Facts and Events
James Cunningham was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Acquisition of Land in Augusta County:
- James Cunningham received a patent for 400 acres "on Tees Creek of James, cor. Moses Cunningham and William Gilmer", according to the dispositions below. Based upon the processioning list of 1765 listed below, this tract was most likely located just across the Borden Tract line from John Gilmore (see Hildebrand Map above). (Note: since James Cunningham's land is not in the Borden Tract, it was not shown on Hildebrand's Map. Also, land of Hugh Cunningham, brother of James is located nearby to the east, just across the Borden Tract border).
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 391.--6th August, 1753. James Coningham and Margaret to Jacob Conningham, 100 acres, part of 400 acres patented to James, 20th August, 1745. On Tees Crick of James, cor. Moses Coningham. Teste: Chas. Daugherty, Isaac Coningham, Henry (X) Campbell.
- Page 273.--13th February, 1756. James ( ) Cunningham, yeoman, to Isaac Cunningham, £10, 128 acres, part of 400 acres by patent 20th August, 1745, on Tees Creek, cor. Wm. Gillmer. Signed by Margnt Cunningham, but certificates say wife Mary. Teste: Jacob Cunningham, Charly Dougherty, Jno. Gillmer, John Coler, James Simson (Coler, Collier ?).
Will of James Cunningham
- Page 382.—16th January, 1760 (33d year of Reign). James Cunningham's will, of Colony and Dominion of Virginia—To wife Margaret; to son Moses, infant; to Hugh Cunningham, 1 shilling; to daughter Elizabeth, 1 shilling; to James Cunningham, son to son Jacob; to John Cunningham, son to son Isaac; to daughter Mary; to daughters, each and every of them, 1 shilling. Executors, wife and son Moses. Teste: Malcom Allen, Robt. Bowen, Lilly Bowen. Proved, 19th March, 1765, by Malcom Allen and Lilly Bowen. Margaret is dead. Moses qualifies, with Hugh Cunningham, Geo. Dougherty. (Note: both James Cunningham and his wife Margaret were killed in the 2nd Kerr's Creek Massacre on 17 July 1763).
- Vol. 1 - MARCH 19, 1765. - (233) James Cunningham's will proved--Moses Cunningham is the surviving executor.
- Page 397.--15th May, 1765. James Cunningham's estate appraised, by Jno. McKee, Jno. Gilmore, Robt. Erwin.
The Kerr's Creek Massacres
According to accounts, including "Adam and 500 More Cunningham's in the Valley of Virginia", James Cunningham and his wife Margaret were both killed in the 2nd Kerr's Creek (formerly known as "Teas Creek") Massacre on 17 July, 1763. An article detailing the Kerr's Creek Massacres is located here:
The Kerr's Creek Massacres 1759-1763
Records in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 2 - Muster List of 1742: No. 12 - Capt. John McDowell's List: John McDowell, Captain; James McDowell, Ephraim McDowell, David Breeden, Alex. McClewer, John McClewer, Halbert McClewer, Sam McRoberts, Thomas Taylor, John McKnab, And. McKnab, Thos. Whiteside, Malco Whiteside, John Aleson, David Bires, Alex. McClure, Moses McClure, John Gray, Patt McKnabb, Wm. Hall, John Miless, Wm. Miles. James Hardiman, Charles Quail, Wm. Wood, Hen. Kirkham, Gilbert Gamble, James Gamble, Rob. Young, Math. Young, _____ Long, _____ Long, James More, Hugh Cunigham, James Cunigham, John Cares, Frances McCowan, Hum. Beaker, John Peter Salley, Mitch. Miller, Loromor Mason, John Matthews, John Cosier, Irwin Patterson, Edward Patterson, Joseph Finney, Michael Finney, Sam Wood, Rich. Wood, Joseph Lapsley.
Information on James Cunningham
From "Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871", by Joseph Addison Waddell:
On August 5, 1753, James Coningham conveyed to his son Jacob 100 acres, a part of 400 acres on Tees' creek, a branch of James River, which had been patented by James C. ; and on February 12, 1756, he conveyed 128 acres of the same tract to his son Isaac. The last named died in 1759, Jean Cunningham having qualified as his administratrix, May 20, 1759. Jacob Cunningham died in 1760, as appears from the inventory and appraisement of his personal estate. The wife of a Jacob Cunningham was killed by Indians July, 1763, and his ten-year old daughter scalped and left for dead. One account of the first Kerr's Creek massacre states that he escaped by being absent from home ; but the probability is that he was the person who died more than three years before.
- ↑ Newman, Betty Cunningham. Adam and 500 more Cunninghams of the Valley of Virginia, c.1734-c.1800. (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, c2000).
The property James Cunningham lived on in Augusta County originally lay along a small river named Teas Creek. Soon afterwards, it was renamed Kerr's or Carr's Creek. The stream is a left-hand branch of the James River, as one faces downstream, in present-day Rockbridge County. It was the valley drained by Kerr's Creek that James acquired a grant of 400 acres of land on 20 August 1745. (Patents No. 23, pg. 1093). and another grant of 62 acres in 1755 on a branch of the James River between House Mountain and North Mountain. Both of these grants were outside of the Borden tract. A small stream, Cunningham Creek, flows between House Mountain and North Mountain, and was probably named for the Cunningham families who lived in the vicinity of the creek.
James Cunningham named as his executors his wife Margaret and his son Moses. Margaret was killed by the Indians in the same raid in which James was slain, leaving Moses as sole executor.