If you are a male CUNNINGHAM descended from this family, to date no proved
descendant has DNA tested from this line. If you are interested in testing, and
in knowing how DNA may help identify earlier generations, please contact me.
James CUNNINGHAM was born in Ireland say 1725, and was living in County
Donegal at the time his first son was born in 1748. He settled for a
time in Lancaster Co., PA., before moving to Rowan (now Guilford) Co.,
NC. His son Jeremiah in his Revolutionary War pension application
stated he was "very young" when the move was made.
The wife of James CUNNINGHAM was named Jane,9 she possibly being a
DAWSON. His daughter Isabel and husband Robert McCUISTON followed
a naming pattern in the names of their children. Their first son was
named Walter, after the paternal grandfather, and their second son was
named James after the maternal grandfather. Their second daughter was
named Sarah after the paternal grandmother. Their first daughter was
named Jane Dauson McCUISTON, after the maternal grandmother.
In a ca. 1768 tax list for Rowan County of what became Guilford County,
"James CUNINGHAM & son Wm." were charged for two polls.10 Jane died
on 14 Oct. 1789.9 James wrote his will on 24 Sep. 1791, which was
proved the following 21 November.1 James died in Guilford County on
21 Oct. 1791.9
James CUNNINGHAM and wife Jane had children:
1. William CUNNINGHAM1 b. 2 Feb. 1748 County Donegal, Ireland;2 m.bond Martha
BLAIR 31 Dec. 1771;5 d. 15 Apr. 1842 (Hickory Level, Alabama)?2
2. Matthew CUNNINGHAM1 b. 6 June/July7 1760 Lancaster Co., PA; m.bond Elizabeth
GALBRAITH 16 Jan. 1793;6 d. 14 May 1840 Bedford Co., TN4
3. Jeremiah CUNNINGHAM1 b. 6 June3/July3,7 1760 Lancaster Co., PA;3 m. Hannah
COOTS 17 Mar. 1795;3 (bond dated 14 Mar.);5 d. 24 Aug. 1834 Guilford Co., NC3
4. Elizabeth CUNNINGHAM1 b. 17 Apr. 1763;7 m. Adam8 BURNEY;1 d. Limestone Co,
5. Isabel CUNNINGHAM1 b. 16 Apr. 17697 Rowan (now Guilford) Co., NC; m.bond
Robert McCUISTON 23 Nov. 1792;5 d. 22 Feb. 1846 bur. "Old Gibson" Cemetery,
Guilford Co., NC7
1. James Cunningham original will.
James Cunningham will transcription.
2. William Cunningham file S3249, Rev. War pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant
3. Jeremiah and Hannah Cunningham file W6753, Rev. War pension and Bounty-
Land-Warrant Application Files.
4. Matthew and Elizabeth Cunningham file R2582, Rev. War pension and Bounty-
Land-Warrant Application Files.
5. Guilford Co., NC marriage bonds.
William Cunningham-Martha Blair, Bondsman: Thomas Blair.
Jerimiah Cunningham-Hannah Cootz, Bondsman: Robert McCuistion.
Robert McCuistion-Ezibel Cunningham, Bondsman: Jerimeah Cunningham.
6. Brent H. Holcomb, Marriages of Orange County, North Carolina 1779-1868
(Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983)
7. Leona Bean McQuiston, The McQuiston, McCuiston and McQuesten Families
1620-1937, (Louisville, KY: The Standard Press, 1937), p. 251.
Cites a McCuiston family record book of Robert McCuiston (d. 1765) that
in 1937 was in the possession of Robert Ellis, of Greensboro, NC.
8. Pauline Burney Brightman, The Burneys from North Carolina,
(Pasadena, CA: Misc. Enterprises, 1992), 399.
9. John Coots Love, "Personal Notebook," entry written 1 Jan. 1910, privately
held 1970s by John Roland Love, Ida Grove, Iowa (died 1983). Current
location unknown. Photocopy made in the 1970s.
John Coots Love (born 13 Dec. 1836) was a son of Allen Love and Elizabeth
"Besty" Cunningham, and grandson of Jeremiah Cunningham and Hannah Coots.
On that date he wrote what he knew about his ancestry. Regarding
the Cunningham family, he wrote "Cunningham 1st....settled on the North side
of Reedyfork c\Creek in Guilford Co., N.C. where he lived and died as is
written in his son's [Jeremiah's] Bible now before me. Jannie Cunningham
deceeseth the 14th day of October about two of the clock in the year of
Christ- 1789. Also we find Jerema [sic, probably a misreading of James]
Cunningham deceiceth the 21st day of October at four oclock in the morning 1791."
10. Jo White Linn, Rowan County, North Carolina, Tax Lists 1757-1800:
Annotated Transcriptions, 103.
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Fredric Z. Saunders
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Last revised: 23 May 2019