oldest son, Cornelius (3) (Neil) was born in the old country about 1786.

     Most of the land in West Finley was taken up by Philadelphia speculators. The settlers had to buy their land from Levi HOLLINGSWORTH or Thomas SHIELDS. This led to a number of court actions. The Marcus (2) GUNN purchase (not HOLLINGSWORTH-SHIELDS land) was just south of the Donegal-West Finley township line. This tract was sold in 1809 by the heirs of Marcus (2). It had been patented by Alexander (2) in 1808 in trust for the widow and children of John (1) GUNN.

     HOLLINGSWORTH-SHIELDS land was purchased by: Alexander (2) in 1799 and 1812 - he sold some to William (2) in 1801 John (3), son of William (2), in 1813 Benjamin (2), William (2) and Cornelius (3), son of William (2) in 1816.

     The William (2) and Cornelius (Neil) (3) tracts were near Burnsville.

     The first record of William(2) GUNN is in the 1790 census. Benjamin (2) is first taxed in 1818.

      He died in 1855; William (2) about 1825. The last record of John (1) is in the 1800 Co. census of taxables. He was dead in 1809. Alexander (2) who never married, died in 1848; Marcus, ,who never married, died about 1790. The family is a little unusual; a number never married; four John(1)'s and at least two of William (2)'s. A number of those who married had no issue.

     Most of the GUNN children and grandchildren moved west. John (3) (died 1848), son of William (2) and Franklin (3) (died 1907), son of Benjamin (2) remained. By 1880 there were only two families: Franklin (3) and Alexander A(4) (1828-1898), son of John (3). The GUNNS were buried at Chapel Cemetery near Burnsville.

     The children of John (1) are given in Deed Book U, 723; of William (2) in Appearance Docket 218 January 1835; of Benjamin (2) in Accounts 30 February 1871; of John (3) son of William(2) in Will Book 6, 624). The GUNN family is written up in Crumrine's HISTORY OF Washington Co. Page 982, and in BEERS' COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF Washington Co., Page 463. Some of the dates in these books are incorrect.

John GUNN b 1788 d Oct. 5, 1848 m 1 Sept. 9, 1814 Martha (dau of Denny
MC CLURE) b c1794 d Mar 26, 1833; m2 Jan 30, 1834, widow Nancy BURT b 1787
1. Margaret Ann b 1816 d c1870, never married
2. William b 1818 d 1862 m Nov. 27, 1839, Catharine RICHMOND b 1818
     Children: Emily S. 1840 - , John F 1842 - , Martha H 1845- , Eliza 1847 -
3. Denny McClure b 1821 - 1843 and 1850 Rush Twp, Champaign Co. OH
4. Mary Jane b 10 Nov. 1824 - d Jan 21, 1897, Mahaska Co., IA, m 22 Mar 1846 Simon Smith CARROLL (son of James) b 5 Apr. 1819 - d Jan 25, 1890
5. Cornelius (Neil) b 1825 m1 Julia H b 1830 d 1852 m2 Mary Anne, gone 1857
6. Alexander A. b Oct 14, 1828 d Apr 9, 1898 m Mar 18, 1851 Mary (dau of John) BURNS b Oct 18, 1830 d Jul 6, 1906
     Ch: John Burns 1852-1855; Martha (FISHER) 1854--; William R. 1856 -; R D A 1859--; Mary L (GRIM) 1862 - ; Ada B. (ORN) 1865--; Sarah E (MARSHALL) - 1868 - 1950; Lottie B (BARNHART) 1870 - ; Lynn C. (ACKLEY) 1872 - ; Robert 1874 - 1879
7. Catharine b 1830 m John H. CARROLL (son of Thomas) - to IL
8. Martha b 1832 - d May 19, 1852

      This article was transcribed by Wilda Marshall Brown of Port Byron NY in February 1998. West Finley Twp. (pp. 979-986) History of Washington Co. PA * Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington Co. PA with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882).

Transcribed by Pat Thomas of [TBD] in March 1998. Published in March 1998 on the Washington Co. PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com.

William Gunn, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, married a sister of Alexander Gunn (to whom, however, he was not related). About the year 1775, William Gunn, his wife and one son and Alexander Gunn and two unmarried sisters emigrated to this country and landed in Philadelphia. After remaining in that city about a year, they emigrated to this Co. and settled upon a tract of land now in Donegal township, owned by Gordon and Samuel Patterson. On this property, they all lived a few years and William moved with his family to what is now West Finley township. The land on which he settled proved to belong to those immense land proprietors, Shields and Hollingsworth. He then purchased four hundred and twenty eight acres of Isaac Parkhurst, of Warren Co OH. This land was situated on Robinson Run. the land upon which he first located in Finley township is now owned by Arthur Sprowls and James Miliken. On the farm he purchased of Parkhurst, he lived the remainder of his long life and died in 1825, aged eighty years. He left ten children, who upon arriving at maturity all emigrated to the West, except John, the second son, who settled on the homestead and there lived until his death in 1848, leaving a family of eight children, of whom Alexander is the only one living in the township or the Co.. He married a daughter of John Burns and now resides on the old Burns homestead.

Alexander Gunn, who remained on the farm in Donegal when William came to Finley, stayed there until about 1800, when he purchased three hundred acres of land in West Finley which is now mostly owned by James Hunter, whose father, Matthew Hunter, purchased it of Mr. Gunn. He remained unmarried and after the sale of the farm resided with his nephew, John Gunn, until his death. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church of West Union VA for over forth years. One of his sisters married John Craig and died without children. The other never married.