Attempted Time Ordered Sequence of Papers of Mr. John Cupit

Our Kin, manuscript by Mr. John T. Cupit, copy given to Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Dec. 1958.  B26 R50 (58382?) (can someone read the call numbers on this and send them?)(Microfilmed: 5/9/73, 5th, SLC 14, 908339.

The generational ambiguity in this family appears in what must be part of a very early Cupit work on Gill titled "The Gill Family". In this he states that John Gill, IV, was born 9 Jan. 1796 in SC (one census says Tenn.) m. Jane Coward, ... This is John Gill later called "III", son of John Gill who removed to Mississippi in 1812, and Cupit here assigns him as fourth generation John Gill, instead of third!  Clearly Mr. Cupit recognized the generational problem.  In later works, this man is called John Gill, III. This is the essence of the date problem, which is essentially what seems to be a possible missing generation. I have proposed a possible resolution of this issue in possibility (2) above, which also appears to be the only way to fit together the extant records. In what appears to be the next time ordered document in this series, still titled "The Gill Family", apparently an early one, Mr. Cupit claims John Gill, I, was born about 1730-1740 (overwritten by hand to 1750-1760), probably married Mary Ward between 1750 and 1760 overwritten with 1770 and 1775. He next lists as children of this John Gill, I: John Gill, II, born c1754 (overwritten by hand as 1774), followed by the sentence:"Can this be John Gill who entered army of revolution in 1775 at age of 21?" This sentence has a line drawn through it. I think the John Gill of that revolutionary war record may be the John Gill who later married Agnes Dick.

The LDS Library in Salt Lake City has a copy of Cupit's "Our Kin", given to the library by him in December 1958. In "Our Kin," Mr. Cupit does not affix a date to John Gill, MS-1, and assigns a birth year of c1773 for John Gill, MS, who removed to Mississippi. In "Our Kin" he also lists Mary Gill who married John Bryan Hart as born c1870 (1780?), and states that Hart was the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Bryan) Hart of NC. The DAR application through her places an earlier birth year, c1758. In "The Gill Family Papers", a work titled "A Genealogy of the Gill and Related Families" attributed to Mr. Cupit, and typed after the death of Mrs. Lucie Gill Willis (Lucie Gill Price Willis?) states John Gill removed to Mississippi as born c1773, and that Mary Gill married John Hart was born c1770. Cupit states that John Hart served in the Revolutionary War seven years in "Carolina" troops (NC or SC?)(p67). Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in 1781, so he must have enlisted c1776 to serve 7 years. He had to have been at least 16 years of age, probably closer to 21, so he was born before 1760, probably c1755. Therefore, if his wife, Mary Gill, was close in age, her father, John Gill, I, or MS-1, was born before c1734.

I believe the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the John Gill who served in Peyer im Hoff's company as the husband of Agnes Dick.  The John Gill who married Agnes Dick clearly died in SC, as Agnes Dick Gill styles herself as his widow in her will.  I believe this is the missing generation.

There are apparently no extant records of Mary Ward, whom the Mississippi records chronicle was married to John Gill, MS-1 (and whom I interpret as the John Gill who married later Agnes Dick). Mrs. Hicks states that the Ward family was in the area, engaged in Indian trade, and intermarried with Indians, in agreement with the Mississippi records. Note that there is an oral tradition of an "Indian grandmother" in our Gill family. Wards lived adjacent to Gills in Barnwell in extant. Andrea record #59: "Thomas Gill is named on the Tory list and from 96 District when he was captured and made prisoner by Col. Anderson along with Jeremiah Ward."

The early Mississippi oral traditions state that the John Gill (MS) who migrated to Mississippi was the son of a John Gill (MS-1) married to Mary Ward. Working backwards from children, John Gill, MS-1, probably was born (see below) before c1737 (daughter Mary Gill has an estimated birth year of c1758, yielding an estimated birth year of c1758-21 or before c1737)(range 1699-1763). This estimated date makes it likely that John Gill, MS-1, was the John Gill who married Mary Jackson. If she married as early as 14, her birth year could have been of order 1754-14=1740, which is probably an upper limit for her husband's birth year, although some men married older women even back then. Women were difficult to come by because so many died in childbirth. The Mississippi oral traditions state that John Gill, MS-1, was married to a Mary Ward, who could have been his second wife (or first if he married Agnes Dick). John Gill, MS-1 is stated to have been married several times. In the documents supplied by Mrs. Johnson, an unattributed handwritten record asserts that John Gill, MS, was born about 1754 (typewritten 1754 overwritten by hand 1773) and came to Mississippi about 1811. The Passport through Indian Lands shows this to have been 1812. This indicates that the writer of this record may not yet have seen Mr. Andrea's findings, did not know of the Passport date, and may indicate that there was in fact a tradition or written record of the birth year of John Gill, MS. If John Gill, MS was born c1754, then John Gill MS-1 would be born before c1754-21 or <c1733. Mr. Cupit stated that this John Gill MS-1 was born c1733 in his original statement to Andrea c1946 (Andrea records page 1), before he incorporated the records found by Mr. Andrea. It is possible that he was told this originally, before he received all of Mr. Andrea's records, and that it is based on an original oral tradition or Bible record. All of Mr. Cupit's early typewritten records show the earlier dates.

As stated above, it has now been documented that an early John Gill born c1733 did in fact exist, and that he was in fact married to Mary Jackson, apparently his first wife.

I (FOC) wrote a letter to the person filing the DAR claim based on this John Gill (filed 8 years before the letter), and she did not respond. There are two seemingly independent Mississippi oral statements of the existence of John Gill, MS-1. For clarity it is here repeated that some of these records only state that he was a John Gill, MS-1, and some do not state a birth year. In one record attributed to Thomas Jefferson Gill in 1927 by Mrs. Lucy Gill Price, Thomas Jefferson Gill states that the father of the Mississippi John Gill was another John Gill, that his wife was named Mary, and does not state her family name. He listed children: John, James, Reuben, Hugh, Rebecca, and Mary. Mr. Cupit stated that T.J. Gill had papers, including Bible records, related to this family which were lost at his death. Of course, these could have been papers of T.J. Gill's own family. In Mr. Cupit's record is found a statement by Mrs. Price in which she insisted that Mary Gill was a Ward. Below are separate paragraphs for the statements of Mrs. Price and Mrs. Elam, as sent to me by Mrs. Deidre Johnson of Lake Charles, LA. I believe the preservation of these traditions, at least as available to us, is attributable to Mr. Cupit, although there may be family copies extant.

John Gill (MS) who removed to Mississippi, the son of John Gill, MS-1, is claimed in some sources to be the John Gill who served under Captain Peyer im Hoff, and is listed as 21 years of age in 1775 (i.e. born c1754). This attribution is also found in Moss' book. I wrote to Mr. Moss and inquired about the evidence for this assertion. He responded in April 1993 that his record was in fact based on the DAR Patriot Index. This is presumably one of Mr. Andrea's three John Gills in the area of the Congarees, probably the Lexington County John Gill who signed his name. This man cannot be forced to fit the John Gill documented in the deeds, as that John Gill was already in Barnwell when he sold his father's land in 1786, an assertion proven through the location of the witnesses, Francis Bassett and James Williams, and the J.P., William Buford. The controversy of the birth dates may be a result of an attempted forced fit of John Gill, MS, to the deed records which Mr. Andrea found, when those deeds are of a different person.

A book in the South Caroliniana Library (USC, Columbia) titled Family Records of Mississippi's Revolutionary Soldiers states: John Gill b1738 married 4 times, 3rd wife Elizabeth Faust, Lt. in Rev. War, lived Richland, then Barnwell Dist., moved to Mississippi. Children: John, Jr. married Mary Ward; their children: John Gill (III) & Mary Gill who married John Bryan Hart. - This record intermixes the children of John Gill, MS, and John Gill, MS-1, but clearly is the same family. Note that this record states that the John Gill who migrated to Mississippi was that John Gill married to Mary Ward, rather than his father. The John Gill who migrated to Mississippi would seemingly have to be the son of John Gill b.c1730, 33, or 38, and the record of the request for a passage through the Indian lands clearly indicates that he migrated not from Barnwell, but from Lexington District. Mary Jackson does not appear in this record, which instead asserts Elizabeth Faust as the wife of old John Gill born c1730-33. This record is actually quite important, despite the discrepancies. Mentioned here are both a definite early date, 1738, for a John Gill, plus a mention of Mary Ward. In fact, the only apparent discrepancies are that it apparently was the son or grandson of this man who married Elizabeth Faust and removed to Mississippi. It also correctly lists Mary Gill as marrying John B. Hart, although she was born c1758, the daughter of old John Gill, MS, born c1733. Extant documentation does not support John Gill, MS, or John Gill, MS-1, ever residing in Barnwell. The variations of the Mississippi record are consistent with a good strong oral tradition. It is likely that these John Gills are descendants of old James Gill of Richland County.

The Winton deed fragment found by Andrea could not have been a record of the John Gill, MS who married Elizabeth Faust much later, after c1803, when Winton District was called Barnwell County. This is a record of a wife of John Gill of Barnwell, the only early John Gill in Barnwell.

As is clear, these records are inconsistent as to precisely who married whom. It is documented that the Barnwell Dist. John Gill was there c1785, never left, and died there in 1822. There is no documentation to support the Mississippi John Gill ever residing in Barnwell, unless he was the son of John of Barnwell. This is entirely possible although the family names do not coincide well. The Indian passage record states that he left from Lexington Co., not Barnwell. If the children's names of John Gill, MS-1, are faithfully recorded, then John Gill, MS, cannot be a son of John Gill of Barnwell. It is documented that Barnwell families removed to Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, possibly including children of John of Barnwell. Richard Gill, his Uncle, removed to Alabama. Land was given away there. It was sold in South Carolina.

In Mrs. Kate Gill Elam's oral tradition of the Mississippi John Gill, recounted in 1932, the family birth years may be estimated: John Gill (MS-1) -> John Gill (MS) (migrated to Mississippi) -> Uriah Gill born 1 Oct. 1799. If Uriah was born when his father was 21 (range 16-60), then Uriah's father, John Gill who migrated to MS, was born before c1778 (1739-83) and his father who remained in SC was born before c1757 (1689-1765). Other Mississippi records reveal that Uriah was born of John Gill's third wife (whom he is stated to have married after 1803), with at least eight children preceding Uriah. These eight children decrease the birth year estimate to before c1778-8, or before c1770, plus he had to find three wives in this interval which pushes the limit back even further.

Thomas Jefferson Gill related the children of John Gill, MS-1, and his wife Mary to Mrs. Lucy Gill Price in 1927 as: John, James, Reuben, Hugh, Rebecca, Mary, and possibly more. He was married "several times" (Cupit "Our Kin", DAR National Library, Washington, DC, supporting documents file; LDS Family Records, 929.273, C92cj). It is likely that this man was the John Gill married to Agnes Dick.

The following records were sent to me by Mrs. Deidre Johnson of Lake Charles, LA. Typewritten records of Mr. Cupit state that "John Gill MS-1 was born c1730-40", overwritten by hand to 1750-60 (probably Cupit's change), "probably a son or possibly a brother of James Gill of Richland Co., SC". "The land grants of our family are on Gill's Creek in SC, according to T. Jefferson Gill, one time mayor of Bogue Chitto, MS." "John Gill was a Captain in the Revolutionary War, and married Mary Ward, one fourth Indian." The genealogist, Theresa Hicks, stated that the Ward family did indeed marry Indians. They were Indian traders. Wards lived adjacent to the Gills in Barnwell.

(In this typewritten presumably Cupit manuscript) "Gills Claimed by Lucie Gill Price to be her Ancestors." Generation I. John Gill, born probably in SC c1733 (overwritten 1753 by hand) and lived in Richland Co., SC.

"Uriah Gill Family" as compiled by Mrs. Kate Elam. "Our Great-Great-Great Grandfather was John Gill. Born in South Carolina. Served as Captain in the Revolutionary War, 1774, under General Francis Marion."

"Gills Claimed by Lucie Gill Price to be Her Ancestors" "Generation I. John Gill -the first of our line of whom we have at this time any information, born in (probably) South Carolina in the year (approximately) 1733, and lived in Richland Co., S.C. The names of two John Gills and a James appear in the first census of the United States, 1790, as residents of Richland Co. The elder had in his family at that time one white male over 16, two under 16, and three white females. This report seems to fit our great-great-grandfather except for two white males under 16. We have knowledge of one only. The other may have died. The other John and James in the census likely were his sons --- heads of families by then."

(continued) "According to Ex-Mayor Thomas Gill of Bogue Chitto, Miss., a cousin of this writer's father, and a man of sound mind when interviewed by her in 1927, this earliest John Gill of whom we have any knowledge married Mary Ward, one fourth Indian, and served as Captain in the Revolutionary War. At one time during the war, while visiting his home, a Detail of Tories came to capture him; but Mary, his wife, held them at her front door while he escaped from the rear of the house. When finally she let them in to search the house the leader of the squad politely left his hat on a table in the front room and Mary, impolitely, tossed it into the fire."

It is my personal opinion that the handwritten date changes were made by Mr. Cupit in order to accommodate Mr. Andrea's records. I surmise that Mr. Cupit thought, as did I at first, that John Gill who married Mary Jackson was the son of Thomas Gill, which is documentably incorrect. The dates of Mary Gill who married John B. Hart, daughter of John Gill, MS-1, are also overwritten. The 1764 Congaree Baptist Church baptismal plus the Mary Jackson records, clearly document the existence of a John Gill born c1733. It cannot be proven at this time that this is John Gill, MS-1. The controversy of the dates continues below.

A John Gill, Sr. appears in the 1790 Richland Co. census, 2 m<16, 2 m>16, 3 f. With 5 children, he was probably born before 1790-(21+5) or 1774. This could in fact be the John Gill who removed to Mississippi!

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Copyright ©  1997, Dr. Frank Oliver Clark. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, these documents are copyrighted by Dr. Frank O. Clark (or the authors to whom they are credited herein) and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.