Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories & Biographies

Dunn Family History

Contributed by Carol Clark


Site visitor Carol Clark provided the family history below. Thomas and Oliver Dunn and their families settled in Erie County before 1800. Most of this family can be found in the McKean Township histories. Carol has provided the following email:

Any questions or comments concerning this family history should be sent directly to Carol Clark.


Dunn Family Record

Our great grand-father John Dunn lived and died in Tyrone County, Ireland. He was a farmer. His wife, our great grand-mother, lived to be 104 years old. Their family consisted of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. Their names were, John, Robert, James, William, Oliver, Thomas, Andrew, Agnas, Hetty, Margaret, and David.

John the eldest son, inherited the property as was customary at that time. He was a farmer, lived and died on the homestead.

Robert was a doctor, and was in the English Government service, a surgeon on board a man-of-war vessel a number of years and was given the care of the Royal Dock Yards at Woolworth near London England the remainder of his life. His mother and sister, Agnes, went with him to London. He was married and had one son who died at the age of fifteen.

James and William came to America in the year of 1795. James settled in Delaware township, Northumberland Co. PA and was married and had a family of four, one son and three daughters. His son was named Robert and resided in Center co. PA. One of his daughters married a man by the name of Albrights, and visited her relatives at McKean, Erie Co. PA. on her way to Ohio to reside. The names of the other two daughters are not known.

William went to St. Louis in the year 1802. He must have purchased some property in Erie co. PA. before he went to St. Louis, as in a letter to Thomas Dunn he wished him to sell and divide. He was a millwright by trade and built mills for the Spanish Government and also bought much property where the city of St. Louis is now built about three-fourths of the city, and died in the year 1821, unmarried.

Oliver and Thomas came to America in 1797, and settled in McKean Township, Eire Co. PA Oliver married Sept. 2, 1792 to his first wife in Ireland, a cousin of his own, Rachael Taylor by name. The had four sons and three daughters. Martha, John Mathew Taylor, William, Elizabeth, called Eliza, Oliver, Thomas and Jane.

Martha married Benjamin Collom, John M.T. Dunn married Poll Greenlee. William married Mary McCan.

Eliza married Lloyd and went to the state of Illinois to live when that state was inhabited by indians. She did not see a white woman for a year.

Oliver married Sarah McCan for his first wife. Do not know who his first wife was.

Thomas married Nancy Dumars for his first wife. They had four children. Lucindy married Herbert Hays, Maria married Henry Roberts, Claudius married Sarah Dunbar, Nancy died in childhood. Thomas married for his second wife a widow who had one son, Ben Lyman. Her name before marriage was Mary McKay of Waterford, PA. Their family consisted of Anna, Harrison, Joseph, Josephine, twins who died in babyhood, and Harley.

Your grandfather Oliver Dunn married for his second wife Anna Gray. They had four sons and four daughters; Robert G., Mary Ann, Sarah, David, George and James. Rachel, Nancy.

Robert G. married Rebeca Dumars, Mary Ann married Thomas Dumars, Rachel and Nancy died young. James married Sarah Gray, his cousin, a daughter of Francis Gray whose wife was a sister of Robert and Matthew Gray, also a sister of your grandfathers wife Anna Gray. Your grandmothers name was Jane Gray, a cousin of your grandfather Francis Gray.

Sarah Dunn married John Stewart, David married Mary Stewart.

George Dunn died at Topeka Kansas, unmarried

Thomas Dunn married Rachel Ray after he came to America. (Hand written note in pencil, under Rachel Ray's name says "Revolutionary Descendant") To this union was born five sons, Oliver, My father, John, Robert, Thomas and Harvey.

Oliver married Elizabeth Dumars, John married Mary Caldwell, Robert married Julia Ann Brown, Thomas married Elvira Pinney and Harvey married Margaret Morrison, and for his second wife Mrs. Likia G. Newwel

Andrew never came to this county, and was drowned when he was a young man.

Agnas never married and lived with her brother in London England.

Hetty was married but never came to America.

Margaret was married to a merchant and lived in Cape of Good Hope Africa.

David entered the navy with his brother Robert when quite young and in due time was promoted to the office of Sea Captain. The last account , he had left the ocean when he was fifty years of age, not married and never came America. part of this knowledge was obtained from correspondence between William Dunn of St. Louis and Thomas Dunn my Grandfather of Erie co. PA between the years of 1802, 1814 and 1844, when a power of attorney was given to Robert Dunn of Center Co. Pa and Thomas Dunn of Erie Co. Pa to go to St., Lois, to settle up the estate of William Dunn. This was done in 1844, Later papers were sent to Oliver Dunn 2nd, my father, as evidence of the property as existed in St. Louis. These papers I have in my possession. (M.J. Dunn) June 22, 1910

JOURNAL OF M.J. DUNN: Copy of Journal is located at the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln Nebraska in the file of Lee James Dunn. A copy is in the possession of Carol Clark. I think this account of the Dunn family was part of letter sent to Lee James Dunn from M.J. Dunn (Matilda Jane Dunn)


This page was last updated on  Wednesday, June 4, 2008 .

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