Following Joseph

Joseph Dunagan was born the son of Thomas and Sarah Dunagan in Orange County North Carolina in or around the year 1740. The summation of my research. is as follows:

According to George Dunagan, whose researches I trust more than anyone else, Thomas and Sarah Came to America in the 1730’s, they bought land in Orange County North Carolina in 1748. It is in Orange County, North Carolina that Joseph was born. There is record of Joseph serving on the Grand Jury at Hillsboro in 1763. George said that in “the same year he was known to be in South Carolina looking for a place to settle”. He purchased 150 acres on the Pendleton side of the Saluda River in 1768 and in 1769 he purchased another 150 acres adjoining his land. George said, “This is where he raised his family”. So this must be the birthplace of Ezekiel.

George does make mention of the Dunagan’s in Surry County as being an ‘Uncle John’ (not the same as John, the brother of this Joseph) whose son John Jr and of David who was his brother John’s son. He wrote in his notes that Joseph, Joshua, and Thomas served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. I have found Revolutionary War Records for Joseph’s brothers, however, I have not found them for Joseph.

I have found Joseph listed in 1790 census in Pendleton South Carolina. Listed in the house were 3 males under 16 and 2 over 16 and 4 females. We know that he did have at least 6 sons and 3 or more daughters but the daughter’s names are not known. I also have record of Joseph Dunagin in the U.S. Census Reconstructed Records for Franklin County Georgia, for the residence year of 1790, however household remarks on the record has a date listed for a petition given by the Governor as 11 November 1793. He must have first come into Georgia in 1790 since we find him listed in both censuses.

We know that he and others applied for land grants. Records, authenticated by the Georgia State Archives, prove that an order was given on 6 February 1792 to give Joseph Dunagan head rights for 200 acres in Franklin County, Georgia. He was given the land warrant on 1 January 1793. His brother Thomas was also given 100 acres in Franklin County, Georgia.

Next we find records indicating that a general order was given by Major General Elijah Clark that a Block House be erected on the Dunagan land near the Currahee Mountain dated 2 January 1793. Again we find records concerning the building of the Block House dated 30 April 1794. Then in the years of 1800, 1802, 1803, we find Joseph Dunagan in the Franklin County Georgia tax census. Another record is found in 1807 for J Dunnigan. Often the name is spelled ‘Dunnigan’ throughout the census.

It is said the Joseph traveled to Tennessee where he spent some time before traveling on to Madison County, Illinois to visit his sons Isaiah and Ande who had moved there from Georgia. George said “It is said he traveled some west of the Mississippi River. He left Georgia in the early part of 1805 but died in the latter part and was buried across the river from St. Louis, Missouri in St. Clair County, Illinois.”

So perhaps the J. Dunnigan of the 1807 census is not Joseph Dunagan, which means that he is last documented in Georgia in 1803.

About Darline Dunagan Scruggs

I was born in Hall County Georgia where my ancestors have lived since the late 1790’s. My heritage is rich in histories and stories of my Dunagan ancestors and their related families. Being born and raised here has enriched my knowledge by tales that have been passed on from generation to generation. I have made it my personal quest to gather this knowledge and preserve it for our future generations.
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6 Responses to Following Joseph

  1. Susan Payne says:

    Mrs. Scruggs, Researching my family, I’m stopped at a member named Rachel possible Rachel Miller Dunagan from what I can tell. Rachel was the wife of Solomon Walker Peek. I hoping since you wrote the article Following Joseph, that you may have located information on Joseph’s Daughters? I’d be grateful for input on this subject. Thank you for looking. If Jospeh can be linked to Rachel as his father, (wife of Solomon), he would be my 6th Great Grandfather. Right now it’s must another mystery……
    Susan Payne

    • Susan, I am sorry to say that we don’t have any information on Joseph’s daughters. I do know that there were four females listed in his household in the 1790 census. Assuming that his wife was one then that leaves three unnamed daughters. I have not and, to my knowledge, I am not aware of any discoveries on whom his daughters were. I would greatly love to know, so if anyone out there has any information please contact us.

  2. Jason says:

    There’s also a ‘Joseph Dunnigan’ of Jackson county in the 1805 GA land lottery participant records.

    Should I assume this is not your relative Joseph Dunagen of Hall county?

    • We find Joseph Dunnigan, along with Ezekiel and Isaiah, listed in that lottery. The 1805 land lottery involved the Creek Indian lands just west of the Oconee River that was ceded to the state in 1802 and a small strip of land in the southeast section of the state. The Dunagan’s lived by the Oconee River in what is present day Hall County, Georgia so it is logical that the participated in the lottery. George Dunagan’s research lead him to believe that Joseph Sr. died in the latter part of 1805 but I have seen where some believe it to 1808. Joseph also had a son named Joseph, so the J. Dunnigan in the 1807 census could very well be Joseph Jr and the Joseph on the 1805 land lottery could also be son of Joseph Sr. Unfortunately I have no more on info on Joseph Jr.

  3. Debbie Dunagan Wingfield says:

    I wonder if anyone knows about Dunagans in Texas ?

    • Thanks for visiting Debbie! There is much known on the Texas Dunagan’s. I would welcome any information or stories that anyone would like to share on our Dunagan branches and would be happy to post them.

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