Mr. Hunter was born about 1730. He died before 1776 in South Carolina.(1)
The originator of this branch of the Hunter family is thought to be Dempsey
Hunter, son of Isaac Hunter who died in Northampton County, North Carolina,
about 1745. Isaac was in turn the son of Nicholas Hunter, d. 1749, Cartaret
County, North Carolina, a son of William Hunter of Nansemond County,
This Dempsey Hunter was first noted in 1753(4) when he witnessed a deed in
Northampton County. He also witnessed the will of John Veale there in
1754(5). In 1759, Dempsey and wife Unity signed a deed in Northampton County,
NC, and on 13 May 1761, Dempsey and wife Unity traded their land in
Northampton, which was inherited from Dempsey's father, Isaac, for money and
other land in Johnston County, North Carolina (6).
But in the will of William Stevenson, dated October 16, 1761, and filed in
November 1761, in Northampton County, William states that his sister,
Elizabeth Stevenson, was married to Dempsey Hunter. The will leaves items to
Elizabeth Stevenson's children named Clary and Molly and states they were
from a marriage prior to when Elizabeth married Dempsey Hunter.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Charles and Mary Stevenson of Northampton
County, NC. Charles died in 1751 and left a will indicating his children were
Jesse, William, Benjamin, George, Elizabeth, Susannah, Olive and Martha.
This seems to indicate that Dempsey had a second wife, Elizabeth Stevenson,
and that his first wife Unity died between the time she witnessed the deed in
early 1761 and the date of her brother’s will on October 16, 1761.
Dempsey witnessed a deed in Johnston County in 1763, and that is the last
known of him.
On the 4th of July, 1770, Jesse Stevenson, who may have been a brother of
Elizabeth Stevenson, obtained a plat of 150 acres on Crane Creek in the
future Richland County, SC.
In his January 1776 will, Casper Faust mentions the "widow Hunter"
living next to his son William Faust on Crane Creek, in the future Richland
County, SC. This implies that our Hunter ancestor died before this, perhaps
in 1775. The early death of this Hunter may help to explain the lack of
references to him in South Carolina records.
There is no record of a plat being recorded by Elizabeth Hunter or Dempsey
Hunter on Crane Creek between 1763 and 1775 (though an Elizabeth Hunter
recorded a plat on the nearly Saludy River in 1773). However, it is possible
that if Jesse Stevenson was a brother of Elizabeth Stevenson Hunter, he could
have sold her his land there. Clearly more research is needed on the
Stevenson family and whether any of Elizabeth's family moved from Northampton
County, NC to the Crane Creek district of the Camden District, the future
Richland County, SC.
There is no proof yet of a connection between Dempsey Hunter of Northampton
and later Johnston County, NC and our Hunters on Crane Creek in Richland
County, SC, but the similarity of names between the Jacob, Allen, Dempsey,
David, and Thomas Hunter families and the Isaac of Northampton group is
strong. Also, a son of Col. Thomas Hunter (another son of Isaac of
Northampton), also named Thomas (1775-1836), settled in Montgomery County,
Tennessee, not far from our group of Hunters. Many other attempts to link up
our group to North Carolina Hunters have proved unsuccessful.
Thomas Hunter, one of our group, was born in 1763 in Halifax County, North
Carolina, according to his pension record. This is next to Northampton
County, where Dempsey and Unity made their last known record in 1761.
In 1786, Dempsey Hunter, b. 1755, obtained a plat on Crane Creek in Richland
In 1789, Thomas Hunter
received indents from Casper Coon to purchase bounty lands obtained by
Dempsey in Richland County, SC.
The 1790 Census of Richland District, South Carolina, lists the following:
Hunter (widow), 1 male over 16, 1 under 16, 4 females (p. 141)
Jacob Hunter 1 male over 16, 2 under 16, 2 females (p. 142)
Dempsey Hunter, 1 male over 16, 2 under 16, 3 females (p. 142)
Hunter (widow), 2 males over 16, 0 under 16, 2 females (p. 144)
The unaccounted males are Allen Hunter, b. bef 1764, David, b. 1775, Henry,
b. 1783, and Thomas, b. 1763 who we believe are males under either of the
I believe that David is listed under the widow Hunter on p. 141. Henry and
Dempsey b. 1794 under Dempsey. It is hard to say where Thomas and Allen are
listed, Thomas could have been listed with his father-in-law Jacob Moake, who
listed 2 males over 16.
The first widow Hunter is listed near the widow Dancer (Jacob's
mother-in-law) and is likely his mother.
Some other familiar names on this census are:
Widow Dancer, 1 male over 16, 1 under 16, 3 females, 2 slaves (p. 141)
William Foost, 1 male over 16, 6 under 16, 7 females (p. 142)
Lewis Coon, 1 male over 16, 2 under 16, 2 females (p. 142)
Gabriel Rawls, 1 male over 16, 2 under 16, 3 females (p. 142)
Jacob Moak, 2 males over 16, 3 under 16, 4 females (p. 142)
The other widow Hunter, on p. 144, is surrounded by unfamiliar names. We are
not sure of her relationship to our clan, nor of her two sons who were over
16 in 1790. She is not thought to be living on Crane Creek, but another area
of Richland County.
[Note: Also listed nearby (p. 145) are Fanny and Henry Hunter, who we do not
believe are closely related. Fanny was the widow of Henry Hunter who died in
1783, who was the son of Henry Hunter, and grandson of Robert Hunter who died
1753, Bertie County, North Carolina.]
We are also researching the William Hunter who moved from Northampton County,
NC to the Richland County area (east side of Wateree River) in 1760. More on
him can be found in the February 2006 issue of the Jacob Hunter Trust
newsletter. Although he moved to South Carolina at the same time as our
family, no direct connection has been made to our family from this William
Widow Hunter appeared on the census in 1790 in
Richland County, South Carolina.(2) It
is looking increasingly likely that Dempsey Hunter Sr. had two wives. The
first was Unity Hunter and the second was Elizabeth Stevenson, daughter of
Charles, who had previously been married with two girls Clary and Molly.
Right now, it looks that Unity died early in 1761 after she co-signed a deed
with Dempsey Hunter on 13 May 1761. By October 1761, Dempsey was married to
Elizabeth Stevenson. This would indicate that Jacob and Dempsey were sons of
Dempsey and Unity, and Thomas, Allen and William David Hunter were sons of
Dempsey and Elizabeth Stevenson.
As stated above, the first record of our Hunters on Crane Creek in Richland
County, SC is mentioned in the will of Casper Faust, d. Craven County,
January 13, 1776 (p. 192) mentions a "widow Hunter" living on Crane
Creek next to Casper's son William Faust. This is the earliest mention of a
Hunter living on Crane Creek in the future Richland County, SC.
However, a Jesse Stevenson obtained a plat on Crane Creek for 150 acres on 4
July 1770. Elizabeth did have a brother names Jesse, and if this is he, he
could have deeded this property to Dempsey and/or Elizabeth. More research is
If the widow Hunter listed on p. 141 of the Richland County, SC 1790 census
is Elizabeth Hunter Stevenson, we still do not know who the other Widow
Hunter on p. 144 is.
However, Elizabeth Stevenson and her family are the first fresh lead we have
had on who was the widow Hunter in 1775 on Crane Creek in many years.
Hopefully, with more research, we will finaly make a connection between
Dempsey Hunter in Johnston County, NC in 1763 and the widow Hunter on Crane
Creek, SC in 1775.
Mr. Hunter and Widow Hunter had the following children:
+2 i. Dempsey
+3 ii. Jacob Hunter.
+4 iii. Thomas T.
+5 iv. Allen
+6 v. William