John Dillahunty-- a Catholic by birth whose father, Daniel, was recognized by the Huguenot Society u…

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John Dillahunty-- a Catholic by birth whose father, Daniel, was recognized by the Huguenot Society until 2016 when they ceased that recognition due to a lack of documentation-- married a Quakeress (Hannah Neall). Both churches ex-communicated them and they moved from MD to Craven Co, NC soon after their marriage in 1747. John became the first Sheriff of Craven Co and also received a state of NC commission to be a colonial land agent. His name reportedly was spelled Dillahunty on the sheepskin commission and thereafter he was known as Dillahunty, De La Hunte or Delahunte. His older children generally used the name Dillahunt (which is still common in coastal NC) and his younger children, who went with him to TN in the early 1790s, used the name Dillahunty.

John and Hannah became Baptists in the mid-1750s, and he became a church leader and was licensed to preach. During the American Revolution, he served as a Chaplain and is listed in a number of DAR records. For reasons unknown, John, while in his late 60s, led a circa fall of 1793 migration of about 10 families from coastal NC to the Davidson/Williamson Co, TN, area. He established the Richland Creek Baptist Church in Bellvue, Davidson, TN and bought 640 acres on the south side of the Big Harpeth River in Williamson Co, TN. The churches he was associated with spawned the First Baptist Church of Nashville and the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the United States by the 1900s.

John & Hannah died within 3 months of each other in 1816 and were buried in the cemtery next to Richland Creek Baptist Church. The site was documented in a 1930 Colonial Dames survey and family files in the TN State Archives contain 1920s snapshots of relatives and their tombstones. When the area was developed after WWII, their tombstones were moved to the Dillahunty Chapel at the Baptist Hosptial in Nashville. The hosptial and chapel both changed names over the years, and the tombstones have not been located. In 2013, the City of Belle Meade sponsored an archaelogical survey which established the cemetery site as one which straddled the property lines of 1106 and 1108 Nichol Road in Belle Meade. The site is about 50 feet square. The survey determined a minimum of 11 probable inhmation locations, all in the lot known as 1106 Nichol. In 2015, an addendum to the 2013 survey was prepared to document the placement of 11 white bricks to mark the location of each of the 11 probable grave locations. This info was share with local authorities and the cemetery was noted of offical maps for Davidson County.

The following are various research notes from Coloniaa NC records:

(1) In the spring (Apr-May) of 1793 in Jones Co, NC, a John Dillahunty and a Daniel Quiling witnessed the will of James Standley.

(2) On page 19 of the 14 Nov 1943 program for a dedication of a new building for the First Baptist Church in New Bern, Craven, NC, it is noted that "Sheriff John Dillahunty of Craven County" was one of the two most prominent Baptists in the area during the latter half of the 1700s (the other being Col. Nathan P. Bryan, a state and national representative)). It states John was a member ot the Trent River Baptist Church (in Jones County and organized in 1761), and that he "was first aroused spiritually by" George Whitfield, a "world-famed evangelist". It further states that John was "converted at a meeting held by Shubael Stearns and Daniel Marshall of of the Sandy Creek Association, and baptized by Philip Mulky, then became pastor of his home church and later took over an entire Episcopal church and congregation".

(3) This quote is from page 156 of "America in Crimson Red" by James R. Beller. "Not only were churchmen coming to Christ during the 1755-1756 revival, but also imminent Catholics and Quakers. John Dillahunty, a refugee from Maryland married a Quaker wife, Hannah Neal. Being excommunicated by both religious bodies, they came to their pioneer home in the New Bern, North Carolina vicinity sometime around 1755. Dillahunty was the sheriff there and when Whitefield preached along the North Carolina coast in February of 1755, Dillahunty grew concerned about his soul. He was ready when the Apostle Paul of the Backcountry and his helper Daniel Marshall came to New Bern the following year. Hannah was converted and then John. They were baptized by Philip Mulkey and became a part of the Trent River Church." Note: the Apostle Paul of the Backcountry is George Whitfield.

(4) John "Dilahuntee/Delehunty/Delahunty" gave an oath as vendue master with respect to the sale of property from an estate in Nov 1752, Feb 1753 and Aug 1753 per Book IV of the Craven Co, NC, County Court Minutes. Since a vendue master is one who is authorized to sell property by vendue (a public sale, by outcry to the highest bidder), this seems to support the various reports that John Dillahunty was (a) sheriff of Craven County and (b) he and his wife moved to Craven County about 4 yrs after they were married in 1747.

(5) John "Delehunty" purchased 230 acres in Craven Co, NC, from Henry Heaton in 1753 (Book IV, Craven County Court Minutes).

(6) In late 1762, "John Dillahunty" was involved in a dispute regarding the size of a 160 acre parcel of land he had patened in Craven Co, NC, on Strawberry Branch (of the Neuse River) near South West Creek (from 19 Nov 1762 minutes of a colonial govenment Council meeting held in New Bern, Carven, NC).

(7) A 1780 Dobbs Co, NC, tax roll for District # 3 (aka Loftin District includes John Dillahunty, Sr ($1,318).; Samuel Dillahunty ($763); John Dillahunty ($1,290); and Daniel Dillahunty ($400). This appears to be John, Sr., and his 3 oldest sons. Another of the 65 taxpayers listed in this district is Jeremiah Loftin ($9,730).

Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
John Dillahunty Sr.
December 8, 1728
293 Kent Co, MD
9 February 9, 1816
206 87 Near Bell Meade, Davidson, TN
Never
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