Person:John Gunn (3)

m. Abt 1638
  1. Elizabeth Gunnest 1638 - 1640
  2. Elizabeth Gunn1640 - 1655
  3. Deborah Gunn1641/42 - 1694/95
  4. Mehitabel Gunn1644 - 1720/21
  5. Quartermaster John Gunn1647 - 1726
  • HQuartermaster John Gunn1647 - 1726
  • WMary Williams1652/53 - 1711
m. 22 Jan 1678/79
  1. Thomas Gunn1679 - 1744
  2. Captain John Gunn1682 - 1748
  3. Mary Gunn1684/85 - 1746/47
  4. Daniel Gunn, Sr1686/87 - Aft 1747/48
  5. Mercy Gunn1691/92 - 1758
  6. Daughter Gunn1691/92 - 1691/92
  7. Aaron Gunn1694 - Bet 1752
Facts and Events
Name[1][2][3][4][5][6][12] Quartermaster John Gunn
Gender Male
Birth[10][14] 8 July 1647 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Christening[11] 11 July 1647 Windsor, Connecticut, United States
Marriage 22 Jan 1678/79 Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United Statesto Mary Williams
Burial[12][14] Sep 1726 Longmeadow Cemetery, Longmeadow, Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
Death[12][14] 17 Sep 1726 Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States


Initial time in Westfield

John apparently moved to Westfield with his parents about 1665 when his father bought land there. His father's will, dated November 5, 1679, bequeathed all his houses and lands in Westfield to his son.14 At that time Thomas's estate was valued at £349, a respectable amount, of which £254 was land and improvements.

Marriage and Family

Mary Williams, daughter of John Williams and Mary Burley of Windsor, married John Gunn in Westfield on 22 January 1679. (“Marriages, Births and Deaths in Westfield,” NEHGR 6:267, 1852)

John’s mother had died on the 28th of November, only two months before his marriage, and his father, Thomas, would not long survive his wife. He died in Westfield on the 26th of February, 1681. They both were buried in the Old Burial Ground off Mechanic Street.

John and Mary have six children: Thomas, John, Mary, Daniel, Mercy, and Aaron. They all marry and have children of their own, and all but one remain in Westfield or nearby Springfield. Daniel, the 3rd son, disappears from the Westfield scene after 1730. Perhaps he feels there isn’t enough good land left for him to acquire, or perhaps he’s caught up in the excitement of settling new land. Whatever the reason, the evidence shows that he moved his family west to the new frontier in the Housatonic River valley that runs down the east side of the Berkshire Mountains.

Property Owner

In addition to land in Westfield, John Gunn (later "Quartermaster" John Gunn) held property, “both meadow and upland,” in Windsor, Connecticut, at a place called Mr. Hill's Neck near Paquannock, which he purchased from Samuel Phelps. John later "assigned" this land to George Phelps on 7 April 1713:

From Stiles, Vol. I pages 594 and 595.
"Whereas John Gun of Westfield had by purchase of Samuell Phelps of said Westfield a certain parcel of Land in Windsor at a place commonly called Mr. Hills neck near paquannock both of meadow and upland according as it is abbutted and bounded by said Sam Phelps to said John Gun as appears of Record in fol. 151 of this booke and John Gun hath under his hand and seal, and acknowledged it before John Pynchon one of the Councell, assigned, made over and Confirmed unto George Phelps all his Right title and interest to said parcell of Land and to his heirs and assigns for ever." ... "allsoe it appears by the testimony of Capt. Timothy Thrall and Sergt. John Thrall, That said John Phelps has stood in actual possession of said Land in his own right and not as a tennant as ever they know of for the full space of twenty years past, and the sd John Phelps having noo Record of said Land moved us the subscribers to grant unto him ... a Record of said Land ... There upon is Granted ... to the said John Phelps senr. of Windsor and ... that parcell of Land John Gun bought of Samuell Phelps and said Gunn assigned to George Phelps ... this seventh of Aprill 1713. ... This land John Gun assigned to George Phelps, 11 Aprill, 1687."

There is apparently some confusion about this transaction: In April of 1687 George Phelps deeded a considerable portion of his Westfield land to John Gunn. It may be that he intended to return to Windsor; however, this he did not do as he died the following month. [The Bankert Family website -]


John and Mary must have been substantial landowners, especially after the demise of Thomas, and also important, founding members of the Westfield community. The town was growing fast and, despite a great flood in 1692, roads were made and extended, the course of the river was changed, mills were built, and rudimentary industries were established based on smelting iron ore and producing rosin, turpentine, tar, and bricks. An 18 square foot school was built near the meeting house. But there were still dangers to be dealt with.

A Dangerous Time

First came King Philip’s War in 1675-76. Then New Englanders participated in King William’s War (1689-1697), the first of what came to be known in America as the French and Indian Wars, a series of colonial wars between Great Britain and France that lasted three-quarters of a century. John would have been 28 years old in July of 1675 and as he is referred to in the records as Quartermaster John Gunn, he would have been in charge of provisioning the garrisons in the area.

The most serious attacks were on the town of Deerfield, just 37 miles north of Westfield, up the Connecticut River. The town had been attacked and destroyed during King Philip’s War in 1675. It had been rebuilt, and at the time the town’s population was about 260. In May of 1703 word had come that French soldiers and allied Natives from Canada were heading for Deerfield and the upper Connecticut River valley. Two hours before dawn on February 29, 1704, while most of the inhabitants were asleep, a group of approximately 40 French soldiers and 200 Native warriors attacked and burned the town, killing 48 people and taking captive 112 English men, women and children. Twenty-one of these captives were later killed.

Because of such events a number of houses in the town of Westfield were fortified and were required to have garrisons and to be free refuges in the case of attack. But war wasn't the only danger, in the spring of 1722 there was a smallpox epidemic.


See talk page for discussion of whether or not he was a Captain.

  1. Lockwood, John H. Westfield and its historic influences: 1669-1919 : the life of an early town : with a survey of events in New England and bordering regions to which it was related in colonial and Revolutionary times. (Westfield, Mass.: Printed and sold by the author, c1922), p. I-91.

    [In a paragraph describing Thomas Gunn who died 1680] "His son, Capt. John, was born in Windsor, July 8, 1647. He married in Westfield, January 22, 1678, Mary Williams, daughter of John and Mary Buckley Williams who also came from Windsor."

  2. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), Vol. II, p. 323.
  3. Preston, Belle (Mary Isabella). Bassett-Preston Ancestors: a history of the ancestors in America of Marion Bassett Luitweiler, Howard Murray Bassett, Preston Rogers Bassett, Isabel Bassett Wasson, and Helen Bassett Hauser, children of Edward M. and Annie (Preston) Bassett. (New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1930), p. 121, 1930.
  4. Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (1963), p. 330, 1990.
  5. Bullard, Edgar John. Bullard and allied families: the American ancestors of George Newton Bullard and Mary Elizabeth Bullard. (Detroit, Mich.: E.J. Bullard, 1930), p. 83, 1930.
  6. Stiles, Henry R. History of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut (1859): including East Windsor, South Windsor, and Ellington prior to 1788, the date of their separation from the old town; and Windsor, Bloomfield, and Windsor Locks to the present time; also the genealogies and genealogical notes of those families which settled within the limits of ancient Windsor, Connecticut prior to 1800. (New York: Charles B. Norton, 1859), Vol. II, p. 651, 1859.
  7.   John Gunn & Mary Williams, in Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States. Marriage Records from Westfield City Hall. (Westfield, Massachusetts).

    Marriage Records as Obtained From the Files at City Hall, Westfield, Translator: Harold T. Dougherty

  8.   A Record of Marriages, Births and Deaths in Westfield, Mass., Prior to the Year 1700, in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 6:267, 1852.

    Author: Rev Emerson Davis

  9.   Westfield 1669-1854, in Massachusetts, United States. Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, TNL microfiche 353, 1678.

    Compiler: Jay Mack Holbrook
    Repository: The Newberry Library
    Marriage Index -- Males, John Gunn & Mary Williams 1678 -- also in original handwritten records, page A2 0

  10. Record of Marriages and Births in Windsor, CT, in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 5:225, 1851.
  11. Vital Records of Hartford, Windsor and Fairfield, Connecticut, 1631 to 1691, 34, 2009.

    Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) Originally published as: Births, marriages, and deaths returned from Hartford, Windsor, and Fairfield, and entered in the early land records of the colony of Connecticut : volumes I and II of land records and no. D of colonial deeds, transcribed and edited by Edwin Stanley Welles. Hartford, Conn.: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co, 1898, p. 34 "GUNN, John Gunn sonn of Thomas Gunn was baptised July the 11th 1647"

  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Stott, Clifford L. Vital Records of Springfield, Massachusetts to 1850. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002), Vol. 3, p. 2293, 2008.

    Vital Records of Springfield, Massachusetts to 1850. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.), Vol, 3, p. 2293
    “Here lyeth the Body of John Gunn of Westfield Quarter Master Who Died Septr 17 1726 Aged about 82 Years [Longmeadow Cemetery ]”

  13.   Hampshire County, Massachusetts, Court Records, I:112.

    Also see Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, III:170-73.

  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Find A Grave.

    John Gunn [1]
    Tombstone shown
    Plot: Olde Burying Yard #452