William ‘the Elder’ Blevins

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William ‘the Elder’ Blevins

Also Known As: "William Blevins ll", "Captain or Colonel William"
Birthplace: Rhode Island, or, Prince George's County, Maryland, Colonial America
Death: after 1778
Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Blevin, of NY, RI, MD, & VA and Margery Blevin
Husband of Agathy Blevins
Father of Katherine Walling and Colonel William Blevins, II
Brother of Mary Walling; Daniel 'Longhunter' Blevins; John ‘Jack’ Blevins and James Blevins

Managed by: Dan Cornett
Last Updated:

About William ‘the Elder’ Blevins



The wife of William Blevins “the Elder” was likely named "Agathy," possibly a nickname for Agnes or Agatha. The only known reference to her is in a deed reportedly made in Halifax County, Virginia, in 1765, by which William and "Agathy" Blevins granted 125 acres to Thomas Wallen.[1]

Based on the estimated birth of her likely child William in about 1735, she was probably born before 1720. She died after making this deed in 1765. Nothing further is known about her.

William Blevins (abt 1720 - aft 1778) and his wife Agathy had at least two children:

  1. Col. William Blevins, Jr. (bef. 1745 - bef. 1812) [1] married Ann Dunn (disproved as Ann Morrell)
  2. Katherine Blevins (abt 1738 - aft 1814), m. Elisha “Longhunter” Walling (aka Wallen) Jr. (abt 1734 - 1814)


From Ancestry, as a starting point for sorting out her husband, William Blevins:

Sorting out 3 men named William Blevins, by Rob Blevins

Most people reference William Blevins and say he was married to Ann Bunch, he was a Longhunter, and that he signed the Watauga Purchase. The problem I have with this blanket statement is that I'm sure we are dealing with at least three different men. I hope to get some help sorting out the men named William Blevins all of whom figure into the Blevins family history.

I'll start with the William everyone seems to agree on. William Jr. was the son of John William (or William John) Blevin. He was apparently born in 1690 or 1691 in Fromby (which is in England just north of the Welch border).

He apparently came to Rhode Island as a boy. Most people credit him as being married to Ann Bunch BUT some others identify his wife as being Mary Bean. For sorting purposes, let’s call William Jr. OLD BILL as he is known by some. He apparently died about 1767.

The second William is, I believe OLD BILL'S son. He was born about 1718, although some place his birth as early as 1710. This William III is often referred to as THE ELDER and most say he was married to Agnes Wallen. THE ELDER died sometime around 1777.

The third William is, I believe THE ELDER'S son. He was born about 1735 although some place his birth as being around 1730. This William is often referred to as THE COLONEL and there is a fair amount of information on him relative to the disposition of his estate. He married Ann Morrell and he died around 1805.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the Blevins people left Rhode Island sometime around 1724 stopping in Bucks County PA, then on to New Jersey, and then by 1734 to Prince George's County MD. By the late 1730's or early 1740's they landed in Southwestern VA.

Question 1. Does anyone DISAGREE with this line of William Blevins? (Old Bill, Elder, Colonel.) Or are these men of different family lines?

Question 2. Most people say that Ann Bunch was an Indian from New Jersey or MD. If so, was she Old Bill's SECOND wife? It seems he was married in Rhode Island (perhaps to Mary Bean) and had children BEFORE he left Rhode Island. A second and perhaps more plausible answer is that Ann Bunch was The Elder's FIRST wife (before Agnes Wallen) and that she was William the Colonel's mother. Ann may have died young and the Elder married Agnes Wallen afterwards. Anyone have an opinion?

Question 3. Are Wallen, Wailing, and Walden the SAME family names and derivatives of Elisha Wallen's family?

Comment 1. I believe that all three of these Williams were hunters. BUT, long hunts are physically demanding and not for old men. There are references to Blevins men being hunters in the earliest VA records (1740 or so) but most of the longhunt stories start around 1761. Old Bill would have been 70 years old in 1761 so I contend that the William Blevins in the longhunter stories was William the Elder (age 43 in 1761), William the Colonel (age 26 in 1761) or both.

Comment 2. The Watauga Purchase was signed in 1774. Old Bill probably died around 1767 and The Elder would have been close to 50 years old at the time. I contend that the William who signed the Purchase was probably William the Colonel who would have been about 39 years old.

Another family view


William Blevins was born about 1718. He son of William Blevins. He was referred to as Captain or Colonel William.

He married Agnes Wallen.

Agnes and William's children may have included:

  1. William Blevins (1740),
  2. Mary Blevins (1742),
  3. Samuel Blevins (1745),
  4. Willoughby Blevins (1748),
  5. Elisha Blevins (1750),
  6. James Blevins,
  7. Abraham Blevins (1755),
  8. Sarah Blevins (1757),
  9. Joseph Blevins (1758), and
  10. John Blevins (1760).

Before 1740, he went on long hunting expeditions to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky with his father and brothers.

In 1756, William was granted land in what would become Henry County, Virginia.

11 June 1776 - The Fincastle Committee of Public Safety ordered that William Blevins, James Blevins and John Blevins be summoned to appear at Captain Evan Shelby's on Saturday 22nd of this month to answer the following Complaint: That they have refused to bear arms or muster in Capt. Shelby's Company of Militia agreeable to the Ordinance of Convention by reason of their attachment to the Enemies of American Liberty and Correspondence with Tories and the Cherokee Nation.

In 1777 William, John, James and Abraham Blevins signed the Petition of Holston Men.

In February, 1777, Agnes and William sold the 125 acres he was granted. In March, William bought 120 acres on Beaver Creek and he sold it in October of that year.



William Blevins b. ca 1719 was reportedly born in Prince George's Co., Maryland. He was the youngest son of William Blevins b. ca 1691. He appeared in 1741 in Brunswick Co., Virginia, as one of first three settlers appearing in county tax records. In 1752 William surveyed 400 acres on both sides of Beaver Creek in Lunenburg Co. which was formed from Brunswick Co., Va. In 1749 William next had a tract of 125 acres on the South side of Smith River surveyed in Pittsylvania, VA. This land was given due to his militia service. As an honorary title William was referred to early on as Capt. William, and later as “Colonel William.” His son William b. ca 1740 was also referred to as Colonel William. He settled and lived on land along the Holston River in presentday Sullivan County Virginia. These men are mentioned in several deeds and transactions where William b. abt. 1719 was referred to as "William the younger" being a son of William Blevins “the elder” who was born ca. 1691. The following entries can be found on page 156 and page 229 in Pittsylvania Co., Va, deeds Book #2; -- William #3 (son of William #2) b. abt. 1719 (the younger) married Mary Bean and sold land he had recently bought. This was probably because the family was preparing to relocate to Tennessee in about 1771.<ref>[http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BLEVINS/2012-06/13407...] Rootsweb </ref> ---

INDENTURE. 10 May 1771 - “Between George Lumkin and Mary his wife of the Colony of Virginia and the County of Pittsylvania and WilliamBlevins - the youngest Son of William Blevins the Elder of said Colony.” “For £ 160 - Current Money of Virginia – the Receipt whereof is acknowledged – Land lying and being in the County aforesaid –on the north side of Marrowbone Creek and Bounded… Here in this indenture of May of 1771, William is buying 300 acres from George and Mary Lumkin and in the above deed Lumkin is transferringland to William for 160 pounds that he soon sells back to Lumpkin for100 pounds as he prepares to relocate to Tennessee) -

-- INDENTURE. August 29, 1771 appears a deed entry between; “William Blevins, Son of William Blevins, & Ann his wife of the County of Pittsylvania, in the Colony of Virginia, of the one part, and George Lumkin of the County and Colony aforesaid of the other part.” Here William #3 is selling the same land back to George Lumpkin at a loss of £60. This was the same land that he had purchased in May of 1771. WITNESETH that for £ 100 current money of the said Colony by thesaid George Lumpkin to the said William Blevins Son of William Blevins and Ann his wife have given granted, etc. ---

Land in the aforesaid County situated on the East or North side of Marrowbone Creek, Beginning at a maple in a branch, down the branch 134 poles to a Black Walnutto the said Creek – at the mouth of the said branch, down the said Creek 90 poles to a White Walnut at the mouth of a branch, up the branch 284 poles to a White Oak on said branch, North 150, East 225 poles to a Chestnut Oak in Prices’s line, on the said line South 63° East220 poles to the beginning – containing 300 acres, more or less. With all Appurtenances.

So if on May 10, 1771, in Pittsylvania Co. VA, George Lumkin and Mary his wife sold 300 acres for 160 lbs. to William Blevins, 'the youngest Son of William Blevins the Elder'. Both George Lumkin and Mary Lumkin signed their marks. (in this case William “the youngest” is William b. ca 1719 the youngest son of William b. ca 169. William was a younger brother of Daniel b. ca 1714 who also had land on Marrowbone creek. He died about 1777. Findagrave


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William ‘the Elder’ Blevins's Timeline

Rhode Island, or, Prince George's County, Maryland, Colonial America
Goochland County, Virginia, Colonial America
Prince George's County, Maryland, or, Pittsylvania County , Virginia, Colonial America
Age 59
Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States