Chesnut Family

  Although his Scottish-Irish ancestors are believed to have originally settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia sometime before the start of the American Revolutionary War, Samuel Chesnut, was born in 1788 in what was then Nelson Co., KY,   He married into the neighboring Gum Family. He married Rachel Gum, daughter of William Gum, in December of 1807 in Madison County Kentucky. Samuel and Rachel had seven children. When the youngest son, Franklin was barely a year old; Samuel was fatally stabbed in a general store in Manchester, KY in 1832.

  Franklin became truly orphaned when he also lost his mother in his childhood. One wonders how he was raised since family members and older brothers began moving to Missouri. Many of the Chesnut family members are recorded in federal land records for Missouri from 1835-1850. We do know that Franklin married early, probably at 18 years. His choice was a girl who also had lost her parents, Catherine Brigman whose married brother, John lived next door in Rockcastle Creek, Clay Co. KY according to the 1850 US census. According to the Clay County Property tax rolls, Franklin in shown as paying property taxes on increasing assets ,which in 1855  totaling a little more than 133 acres.
  Franklin was then known to have moved and settled in Missouri, as many other family members had recently done. He moved to Chilicothe, Livingston Co., MO, by 1858. His family was growing,  he now had two daughters, Matilda (1849) and Laura (1852) who had been born in Clay Co., KY, and now three additional children were born in Missouri including : Stokley  (1858), Blevins (1860) and Margaret (1863). During the Civil War, Franklin joined the 51st Enrolled Missouri Militia and served for 19 days in 1862. This unit conducted local operations on behalf of the Union Army in Livingston and neighboring counties.
 After seven rather chaotic years in MO, he moved to a farm in Buchanan, Page Co., IA, where he seems to have remained for his last 13 years   His daughters married in MO:  Matilda 1869 to Samuel Mulkins; Laura 1872 to Samuel Basford; and some years after her parentsí deaths, Margaret 1884 to Stonewall Ryerson.
 After the Civil War, Franklin begun using B. F. Chestnut on official documents and is so named on burial records. His wife, Catherine died in 1878 and their son, Blevins, died in 1879. According to the 1880 census, the younger children born who had been born in Iowa, Benjamin Franklin Jr. (a.k.a Ben) age 10 and Margaret age 17 are found living with their sister and brother-in-law Laura Chesnut Basford and Samuel Basford in Jackson Township, Nodaway Co., Missouri. In nearby Gentry Co. is found their brother, Stokley, who is married and is living with a wife, Sarah and 10 month old son, John.

 4/2003 by  JoAnn Sweeney

 Family Tree

(Chesnut in bloom by Vincent Van Gogh) 

1. William Chesnut, son of William Chesnut and 1690 William Chesnut's wife was born in Scotland 1727. William died Jan 1783.

He married twice. He married Mary Sophiah  about 1740. Mary was born about 1720. Mary died 1762. He married Catherine Callahan in Augusta Co., VA, July 28, 1762. Catherine was born in Augusta Co., VA about 1740. She was the daughter of Daniel Callahan. Catherine died 1786.

William Chesnut and Mary Sophiah (William Chesnut Jr.'S Wife) had the following children:

child John Chesnut was born about 1749.

child William Chesnut was born about 1749.

William Chesnut and Catherine Callahan had the following children:

child Margaret Chesnut was born in Augusta Co., VA about 1763.

child Elizabeth Chesnut was born in Augusta Co., VA about 1765.

child Daniel Chesnut was born 1767.

child Charles Chesnut was born April 5, 1770.

child Martha Chesnut was born 1778.

2nd Generation

John2 Chesnut (William1) was born in Bucks Co., Pa 1749. John died March 5, 1805.

He married Patience Gum about 1767. Patience was born about 1749. She was the daughter of John Gum and Alice ?. Patience died 1821.

John Chesnut and Patience Gum had the following children:

John in 1790 Virginia county taxes

child William Gordon Chesnut was born about 1768.

child Ann Chesnut was born 1770. She married Thomas Duffield in Augusta Co., Va, January 23, 1789.

child John Chesnut was born 1774. John married Elizabeth Blake 09 April 1794 Green Co. TN.

child Jacob Chesnut was born 1775. Jacob married Margaret Mary Blaki 26 February 1797 Green Co TN.

child Benjamin Chesnut was born 1780.

child Abraham Chesnut was born February 17, 1782. Abraham married Esther Evans 13 May 1801 in Green Co TN

child Nancy Chesnut was born in Augusta Co., VA before 1790. She married Adams Levi in Know Co., KY June 4 1807.

3rd Generation

9. William Gordon3 Chesnut (John2, William1) was born about 1768. William died about 1802 in Knox Co., Ky.

He married Sallie ( Sarah) Graham in Nelson Co., KY, December 26, 1787. Sallie ( Sarah) was born in Virginia  about 1770 and died 1842 and is buried in Rough Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Laurel, KY. Sarah was daughter of John Graham and Nancy ( Mary ) Watson. Deed of William's Heirs dated 1825 Laurel Co. KY. The deed -thanks Laurel County, KyGenWeb

Sallie ( Sarah) remarried Chapman Watkins.

William Gordon Chesnut and Sallie (Sarah) Graham had the following children:

child Samuel Chesnut was born 1788. He married Rachel Gum on 9 December 1807 in Madison Co.,KY.

child William Chesnut was born 1788.

child Sarah Ruth Chesnut was born 1790. She married Jessie McFadden in Knox Co., Ky., Nov 1808. Jessie McFaddens will.1854

child Benjamin Chesnut was born about 1794. He married Vina ( Viney ) Bunch in 1815.

child Edmond Chesnut was born 19 July 1799. He married Hannah Ferguson..

child Jacob Chesnut was born 9 October 1800 and died 17 October 1877 is buried in Rough Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Laurel, KY. He  married Dorcas Langley 23 November 1823 in Knox Co., KY.

child Anne F. Chesnut was born 1802 and died 1881 Laurel, KY and is buried Old Baptist Dowler Cemetery, Rockcastle Co., KY She married Peter Alexander Weaver.


4th Generation

Samuel Chesnut (William Gordon3, John2, William1) was born in Ky. 1788. Samuel died February 23, 1832 in Clay Co., Ky..

He married Rachel Gum December 9, 1807. Rachel was born in 1788. She was the daughter of William Gum.

Samuel Chesnut and Rachel Gum had the following children :

child Granville Chesnut was born on (birth date unknown). He married Sally Strong.

child Thomas Chesnut was born on (birth date unknown). He married Rebecca Parker..

child Betsey Chesnut was born 1810. She married Felix Wild.

child William Chesnut was born 1812. He married Elizabeth Cornett

child Samuel Chesnut was born 1816. He married Jane Renfro

child Frank Chesnut was born in Ky. 1831. He married Catharine Brigman.

5th Generation

Benjamin Franklin " Frank " Chesnut was born 1831 In Clay Co. Kentucky. B.F. " Frank "died in 1879 or 1880 possibly in Buchanan Page Co.,  Iowa.

He married Catherine Brigman in 1849 in Clay Co.,  KY. Catherine was born 1830 in North Carolina and she died 20 September 1878 and is buried in Shearer cemetery Page Co., Iowa. She was the daughter of Samuel Brigman.

Benjamin Franklin Chesnut and Catharine Brigman had the following children

child Matilda Chesnut was born 26 March 1849 in Clay Co., KY. She died 2 April 1907 Clarion Iowa. Matilda married Samuel Mulkins in 1869.

child Laura Chesnut was born 19 July 1852 in Clay Co., KY . Laura married  Samuel J. Bassford.

child Stokely Chesnut was born 1858 in Livingstone Co., MO.

child Blevins Chesnut was born February 1860 in Livingstone Co., MO. He died 12 February 1879.

child Margaret Chesnut was born 4 September 1864 in in Livingstone Co., MO. She died 1 Auguat 1947 In Chicago, Il. Margaret married Stonewall Jackson Ryerson in 1884.

child Alicia Chesnut was born 1865 in Livingstone Co., MO.

child Frank ( Benjamin Franklin ) Chesnut was born 1869 in Livingstone Co., MO.


The area that became Augusta County was settled primarily by the Scotch-Irish in the early 1730s. Formed from Orange County, Augusta officially became a county in 1738. The primary religion of the area was Presbyterian and the early settlers lost no time in forming the Triple Forks of the Shenandoah Congregation. The Tinkling Spring Meeting House, the simple log structure shown at the right, was the first Presbyterian church in the Shenandoah Valley.

Thanks to Augusta Co Rootsweb site

Other important Chesnut family links

Chesnut/Chestnut Research Network  by Don Chesnut

Cobb-Sasser Family Lineage Website

Origin of a Chesnut family by John B. Chestnut

Gum Family Ancestral Line by Pat Mount

Rough Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Laurel, KY.

The Basford Family Genealogy-by Kevin Spaulding and Marge (Basford) Spille

This web site is a joint effort- If you have any corrections or additional information on these families please contact one of us.