Hiram and Elizabeth Cornwell Gunter lived in Haywood County, later absorbed into Cherokee and still later into Graham Counties at Stecoah. They were buried in the Panther Creek Cemetery in Stecoah.

Elizabeth Cornwell was born 10 May 1820 in Haywood Co., NC. She married Hiram Gunter on 9 August 1842 in Haywood Co., NC. One of Hiram and Betty's three sons was named Jesse Cornwell Gunter, and many descendents from that line attribute Jesse Cornwell (b. c1766 VA) of early Buncombe and Haywood Co., NC as her father. Tradition from the line of Jasper Gunter, another son of Hiram and Betty Gunter, was that Betty was a Stillwell. There may be partial truth to both lineages.

The elder Jesse Cornwell can be found in deed records of Buncombe and Haywood Co on land adjacent to the present Cherokee reservation in Swain and Jackson Co., NC. He was one of the earliest settlers of the area, arriving at the time of the Meigs Survey that eventually opened the area for legal settlement. Jesse Cornwell received grants in 1797. Jesse Cornwell was also listed in the extant US censuses:

1800 Buncombe Co.
Jesse Cornwell 2mu10 (Eli+?), 1m10-16 (?), 1m26-45 (Jesse), 1fu10 (?), 1f26-45 (?)

In 1810, Jesse only had one daughter, Sarah(1f10-16) who married in Haywood County in 1813 to George Reed.

1810 Buncombe Co.
Jesse Cornwell 1m10-16 (Eli), 2m16-26 (?), 1m45+ (Jesse), 1f10-16 (Sarah), 1f26-45

Noticably absent in the 1820 and 1830 census extractions for Jesse Cornwell is a daughter, who would be Elizabeth, born in 1820.

1820 Haywood Co
Jesey Cornwell 1m45+ (Jesse), 1f45+
Ely Cornwell 1m16-26 (Eli), 2f0-10 (Mary, Elizabeth), 1f16-26 (Massey)

In 1820, Jesse and his wife were listed as age 45+ (he was age 54, she was up to 10 years younger). In 1830, his wife was not enumerated, and only his son was with him.

1830 Haywood Co
Jesse Cornwell 1m30-40 1m60-70

1840 Haywood Co
Jesse Cornwell 1m20-30 (Jesse Jr), 2f0-5, 1f30-40 (Rachel Crisp)
Massey Cornwell 2m10-15 (H.), 3m15-20, 1m40-50 (Eli), 1f10-15, 2f15-20, 3f20-30, 1f40-50 (Massey)

The data are consistent with Eli and Massey Stillwell Cornwell as Elizabeth's parents. Eli and Massey had two young daughters in 1820 (2f0-10), a time when Jesse's wife was still alive. In 1840, they had at least five daughters within the age group of Elizabeth (2f15-20, 3f20-30).

Eli (b c1795 NC) was likely a son of Jesse which would make Jesse Elizabeth's grandfather. Eli (Eley) married Massey Stillwell (b. c1795 NC) in Haywood Co. in 1816. Massey was a daughter of Jeremiah Stillwell and Mary Swearingen. Mary was a daughter of Samuel and Massey Swearingen. Jeremiah died around 1815 and Jesse Cornwell was the administrator of the widow's allowance for Mary Stillwell, and George Gunter (Hiram's father) was the executor of the estate (1815 Haywood Co., NC).

Eli and Massey Cornwell had five sons and six daughters. By 1830, Eli (age 35) was insane and Jesse Cornwell was named his guardian. In 1840 in Cherokee Co, Jesse Cornwell and wife was present,along with a female, born 1820-1830, probably Elizabeth. In the same year Massey was the head of household and in 1850, Eli and Massey were in the household of Robert and H. Sellers, with a daughter D.(orothy) b. c1848; Hannah Sellers was a daughter of Massey and Eli. Dorothy Sellers was listed in the household of Hiram and Betty Cornwell Gunter in 1860 and 1870.

1840 Cherokee Co
Manas Morgan 2m5-10, 1m50-60, 1m70-80, 2fu5, 1f50-60
Jessy Cornweal 1m70-80, 1f20-30, 1f60-70

1850 Haywood Co
Jesse Cornwell 84 (b. 1766 VA) in home of Manous and Edith Medlin Morgan
Sellers, Robert 22, H(annah). (f) 21, D(orothy). 2, Cornwell, M(assy). 55 (f), Cornwell, Eli 55 (insane)

One documented daughter of Eli and Massey was Mary (Polly) Cornwell (b c1816) who married Josiah Bradshaw Welch in 1836. The marriage was witnessed by William H. Stillwell (b. 1806). Josiah B. and Mary "Polly" Cornwell Welch moved to Welch's Cove in Macon Co., NC (now Graham Co.) Soon, Marion Cyrene Gunter and Jesse Cornwell Gunter, sons of Hiram and Betty, moved to Welch's Cove. Jesse Cornwell Gunter built the cabin in Welch Cove that is located on its original site at Fontana Village. JB and Polly moved there too, and in the 1860 US Census, lived next to William H. and Mariah Welch Stillwell, their children and her mother, Nancy Bradshaw Welch.

Elizabeth Welch (b c1817 TN) who married Merril Bradshaw was a sister of Josiah Bradshaw Welch. Merril and Elizabeth Bradshaw lived next to Hiram and Betty Cornwell Gunter in 1870 in Stecoah, Cherokee Co.

Here is a synopsis of these families:

Jesse Cornwell
b c1766 VA
d 185060 NC


Eli Cornwell m 1816 Massey Stillwell
b c1795 NC          b c1795 NC


a) Mary Cornwell m. Josiah Bradshaw Welch 1836 Haywood Co
      b 1818

b) Elizabeth Cornwell m Hiram Gunter 1842 Haywood Co
  b 10 May 1820 Haywood Co
   d 8 Apr 1891 Graham Co

c) Jesse Cornwell m Rachel Crisp 1836 Haywood Co
   b 1810-20 (bd: William Welch)

d) Hannah Cornwell m. Robert Sellers
     b. 1829

e-k) up to 4 more sons and three more daughters

Josiah Bradsha(w) m Betsy Hogan 7 Aug 1789 Lincoln Co, NC


Nancy Bradsha(w) m John Welch 28 Jan 1808Lincoln Co, NC
  b 1789 Lincoln Co d 1765-84
  d after 1870     d before 1830


a) Josiah Bradshaw Welch m. Marey Cornwell (dau of Eley) 3 Apr 1836 in Haywood Co, NC
     b c1811 Haywood Co, NC

b) Mariah L. Welch (dau of John) m. William H. Stillwell 17 Feb 1836 in Haywood Co, NC
  b c1814 TN
  d 1889

c) Elizabeth C. Welch (dau of widow Welch) m Merrill Bradshaw 1834
  b c1817 TN

  d), e) two other sons

Josiah Bradshaw Welch m 1836 to Mary (Polly) Cornwell
   b c 1811 Haywood Co., NC b c 1816 Haywood Co, NC

a) Massey Charlotte Welch m. Franklin M. Medlin 21 Mar 1850 Macon Co
   b 18 Feb 1833            b 26 Mar 1822 Pickens Distr SC
   d 23 Aug 1               d  8 Mar 1908 Graham Co., NC
   buried: Panther Creek Cemetery, Stecoah, Graham Co

b) Louisa Welch b c1837 Haywood Co.

c) Betsey A. Welch b c1838 Haywood Co.

d) John Welch b c1840 Haywood Co.

e) Angeline Welch b c1842 Macon Co

f) William Welch b c1844 Macon Co

g) Martha Welch b c1846 Macon Co

h) Josiah Welch b c1849 Macon Co

i) Jesse Welch b c1855 Macon Co

Jermiah Stillwell m. Mary Swearingen
  d c1815 Haywood Co., NC

a) Massey Stillwell m. 1816 Eli Cornwell
    b c1795

b) Rebecca Stilwell m 1816 Abram Mingus
   d 1869

c) Samuel Stillwellm. Hannah Conner (1795 - 1881)
    b 1790-1800

d) Jeremiah Stilwell

e) Rev. Jacob Stilwell m. Elizabeth Mingus

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