Gwartney / Gwaltney Family Genealogy

See also:
Gwartney atDNA Project
First-hand history from Grace Gwartney

Our family name is believed to have evolved from the Welsh name Gwalchmai to Gwalpmai and Gualmey - and then Americanized in the early 1600s to Gwaltney. As many decades passed, different branches of our family began spelling their name Gwartney, Gortney, Gualtney, Galtney and Gwatney - perhaps among others.

Early Gwaltneys

Our Gwaltney ancestor who first came to America was Thomas Gwaltney, born in Wales in 1613. His father may also have been Thomas Gwaltney, and possibly born in Ireland. Thomas Jr. settled in Surry County, Virginia where several generations of Gwaltneys were raised. Dr. Jeff Gwaltney edits an excellent Gwaltneys in America website that provides more information about original and current family members.

Thomas Jr's great-great-great grandson Micajah Gwaltney changed his name to Gwartney in the late 1700s to better reflect how he pronounced it. All Gwartneys in America probably descend from him.

According to website "Howmanyofme", the following numbers of living Americans carry these last names:

  • Gwaltney: 3,656
  • Gwartney: 604
  • Gortney: 553
  • Gualtney: < 120
  • Galtney: 198
  • Gwatney: 261

These figures don't include the many other descendants of the family who, like Kevin, carry a different surname.

Detailed Biography of Isaac Gwartney

It's rare to discover an old biography of an "average" American relative. Isaac Gwartney was a first cousin of Kevin's great-grandmother Grace Ann Gwartney Nichols. Although not a direct ancestor, his story paints a vibrant picture of the life of a poor farmer from 1879 to 1958:

Our Gwaltney / Gwartney Line

Our Gwartney line of descent is still being researched, and there may be some errors here - especially beyond 270 years ago. Everyone shown is believed to be part of our family, but there may be some confusion as to who was a father vs an uncle or brother.

Thomas Gwaltney Sr
b abt 1590 - Ireland
d unknown

m unknown

Spouse unknown

Thomas Gwaltney Jr
b 1613 - Wales
emigrated abt 1635
d 1666 - Surry Cty NC

m unknown
1 boy

Martha Atkinson
b unknown
d unknown

William Gwaltney
b abt 1655 - Surry Cty NC
d 1732

m1: 1 boy, 2 girls
m2: 2 boys

m1: unknown
m2: Alice Flake

Thomas Gwaltney
b abt 1687 - Surry Cty VA
d 1728

mother unknown
m date unknown
2 to 4 boys

b abt 1788
d unknown

John Gwaltney
b 1710 - Surry Cty VA
d 29 Dec 1779 - Rowan, NC

m date unknown
pos 9 boys

b abt 1715 - VA
d unknown

William Gwaltney
b 1732 - Surry Cty NC
d 21 Oct 1772 - Surry Cty VA

m 23 Dec 1771 - Southampton Cty VA
pos 3 boys, 3 girls

Mary Cathon
b abt 1735
d unknown

Micajah (Gwaltney) Gwartney
b 1750 - Mecklenburg Cty VA
d Aug 1818 - Harrison Cty IN

m 1774
Mecklenburg Cty VA
pos 5 boys, 5 girls

Elizabeth McGuffy
b 1750 - Mecklenburg Cty VA
d 1830 - Harrison Cty IN

John Robert Gwartney
b 1775 - Mecklenburg Cty VA
d abt 1852 - Harrison Cty IN

m 12 Feb 1798
Mecklenburg Cty VA
pos 6 boys, 6 girls

Lucinda "Lucy" Bowen
b 12 Feb 1778 - Mecklenburg Cty VA
d 14 Jan 1839 - IN

Robert Gwartney
b 28 Jul 1805 - Hardin Cty KY
d 12 Mar 1889 - Gravette AR
Mt Pleasant Cemetery
Hiwasse AR

m 25 May 1828
Harrison Cty IN
5 boys, 6 girls

Malinda Albin
b 31 May 1812 - Harrison IN
d 2 Jun 1895 - Boatman OK
Bryan Chapel Cemetery
Boatman OK

James Gwartney
b 17 May 1850 - Washington IN
d 12 Sep 1890 - Hiwasse AR
Mt Pleasant Cemetery
Hiwasse AR

m 4 Apr 1872
Pike Cty IN
1 boy, 3 girls

Laura Ann Hassell
b 16 Jan 1857 - Pike Cty IN
d 31 Oct 1931 - Hiwasse AR
Mt Pleasant Cemetery
Hiwasse AR

Grace Ann Gwartney
b 19 Aug 1889 - Hiwasse AR
d 29 Mar 1983 - Kansas City KS
Chapel Hill Mem Gardens
Kansas City KS

m 17 Jan 1906
Pineville MO
2 boys, 4 girls

Clinton Wakefield Nichols
b 20 Jul 1885 - Hiwasse AR
d 18 Nov 1964 - Kansas City KS
Chapel Hill Mem Gardens
Kansas City KS

Grace Ann Gwartney Nichols is Kevin's great-grandmother.

Are we related?

Here are the GEDmatch Kit #s for my father and mother:

GI: A909282
CL: A216073

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