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 • Ritchie County
 • West Virginia
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Pvt William Cunningham
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Birth: Jul. 23, 1764, USA
Death: 1863
Ritchie County
West Virginia, USA

Pvt Continental Line
Rev War

HISTORY OF RITCHIE COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA - By Minnie Kendall Lowther, pub. 1910

CHAPTER II First Settlers in Ritchie County

William Cunningham.--The year 1806 was marked by the coming of William Cunningham, with his wife, Susana Barbara Handyshel Cunningham, and their ten children, from Culpepper county, Virginia, to the homestead of the late Noah Rexroad, now the property of E. C. Fox and S. M. Hoff.

Mr. Cunningham was one of the most noted pioneers of early days. He was born in Ireland on July 23, 1764, and when he was but a small boy, his parents emigrated to America and settled in Culpepper county, Virginia. He was a first cousin of Thomas Cunningham of Indian fame (see below), and their fathers are said to have crossed the ocean at the same time. He served as a soldier during the latter part of the American Revolution, being then but a mere youth, and was a member of the victorious army at Yorktown, and a witness of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. And in honor of this defeated chieftain he named the town of Cornwallis, where he resided when the stations along the Baltimore & Ohio railroad were located.

When Harrisville was laid out for a town in 1822, he was suddenly seized with the idea of rounding a town of his own, and forthwith proceeded to have one laid out on the ridge where A. O. Wilson and D. B. Patton now reside, which he named "Williamsburg;" but Harrisville has long since swallowed up this proposed village.

He changed his place of residence to Cornwallis near the year 1840, and here he bade adieu to earth in 1863, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine years.

He gave the grounds for the Pioneer cemetery at Harrisville, and within its peaceful bosom his ashes lie. His wife also sleeps here, she having passed on in 1843. (She was of German descent.)

This burying-ground is no longer "a neglected spot," as the historian of a quarter of a century ago termed it, but it is now enclosed by an iron fence, the result of the late General Harris' labor of love.

Many of the pioneers slumber here, and despite the hardships they endured, the inscriptions bear silent testimony to the longevity of their lives.

William Cunningham's sons were: Elijah, James, William, junior, John, Isaac and Henry; and his daughters Mrs. Phebe (Jesse) Lowther, Cornwallis; Mrs. Leah (Jacob) Wigner, Ellenboro; Mrs. Lydia (Henry) Wigner, Cairo; Mrs. Susan (Robert) Parks, Ohio; and Mrs. Barbara (Nathaniel) Parks, Ellenboro. Mrs. George B. Johnson, of Ellenboro, is a daughter of the last named Mrs. Parks.

W. H. Cunningham, of Husher's run; the late D. R. Wigner, of Pike, and Mrs. Matilda McGregor, of Cairo, are other grandchildren of this pioneer; and the late Mrs. W. E. Hill, of Harrisville; J. W. and Frank Elliott, of Indian creek; Thomas Elliott, of Pullman; Mrs. James Rexroad, of Den run, and many others we might mention, are great-grand-children.


Other Information:

He was the son of
John Cunningham (1744-1782) and Ann Tapp (1732-1789)

Therefore he was the grandson of Adam Cunningham (1714-1797 )
and his wife Catherine (?-1792).

Therefore, he was the nephew of Thomas Cunningham.

He was also born in Shennandoah county, VA rather than Ireland.
(See pg 111, ref below.)

Information from:
Adam and 500 more Cunninghams of the Valley of Virginia,
c. 1734-c. 1800 by Betty Cunningham Newman
pages 111-124

Family links: 
  Susanna Barbara Handyshel Cunningham (1766 - 1843)*
  Elijah Cunningham (1792 - 1868)*
  Phebe Cunningham Lowther (1794 - 1871)*
  Lydia Cunningham Wigner (1798 - 1848)*
  Barbara Cunningham Parks (1803 - 1887)*
*Calculated relationship
Pioneer Cemetery
Ritchie County
West Virginia, USA
Maintained by: D DeWitt
Originally Created by: Katina Peters
Record added: Apr 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36267774
Pvt William Cunningham
Added by: Katina Peters
Pvt William Cunningham
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Katina Peters
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- God bless you & your loved ones, Cindy
 Added: Apr. 30, 2014
Memorial Day 2010. Lest we forget.
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 Added: May. 31, 2010

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 Added: May. 8, 2010
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