Tunis Wayne McElwain

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Tunis Wayne McElwain

Also Known As: "Tunice Mucklewain", "Tunis Anthony McElwain", "Wain", "McIlwain", "Mucklewaine"
Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: South Branch, Pendleton Co., (W)VA
Death: November 4, 1851 (78)
Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County, West Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Lee District, Calhoun County, West Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas 'George' McElwain, Il and Nancy McElwain
Husband of Catherine Elizabeth Mucklewain
Father of George Frederick McElwain, Sr.; Barbara Ann Davis; Mary McElwain; Thomas McElwain; Dorothea "Dolly" Nichols and 4 others
Brother of Effa Redaford; Eleanor "Nellie" Bailey; Mary Cogar; Catherine Brooks; Thomas McElwain and 1 other

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Tunis Wayne McElwain

McElwain family is also known as Mucklewaine, Wain, McIlwain, Wayne.


Tunis Anthony McElwain was a son of George Thomas Jr. and Nancy (Rector)McElwain. His monument in the Ball-Winter cemetery in Calhoun County WV gives a birth date of August 19, 1773 and death date of November 4, 1851. However, his pension file contains a December 10, 1833 deposition stating that he was 74 years on the date of the deposition. A Virginia Militia record states that he was 75 years old March 4, 1831. Since his claim for a Revolutionary War service pension was validated, he was probably born about 1760.

He married Catherine Propst in Pendleton County, VA in 1792. Catharine, a daughter of George Frederick and Barbara (Swadley/Pence) Probst, was born March 15, 1772 and died August 4, 1849 in Calhoun County, VA (WV). In 1797, the family moved from Pendleton County to Franklin County, VA and lived there until 1802, when they returned to Pendleton County, where they remained until 1812. In 1812 they moved to the banks of the Elk River and settled at the mouth of the Holly River. Tunis had 54 acres surveyed October 18, 1815 and received a land grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia December 30, 1816. In 1830, the family moved to the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River in Kanawha County, VA near the present site of Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County, WV. The 1850 Gilmer County census lists Tunis in the household of his son in law, Soloman Nicholas.

Tunis Anthony and Catherine (Propst) McElwain are buried in the Ball-Winter Cemetary, near Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County, WV.

The following is from Tunis McElwain's Revolution War Pension file S9043 and was quoted in "Calhoun County Lines and Links" for October 1998.


On this 10th day of December, 1833, personally appeared before me the subscriber a Justice of the peace in and for said Kanawha County in the State of Virginia, Tunis Mucklewaine a resident of Kanawha County in the State of Virginia aged 74 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress of the 9th June 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. That in August 1776, he volunteered as an Indian Spy for three months under Captain Robert Davis in what is now Pendleton County in, Virginia that he was marched to Evicks Fort and placed under Colonel Gregg. He with others of Captain Davis Company was ordered to spy westward in the North Fork and Seneca and as far as the top of the Allegany mountains which separates the waters that falls into Cheat river from those of the North fork and other waters of the South Branch of Potomac. He done so until in November 1776 when he was discharged by Captain Davis. Then in March 1777 he volunteered to serve six months as an Indian Spy under the same Captain Robert Davis. Captain Davis was this year under Col. Hutton, he was again ordered to spy from Eviks fort to a fort at a place called the upper tract and so westward on the North fork and its waters around their sources to the top of the Allegany. This year a man named Wilfong was returning home with a web from the weavers and a keg of five gallons of whiskey was taken prisoner by the Indians. On the succeeding night on the head of a right hand branch of Seneca creek, which empties into the North fork, he procured the Indians all to be drunk on the whiskey and escaped from them came to the fort at the tract and gave his narrative. Captain Davis with 20 chosen men of which declarent was one, pursued the Indians. We found their trail and pursued them through what is now called Tygarts valley in Randolph County crossing Leading creek, Sugar creek and the valley river below where Booths or Anglin's ferry now is into and through Harrison and Tyler Counties now West Augusta then to the Ohio river near the mouth of Middle Island. We could not overtake them, we returned much fatigued from a long march with scanty provisions. Continued to spy as before until in September when he was discharged having served six months this tour as an Indian Spy. Then in March 1778 he again volunteered to spy for six months in a company commanded by Captain McCoy in that part of Virginia which is now Pendleton County in Virginia the same place where his above recited service was performed although it was then Augusta County. His Captain McCoy rondevoued at Shrivers fort at the upper tract in now Pendleton County, Va. under the command of Col. Dyer. He was ordered again to spy westward in what is now Pendleton County across the North fork as well as up and down it, and up Seneca creek to report at Shrivers and Evicks forts every two weeks, this done till September 1778 when he was discharged having served six months this tour as a private and Indian Spy. Then again in May 1779 he again volunteered under Captain Trimble for six months as an Indian Spy in what is now Pendleton County in Va. He was ordered to what is now called Randolph County to Wilson's fort and ordered to spy across the county toward Buckhannon and back every two weeks. This he did till in November late when he was discharged, this year the command was given to Col. Duvall who was what was in those days in Virginia called "County Lieutenant." He was for many years in that part of Virginia a brave and vigilant officer.

   In April 1780 he again volunteered in what is now Randolph County in

Virginia under a Captain Stuart to act as an Indian Spy. He was ordered to spy from Wilsons fort to Buckhannon thence back to Westfalls fort in Taygarts Valley 15 miles above'Wilsons and down the valley by Cassadays fort, two and a half miles above where Beverely Town now stands in Randolph County thence to Wilsons fort every two weeks, this he did till late in the month of October, 1780, when he was discharged having served six months this year as a private and Indian Spy. Again in March 1781 he was ordered out as an Indian Spy in what is now Randolph County under Captain Bogard by Col. Duvall for six months. He was ordered to spy in what is now Randolph, Lewis and Nicholas Counties and report to Buckhannon Warrecks and Cassadys forts, this he did from in March 1781 till in September of the same year when he was discharged after a hard and perilous service of full six months. In this year Comwallis was captured and in 1782 he volunteered for three months in March under the command of Captain Bogard and Col. Duvall. He was ordered to perform the same routine of duty which he did in 1781 till in June 1782. There being more men remaining at home this year than usual he performed no more service this year. In 1783 he again volunteered in March to serve three months under Captain Wilson, Col. Westford, he spied on the same ground performing the same tours of service reporting to the same forts which he did in 1781 and 1782 till in June 1783 when he was discharged having served three months in each of the years 1782 and 1783 as private and Indian Spy. This was the last service during the continuance of the revolutionary war, but he acted as an Indian Spy, a ranger or scout every year after down to the year 1795. He served during the revolution not less than three years and three months as a private and Indian Spy during the revolution from 1776 till 1783 including both years. He saw no general officers that he now remembers, nor did he see any regular troops. He saw militia and Indian Spys a kind of mixed service. He knew Col. Gregg, Hulton, Matthews, Dyer, Westfall and Lowther. He does not now remember the numbers or names of regts. He has no documentary evidence. He knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his services. He hereby relinqiushes every claim whatever to a pension or surruty except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state. Subscribed and swom to this day and year aforesaid.

   Tunis X Mucklevaine

   The seven interrogatories prescribed by the War Department were

propounded to the applicant to which he answered as follows, viz:

   I st That he was bom on the 19th day of August 1759 in what is now

Rockingham County in Virginia as he always heard.

   2nd That he has no record of his age.

   3rd That he was living in what is now Pendleton County in Virginia

from thence to Randolph thence to Nicholas then to Kanahawa where he now lives.

   4th That he volunteered first in 1776, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81. He was

ordered out as an Indian spy, and in 1782 & 83 he again volunteered in all three years and three months.

   5th He knew no general officers.  He knew Col. Gregg, Hutton,

Matthews, Dyer, Westfall and Lowther. He does not remember the numbers or names of rests. He saw regular troops. The general circumstances of his service is as set forth above.

   6th He received discharges from Captains Davis, McCoy, Trimble,

Stuart, Bogard and Wilson, he has lost them all long since.

   7th He is known in his present neighbourhood to Daniel B. Hardway

and Jacob Mucklewaine. They can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution. There are no Clergymen residing near him. Swom & Subscribed this day and year aforesaid.

   Tunis X Mucklevaine

   We, Daniel B. Hardway and Jacob Mucklevaine residing in the County

of Kanawha in said State of Virginia do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Tunis Mucklevaine who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration. That we believe him to be 74 years of age. That he is respected and believed to in the neighbourhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution, and we concur in that opinion. Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

   Daniel B. Hardway

   Jacob X Mucklevaine

   And I the said Barnabas Cook a Justice of the Peace as aforesaid in

and for the said County of Kanawha in the said State of Virginia do hereby declare my opinion after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department that the above named applicant Tunis Mucklevaine was a revolutionary soldier and Indian Spy and served as he states. And I the said Justice of the peace do further certify that Daniel B. Hardway and Jacob Mucklevaine who have signed and before me sworn to the proceeding certificate are resident citizens of the said county of Kanawha in the said state of Virginia, that they are credible men and that their statement is entitled to credit. And I the said Justice do further certify that the applicant lives 55 miles from the courthouse of Kanawha County, that he is to infirm and deceased to travel there without great inconvenience and that there is no Clergyman residing near him.

   Given under my hand at my County and State aforesaid the 10th day of

December 1833

   B. Cook, J.P.

   I, Alexander Quarrier, Clerk of the county Court of said County of

Kanawha do here certify that Barnabas Cook, Gent. before whom the foregoing declaration affidavits were made and who also makes the foregoing certificate, at that time was and still is an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid duly commissioned and sworn ant that to all his acts as such faith and credits is and ought to be given. And I do further certify that I believe his signature hereto affixed to be genuine.

   In witness where of I have hereunto set my and affixed my Seal

of office this 16th day of December 1833 and in the 58th years of the Commonwealth.

   A. W. Quarrier, Clerk
   Kanawha County Court

It seems that in almost every family history, the lineage goes back to one individual who fathered the clan, a sort of "Devil Anse", as it were. We have chosen as patriarch of the Waynes one Tunis Wayne, beyond which very little is known at this time. From the time of Tunis on down to (but not including) the present generation, the Waynes have been a prolific lot and according to all the rules of mathmatics, should have overpopulated the earth by this time, but such is not the case. The following bits of information should serve to get any of the female members of the family into the DAR, if they be so inclined.

We first find the family of Wayne (sometimes written as Wain, McIlwain, Mucklewaine), in Rockingham County, Virginia. Tunis was born there between 1759 and 1773. His Revolutionary War record says he was born in 1759; the 1850 census indicates he was born between 1760 and 1770; and his gravestone says he was born in 1773. This discrepancy in dates is not unusual--the lack of accurate records have left many people not knowing the exact date on which they were born. In any event, it is interesting to note at this point that our great-grandfather was old enough to fight in the Revolutionary War. This strikes us as being very unusual in the present-day generation.

Tunis fought in the Revolution from Pendleton County, Virginia as an Indian spy. How much spying he actually did is a question that no one can answer. Most of the younger boys at that time fought and tracked Indians. He later drew a pension for his Revolutionary service, but after two years it was taken away. Application for his pension was made in Kanawha County, Virginia (WV).

Tunis married Catherine Propst between 1792 and 1794, and around 1810, he moved to Holly River, Webster County, W. Va., which was at that time Randolph County, Virginia. He brought at least three children with him, the rest were born in Webster County. They crossed the *Elk River in a canoe and came into the Applachian wilderness to make a new home. From the "History and Folklore of Webster County" we find that "George McElwain, son of Tunice McElwain, accompanied his father from Pendleton County to the Holly River about 1810. Returning to Pendleton to drive their stock through, he arrived there at the outbreak of the Second War with England and entered the American Army. When months and years passed without his return, his family decided he had met with misfortune by encountering Indians or wild animals and mourned for him as dead. He did not rejoin his family until the end of the war.

We have been unable to find a satisfactory explanation of the different surnames used over the years. The spelling seems to have been the option of whomever was doing the writing at the time. Perhaps the original name was Wayne but at this time we have no records to indicate this. The records of Rockingham County, Virginia may yield this information some of these days.

Grandfather Jacob Wayne, son of Tunis, moved from Webster to Calhoun County, Lee District, around 1830. He owned land there at the age of 20, was married three times and had eighteen children. He died and was buried there at the age of eighty-three.


Inscription: 78y 2m 15d

Inscription: 78y 2m 15d

view all 13

Tunis Wayne McElwain's Timeline

August 19, 1773
South Branch, Pendleton Co., (W)VA
February 10, 1794
Age 20
South Branch, Pendleton Co., (W)VA
March 18, 1796
Age 22
Pendleton Co., (W)VA
November 27, 1798
Age 25
Franklin, Pendleton Co., (W)VA
March 3, 1800
Age 26
Braxton County, Virginia, United States
February 13, 1806
Age 32
Pendleton County, West Virginia, United States
January 26, 1808
Age 34
Pendleton County, West Virginia, United States
April 4, 1808
Age 34
Pendleton County, West Virginia, United States
October 5, 1813
Age 40
Nicholas, Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States