James Winn, Son of Daniel of Lunenburg: Lost but now Found? Probably …


I recently stumbled across online images of a Winn family Bible I had not seen before.[1] The Bible is from the family of James Winn, son of Daniel Winn of Lunenburg County, Virginia. James’s wife was Mary Ann Winn, daughter of John and Ann Stone Winn, also of Lunenburg. I wrote about James and Mary Ann briefly in Part IV of the recent Lunenburg Winn series.

What stands out about James in that article is his Revolutionary War service. He enlisted in February 1776 for two years in Capt. James Johnson’s company of the 6th Virginia Regiment, as did his brothers Elisha and William Winn.[2] He is shown on a Revolutionary War roll as a Sergeant in May 1777.[3] His individual service record lists him in Capt. Billey Haley Avery’s company of the 6th Virginia Regiment from August 1777 through January 1778. He was discharged in February 1778 at Valley Forge.[4] That catches most people’s attention, as well it should. And because today is November 11, I hereby send best wishes and gratitude to all veterans, including my husband Gary, a Vietnam vet, and (posthumously) to James Winn, a many-greats uncle of mine.

Back to the Winns: my article goes on to say that James probably left Lunenburg because there doesn’t seem to be a will or estate administration for him there. I added that I did not know where he went. In short, I just flat lost James and Mary Ann.

So … have we found James, son of Daniel, in this family Bible record? As a black plastic “Magic 8 Ball”[5] might say, “all signs point to ‘yes.’ ” For starters, the first members of the family recorded in the Bible are named James and Mary Ann Winn. The Bible says he was born in 1757. I had estimated that Daniel’s son James was born in 1757-1758, so the Bible’s birth year is spot on.

Also, several descendants of this family have been accepted by the D.A.R. on the basis of the Revolutionary War service of James Winn, son of Daniel Winn of Lunenburg. In short, there is every reason to accept that the James and Mary Ann Winn in the Bible record are the same people as James and Mary Ann Winn of Lunenburg.

But wait, there’s more … one descendant of James posted a comment on the original version of this article. She says the line has been Y-DNA tested and is well-established as part of the genetic family of Daniel Winn of Lunenburg. This blog has turned out to be a great way to meet nice cousins, and she is another one who is also a great researcher.

There is an “in memory of” marker for a James F. Winn in the Oakwood Cemetery in Martinsville, the county seat of Henry County, Virginia. Here it is:

Please note that the marker is fairly modern, perhaps mid 20th-century. The cemetery wasn’t founded until 1883, sixty-eight years after James died, so it is virtually certain that he was not buried there.[6]

A minor nitpick: the many Lunenburg records for James Winn, son of Daniel, never included a middle initial. The same is true for his military service records, which have his first and last names only, with no middle initial. There is no evidence of a middle name or initial in the Bible, either … he is simply James Winn. Nevertheless, the marker includes a middle initial, and most Ancestry trees identify him as “James Francis Winn.” Of course, people routinely include middle names for 18th-century men without any basis in the records, so this isn’t s a big surprise.

OK, back to the Bible. It was printed in 1833, roughly two decades after James and Mary Ann died. The family entries are in two parts.  First, there is a list of gifts of the Bible from one Winn family member to the next – i.e., the Bible’s ownership provenance. Four pages headed “Family Register” follow. Those pages record names, dates of birth, and some marriages for family members. I was reeling after reading both, and didn’t feel as though I had a handle on this family until I did a fair amount of additional research. May you have better luck.

Here, sans commentary, is a verbatim transcription of the family information. It begins with the provenance of the Bible and continues with the four pages of “Family Register” entries.

“This my fathers family Bible. I will to my niece Susie Winn Shute after my death it is to be hers. [Signed] Mary A. Thompson. April 30, 1895.”

“I give this Bible to my cousin Walter S. Winn & if he ________ [indecipherable] _______ William Winn. [Signed] Susie W. Shute.”

“I give this Bible to John T. Winn Jr. with the request that it be kept in the Winn family. Walter S. Winn, June 5th1920.”

“I give this Bible to William Edward Winn with the request that it be kept in the Winn family. Jan. 28, 1962, Charlotte, NC, John T. Winn Jr.”

“I give this Bible to Thomas Edward Winn with the request that it be kept in the Winn family. April 26, 2003, Charlotte, NC.”

Here is the first page headed “FAMILY REGISTER.” In the original Bible, the names are shown in two columns on each page. I couldn’t make that format work here. Sorry. It would be easier reading.

Column 1

James Winn was born April 14th 1757

Mary Ann was born 14th December 1759

Olive Winn was born January 28th 1779

Crecy Winn was born November 29th 1780

Archelaus Winn was born November 17th 1784

Younger Winn was born April 12th 1786

Frances Winn was born October 15th 1787

Coleman Winn was born June 30th 1789

Elizabeth Ann Winn was born June 15th 1791

Column 2

James Winn and Mary Ann Winn were married on the 15th of May 1778

Jerusha James Winn was born March 7th 1793

James Sibley Winn was born January 1st 1795

Arlysha Scott Winn and Clearecy Harloe Winn twin sisters were born February 4th 1797

Whitehead Washington Winn was born February 22nd 1799

Clarecy Harloe Winn died Sept 6th 1802

Mary Ann Winn the wife of James Winn died August 13th 1813

End of first page of the register. Here is the second page, also titled FAMILY REGISTER …

Column 1

James Winn died June 14th 1815

Mary Ann Winn his wife died August 13th 1813

Susanna Winn died Dec 16th 1864.

Archelaus W. Winn died April 13th 1868

Column 2

Calma C. Winn wife of Rev. G. W. Winn died Aug 4th 1893.

George Washington Winn died April 8, 1895

Livin A. Winn died May 16th 1892

Louisa Yourman? Winn died June 25th 1894

Mary Ann Winn Thompson died Oct 29 1905, the last of the old family

End of the second page. Here is the third page of the Family Register …

Column 1

Archelaus W. Winn was born Nov. 17th 1784

Susanna Ballanfant was born January 23rd 1789

Ebenezer P. Winn was born Aug 17th 1809

James Winn was b. June 26th 1812

John B. Winn Sept. 2nd 1814

Joseph B. Winn Dec. 6 1816

George W. Winn b. Jul 5th 1819

Mary Ann Winn Nov. 23, 1821

Column 2

Louisa Y. Winn 28 Apr 1824

Levin A. Winn 22 Mar 1826

William Alexander Winn Aug 29th 182? 1828?

Franklin L. P. Winn 20 May 1831

Mary Elizabeth Hoskins was b. 21 Dec 1837

F. L. P. Winn and M. E. Hoskins were married 1855

End of the third page of the register. Here is the fourth and final page …

Column 1

Joseph B. Winn died Jan 9th 1828

John B. Winn died Oct 23rd 1855

Ebenezer P. Winn d. 12 Jul 1863

John A. Thompson died Oct 21 1866

William A. Winn d. 12 Dec 1866

Silas D. Thompson d. Nov 8th 1882

Column 2

John Thompson Winn d. July 12, 1932, Bedford Co., TN, son of F.L.P. and M.E. Winn was born Mar 23, 1856.

Walter Salt? Winn son of Livin A. Winn and Marth A. Winn was b. July 2 1864

Emma Ellen Maxwell Winn wife of W. S. Winn was born Oct. 5, 1871

John A. Thompson and Mary A. Winn was married Aug 10th 1852

S.? D. Thompson and Mary A. Thompson m. Dec 13th 1870

E. L. Winn son of J. T. Winn Sr. was born Feb 16 1882

And that’s all of the family information in the Bible. If the spirit moves, I will prepare and post a conventional descendant chart for clarity, along with some additional information from census and other records.

See you on down the road.


[1] The Bible is online at the Library of Virginia at this link.

[2] James Winn’s military muster rolls at the National Archives can be viewed  at this link.

[3] Online at FamilySearch.org, United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783: May 1777 muster roll, Sergeant James Winn and Corporal Elisha Winn in Capt. James Johnson’s company of the 6th Virginia Regiment, available here.

Id., Capt. Billy Haley Averys Company of the 6th Virginia Regiment, January 1778, Sergeant James Winn and Corporal Elisha Winn. NARA Series M246, Roll 103, online at this link.

[4] See Valley Forge Muster Roll Project here.

[5] Mattel still manufactures the Magic 8 Ball.

[6] Here is a link to the Find-a-Grave site for Oakwood Cemetery.

10 thoughts on “James Winn, Son of Daniel of Lunenburg: Lost but now Found? Probably …”

  1. Hi Robin, I have previously contacted you regarding your efforts on the Rankin line, but this time, I wanted to let you know that James Winn (son of Daniel) is my direct line. I appreciate all the fine work that you are doing with these posts.

    FYI – The bible is on file at the library of Virginia http://image.lva.virginia.gov/BibleIII/43632.pdf

    I (and quite a few other of James Winn descendants) are DAR members through his line(James Winn – Ancestor #: A204724) – so there are “accepted” paper trails to support this lineage. I’m sure that the SAR (Sons of the Am REV) has probably got them as patriots too…

    BTW – Daniel Winn is also an approved patriot (Ancestor #: A128552 ; 1) LUNENBURG CO,FURNISHED SUPPLIES) .
    and so is John Winn (husband of Ann Stone) (Ancestor #: A128717; John Winn Sr FURNISHED SUPPLIES) see http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/court/lune1780.txt

    Did you know that Stephanie Winn Miller – one of the FTDNA Y-Surname project administrators is also one of the authors of “Daniel Winn and his 9 sons.” She is a descendant of this line too (through James Winn’s son – Archelaus). There is no doubt that there is a conclusive Y-DNA signature proving that descendants of Daniel Winn include James Winn/Mary Ann Winn. I personally know several of the Y-DNA participants and I have a rock solid paper trail.

    I agree with you about James Winn’s middle name…”Francis”… I have not seen any justification. I have not seen any descendants named Francis either…

    Archelaus moved to Culleoka, Maury, Tennessee – and his sons moved outward from there – some to Illinois (my line is through Arch’s son James). The sons fought against each other on both sides of the civil war.

    Wikitree ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Winn-451 ) has a lot of family data that is well sourced specifically on Archelaus’ descendants. (caution- the pages were created and previously managed by someone who was overly fond of “footnotes” ).

    San Jose, California

    1. Terri, I really appreciate your comment and all the good info it contains! I will revise the article to include the link to the LVA for the Bible. And amend it to note that the line is proved via Y-DNA. I hoped that was the case, and that the article would “smoke out” some solid research.

      You undoubtedly know that all of the “owners” of the Bible are from the line of Archelaus. He was fairly easy to track — gotta love unusual names!

      I’m also descended from Daniel through his son Joseph, who married Elizabeth Winn, daughter of Col. Thomas Winn of Lunenburg. I have met quite a few nice Winn cousins! Didn’t realize you were one of them. And I can’t recall which Rankin line was your interest. Please let me know because I’m heading back to the Rankins now …


      1. My Winn connection is through my grandmother (Audrey Floy Winn-Holm). Her line is from Daniel>James>Arch>James SR>James Jr>Joseph>Audrey.

        Joseph left the family homestead in Illinois with his younger brother Nathaniel when his father remarried (something about an evil stepmother hahaha). He moved to Paris, Henry TN and I have lots of connections (distant) to families down there – including George W. Rankin who married Louvina Sirena Griffin. These came from the Jefferson Tennessee bunch.

        Louvina Griffin-Rankin is my grandmother’s great aunt…(She is the daughter of James Griffin/Mary Polly Hill. Louvinia Rankin is mentioned in her father (Thomas Griffin)’s will “also I Thomas Griffin do will and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Louvina, widow of George W. Rankin the sum of Five Dollars”. (Thomas Griffin and Mary Polly Hill are well documented and are from the Jefferson TN area – then moved to McNairy TN with the Hill family before settling in Paris, Henry TN.)

        They had one child Thankful Caroline Rankin born 1835. After George W Rankin died in 1839, she re-married Robert William Madison Jobe and had more children. Her mother (Mary Polly Hill-Griffin) was living with Louvinia (now Jobe) in the 1850 and 1860 census. Let me know if you want more details.

        Will of George W Rankin is found on Ancestry.com at the following url https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9176/images/004776197_00440?usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&pId=4170998

        It mentions that his father’s name is George and was apparently still living at the time.

        I am a wikitree volunteer and I have decided to focus some attention on the profiles of the folks in that Paris, Henry TN area since my grandmother has talked about those families.

        If you are ever interested in another project – either the Hill family or the Griffin family will offer you plenty of interesting fodder. 😊 Jeeze – I could sure use your help.

        1. Thanks for George’s will! My research in the Jefferson Co. family is inadequate. Like a lot of my research, I did it before FHL made so many records available online. Had to either go to the county courthouse, Salt Lake City, or an abstract if available. I find that I need to redo half of my research because it was just inadequate and/or incomplete.

          Thanks for the Hill/Griffin offer! And I could sure use some help with the Rankins! I love the other administrators on the Rankin DNA Project, even though they are inactive. Need to find someone who does stuff!!! 😊

          Please stay in touch. You’ve got my email.

          Cuz Robin

      2. I just remembered one more thing in the paper-trail to prove that James Winn is a son of Archelaus.
        There is an 1878 Railroad stock distribution document that lists his heirs and includes James Winn. (remember – James was not mentioned in the will of Arch)

        It is posted on wikitree at the following link

        – or I can send you a copy to complete your records.

  2. Hi there, I have been reading your blog on the Winn’s and was greatly please by all the information. As I was going through it all I came upon my 4th Great grandfather Mourning Winn, yes it is Mourning, son of John Winn and Ann Stone. It was Mourning Winn that moved his family to Sumner county Tennessee. I have lots of land deeds, wills and deeds of sales from Mourning Winn and his estate. His farm was large and was actually in both Sumner county and Trousdale county. A lot of his descendents still live in Middle Tennessee or close by. You have seen my tree so I am not sure what else I can provide. I do have my great, great Aunts family bible where she did keep names and dates on the family, I also have my grandparents family bible which also records lots of family information although it is more current. I have contact information for a descendent of Lucretia Winn who married William Hundley as well.

    1. Valerie, I don’t think I have seen your gr-great Aunt’s family Bible. Would you be willing to send either an image or a transcription to me and allow me to publish it on this blog? There are bound to be some Winn researchers “out there” who would love to see it. I don’t recall seeing your tree, but if the Bible is attached to your tree I will try to find it.

      Good to hear from you.

  3. I was doing a google search on Samuel Rockway Winn (father) and your blog came up. The blog mentions that you might also anticipate writing about Powell, Martin, and Willis. These are all surnames within my husbands and my trees. Both of our families primarily settled in Virginia before spreading out.

    In June, we attended a weeklong AncestorSeekers workshop in Salt Lake City. While at the library the Winn DNA project came up. My brother will be taking the test so we can get confirmation on which Winn line we need to be following back. Right now, there are too many Minor Winn’s for making that determination. The DAR years ago accepted my great aunt’s application for one Minor Winn and later pulled the application due to lack of evidence. The story is a fire destroyed the records needed as proof. Recently learned that part of my Winn line settled in Texas.

    What Powell line were you referring to? Our line currently shows a Zadok Powell Sr. 1736-1811.

    In one of your blogs, you mentioned making the mistake of having the incorrect person. I have made that error. Right now, my line in FamilySearch shows one path and it conflicts with the data I have so I have disconnected from the questionable line. The most current family data is kept in Ancestry.com though I have started trees in other programs.

    Also see you are in the Houston area, so am I.

    1. Charlotte, thanks for making contact! Willis is my husband’s line, and he has written several articles about them. His earliest Willis ancestor was in Dorchester Co., MD; he first showed up in MD in 1702. If your Willis line is from Virginia, they probably aren’t related to Gary’s line. I recall a very wealthy Richard Willis in Fredericksburg or thereabouts.

      I’m not familiar with your Zadok Powell. My Powells are a frustrating brick wall. My EKA is a James Powell who lived in Dyer Co., TN. He was from VA, but … so were a zillion other Powells.

      The Winns are a fascinating family. Please let me know which Winn line is yours after your brother gets his test results!

  4. Robin and Other Subscribers,
    The Alabama Brigade, Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge are hoping to mark Elias Winn’s burial site although we have not had luck in finding out exactly in Madison Co., AL where he was buried. His pension application only has Madison Co., AL. I am hoping that a government agency might have the address of his last residence as he was being paid $8.00 per month for his serve in the American Revolutionary War.
    Is there anyone who might have any pertinent information about Winn’s burial site in Madison County, AL?
    Any ideas will be appreciated. Thanks so much.
    Linda Alcott Maples

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