Mordecai Gwin

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Mordecai Gwin

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Ireland or Wales
Death: February 1784 (60-68)
North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Elizabeth Gwin
Father of Captain William Gwin; Colonel Edward Gwin; Sarah Howell; Elizabeth Hamilton; Jane Hamilton and 5 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mordecai Gwin

A Patriot of the American Revolution for NORTH CAROLINA. DAR Ancestor #: A200025

Mordecai Gwin's parents are apparently not yet known. They are not related to any Virginian Wynne family, and definitely not descended from Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet Wynn of Gwydir. He originated probably in Ulster, or from non-Welsh ancestry in Wales (Gwin spelling is not common among the Welsh Wynns).

Posted on the Gwin Genealogy website:


  • From: joyce1033 at juno dot com
  • Date: January 14, 2011
  • To:
  • Subject: Re: Mordecai Gwin

Good morning John,

I have been researching this family for the past 35 years. I joined the DAR on my John Gwin line, and since I was the first, they really made me work for it. This was back when you had to go to the libraries, court houses, and cemeteries. You just could not turn on your computer and copy someone else's work. This has led to so many mistakes in family lines.

I am a descendant of Mordecai Gwin and his wife Elizabeth...last name unknown. In a paper written by a grandson he states that his grandfather Mordecai died before he was born, so he did not know him, but his grandmother Elizabeth Gwin lived with them at Hamilton Station in TN were he was born. Elizabeth (he forgot her last name) was born on shipboard.

The name is spelled GWIN and has always been spelled that way since the first information that was found on Mordecai in 1738.

The first record of Mordecai was when he had a piece of land surveyed for him in PA in 1738. He would have been 18 years old or older to have had this done, so this would make him being born in 1718 - 1720 or so. He was not married at this time either.

By 1753, Mordecai and Elizbeth had married and had 2 or 3 children and had bought a piece of land in Orange County, NC. Mordecai is buried on the land, and Elizabeth moved to Hamilton Station in Sumner Co. where she is buried.

Mordecai and Elizabeth were the parents of 10 children: 5 boys and 5 girls. Mordecai and Elizabeth are the grandparents of 72 known grandchildren.

First, I would like to state is that NOT ANY OF THEIR CHILDREN had a middle name or initial. So here goes.


  • 1. William Gwin,
    • b. abt 1744;
    • d. 27 Jan 1827 Sumner Co., TN (age 83).
    • William served in the Rev. War as Captain and a wagon master.
    • William married Hannah McComb 7 May 1783, Orange Co., NC, at the house of Michael Clerk. Hannah was b. abt 1756 and d. April 1841, Sumner Co. TN (age 82).
    • They are buried in the Ellis Cemetery in Sumner Co. TN, and the tombstones give their ages, not their birthdays.
    • William and Hannah had 7 children who are listed in the paperwork that Hannah filed for a widow's pension.
    • (William Rolling Quin is not the same person as William Gwin. William Rolling Quin comes from one of the families in VA.)
  • 2. Edward Gwin, Sr.,
    • b. 1747;
    • d. 8 Oct 1831, Carroll Co., TN, age 84.
    • He served in the Rev. War as a Colonel.
    • Edward Gwin married first Rosanna Brackin, and he married second Rachael Perry on 15 Dec 1824, Carroll Co., TN.
    • Edward and Rosanna Gwin had two children: John Gwin, b. abt 1783 Orange Co., NC, and Mordecai Gwin, Jr., b. abt 1781, Orange Co., TN. John moved to TN; Mordecai, Jr., may have died young, as there is no [further] record of him.
    • Edward and Rachael Gwin had 3 children: 1 son, 1 daughter unknown, and 1 daughter named Sarah J. Gwin.
  • 3. Mary Gwin may have died young, as nothing [further] has been found on her.
  • 4. Sarah "Sally" Gwin
    • was b. abt 1753, Orange Co., NC.
    • She married John Howell.
    • Sarah and John Howell had 5 children.
  • 5. Margaret Gwin
    • was b. 28 Mar 1760 in Orange Co., NC, and
    • d. 1 Jan 1797 in Sumner Co., TN.
    • She married Chamberlain Hudson, Jr., in 1779.
    • Margaret and Chamberlain Hudson, Jr., had 7 children.
  • 6. Jane Gwin,
    • b. 18 Feb 1762, Orange Co., NC,
    • d. 8 Sept 1843 in McKenzie, Carroll Co., TN, age 81 yrs 6 mos 21 das.
    • She married James Hamilton on 7 Feb 1782 in Guilford Co., NC.
    • Jane and James Hamilton were the parents of 10 children. (I was born in McKenzie, TN.)
  • 7. Alexander Gwin
    • was b. Nov 1763, Orange Co., NC;
    • d. 11 Aug 1842, Humphreys Co., TN;
    • married abt. 1786 first wife unknown;
    • married abt 1772 to Sarah (last name unknown).
    • Alexander and his 1st wife had 2 children; Alexander and his 2nd wife Sarah had 4 children.
  • 8. John Gwin,
    • b. 15 Dec 1764, Orange Co., NC;
    • d. aft 1840, Dyer Co., TN.
    • Married (1) Sarah Harper; (2) Sarah "Sally" Donnell.
    • John and Sarah Harper may have had 3 or 4 children [NOT PROVEN]; John and Sarah Donnell had 9 children, all proven.
  • 9. Elizabeth Gwin;
    • b. abt. 1766, Orange Co., NC;
    • d. btw. 1830-1840 Sumner Co., TN.
    • Married Thomas Hamilton, Jr., abt 1785.
    • Elizabeth and Thomas Hamilton had 11 children.
  • 10. James Gwin (Rev.),
    • b. 16 Jan 1769, Orange Co NC;
    • d. 3 Aug 1841, age 72, Vicksburg, MS;
    • buried City Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS.
    • Married ca. 1789 to Mary Adair McAdams, b. Jan 1773, York Co., PA; d. 30 Jun 1858, Issaquena Co., MS, age 85 yrs 6 mos.; bur: City Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS.
    • Rev. James Gwin and Mary Adair McAdams had 8 children.

This should help people to look in the right families.

Information from Lloyd D. Ellis:

ID: I572

  • Name: Mordecai GWIN
  • RFN: 572
  • Change Date: 10 DEC 2000
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: Gwinn, /Gwynne/
  • Birth: 1736 in Ireland or Wales
  • Change Date: 10 NOV 1996
  • Death: FEB 1784 in ,, NC
  • Note: Will probated 1786 in Hillsboro, NC.


Note: Origin of the name "Guinn"

The name Guinn goes back to Wales to the Gwydir Castle. The names of Gwin, Gwinn, Gwyn, Gwynn, Gwynne, Guin, Guinn, Wynn, Wynne are all derivitates of the original name of Gwynedd. The earliest known "Gwin" who came to America was Capt. Owin Gwynn, Esq. son of Sir John Wynn of the Wynn family of the Gwydir Castle, Wales in 1611. His son Col. Hugh Gwynne was the first to permanently settle in the US. (Owin returned to Gwydir Castle when his father died to succeed to the baronetcy.)

Source: "History of the Gwin Family", by Jesse Blaine Gwin, Fairfax, Va. 1961.

Ben M. Angel notes: This is apparently in error for this particular line of Gwins.

From "Wynne Mythtakes and Wynn Winners" by M. Johnson, Feb. 2003:

Why the surname appears in various spellings.

In the 1500's and into the 1600's, the Welsh culture increasingly came to reflect that of England, in part because of repressive anti-Welsh laws and in part because ambitious Welshmen began to adopt English ways to gain favor at Court. The traditional naming practice, based on identifying one's father [e.g, John ap Evan], was gradually shifting to the use of a family surname. "Wynne" seems to have appeared as early as the 1300's in England but, in that case, is probably not connected to the later Welsh "Wynn" at all.

"Wynn", or Gwynn, became used as a surname by several Welsh families in the 1500's. One Welsh surname authority [Morgan & Morgan, Welsh Surnames] explains the variation from 'Gwynn' to 'Wynn' as a softening in Welsh usage. Collateral lines, even members of the same line, are found using either spelling. Robert Wynn (d.1598) of Conway is recorded as using Gwynn, Wynn, and Wynne all at various, successive points in his career. Because Welsh pronounces each letter, the "Wynne" form is not used in a Welsh-speaking context. It represents an anglicization of the surname used by those either living in England or wishing to identify themselves as allied with English customs.

"Winn" does not normally appear in Wales because the "y" is a particular vowel in Welsh, with a unique pronunciation; the "i" is a different sound in Welsh. "Winn" does appear later in South Wales and is still more common there. But the subtle difference of the Welsh "y" would be lost in Virginia, and 'Winn' became the most common way to spell the surname in America. Only a few lines chose to retain the "Wynne" or "Gwynn" forms.


Margaret Gwin who married a Hudson? This Margaret would be the daughter of Mordecai & Elizabeth Gwin* and the sister to Rev. James, John, Edward, William and Alexander.

  • Not included as there are too many Elizabeth......?
  • The above John Gwin b. 15 Dec., 1764.
  • Marriage 1 Elizabeth GWIN
    • Married: 1752 in SC ?
    • Note: IGI shows married in SC, but could have been NC, and if so, the marriage probably took place in the Granville/Orange County area.


  • 1. John b ca 1753
  • 2. Alexander b ca 1755
  • 3. James b ca 1757
  • 4. Margaret b ca 1759
  • 5. Jane b ca 1761


  • 1. Margaret GWIN b: 28 MAR 1760 in Orange Co.,, NC
  • 2. Rev. James A. GWIN b: 1768 in Orange Co.,, NC
  • 3. Jane GWIN b: 16 FEB 1762 in Orange Co.,, NC

From Wales or Northern Ireland; Possibly located in Pennsylvania in 1738; Possibly married several times

view all 13

Mordecai Gwin's Timeline

Ireland or Wales
Age 26
Orange County, Province of North Carolina
Age 29
Orange County, Province of North Carolina, (Present USA)
Age 33
Orange County, Province of North Carolina
March 28, 1760
Age 40
Orange County (Present Alamance County), Province of North Carolina, (Present USA)
February 16, 1762
Age 42
Orange County, Province of North Carolina
February 15, 1764
Age 44
Orange County, Province of North Carolina
January 16, 1769
Age 49
Orange County, Province of North Carolina
Age 50
Orange County, Province of North Carolina