Edward Cunningham

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Edward Cunningham

Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Cunningham Run Harrison Co. West Virginia
Death: May 5, 1804 (58)
Cunningham Run, Harrison County, West Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Adam Cunningham, I and Catherine Cunningham
Husband of Sarah Cunningham
Father of John Cunningham; Joseph Cunningham; William Cunningham; Leah Hall; David Cunningham and 14 others
Brother of Nutter Webb; John Cunningham; Walter Cunningham and Adam Cunningham

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Edward Cunningham

Edward Cunningham (c 1749-1804)

Parents: Adam Cunningham and Catherine.

Edward married Sarah Price on 15 Jun 1770 in VA. (Sarah Price died on 24 Dec 1800.)


1. Joseph (1770-?) m. Margaret "Peggy" Ayres

2. Benjamin (1772-?) m. Mary Finley

3. Leah (1773-?) m. Moses Hall

4. Rachel (1776-?) m. Richard Moore

5. William (1778-?) m. Sena Moore

6. Nancy (1780-?) m. William Connor

7. Mary (1783-?)

8. Thomas (1785-?) m. Nancy Nay

9. Elizabeth (1784-?) m. William Robinson

10. Adam (1787-1829) m. Amelia Lyons

11. Keturah (1792-?) m. John Hill

12. Enoch (1794-1869) m. Jane Stuart




General Notes:

As a child, Edward Cunningham lived with his family in Shenandoah County, Virginia. His name appears along with his father, Adam Cunningham, on Henry Spear's October 1758 muster roll for Frederick County, Virginia. Adam was fined 30 shillings for missing 1 general muster and 2 private musters; Edward was fined 10 shillings for missing 1 general muster. At the time, the British government required that all teenage boys participate in the colonial militia. By 1769 Edward married Sarah Price, then left his father's farm and moved to Monongalia County, Virginia with his brother Thomas. Edward made a settlement on Shinns Run, a drain of the West Fork in 1772. He received a patent for the 397 acres in September 1787. Thomas settled on the right hand fork of Ten Mile Creek.

Edward and Thomas' names are found on pay rolls at Ft Pitt at the close of Dunmore's War (1775). Edward is listed on Captain Zachquill Morgan's Roll and Thomas' name appears on the list of Captain David Scott. In May 1777, they enlisted in Captain James Booth's company of Rangers. Their task was to protect settlers from Indian attacks. When Captain Booth was killed by Indians in 1778, the Ranger company was disbanded.

Edward and his family also had their difficulty with marauding Indians. Fearing a flareup of hostilities in early 1778, Edward and other settlers on Jones Run, a branch of Ten Mile Creek had gathered at Harbert's blockhouse. One day, in early March, the children ran screaming to the house in an attempt to escape a small band of approaching Indians. In this particular attack, Mr. Harbert was shot and killed and John Murphy was wounded. Several children were killed and others taken captive. Edward and Sarah's son, Joseph, who was 8 years old at the time, was captured while hiding under the treadles in the loom house. It is said that Edward scalped the Indian who died in the attack.

From "Colonial Cunninghams of the Virginias and their Descendants," by Kenneth & Marjorie Blech, 1982, page 180:

"On March 3, 1778 [error- 1776], a party of Indians came upon a number of children playing on the banks of Ten Mile Creek, in the yard of a house known as Fort Harbert. It was designated as a place of refuge in case of an Indian attack in the area, hence its name. The children ran screaming toward the house to appraise [sic] their elders of the Indians' presence. John Murphy, running to close the door, was shot and fell back inside. The Indian, who fired the shot and not realizing that there were others in the cabin, rushed in to scalp his victim, but was instantly tackled by Mr. Harbert, who threw him to the floor and struck him with his tomahawk. In his struggle with the Indian, Harbert stood up and was shot by an Indian from outside the house, killing him instantly. While he was having his troubles with that Indian, Edward was having his own troubles with another Indian, who had followed the first one into the cabin. Edward had attempted to shoot him, upon his entry, but his rifle misfired. He grappled with the Indian and buried his tomahawk in his back, seriously wounding him. Meanwhile, Edward's wife, Sarah, was hitting him with an ax, causing him to flee.

Another Indian in the cabin, was engaged in a struggle with a Mr. Reece and his daughter. Reece, too, would have been killed had not Edward wounded his opponent with a tomahawk, causing him also to flee.

In the yard, the Indians had rounded up all the children that they could find. They killed and scalped three of the children and took five captive, before they fled into the forest toward their territory in Ohio. The total casualties of this encounter were: One white adult and three children slain and four wounded, and one Indian killed and several wounded. It was in this raid that Joseph, the son of Edward and Sarah, was captured. They found him hiding under the treadles of a large loom in the weaving house. He was eight years old.

Joseph was adopted in the Shawnee family and lived with them for sixteen years, before being released by a treaty, freeing all Indian captives. After his release, he guided pioneering families and surveyors of the vast tracks of forests. While he was on one of these surveying trips, he had a hand encounter with a large black bear. The bear grabbed him by the knee and would not let go. He killed the bear with his hunting knife and pried his jaws open to free himself. He was lamed for life by the injury. After his return to civilization, he was known as "Injun Joe." Joseph later married a Miss Ayres [Margaret "Peggy" Ayres] and fathered two daughters and one son. They were: Mrs. Samuel Warne of Parkersburg, WV, Mrs. George Sires of Clarksburg, WV and Dr. John Cunningham of Illinois."

Edward and his family were also present in the June 1785 Indian attack which resulted in the deaths of his brother Thomas' four children and the capture of Thomas' wife, Phebe.

Edward's will [Harrison County Will Book 1, p. 234] is dated 4 Dec 1800 and it was proved in the Harrison County Court on 4 Apr 1804. He signed his name as "Edward E. Cunningham." Named in the will are his wife and children: Sary [Sarah], Joseph, Benjamin, Leah, William, Adam, Thomas, Enaith [Enoch], Rachel, Ann, Mary Elizabeth, and Kettery [Keturah].

Edward died May 5, 1804.

Both Edward and Sarah are listed in the D.A.R. Patriot Index for their public service during the Revolutionary War.

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Edward Cunningham's Timeline

May 4, 1746
Cunningham Run Harrison Co. West Virginia
Age 23
Virginia, United States
Age 24
West Virginia, United States
Age 25
West Virginia, United States
Age 25
Harrison Co. Virginia
October 17, 1773
Age 27
Washington, Virginia, United States
Age 28
West Virginia, United States
Age 29
West Augusta, Augusta, Virginia, United States
Age 30
Harrison, Mineral, West Virginia, United States