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Joseph H. Cunningham (1793-1857)

Joseph H. Cunningham, my great, great, and one more great grandfather, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina to Lt. John Cunningham and wife Keziah Chandler Cunningham of Lunenburg County, Virginia. John and Keziah moved to Charlotte County, Virginia for about six years, then dropped down to North Carolina for twenty more, before making a final move to the hills of Tennessee. 

How do you know that?  you ask.  Because I read his application for a Revolutionary War pension.  In it, he mentions his "family bible" with names and dates.   I wish I had that. 

Joseph is their youngest son.   He came to Alabama as a single man in his 20's and married his first wife in 1819,  Elizabeth Welch.  They had six children.  After her death in 1832, he married Lucretia Griffith Wilson in 1836 and had ten more children.  Among the ten children were three boys.  I descend from the second boy, Benjamin.

Joseph died on his plantation in 1857.  800 acres. At the time, it was prime cotton land, worth $10 an acre.  

Of all the personal property listed in the estate inventory that I would like to see, I think the "family carriage" valued at $700 in 1858 would be the most interesting.  It probably looked something like this: 

This is Joseph's grandson, my great grandfather, and his nurse. She is on the plantation inventory in 1857 with husband Charles. Her name was Pleasant. She and Charles and another man named Skinner were willed to my great great great grandfather's first wife by the wife's father, Thomas Welch of Dallas County, Alabama who died in 1832. She and Charles lived to be free and are listed as husband and wife on the 1870 census. 


  1. PLease read my lengthy blog account of the Cunningham family slaves ( with photographs) plus information on other family members, including Joseph's father Lt. John Cunningham of Lunenburg County, Va, and grandfather James Cunningham who died in Lunenburg County , Va in 1762. Here is the link:


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