Month: January 2021

General Matthew Arbuckle

Frances Hunter Arbuckle and Captain Matthew Arbuckle had a son, Matthew. Born December 18, 1778 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and died June 11, 1851 at Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas. He was buried in the Arbuckle Cemetery, Lavaca, Sebastian County, Arkansas.

United States Army Officer. He served as Colonel and commander of 7th United States Infantry Regiment, stationed at Fort Scott, Georgia. Assumed command of Ft. Smith, AR in 1822. First commander of Ft. Gibson, IT (OK) from 1824 to 1841. Last assigned to Ft. Smith, AR on March 14, 1851. He died there in June of 1851. The Arbuckle Mountains in Southern Oklahoma were named in his honor.

General Matthew Arbuckle

Frances Hunter Arbuckle (1750-1834)

Frances was born at sea after her parents set sail for America. She was the daughter of John Henry and Frances Mortimer Hunter. She married three times. First to James Lawrence, Jr. who died shortly after the wedding, second to Captain Matthew Arbuckle and third to Alexander Welch. She married Captain Arbuckle on December 17, 1774 in Botentourt County, Virginia, and they had four children, James Harvey, General Matthew, Thomas and Samuel. Her marriage to Alexander came after Matthew’s death and they had four known children; Agnes, Frances and two unknown.

In a book written about Frances by Ann Royal on Greenbrier County Frances says:

 “I am now (1824) sitting on the site where this fort once stood, not the least vestige of it however remains. It is now the property of Mrs. Welch, whose house and garden stands within the limits once occupied by this fort. From Mrs. Welch, who is now in her seventieth year, I collected these particulars. She is now sitting by me and goes on to relate: ” That she was one of the earliest permanent settlers of Greenbrier and lived within a mile of the fort just mentioned, which was called Fort Savannah. She was then the wife of a Mr. Arbuckle who was in the famous battle of the Point, and spent all his life in guarding the settlements. There was, besides Fort Savannah, another about eight miles northeast of it called Donnallys Fort….”

Frances married Captain Matthew Arbuckle in 1774.

Captain Matthew Arbuckle, ‘‘large of stature and large of spirit,” was born about 1740/41 in Virginia or Scotland. He is listed as serving in the Augusta County, Virginia, militia in 1758–59, was a lieutenant in 1767, and commissioned captain of Botetourt County militia in 1770. He served as a gentleman justice of Botetourt County from its founding in 1769 until 1773.

A hunter and trapper, Arbuckle was probably the first white man to travel from Virginia to the Ohio other than as a prisoner of the Indians. In 1774 he built the stockade on Muddy Creek, Greenbrier County, now known as Arbuckle’s Old Fort.

Commanding a company of Botetourt County militia he served as guide and chief scout for Gen. Andrew Lewis’s 1774 march to Point Pleasant, contributing greatly to the defeat of the Indians led by Chief Cornstalk at the Battle of Point Pleasant. Later he built Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant. He was in command there when a mob of newly arrived and undisciplined militia, who had witnessed one of their number killed and scalped by the Indians, overcame their officers’ and Arbuckle’s attempts to maintain order and murdered the captive Cornstalk.

Soon after 1774, Arbuckle established his residence near Lewisburg, then known as Fort Savannah, and when the town was laid out in 1780 he was the first settler. In 1778 he was active in raising the siege of Fort Donnally, near Lewisburg. On retirement from active military service he farmed his extensive lands and served several public duties. In March of 1781 he was commissioned to lay out a route from Lewisburg to Warm Springs, Bath County. In June of that year, returning from the capital at Williamsburg, Arbuckle was caught in a violent storm near the banks of the Jackson River and killed by a falling tree. He left a widow and six strong sons.

Samuel Hunter (c.1797-1877)

Samuel was born about 1797 in Bruslee, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

He married Mary A Cameron 8 Dec 1826 in the Rosemary St Church in Belfast.


  1. William (1829-1888)
  2. John (1832-1917)
  3. Elizabeth (1834-1882)
  4. Leitia (1837-1900)
  5. Samuel (1842-1885)
  6. David (1845-1905)

Samuel died 6 Jan 1877 in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Clan Hunter Gathering Group Tour 2021

Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of your Hunter ancestors? This will be my third group tour to a Clan Hunter Gathering at Hunterston Castle. If you would like to be added to our email list to see all the details of the tour Lois Wallace and myself have planned, please follow the link below.

  • Clan Hunter Gathering Tour 2021 has been designed to maximize your enjoyment of the Gathering organized by Madam Pauline. it will include transportation, touring, Accommodations, and some meals.
  • Carol Hunter Sullivan will be your knowledgeable escort.
  • Click on the link to sign up to get the full information when available.

Resources & Links

The study routinely collects the surname spellings: Huntar, Huinter, Hunnter, Huntere, Hunterr

These indexes began, with permission, from the official Registrar’s indexes for England and Scotland but additional information and corrections have been added as research continues.

Indexes in the Guild DataStore

Index to England & Wales Births 1837 – 1930 with all mother’s maiden name added.

Index to England & Wales Marriages 1837 – 1930 with over 80% spouses added.

Index to England & Wales Deaths 1837 – 1930

Index to England and Wales Probate 1858 – 1930 with full details from the index and includes

administrations and many Scotland confirmations.

Index to Scotland Births 1855 – 1920

Index to Scotland Marriages 1855 – 1920

Index to Scotland Deaths 1855 – 1920


Family Trees

Trees featured here follow the male line. The letter in tree codes indicates the birth country of the earliest progenitor: A at the start of a tree code = Australia; E = England; IR = Ireland; S = Scotland; US = USA and W = Wales.

Preserving the Hunter Surname

Your Hunter research is very welcome in this study.

Carol’s book list

In our Hunter one-name study, the General Register Office is a great place to find data on births, marriages, deaths, occupations (especially researching the medical field), and family patterns of morbidity and mortality prior to general registration. When did doctors first start to take over classification of death on death certificates?

When national registration was set up the medical profession must have helped construct the ‘nosologies’ categories of causes of death to be used. From the beginning if people had a medical attendant at death then the doctor would inform the Registrar in a signed statement. But the bulk of the population did not. Three parties were involved here, the original informant using ‘folklore’, the Registrar trying to make that into something acceptable to write on the certificate and the clerks in London who have to put it into a category. The history of death registration shows the medical profession slowly becoming involved but always using the current ‘nosology’ of the ONS. Once we had the NHS everyone had a GP but the informant was still a member of the family.

The classifications; the ‘Nosologies’ changed with increased medical knowledge and are still changing ie what is happening to calculation of Corvid deaths.

The next of kin of the dead one are required, when they can, to report a death. Certificates post 1870 began to detail the relationship.

“Old Age” is no longer accepted as cause of death. This category was originally used in 1837 but no longer is this category seen.

There are two books added to my library:

People Count A history of the General Register Office by Muriel Nissel (1987) and An Atlas of Victorian Mortality by Robert Woods & Nicola Shelton.