Letters Atty. Homer Jones to Col. Doctor Gordon Walker
Click here to access the: "Chesnut Chronicles, By Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut"

"Golden Research Possessions" (Below)

"Excerpts; Letters Attorney Homer Jones to Colonel Doctor Gordon V.
Past President Sons of The American Revolution), Chesnut Family

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated February
17,1955" Mrs. Spilman did state that she had a D.A.R. line on John
Chesnut who served  at Valley Forge 1777 under Colonel John Gibson. 
I am eager to know whether  or not that was the John Chesnut who 
died in Knox County, Kentucky, in 1805, and further, Was he the 
brother of William Chesnut who, according to Mrs.  P.W. Hiden 
(Tylers, Volume XXIV, Page 139) died in Augusta or Rockingham County, 
Virginia, in 1802, and I have been inclined to believe that he was 
the son of the John who died in the same county in 1805.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated February 9,

Paragraph # 3
Mrs. Stoll was descended from William Chesnut through his son Jacob,
who  married Dorcas Langley, although as you may know she is
erroneously shown as  being a descendent of John Chesnut, in "The
Compendium of American Genealogy, Volume VII,  Page 415". John did
have a son Jacob, but he was not the one who married Dorcas Langley.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Date February 23,

Paragraph # 2
I quote the first part of Deed Book A,  Page 8,  public records of Laurel 
County, Kentucky: "This indenture made the 16th day of September 1825 
between William Chesnut, Samuel Chesnut and Rachel his wife, Benjamin
Chesnut and his wife Vina, Jesse McFadden and his wife Ruth (late Ruth
Chesnut), Edmond Chesnut and his wife Hannah, Jacob Chesnut  and his
wife Dorcas, Peter Weaver and his wife Anne (late Anne Chesnut), and
Chapman Watkins and Sally his wife, relict of William Chesnut Dec'd of
the one part,  and William H. McKee of the other part, all of the county 
of Knox and State of Kentucky, Witnesseth, that the said heirs of William
Chesnut Decd." etc. 

The words "Chapman Watkins and Sally his wife, relict of William
Chesnut  Decd." were repeated later on in the text, which was personally
copied by me  during the search of the records at London, Kentucky.  
Later I requested a  certified copy by mail,  which showed it in each 
place as "Chapman Watkins  and his Sally his wife, relatives of William
Chesnut Deceased".  I am going  to have it corrected on my next trip to
London,  which I expect to be during  the late spring or summer.

The 1850 census record of Laurel County includes the following. With
respect  to the Family of Jacob and Dorcas. The marriage records of Knox
County,  Kentucky, disclose that Jacob Chesnut and Dorcas Langley were
married by  William Hopper on 11-23-1823.   the same records disclose
that Chapman  Watkins and Sally Chesnut were married by Alexander
Stewart,  J.P. on  11-11-1807. Stephen Chesnut married Ann Walters on
1-10-1856, bondsman  Pleasant Walters.

The tax rolls of Knox County, Kentucky show that William Chesnut had
400 acres in Knox as early as 1801,   Water course "Laurel", original
survey in the name of John Tolbert.   In 1802 the following Chesnut's 
were on the tax roll of  Knox County, Kentucky:  Jacob,  200 acres, 
Laurel, John Tolbert;  John  Sr..,  500 acres, Laurel,  John Tolbert;  
Abraham, 100 acres,  Laurel, John  Tolbert; John Jr.,  300 acres, 
Laurel,  John Tolbert; William,  300 acres,  Laurel, John Tolbert. 
In 1803 William was missing from the tax rolls,  and in  his place 
was Sarah,  250 acres,  Laurel, John Tolbert. In 1805 additions to the 
tax roll were Benjamin,  400 acres; Benjamin, 200 acres, Samuel 
(no acres) 1 horse (Samuel shown as between 16 and 21 years of age ). 

I am confident that the Jacob, Abraham, and John Jr. who were old 
enough to be on the tax roll in 1802 were sons of John Sr. Census 
records show that each of these three were between 26 and 45 in 1810,  
which means that they were born between 1765 and 1784. Nancy Chesnut 
married Sven Irven Adams  in Knox County on 6-4-1807, and I believe 
that she also was the daughter  of John Sr. A Patience Chesnut married 
Thomas Blakely Jr. in Knox county, Kentucky 12-16-1824, bondsman John
Chesnut,  and she could have been  either the daughter of John Jr. or 
the widow of his father. I am not yet convinced that Sarah and Patience 
were the first wives of William and John. as a matter of fact, the 1830 
census record shows that the wife of Chapman Watkins was between 40 
and 50, which means she was born between 1780 and 1790,  and was
approximately the same age as William's son Samuel.   I am convinced
that Sarah was the mother of my great grandfather Edmond, and  also
mother of the Jacob who married Dorcas Langley.

Another bit of suggestive evidence is that in 1845 in Laurel County, 
Kentucky  Jacob and Dorcas Chesnut conveyed land to Edmond Chesnut, 
a  natural transaction for two brothers.   Incidentally, the letter to 
you from John Chesnut of Danville, Kentucky in which he names Benjamin, 
Ed, and Jacob as son of the son of John Chesnut, is interesting in that 
the same three were named in a letter from Mrs. C.O. Stuckenbruck,  215
West  Washington Street,  Lake City, Iowa,  who states that her Chesnut
line  is as follows:   (1) John;  (2) Jacob  ( children Abraham,  George 
W., Anne, Ruth, Stephen and John); (3) Abraham, born 1-11-1800,  (married
Charlotte Somers Hiatt); (4) Benjamin, (wife Dorcas Colyer);   (5) 
Granville Richard  (wife Juliana Graybeal);   (6) Olivia,  (husband C.O.

I examined the records in North Carolina,  and reached the conclusion
that,    that line was started by two (or possibly 3) pioneers from the 
Isle of Wight County, Virginia, who migrated to My father was born in 
Laurel County, Kentucky in 1868. He was the son of a Baptist minister, 
Reverend Isaac  Thomas Jones whose wife was Sarah Chesnut (daughter
of Edmond Chesnut and  Hannah Ferguson). Reverend I.T. removed to
Boyle County about 1885 and died  in 1891.

I know that an opinion will not be of much comfort to you at the 
present time, but I'll venture one,  anyway. I believe William 
Chesnut who died in Knox County, Kentucky in 1802/03 was the son of 
John Chesnut who died in  1805. He was not named in John Chesnut's 
will because he had predeceased  him. I believe that William was a 
relatively young man, born about 1760. His son Edmond my ancestor was 
born in 1797, and Jacob was born in 1801, not long before William's 
death. If this conjecture should turn out to  be true, then the only 
thing wrong with your S.A.R. is that there is a  generation left out. 
I almost made this mistake of filling  out a supplemental application 
on John Chesnut, but delayed to seek better evidence that he was the 
son of William who transferred land to him in Augusta county in 1772. 
After that I found the records in Laurel County, Kentucky which was 
cut out partly from Knox County, Kentucky after execution of the deed 
in Book A, Page 8 and before it was recorded. I might state that the 
original Tax rolls are on file in the Kentucky State Historical Society 
in Frankfort.   I did not examine them back of 1801, as I recall they 
were out of place and I was in a hurry. I am not now certain that I 
found all of them for 1801. 

P.S.  Oh yes,   I failed to state that Luke Watkins was one of the  
witnesses to the conveyance signed by the children (and their spouses) 
and the widow of William Chesnut, dated 9-16-1825.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated March

Paragraph # 3
Please excuse me if I seem to correct you again.   You show that the 
first wife of William Chesnut   ( father of John and William ) was 
Catherine Callahan,  and that his second wife was Mary Sophia- . 
Tylers,  Volume. XXIV,  Page 139 _ , has a genealogy of the Hiden 
Family, compiled by Mrs.   P.W. Hiden, and accomplished genealogies, 
from which the following excerpts are copied:

"Joshua 12 Hiden was born probably in Fauquier County and died in
Augusta  County on February 27, 1869 near Cross Keys,  age 86 years 
and six months, son of Richard and Catherine Hyden  (Vital Statistics
Augusta County). This would be the place where he spent his youth we 
do not know, but he probably was in Augusta by 1795 as on February 2,
1796 he married Martha Chesnut of that County. "A few notes on her
ancestry may be given at this point. In 1762 (Chalkley Volume. 3, 
Page 392 )  Nicholas Green of Culpeper sold to William Chesnut 400 
acres; in 1772 William Chesnut conveyed land to his son John,  and 
in 1773,  58  acres to William Jr. (Ibid page 525 ). A William 
Chesnut, probably William Senior about 1788, as on September 16, 1788  
his widow Sophia qualified as administratrix of his estate (Ibid 
Volume. 1,Page 255). William Jr. married (1) Catherine, Daughter 
of Daniel Callahan, who had lived on an adjoining Plantation (Ibid 
Volume. 3, Page 932 ) but had either moved or been cut off into 
Rockingham County  (formed 1778 from Augusta). On April 27, 1779 
(Ibid Volume. 2, Page 365 ) the Court of Rockingham County ordered 
that he receive his proportionate part of the estate of Daniel 
Callahan for his four children in right of their mother Catherine, 
daughter of said Callahan, and late wife of said Chesnut. Daniel 
had died intestate and his son Charles had been appointed 
administrator (Ibid Volume. 3, Page 364.   William Chesnut married 
2nd Jean --  who survived him  (Ibid Volume 3, Page 228 ) with a 
large family. The marriages of his children were as follows:

Jane Chesnut and William Palmer   1-11-1790
John Chesnut and Ann Palmer  5-22-1790
Mary Chesnut and Phillip Smith  8-21-1792
Martha Chesnut and Joshua Hyden  2-2-1796
Ann (Nancy) and Augustine Harlow  7-17-1798
William Chesnut and Mary Gold  3-26-1802
Isabella Chesnut and Jacob Moore  2-21-1809

We have no data about his daughters Elly and Sarah named in his 
will (Ibid  Volume. 3, Page 228 ). According to the 1850 census 
Martha wife of Joshua  Hiden was then 72, hence born about 1778; 
She died between 1850-1859. The records of Rockingham County, which 
I copied from some book relating to  that county, include the 
following marriages. 1782 William Blain and  Margaret Chesnut 
(daughter of William ) 1786 Tom Woodward and Elizabeth  Chesnut 
(orphan of William) 1790 Dan Chesnut and Isabella Blain (daughter 
of John) 1795 Charles Chesnut and Elizabeth Robertson (daughter of 

In Volume II of Chalkey, Page 369 there is an entry "1783, February 27,   
William Chestnut's Will Proved". He probably was the one named as
father of  Margaret and Elizabeth above, and probably was the husband 
of Sophia. The  year 1788 is usually shown as the year of his death, 
probably for the  reasons that probate of his estate appears to have 
been delayed until then, or at least his widow was not named 
administratrix until 1788.   With  respect to the above Dan Chesnut 
who married Isabella Blain see  Encyclopedia of American Biography 
Augusta-Rockingham Volume 13, Page 295. 

Another note I have not yet had the time to explore:   The History of 
Highland County (Virginia), Page 273-4, Shows a John Chesnut who had
a son  William who married Sarah A, Malcomb of Bath County. Other
Children of  this John Chesnut were; Jennie married Dyer Byrd: Joseph
married Eliza  Nottingham of Pocahontas; John married Elizabeth Hiner;
Thomas married  - -    Kirkpatrick;  Mary married Joseph Nottingham
(brother of Elizabeth ). 

To answer one question in your letter,   The early tax rolls of Knox 
County, and most other counties,  are in the Kentucky Historical Society 
at Frankfort. Another question, I have the address of the East 
Tennessee Historical Society, Lawson McGhee Library, Knoxville 
(2) Tennessee, which was most cooperative in  assisting me with 
another  family line.

I am still more than confident that John (d. 1805) and William 
(d.1802/3) were very closely related. Oh yes, another question in 
your letter: I have lived in Danville and was acquainted with her 
father, George W. Chesnut. The pedigree in Virkus prompted me to 
write her. 

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated March 21,

Paragraph # 5
Permit me to make a suggestion or two,   In any further research on 
the  Chesnut Family.   In 1799 when Knox County, Kentucky, was 
formed it extended to the Tennessee line,   Adjacent to what become 
Clairborne County, Tennessee in 1801, And Campbell County, Tennessee 
in 1806. Before the disputed Kentucky - Tennessee line was settled 
about 1820, many people who lived near the line are listed in the 
wrong State. That situation of course suggest the advisability of 
checking on both sides of the State line; An almost identical 
situation exists with respect to Madison County,  Kentucky. I found 
some of Knox County, Kentucky ancestors in Madison County,  Kentucky 
at an earlier date than in Knox. The lines were "fluid", and often 
people did not know in what county the resided. Furthermore, 
William Chesnut's son Samuel married Rachel Gum in Madison County 
on 12-9-1807.   Samuel may have been the oldest son, Although it is 
possible that William (Jr.) was older than he. 

William Chesnut was on the tax list for 1801,   and his land has been 
entered in the name of John Tolbert,   the same as the land of Jacob, 
John Sr., Abraham, John Jr., and William,  for 1802, indicating that  
his land was in the same general locality, on Laurel River, as the  
others named, and they definitely were sons of John Chesnut  (the first).  
I am becoming more certain, day by day, that William Chesnut was Johns 
son.  Concerning the 1850 census,   I have a work sheet headed first 
Knox, then Clay written faintly over it,   Showing John, In summary,   
I am inclined to believe that on one of William Chesnut's sons,   
Samuel, was old enough  to be listed in the 1810 census. I do know 
that Edmond was born 1797  ( 53  in 1850 ) and Jacob in 1801. Further 
I consider it most probable that Samuel  was his son by wife earlier 
than Sarah  (who married 2nd Chapman Watkins),  and Ruth who married 
Jesse McFadden in 1808 may have been Samuel's full  sister. His son 
William, I have no idea as to age, but cannot identify him  in any 
census, He (William Jr.) was unmarried in 1825.

Did I say that I found Jacob Chesnut in the 1810 Knox County census?   
If I did I was in error>   I did find him on earlier tax rolls.  These 
tax  rolls, which are filed in the Historical Society in Frankfort, 
are the best approach to determine  " who was where and when". I 
examined the deed records in Lincoln County,   and did not find the 
name Chesnut mentioned even once, which means that before 1799 they 
were not in what become Knox  County that year. Therefore, Madison, 
Nelson, and Washington Counties  offer the best promise for years 
prior to 1799,   and Clay County  offer promise beginning with 1806, 
plus some consideration to the Tennessee borders. And don't overlook 
"Tennessee Cousins" for any Tennessee Families, particularly Eastern 
and Middle. He sketched one "Hawkins County Chesnut Family headed by 
Henry Chesnut",   who had a John born 1802  ( married a Regan ). 
Henry was a lieutenant in the Tennessee Militia  (about 1810 I believe).

"Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated March 31,

 Paragraph # 4, Line 3
With respect to your  P.S. Regarding Jacob,   son of John,   I am enclosing 
copy of a memorandum received from Mr. Stuckenbruck,  which may
contain  more information, and you will note that it shows "Jacob's son
Abraham  born January 11, 1800", which pretty well indicates that her
Jacob was  John's son. Earlier, I thought she may have complied her
pedigree with  the wrong Jacob.

At the moment I Feel like a slacker, you doing all the work in Kentucky,
but I'll try to make it up later, especially if you are interested in 
taking the line back as far as possible.  I have had a lot of 
experience and success with records relating to England, Wales, Scotland, 
and Ireland. I have reached the conclusion there is truth in the 
tradition prevalent in some branches of the Chesnut family to the effect 
that the family name in Ireland was Sarsfield. Sarsfield was a landed 
gentry family, of considerable note, and I have found where Patrick 
Sarsfield did settle in what is now Cambria County, Pennsylvania, 
where I also discovered a record of some very early Chesnut's. Common 
names in the Sarsfield Family were William, John, and Edmond".

Paragraph # 8
I certainly would like to have your nation number as soon as you submit
your  line.   I hope to submit a number of supplementals soon,   and would
be  pleased to include the Chesnut line.   I have one   father-Son line, 
and would  like to have one for the Chesnut's,   but as certain that 
John's father William was too old to serve as a soldier.   I  believe 
he was born about 1710. I also believe that he was a brother of 
Alexander (died Frederick County, Virginia  1749 );  David (died in 
South Carolina in 1778);   and James (father of John born 1743 settled 
in South Carolina). With Respect to the last, James, I have some 
documentary evidence indicating that Alexander died 1749  was the 
father of John who was born 1743 and his brother James,  and their 
sister,  I believe her name was Margaret writing from memory , which 
is in conflict with records of that family. Another brother may have 
been John,  born 1715, of Pennsylvania. 

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated, November
12, 1955 

Paragraph # 3
My recent work on the Chesnut line has been in the direction of
determining  the parentage and other ancestry of William ( d. 1783) and
his wife Sophia.    As you know , the South Carolina branch of the
Chestnut's,  headed by John (b. 1743 ), Claim that his father was James 
and his mother Margaret (she married 2nd Jasper Sutton); That James
was the second generation in  Virginia;   And that the name in Ireland 
was Sarsfield, A landed gentry family of considerable note. A family
plantation in South Carolina was named  Sarsfield.   I have some
contemporaneous documentary evidence consisting of a  deed recorded in
Hampshire County  ( correction, is a lease and related power  of 
attorney) involving land originally deeded to an Alexander Chesnut  
("Called McChesnut in a deed or grant" etc. ) in which John of South 
Carolina is described as his son and heir. On the basis of the "Mc" I 
have done considerable research; And am leaning toward the conclusion 
that this Virginia Family descended from "John McChesney" who 
immigrated from Scotland to Ireland in 1689 because of the Religious 
Wars;  Then to Virginia via  Pennsylvania down the valley of Virginia, 
and Locating in what is now  Rockbridge in 1691. Fantastic?  Maybe so. 
I am going to work this line  at least back to the original ancestor, 
and I am certain that William (d. 1783) was not the first generation.

I just noticed that I garbled a question in my letter of November 12, 
so will restate it. I know of only two parcels of land owned by John 
Chesnut in  Virginia. One consisted of 232 acres on Bulpasture Mountain, 
and was sold  by John and Patience in 1790.   So we know that was our 
John. The other  parcel was conveyed to John Chesnut by his father 
William Chesnut in 1772, The question: do you know what become of this 
tract, deeded to John by his father, and if conveyed, did Patience 
join in the conveyance. In stating that I know of only two parcels 
owned by John Chesnut in Virginia, I mean in Augusta County. An 
earlier John Chesnut, who died in 1750 owned land in  Isle of Wight 
County, and was the son of Alexander Chesnut, who died in  1690.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated November
30, 1955"

Paragraph #2
I know of only two parcels of land owned by John Chesnut in Virginia.
One consisted of 232 acres on Bulpasture Mountain, and was sold by 
John and Patience in 1790. So we know that was our John. The other 
parcel was conveyed to John Chesnut by his father William Chesnut in 

Paragraph #3
In stating that I know of only two parcels owned by John Chesnut in
Virginia. I mean in Augusta County. An earlier John Chesnut, who died
1750 owned land in Isle of Wight county, Virginia.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated December
12, 1955" 

Paragraph # 3
By the way:   Do you  have access to Volume 1 of Chalkey?   I have 
never examined that volume,   and would like to have a transcript of 
and Chesnut  entries (all of them) in Volume I. I have the entries from
Volume II and  Volume III.   I have obtained a number of photostats from
the Virginia State  Library relating to Chestnut's, including a deed 
(Deed Book 27,  Pages 33 - 34)  in which John and Patience transfer 
land in Augusta in 1790. They charge only  40 cents, 80 cents for this 
large clear photostat.

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated December
26, 1955"

Thanks very much for the information concerning the Kincaids and the
Chestnut's, in your letter of 21 December, 1955. I suddenly realized 
what happened to  that other parcel of land in Virginia,   deeded to 
John Chestnut's by his father  William,  in 1772.  It was in the part 
of Augusta cut off to form Rockingham  County in 1778,   and most of 
the Rockingham records have been destroyed. 

The Augusta County land, 232 acres, sold by John and Patience on
September 20,  1790,   was on Bulpasture Mountain,   a section now in
Highland County,  just  across the line from present Bath County.   The
tax records of Bath County  Virginia for the Year of 1791,   first 
District, include among the heads of  families" Sophia Chesnut,  Widow",  
undoubtedly the widow of William Chesnut,   John's father.   I am 
inclined to doubt that she was John's mother. Rather, I believe that 
she was a second wife. Bath County, Virginia was formed  effective as 
of May 1, 1791.

I am very interested in the two suits listed in your  transcript of the  
entries in Volume I of Chalkey, involving the Palmers and the Chestnut's.    
Will look them up the first time I can get to Stauunton.   James may have 
been another son of William Sr. If you have access to "Historical  
Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia"  by W.T. Price, There is a
genealogical sketch of the Gum Family at pages 356 to 393,   according 
to a citation I have.

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated January 8th, 

Paragraph #1:
Williams  (Grandfather)

I estimate that the grandfather was born about 1715. Will try to "check 
it out". There were no Chesnut's in the first census of Maryland, 
according to my notes, which is fairly strong evidence that none had 
settled by that time. 

Paragraph #5
With respect to the Tennessee Chesnut's, there appears to have been two
different groups, both related, In addition to our group, there was a 
group which I believe was descended from Joseph Chesnut. A son of Joseph 
may have been Henry Chesnut who married Tabitha Sanders and they had a
son John, born 1802 in Hawkins County, Tenn. Joseph I believe to have
been from the North Carolina Clan, Duplin County, etc., although the
name was not foreign to our group, there being a Joseph Chesnut in Bath
County, Va. At the same time as Sophia, widow of William who died
1783. I believe this Joseph of Bath was a grandson of William and a
nephew of John and Patience.

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated  January
31st, 1956 

Paragraph #6:
Edmund; It was common in the Irish family of Sarsfield which according
to tradition was changed to Chesnut, after arrival of certain 
immigrants of the family in America.

The Earliest Chesnut of whom I have found any record was an Alexander
Chesnut who died 1690 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, leaving a
widow who married a Parnell, and a son who married a daughter of
Parnell, by his first wife. The next earliest was an Alexander Chesnut 
who died 1749 in then Frederick now Hampshire County (then Va., now
W.Va.), leaving a widow Mary who appears to have died between 1762
and 1768. This Alexander was the father of a James Chesnut (wife
Margaret), father of John Chesnut the patriarch of South Carolina. I
believe that he was also the father of David Chesnut who died 1778 in
S.C. leaving many known descendants; and a William Chesnut who died
1783 in Rockingham County or Augusta County (part now Highland
County), Va. He owned land in each County, and his widow, Mary
Sophia, was living in that part of Bath which later become Highland, 
in 1791 when she was named a widow in the tax lists. William was the 
father of our John, and Mary Sophia may have been his mother, but I 
doubt it. It is even possible that Alexander of Frederick was a son 
of Alexander of Isle of Wight.

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated  February
6th, 1956 

Paragraph #2:
You recall, no doubt, that a William Chesnut gave a tract of land in 
1772 to each of his two sons, John and William, John being "our John" 
whose wife was Patience. William died 1783 leaving a widow Sophia. 
I have learned, and have it documented, that Sophia was the daughter 
of John Wade and his wife Sophia Howard, of Maryland. Sophia Wade 
Chesnut was born 1755 in Maryland (too late even to be the mother of 
"our" William, much less his father John), and after William's death 
in 1783 she married 2nd James Burke, which was after 1791, as she was 
shown as head of a family in Bath Co., Va. That year, as Sophia 
Chesnut, "Widow".

From what I can learn, John Wade migrated to Virginia, in that part of
Augusta County, now Highland, near the town of Valley Center, in 
1780, which means that he might have migrated in the company of 
William Chestnut returning from his tour of military duty. Correction, 
John Wade lived near the town of Green Hill, John Chesnut lived near 
the town of Valley Center, both on Back Creek, now Highland County. 
The land William conveyed to his sons John and William was in what is 
now the southern part of Rockingham County, near the Augusta County 
line, or more accurately about ten miles from Harrisonburg. In 1762 
John acquired his second tract (I do not know when he acquired the 
first tract there) on Bulpasture Mountain, not far from the present 
Augusta County line in Highland County. I am inclined to believe that 
he conveyed the tract deeded to him by his father, to his brother 

It appears that William Sr. had one or more children by Sophia, but 
have not developed the facts fully. It is certain that he had not 
remarried by 1763 as a wife did not join in conveyances to y Henry and 
Daniel Callahan, nor did a wife join in the conveyances to the two 
sons in 1772. Incidentally John Wade's youngest son married the 
granddaughter of Daniel Callahan, dau. Of his con Charles, on 26 
March 1788, and his eldest daughter, Elizabeth married a son of Daniel. 

Paragraph #8
Now it appears that Sophia was not the mother of our John, I can 
search for another wife, who probably died about 1760. Rockingham 
records are meager, and so are those of Hampshire county (now W.Va.) 
Where John and Patience were probably married. Possibly when it was 
still Frederick County. Va. 

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated March 18,

Paragraph #3:
With respect to the Tennessee Chesnut's: J.N. was obviously quoting 
from memory facts he had long before heard, and much of it is entirely 
correct, minor errors elsewhere.  For instance,  The four sons to 
Western Virginia. Alexander Chesnut (Wife Mary) died in 1749 at the 
western edge of present  Hampshire Co. The settlers in that section 
did have to go for safety to  the fort at Winchester.  Alexander's 
son James (rather than John) died  or was killed about 1754 or 1755,  
his widow married a ranger Jasper Sutton  almost immediately afterward, 
and in 1756 they with children, John  (eldest  born 1743),  James, 
and Margaret, migrated first to North Carolina,  and  afterward a 
year there to Camden South Carolina where the family attained 
phenomenal prominence.  Another son (I Homer Jones believe)  William 
was  the father of John and William of Augusta Co. Virginia (our John 
I believe),   and possibly father of a James who settled first in 
Augusta and then on to  Montgomery,  dying in 1798,  and I believe was 
the one engage in a slander  suit involving the Palmer family into 
which a daughter of his brother   William had married.  The third son 
of Alexander,  David (died 1778)  settled in Old Craven Co. South 
Carolina on Rocky Creek.  The fourth son  of Alexander (according to my
calculations) was John( born 1715 ) who  settled in Cumberland Co.
Pennsylvania ( or maybe he had remained there,   as I believe Alexander
came through Pennsylvania ).

The Wilmington District of North Carolina Chesnut's were of the Isle of
Wight  Family, originating with Alexander who died 1690, who may have
been the father  of Alexander who died 1749.

Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated June 2nd,

Paragraph #2:
Enclosed are abstracts of some documents which I am certain you will
find very interesting. One proves that Patience Chesnut, wife of John 
Sr., was the daughter of John Gum of Pendleton county (now West 
Virginia). I wanted to go to Pendleton, but found that I could not 
extend my itinerary in the time I had. Another document shows that 
Patience accompanied her son Benjamin and his wife Mahala to 
Lawrence County, Indiana. Would also have liked to include that County 
in my itinerary.

Paragraph #5:
The land of Knox County acquired by the Chesnut's was a part of a 2500
acre tract conveyed by Matthew and Thomas Talbot of Wilkes County,
Georgia, to Thomas dean of Washington County, Kentucky, on June 6th,
1800. Witnesses to Deed, Alexander Faulkner, Marcus Graham, Edmund
Purdy, Benjamin Caulk. I don't know why this land is usually described 
as the "John" Talbot Tract. Thomas Dean then transferred it to the 
Chesnut's in 1804 (William's heirs in 1805). Thomas Dean being of 
Washington County perhaps explains the removal of the Chesnut's 
from Washington County, that is, the transactions were probably 
decided upon in Washington before their removal. 

Letter,  Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated June 12, 1956 

Paragraph #1 
Thanks for your letter. You really go to work swiftly on the new
information about the Chesnut's in Indiana. I have written for the 
1820 and 1830 census records, and greatly appreciate the "tip" 
about the Indiana Historical Bureau. 

Paragraph #4
Concerning John Gum: Pendleton County W.Va. Was formed 1787 from
Augusta and hardy. Hardy was formed 1785 from Hampshire, which was
formed 1753 from Frederick. The Gum's, Chesnut's, and Claypooles were
all originally in what is now Hampshire. There were intermarriages
between the three families. The northern end of Pendleton was cut off
1847 from Highland County, Va., and much of the early history of
Pendleton, etc. is now found in the histories of Highland and Bath. 

"Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated December
2, 1956" 

Paragraph #2
I too found the Pennsylvania reference to Christian Gum, and for a 
time it looked like the real thing, the immigrant ancestor of our 
Gum's. However, I later found a more likely one in Nugent's Cavaliers 
and Pioneers (Virginia) as follows: 

"Robert Chowning, 250 acres Lancaster County. (Va.) Last of June 1653.
Upon the NW side of the SW branch of the Sunderland, alias Burnham's
Creek. Extending from the land of Henry Nichols SW from thence.
Transportation of five persons: 2 Negroes; Jon Gum Sr.; Jon Gum Jr.; 
Jon Pepper." 

Paragraph #4
The land description of course has no connection to with the Gum's. It
simply means that sometime before 1653 (could be a month or two, or a
year or two) Robert Chowning arranged for the transportation of these 
five persons, and was later paid in land. Will follow up on it soon, 
perhaps through the Virginia land grand grants to see where the Gum's 
located first. Around 1750 they were in the Frederick County (now 
Hampshire) with the early Chesnut's, then later they show up in the 
Augusta (later Pendleton, now Highland) apparently moving south about 
the same time as the Chesnut's.

        "History of Highland County Va. (C.F. Morton 1911) "
Attached to letter of December 2, 1956 Homer Jones to Gordon Walker 
.Pages 167-179, Land Ownership

Paragraph #3
Chesnut, William (1) 197 Acres, 1781 Survey, BC
                             (2) 229 Acres, 1784 Survey, BC, Patent 1789 
Paragraph #4
Chesnut, John (1) 120 acres, 1787, BP Mountain, Between John Chesnut
and William Jordan, Patent.

Paragraph #6
Gum, John (1) 72 Acres, 1766 Survey, CB, Wilmer Run, Patent 1769   
          (2) 144 Acres, 1769 Survey, CB, Wilmer Run, Patent 1769      
          (3) 41   Acres, 1780 Survey, CB, Adj. Abogast, Patent 1784      
          (4) 19   Acres, 1783 Survey, CB,
          (5)12    Acres, 1784 Survey, Bend of JR 
          (6)220 Acres, 1784 Survey, BC, South of Medowdale, Patent    

Paragraph #7
Gum, John Jr. (1) 218 Acres, 1780 Survey, Adj. John Gum Sr. 

Paragraph #8
Gum, Isaac (1) 220 Acres, 1774 Survey, BC S. Of Medowdale, Patent
1784       (2) 200 Acres, 1780 Survey, Adj. Himself                     
           (3) 193 Acres, 1787 Survey, Head of SB, Patent. 

"Excerpt From: Letter,  Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated December
7, 1957"

Paragraph #2
Patience Chesnut was the Daughter of John Gum (or Gum). Family
disagreements are undesirable when they involve our own generations, 
but they do result in excellent genealogical records which otherwise 
would not be available.

John gum's wife predeceased him, her name was Alice, and I am 
confident that she was the mother of Patience rather than being a 
relatively late, or second wife of John. John's children were Jacob 
(Dorothy); Isaac; John; William; Abraham (predeceased his father); 
Patience; and probably another daughter, wife of Christopher Reed. 
It appears virtually certain that our John Gum was the brother of 
Jacob who died in Kentucky, and whose first wife, mother of his 
children, was Sarah Claypoole (her line is in the Claypool Genealogy, 
copy in DAR Library in Washington). Our John's son Jacob died in 1820, 
leaving wife Dolly, sons Jesse; Isaac; Adam; Jacob; and four daughters. 
The earliest record I have so far on our John Gum is 23 October 1749 
when he acquired 200 acres by grant on Cedar Branch in Augusta. Have 
some things "working" on this line, and may have more information for 
you the next time I write.

On the same trip I did some research on the Chesnut's. The only thing
unusual I found was in Rockingham County, Va. Where the records were
destroyed, except some minute books and quite a number of the early
deeds were re-recorded. I found a (re-recorded) deed from William
Chesnut, wife Sophia which definitely stated that he was son of William
who died 1772 transferred land to his son's John and William. Other
genealogists have listed this son as the one who married first 
Catherine and second a Jean*--, which is in error. I found a minute 
book entry "John Chesnut et ux to Wm. Boyd Apr. 1779" which means 
William Boyd was proved at the April Court 1779. That was probably 
the deed for the land left or conveyed to him by his father.

This William (Sophia) signed his name; the later William (Jean) signed 
by mark. Our John Chesnut signed his name in Kentucky. The William Sr. 
of Rockingham signed his name in conveying land to his sons John and
William. Oh yes, I found record of Mary Chesnut in Loudon County, Va.
Who in 1760 was age 27 and married a Samuel Coombs. Will follow up,

Page #2, Paragraph #2
Will try to follow up that County Antrim lead. That may have been where
the Sarsfield (Saresfeld, etc.) Tribe was located, do not have material 
on hand, other than one notation which shows some information 
concerning the family in Burke, Volume #2, Page 1189-1190, the last 
three generations including William, James, then Patrick ("ancestor of 
the branch of the family settled in Johnstown" (Penn?). If Johnstown
Pennsylvania, that was near a large branch of the Chesnut's. 

Chesnut Chronicles

"Excerpt From: Homer Jones Notes "Material, A Diary From Dixie, Mary Boykin Chesnut" At an early age James Chesnut, who was born in Ireland went to Virginia with his parents, where they settled in the valley of the Shenandoah. It is an old tradition the name in Ireland was Sarsfield. After his marriage and the birth of his three children, the family moved to South Carolina in the year 1756; and settled at Knight Hill near Camden, then called Pine Tree Hill. James Chesnut I (father) ? Chesnut (Margaret) Children John Chesnut, Born June 18, 1743, Died April 1, 1813 James Chesnut II (Died unmarried and was the owner of Mulberry Plantation) Margaret Chesnut (Married Alex. Irvin) John the oldest was thirteen years old when he moved to South Carolina, soon after he entered the mercantile business house of Colonel John Kershaw in Camden, as an apprentice beginning his career as merchant at the expiration of his apprenticeship. By 1776 he was a member of the firm which had extensive and progressive branch stores throughout the State. In 1765 he was appointed Inquirer and Collector for St. Mark. By the time of the Revolution his landed estates were very large. A delegate to the first Provincial Congress, which met in Charleston, South Carolina in January 11, 1775, and again on June 1st, of the same year he was elected to the Committee of Continental Association. He was appointed "Justice of the Quorum" of Orangeburg District, 1775, Justice of the Peace April 1776, and was Paymaster, with the rank of Captain, in the third Carolina Regiment at the beginning of the Revolution, but a severe attack of rheumatism compelled him to resign. Recovering about the war was over, he was prominent in politics, and in 1788 a member of the convention to frame the constitution. He went to the State Senate twice, and was Among the first election of trustees for the new South Carolina College. His intimate friends were leaders of the day, and Among them were Charles Cotesworth Pinkney, Governor John Rutledge and Colonel Wade Hampton. When General Washington visited the South in 1791, He was entertained by Colonel Chesnut at Camden. Gilbert Stuart painted the portrait of Colonel Chesnut now owned by his great grandson, David Rogerson Williams III. A very rich man, he lived in great state at his different houses, giving a weekly ball and supper, which pleased the young people of the community. He often traveled with coach and four to Charleston or Columbia in the winter; and rarely missed a visit to Virginia and Philadelphia or New York during the summer, traveling with his servants and horses taking at least a month for the journey. He was well educated and had a fine library. He married in 1770, Sarah, the daughter of Captain John and Mary (McGirty) Cantey of Camden. She was born at "Salt Lake" on the Wateree, February 15, 1733 and died February 12, 1786. Colonel Chesnut's death occurred April 1, 1813, and he was placed beside his wife in the family burying ground at Knight Hill. John Chesnut Mary Cantey Chesnut Children Mary Chesnut (married Duncan ?) James Chesnut III Sarah Cantey Chesnut (married John Taylor) Harriet Chesnut (Harriet lived a recluse for many years never leaving the House because her father refused his consent to a marriage which he considered undesirable ) Rebecca (died in infancy) John Chesnut III ( died of yellow fever in Charleston 1799 when about 16 years old ) Margaret Chesnut (married James Sutherland Deas. ) James Chesnut III was born in Camden, South Carolina February 19, 1773. As a boy of seven he accompanied his father on horseback to Charleston, and did many things for him when he was thrown in prison there after the Surrender. He was educated at Princeton University, matriculating in 1788. A member of the state Legislature in 1802, 1804, and 1808, Intendant of Camden 1806 and 1807, and a member of the State Senate 1832. He was prominent in all social and political life of Camden. His plantations near Camden were more than five miles square. He married the daughter of Col. John and Esther Bowes Cox of Philadelphia, September 20, 1796. His portrait as well as that of his wife, By; Gilbert Stuart, belongs to David Rogerson Williams III. Mrs. Chesnut said that she met her future husband at Princeton, where he was know as the "Young Prince". On their bridal journey from Philadelphia to Camden they drove a cream-colored coach with four horses and out riders. Mulberry House two miles south of Camden was finished in 1820. Until then they lived at Camden. An account of James Chesnut's life after the death of his wife is given in "A Diary from Dixie". Written by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut. James Chesnut III Mary Cox Chesnut Children (Fourteen - Seven dying in infancy ) Esther Chesnut (married John Nicholas Williams ) John Chesnut III (Charlotte Ellen Whittaker ) Mary Cox Chesnut (Dr. George Reynolds ) Harriet Serena Chesnut (married William Joseph Grant) Emma Chesnut (Unmarried ) Sarah ( Sally ) Chesnut (did not marry devoting her life to the care of her parents, her home was Bloomsbury) James Chesnut IV married Mary Boykin Miller, the daughter of Governor Stephen Miller and Mary Boykin Miller. He was a United States Senator and Brigadier General C.S.A. and led an active and useful life. Mary Cox Chesnut was born at Trenton New Jersey March 22, 1775. Mary Cox Chesnut as a girl of fourteen, was one who strew flowers before General Washington at the reception given him by the people of New Jersey at Trenton Bridge, just before he was made President, April 21, 1789. She was appointed vice regent for South Carolina of the Mount Vernon Association April 1860. She died at "Bloomsbury" March 13th, 1864 and her husband survived her dying only two years, dying February 1866. "Bloomsbury"; In Camden, the house which James Chesnut III had built for his daughter Sally was his last residence. The family moved there from "Mulberry" at the beginning of the Civil War. Mr. Chesnut was laid to rest by his wife at Knight Hill.

The End; "Chesnut Chronicles, By Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut"

"Excerpts From: Letter Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated January 2, 1958" Paragraph #2, Line #5 The Chesnut of South Carolina, the family into which Mary Boykin Miller married, descended from John Chesnut, born 1743 in the Orange, Now Hampshire County ( then Virginia, Now West Virginia), son of James and Margaret Chesnut, and grandson of Alexander( Mary ) Chesnut died 1749 in Now Hampshire. There is documentary proof that he was grandson of Alexander. This John b. 1743 was in South Carolina by 1756. A David Chesnut who lived near by, and who died there in 1778, had an oldest son Alexander, and was un doubtedly Uncle of John b. 1743 and son of Alexander d. 1749. Mrs. P.W. Hiden, a very eminent genealogist, was in error about the parentage of her ancestor or perhaps her husband's ancestor ), the William Chesnut who left widow Jean. She indicated that he was brother of the John, who with William was grantee of land conveyed by their father William. The deed is Rockingham shows conclusively that the grantee William was one who married Sophia Wade (b. 1755, daughter if John Wade of Maryland, who settled in what is now Highland county, Virginia and William (Sophia) Chesnut also settled there after selling the land conveyed to him by his father. Not far away in now Highland County was our John and Patience ( Gum ). Also not far away was our John (Alice) Gum. I do not think that Catherine Callahan was our John's mother. John's father William , conveyed land to his sons and others, well before 1779 (when Catherine died ), and a wife did not join in any of the deeds, I am confident that our John's father was a William who died shortly before February 18, 1783 ( Will proved, but not available); and that the mother of the family had died long before, perhaps killed during the Indian uprising that forced the Chesnut's and all other families on the frontier in what is now western part of Hampshire County into the New Fort at Winchester. "Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated 21 May 59, Handwritten" Paragraph #3 I developed proof that John Chesnut's father was William who died 1783 in Rockingham Co. Virginia, also that Catherine Callahan was this Williams second wife etc. Will write more fully when I have time with the typewriter. Longhand is torture to me. "Excerpts From: Letter from Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated September 20 , 1959" Paragraph #2 That was extremely interesting information concerning Daniel Chesnut, et al. Your informants information was exactly as I had expected the family of William's (d. 1783), and as you have it with the addition of marriage data, etc. as follows 2nd wife, Catherine Callahan: Daniel Chesnut, m. 1790 Rockingham Co. Va. Isabella Blain Charles Chesnut, m. 1795 Rockingham Co. Va. Elizabeth Robertson Margaret Chesnut, m. 1795 Rockingham Co. Va. William Blain Elizabeth Chesnut, m. 2 August 1786 Rockingham Co. Va. Thomas Woodward. The marriage record re Margaret described her as the daughter of William; The record regarding Elizabeth described her as the orphan of William. Most of the early Rockingham Co. Virginia records have been destroyed, but through the lists of titheables and tax lists in the Virginia State Library I developed amazingly satisfactory proof of the several relationships. The 1782 tax list named William Chesnut with 130 acres of land and a William Jr. with 60 acres. An "alterations" book for May 1784 showed 130 acres William Chesnut to William Blain. The 1783 tax list showed "William Blain Executor of William Chesnut Dec'd". The 1787 land tax book showed William Blain as owner of the 130 acres. I have just hit a few high spots, but maybe, it's clear enough. Oh yes, The 1787 land book also showed William Boyd with 97 acres, the land sold him by our John in 1779. So here is the disposition of William Sr.'s original 400 acres: Sold to Son John 97 acres Sold by John April 1779 The Tax Lists often showed approximations, hence 60 Acres instead of 58, and 130 instead of 124 Acres. Excuse the miserliness (of effort), no more paper close at hand. As to Alex, Yes I am confident that he was named for the grandfather of Charles. In other words, I am most confident that William who died 1783 was the son of Alexander (Mary) Chesnut who died 1749 in Frederick Co. ( part later Hampshire ). This Alexander (Mary) very definitely was grandfather of John b. 1743 of South Carolina (son of James and Margaret). John of South Carolina acquired the land of Alexander (Mary) by Primogeniture, His father having predeceased his grandfather, etc. Am now trying to find connection between Alexander (Mary) and an earlier generation in Isle of Wight county, Virginia (Alexander died 1690 etc.). "Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated January 3rd, 1960, Paragraph # 2: Your letter of Dec. 30th is extremely interesting in that it has the first reference I have seen to any county in the British Isles from which the Chesnut's may have come. Most of the other information I already had (from Virkus Vol. #7, p. 181; DAR L.B. 97/70, 99/174, 114/310; DAR Mag. 59/589, 61/707. The book "Historic Camden" Part I, Page 367 also contains the following which has reference to David's son Samuel. "In the year 1766 we find grants of land in various parts of Kershaw County to James Chesnut a brother of John, and also of land (adjoining James) in the same year to one Samuel Chesnut of who there is no mention in the family record," etc. On a trip to Columbia, Couth Carolina several years ago I obtained a copy of an unrecorded will of David Chesnut, and am enclosing a copy for you. Paragraph #5: I cannot believe that David living in the same neighborhood as John Chesnut is a coincidence, also I find it difficult to believe that David "came over" as late as 1772. DAR LB 97/70 shows James Chesnut (1752-1822) "born in Abbeyville County, South Carolina, died in Chester District. South Carolina". Regarding the "Cherry's" (said to have "come over with the Chesnut's, etc"). Virkus Vol. # VI, Page 248 and Vol. #VII, Page 181 shows that the immigrant Cherry was David Cherry, grandfather of the George Cherry who married Jane Chesnut (1750-1805) in 1785. Some inconsistencies, but not serious, and they do form a pattern from which we can work. I am in accord with your reconstruction of the family of Alexander (Mary) Chesnut; James (Margaret), Benjamin ( ), William ( ), David ( Janet Brown). A descendent of John (b.1743) of south Carolina lives in Jacksonville, is very active in the D.A.R., and very active in Chesnut research. A large group of his descendants live in Gainesville, Florida and in Clearwater, Florida, and they to are active in research. I still have not found any early British Isle reference to a Chesnut. Suggests they did change their name. "Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Mrs. Kurtz, Dated February 4, 1961" Page #3, Paragraph #2 In 1809 William Graham was named in a power of attorney executed bu Patience Chesnut of Knox County, Kentucky (widow of John Chesnut and mother of William Chesnut who married Sarah Graham daughter of John). The document empowered William graham to sue, receive, etc. any money or other property due Patience from the estate of her father John Gum of Pendleton County (now W. Vw.), and William Graham was in that county in 1809 and in 1818 when he received for Patience the proceeds due her. In the poser of attorney Patience Chesnut referred to William Graham as "my true and trusted friend". I am inclined to believe that the Chesnut's and the family and parents of William graham were friends and neighbors in Virginia. Page #3, Paragraph #3 The Chestnut's, John and Patience, Left their land on Bulpasture Mountain in the Augusta County, in September 1790, Settled and lived several years in Greene County, Tennessee, Then about 1798 to Hardin's Creek in Washington County, Kentucky (their son William was there by at least 1787) until 1800 when they removed to what was the Knox (now Laurel County) County, Kentucky, Where John Chesnut died in 1805. John Chesnut was the son of William Chesnut who moved from Hampshire County (West Virginia) in 1762, and acquired land on Dry Run in what is Augusta then Rockingham County, Virginia where he died early in 1783. I am giving this unrelated information wince it might serve to spot our Graham Family. Page #3, paragraph #4 John and Patience Chesnut lived in Augusta in what is now part of Highland County, Va. On Bulpasture Mountain. In This same locality as early as 1782, there was John Graham with 44 acres "Bulpasture on Jordon's Run. Not far away from Christopher Graham (b. 1755, d. 1841, m. Jane Carlile), probably son of Robert (Jean) Graham probably the son of Robert Graham (son of Christopher, d. 1748) (Robert, 1712-1763) (m. Jean Hicklin, 1734, dau. Thomas Hicklin). Robert Graham was the brother of John (Elizabeth) Graham of Cowpasture "Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated March 25, 1962" Page # 2, Paragraph # 2, Line # 10 I have not attempted to integrate into this system the Pennsylvania families and the Isle of Wight Virginia/ North Carolina Branches, These latter descended from an Alexander Chesnutt who d. 1690. He was the ancestor of the "double tt" families in Knox County, Tennessee, and adjoining areas, etc. The Pennsylvania Families came over at various times, some in the middle to late 1800's. I do believe however, that most if not all came from County Atrium, and vicinity. Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated 1 January 1963" Page # 1, Paragraph # 3 That additional information, and additional corroboration of the previous information relating to David Chesnut is extremely interesting and promising. Some years ago I would not have given a second thought to the suggestion of Huguenot origin, but the years of failure to find the name Chesnut in early British Isles records have convinced me that the name was adopted about the time of migration to this continent, and certainly not too long before. You are familiar with the SARSFIELD tradition, and the fact that Senator James Chesnut, of the third generation in this country, used the name for one of his plantations. "Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated February 21, 1963" Paragraph # 2 That reasoning about Sarsfield is very interesting, and entirely possible. What is the origin of the place-name "Saar" applied to the River of that name and used as a prefix in various cities etc. Paragraph # 4 Members of the pre-1800 "Sarsfield family in Ireland were Militant Catholics rather than Huguenots, and that is possible that an anti-catholic ranch of the family "split off" and changed the name to "Chesnut". No doubt you have seen sketches of the Sarsfield family in Burke's Landed entry etc.. "Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated December 7, 1963" Paragraph # 2 I have been quite excited over the research of Henry S. Chesnut, and appreciate very much your keeping me on your mailing list, even though I have been a poor correspondent as of late. The excerpts from his letter of November 20, (1963 ?) include the name of Alexander Chesnut, very likely the one with the wife named Mary, of Frederick-Hampshire County, Virginia-West Virginia, my conjecture as the parents of our William of Augusta-Rockingham Counties. Did I ever send you copies of deeds which prove conclusively that the progenitor of the South Carolina Chesnut family, John born 1743, was the grandson of Alexander? John's parents were James and Margaret ( ? ) Chesnut. The mother Margaret married in the early 1750's Jasper Sutton. The land owned by Alexander and acquired by his grandson John under the laws of primogeniture, was granted to Alexander in the name of Alexander McChesner. The persistence of the given name Samuel in our branches of the family and it's occurrence in the family of David of South Carolina fairly well convinces me that we are descended from the Samuel who was killed 1734. I am confident that Reverend Benjamin (Elizabeth McCray) fits somewhere in this picture. The Isle of Wight (Virginia) family with the "double tt" ending, ancestors of the family Dublin-Sampson Cos. North Carolina is an enigma to me, The early Chesnut-McKinney families in Atrium reminded me of the fact that Benjamin Chesnut of Franklin County Pennsylvania married "Anne McKinne". Benjamin a Revolutionary Soldier born 1758 was a son of John (1715-18--? ) and Catherine Byers. Henry mentions the "Andrew" in the line, but he was of the fifth generation in this country, so probably would not have been derived or inspired by some one of that given name in County Atrium. As a matter of fact ours was "Andre-Campbell Chesnut" which may come from the Campbell family, or from his mother of the Evans family. "Excerpts From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated August 11, 1965" Paragraph # 2 Yes, Henry and I had a lively visit. Made a note to write you about our discussions, but procrastinated until the idea and the note disappeared, Yes, I too am on a rat race. Whatever made us think we were retiring? So far I enjoy the practice of law, and the freedom it gives me as compared to governmental employment. Henry had found a record in Ireland of Alexander and Mary (O'Draine) Chesnut, but thought they died there. I believe I convinced him that they were identical with Alexander (Mary) of Frederick and Hampshire Counties. At the last DAR Continental Congress Mabel examined the Mary O'Draine Darning Needle in the Curator-General's collection. Received a letter from Henry a week or so ago, mentioned only that he was on the trail of an early Chesnut Bible. Understood he was going to Ireland in June for research, but he did not mention it in his letter. At the last D.A.R. Continental Congress Mabel examined the Mary O'Draine Darning Needle in the Curator-General's Collection. Received a brief letter from Henry a week or two ago, mentioned only that he was on still on the trail of an early Chesnut Bible. Understood that he was going to Ireland in June for research, but he did not mention it in his letter. Will write him and inquire. "Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Date October 12, 1965" Paragraph #5 Regarding your handwritten postscript, Regarding the pattern of names in David's sons: the Irish custom was to name the First son for his paternal grandfather; The second son for his maternal grandfather (dither the family surname or the given name of the grandfather; and the third son for the father. On my line, William d. 1783 had two surviving sons, John and William. It is possible that he had and older son who did not survive and named him Samuel, which would complete the pattern. Likewise, James (Margaret, m 2nd Jasper Sutton) Chesnut named his sons John and James and his daughter Margaret. "Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated October 19, 1970" Paragraph # 1 It was a real pleasure to hear from you again, and of course I am quite with your success in proving the line through William to John Chesnut. Please do send me the National Number. Recently I started reviewing genealogy files preparatory to becoming active again. A number one interest of course is "Chesnut", especially because of the breakthrough made by Henry Chesnut to the Families in Ireland. Haven't heard from him for quite some time, and it's very definitely my fault. I find I did not reply the last two letters. I've become so involved in the practice of law, that my genealogical correspondence pilled up, and I know I have offended some very fine correspondence with my neglect. Now I will have to really exert myself to get back in their good graces. "Excerpt From: Letter, Homer Jones to Gordon Walker, Dated November 21, 1970" Paragraph # 2 That information concerning Henry Chesnut was a shocker. It would be interesting to know how far along he was with proving our line back to Ireland. He did in one letter, give me a list of the Chestnut's with whom he was in direct contact in Ireland. If you have an occasion to be in Louisville, you could examine the probate file relating to Henry in the courthouse, ascertain the name and address of his executor or administrator, whether or not his personal papers were the subject of a specific bequest, and if not, the name of the residuary legatee who would have inherited them, etc. If Henry was a member of the Filson Club? It may have acquired them? If we come to a dead end we may communicate with the genealogist he employed, and possibly acquire whatever information and evidence he was able to develop at a reasonable cost, which I would be willing to share. We might be able to find others willing to share the expense. Just a thought. It is very probable we will find Henry's records available to us. Excerpt From "76 Years of Living, The Logan Ewell Stories", Sentinel Echo, Th. Jan. 19, 1961" Paragraph #3 This letter was written By Colonel V. Gordon Walker, 15 Lawton Road, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis 16, Indiana "Before I went to Germany in 1956, I wrote to Mr. Russell Dyche about the possibility of publishing an article about the Chesnut Family, Since there are many people in the county who are the descendants of pioneer John Chesnut, I felt it would be of genuine interest to a number of people. His reaction was favorable and I sent material for an article which he agreed to write but failing health prevented the completion of the project.. Mrs. Lucy Mahan Spilman, Mr. Homer T. Jones and I have worked individually and collectively on this research. The purpose of this letter is to give something of the life, parentage and children of pioneer John Chesnut. The father of John Chesnut was William Chesnut and the Earliest records known to us concerns his purchase of four hundred acres of land in Augusta, Virginia in 1762. John Chesnut was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and is listed by John Gwathemy as being in Captain Hopkins Company from Augusta County 1777. He married Patience Gum, daughter of John Gum. They reared a good sized family and one daughter, Ann married Thomas Duffield in Augusta County in 1789. The records of Augusta County note that John and Patience Chesnut are about to "remove" out of the state in 1790. Prior to the move their son, William came to Kentucky and it is probable that he came with cousins who were members of the Gum family and also settled in Nelson County. 1788 William married Sallie Graham in Nelson county, Kentucky. John and Patience and the remaining members of their family, came down the Shenandoah Valley and settled in Greene County, Tennessee. John Jr., Jacob and Abraham were married there. About 1798 John Jr., and Jacob joined their brother William in Washington County, Kentucky which was originally apart of Nelson County. They lived there until shortly after 1800 when they became interested in the Talbot Survey of Knox County, which is now the county of Laurel. About 1804 John and Patience with sons Abraham and Benjamin and daughter, Nancy, bought land in the Talbot Survey and moved from Tennessee. They were joined by sons, William, John Jr. and Jacob from Washington County. About the time of the move William died leaving his wife, Sallie Graham Chesnut and heirs: Samuel, Ruth, William, Benjamin, Ann, Edmund and Jacob. In 1805 pioneer John Chesnut died and his will listed his widow, Patience; and sons John, Jacob, Abraham, Benjamin and Daughters, Ann, and Nancy. Probably William was not mentioned in the will as he had predeceased his father. Jacob moved for a time to Rockcastle County and had a son whose name was Abraham who should not be confused with his uncle Abraham of Laurel County. About 1818 John Jr., Jacob, of Rockcastle County, Benjamin and their mother, Patience moved to Indiana. Benjamin and his mother settled in Lawrence County, near Silverville where both died between 1821 and 1830. Most of the Laurel County Chestnut's of the present day descended from Abraham by his marriage to Esther Evans and after her death to Elizabeth Blakely, and from William by his marriage to Sallie "Excerpt From: The Mount Vernon Signal, Th. Feb 13, 1975 Pg.. 11, Rockcastle Recollections" "Rockcastle County Recollections" by: John Lair Chesnut: John Chesnut enlisted in the Army from Augusta County, Virginia in 1777 and his father William Chesnut is on the record as owning four hundred acres of land in Augusta County in 1762. John married Patience Gum and they moved to Tennessee in 1790. Before they made the move, their son William had come to Kentucky with relatives and had married Sallie Graham in Nelson County Kentucky. His brothers John Jr., Jacob and Abraham Chesnut were married in Virginia. About 1798 John Jr. and Jacob joined William in Washington County, Kentucky. which had originally been apart of Nelson County. They lived there until 1804, when they became interested in a 2500 acre boundary of land in what is now Laurel, County, Kentucky. Records show that John Sr., John Jr., Abraham, and Jacob, with the heirs of William Chesnut bought almost the entire tract in 1804. Soon afterward, Jacob moved to Rockcastle County, Settling on Round stone Creek, where he is listed as head of a family in the 1810 census. In 1818, with his widowed mother and brothers John and Benjamin, Jacob moved to Lawrence County, Indiana with their families. Abraham son of Jacob Chesnut, however stayed in Rockcastle County, having married Charlotte Somers Hiatt, daughter of pioneer William Peaslie Hiatt. They raised a family of seven, including three ministers, Reverend James Monroe Reverend Benjamin and Reverend Abraham. their Children were William Peaslie, who married Amezetta Jones; Lucy who married Jonathan Newcomb; Bennett who accidentally shot himself when 19; and Mary Ann who married Captain R.L. Myers. The Chesnut name was further increased in Rockcastle County by William Peaslie Chesnut and his wife , the former Amezetta Jones. Their Children were; Charlotte, 1838, who married James F. Butner; Cynthia, 1840, Lucy J., 1849, who married J.C. Carter; Samuel, 1845, who married Celia B. Wilson; Mary Ann, 1847, who The descendants of the Rockcastle Branch of the Chesnut Family have been substantial citizens. Best remembered , perhaps, have, been the three brothers previously mentioned, who were ordained ministers, and Dr. Lee Chesnut, for many years an outstanding physician of Mt. Vernon Kentucky. In neighboring Laurel County a more numerous branch has gained prominence in social and political affairs of their community.

Click Here For Email Letter Form.

"Click Here To Return Back To The Link Page"


Hit Counter


Copyright 1983 Daniel L. Chesnut Sr.