Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Christian VAN GUNDY

Residences & events:

From A Complete History of Fairfield County, Ohio:

"Christian Gundy and wife came in 1800. They came from Lancaster County, Pa, as far as Wheeling, Va, on horseback. Mr. Gundy left his wife at Wheeling, and came out here on Walnut Creek, and planted three or four acres of corn, and went back and brought his companion, and lived all winter in a sugar-camp with a blanket for a door. Robert Wilson came about the same time, and they both, with their families, squatted on unsurveyed lands. After the surveyor established the lines, these two neighbors found that they had settled on the same section; so Mr. Gundy moved his tent eastward. Noah Gundy, his son (my informant), was born in 1806, and still lives on the old homestead....

Noah Gundy says that the first grist of corn his father took to mill he carried to newark, in Licking County. I asked how hisfather found the way. he said, over an Indian trail...

Mr. Noah Gundy, who has been living in the vicinity more than seventy years, told me, that the Indians almost every spring would come on Walnut Creek, near their farm for the purpose of boiling sugar. One time a man came to hunt, and seeing some object moving among the pawpaw bushes, and believeing it to be a bear, fired at it, and was startled by the scream of a squaw, and alarmed, he lost no time in giving 'leg-bail.' The Indians were soon on his trail, but he eluded them by his fleetness, and by taking to the bed of the creek, thus causing them to lose his track; and he kept safely out of their way until the matter was settled and the Indians pacified. Dr. Shawk, of Lancaster, was sent out to dress the wounded arm, and he partially succeeded in persuading them that it was unintentional, though they for a long time enterteined lingtering doubts. The squaw, however, got well, and all was over..

Following are the names of the principal pioneers who settled in Liberty Township prior to the year 1812....Robert Wilson, Christian Gundy...etc"

From Fairfield Towne Crier:

" In 1800 Christian Gundy left Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, left his wife in Wheeling (Virginia) for "safe-keeping," and continued to the Walnut Creek Valley just north of the Hockhocking Valley. He "squatted" on some good but unsurveyed land, planted some corn and then returned to Wheeling to retrieve his pioneer companion. Gundy was soon followed by Robert Wilson and they became the first settlers in Liberty Township. In 1806 "Father" Gundy and Sarah brought into the world a son, Noah. For his 1877 "Complete History of Fairfield County" Hervey Scott interviewed Noah Gundy for the "rest of the story" about the elder Gundy.

One of the good stories about pioneer times in Liberty Township recounts the time "Father" Gundy attempted to sell some of his hogs. He could not get what he thought was a fair price locally so he contracted with a buyer in Zanesville. Transportation was very crude at the time and the Zane's Trace was the only decent "road" to his market so he herded his hogs and herded them over several days to Zanesville. Upon arriving at the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers forty miles away he was informed by the buyer that the hogs were no longer wanted! Needless to say, Gundy was quite angry. He refused to march his hogs back to Liberty Township so he left them foraging in the streets of Zanesville and returned to his farm. According to Gundy, within three weeks everyone of the porkers found their way home on their own.

I once asked Mr. Fairfield County Fair, Russell Alt, whether he believed Gundy's hogs could have returned as described in the story. Mr. Alt said he wouldn't bet on it but he did believe hogs had a bit of a "homing instinct." Of one thing he was certain, however. He steadfastly claimed the Alt's were the oldest continuous farm family in Liberty Township, arriving with the first wave of Swiss pioneers."

Another version of the same story from the History of Fairfield Co, OH:

"Hogs were introduced at an early day, and were far less liable to disease than either horses, cattle or sheep. They bred rapidly, and, with the exception of the kidney worm, were but lightly afflicted in any way. In the wild state of the country many small droves strayed from the plantations, and in a very few years the woods contained large numbers of "wild hogs." The hills south of Lancaster were especially rich in this kind of game, which haunted that locality in search of acorns, upon which food they thrived and generally kept in a good order through the winter. Many families relied entirely on these droves of wild hogs for their winter's supply of pork. Sometimes the settlers managed to keep their ear-mark on a drove of wild hogs, and thus established their ownership. All domestic animals, from the necessities of the case, being allowed more or less liberty, it was a matter of law that each stock owner should possess a peculiar mark, called an ear-mark, because generally made on the ear, although with horses the mark was usually burned into the shoulder. This mark was recorded in a book, kept by the township clerk, and was selected with especial reference to its dissimilarity with the mark of any other man in the township; and when litigations arose over the dispute of ownership of stock, the book was brought into court, and the mark on the disputed animal compared with the record. Speaking of wild hogs, calls to mind a story told by Henry Leonard, of Liberty township. More than sixty years ago Father Gundy,of that township, contracted forty head of fat hogs to Mr. Buckingham, of Zanesville, for one dollar and fifty
cents per hundred, net weight, which, according to the custom of the day, was to be found by deducting one-fifth of the gross. Gundy drove his hogs to Zanesville, a distance of forty miles, but Buckingham would not take them, saying that the market price was only one dollar and twenty-five cents Gundy declined to sell his pork at any such figure, and turning away, walked back to his home in Liberty township, leaving the hogs to care for themselves. Within three weeks every hog of the forty was back on the Gundy farm. Almost the entire distance traveled was a wilderness. Gundy afterwards got his price, one dollar and fifty cents, at Chillicothe."

The History of Fairfield and Perry Counties, OH says:

"The first settlers of Liberty township were emigrants from Switzerland and Pennsylvania. It cannot now be ascertained who was the very first settler of the township.

Christisn Gundy and family came from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1809, settling in the southern part of Liberty, on Walnut Creek. He erected a small log cabin, having a blanket for a door. His descendants still reside here.....

The nearest flouring mill was at Chillicothe, to which place the settlers would go for their flour and meal. Rev. Henry Leonard, who was born in 1812, and still resides in the township, furnishes the following list of families, who resided in Liberty township prior to the war of 1811, viz.: the Eversoles, Cooks, Campbells, Zirkles, Hiesers, Alts, Heistands, Apt, Finkbone, Kemerer, Paff, Bolenbaughs, Rouch, Newell, Blauser, Browns, Shriners, Knepper, Moreheads, Olingers, Wrights, Tusing, Growilers, McCalla, Switzer, Amspach, Heyle, Farmers, Leonards, Sann, Rouch, Zirkles, Sagers, Robert Wilson, Nicholas Bader, Christian Gundy and several other families. Many of the descendants of these first settlers are still residing here. The first cabins of the pioneers have long since disappeared, and have been superseded by substantial brick and frame structures."

1830 Liberty Twp, Fairfield Co, OH. The census recorded Christian Gundy as 50-60 years old and had living with him: 1 male aged 5-10, 1 at 15-20, 2 were 20-30, and 2 females at 15-20. In the same county was a Regina Gundy who was 40-50.

In Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of Ohio, Decemter Term, 1831 was:

"James Roland v Christian Gundy

The owner of a chattel, sold by the bailee, can recover the specific chattel of its value of whomsoever he may find in possession of it.

This cause came before the court, upon a writ of error to the common pleas of the county of Morgan, and was adjourned here for decision by the Supreme Court in that county.
The original suit was an action of replevin, brought by Gundy against Roland for a horse. Verdict and judgement for the plaintiff. Upon the trial, it appeared that Gundy had lent the horse in question to one McConnel, who sold the horse to Isaac Roland, who sold him to the defendant, neither of whom had any notice of Gundy's claim. The counsel for the defendant, on this testimony moved the court to instruct the jury that the plaintiff could not recover. The instruction was refused, and this refusal was assigned for error."

By 1840 George and Noah Gundy were the only ones by the name in that county but Christian was probably living with Noah at that time.

1850 Same place. In that census, Christian was 77, retired, and living with son Noah.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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