Friday, October 4, 2013


 Gwinn, also spelled in America Gwin and Gwynn, is a Welch name with a very honorable place in the history of that little country. The form in the Welch language is Gwyn (Goo-in), from which is perhaps derived the Christian name Gawen, which has been borne by various men in Rockingham, Bath, and perhaps other counties. The word means "white" or "candid," and the Gwinn coat of arms bears the legend, "vim vi pellere licet" - "It is permissible to oppose force with force." One David Gwinn was the ruler of one of the subdivisions of Wales, and Sir Rowland Gwynn was the author of the compact to stand by William of Orange when he was invited to become king of England in 1688.

One Robert Gwin settled on the Calfpasture river about 1745, coming from North Carolina, although he was probably of foreign birth. 

His sons were David, James, Robert, Simon, Samuel, and Joseph. David and Joseph died in Highland where they were substantial citizens. Robert (Jane) and Simon moved finally to Kentucky. James and Samuel came about 1770 to the Greenbrier at the mouth of Kelly's Creek. A house built by Samuel is still in good preservation. Many of his descendants are in the West. Among them, was the late Senator William Gwin of California.

C. of Samuel: Samuel (Elizabeth Taylor, 1803) - Moses (Mary Sergent) - Andrew (Mary Newsome) - John (Sarah George of Thomas) - Ephraim (Rachel Keller) - Ruth (James Jarret) - Elizabeth (Robert Newsome) - Ivvy (Thomas Busby) - Jane (David Withrow) - Alexander (Mary Given) - Salathiel (Margaret Black of Samuel) - Robert (Nancy Ellison) - Thompson (Rachel Harra, 1841) - Margaret (Nathan Viney) - James (Jane Pyne) - Elizabeth (W. C. Riner, 1845). C. of Andrew of Samuel: Thomas, Samuel, William, Andrew, Junius, Robert B. (Rebecca Maddy), Marion. R. B. (b. 1837) is the father of Eliza J. (George W. Vawter) and Bessie.

C. of James: Robert, James, Joseph (Polly Taylor, 1805), Samuel.

C. of Joseph of James: Sylvester (Elizabeth Williams) - James (Virginia Johnson) - Joseph (Elizabeth Taylor) - Augustus (Elizabeth Callaway) - Nancy (James Meadows) - Martha (James Graham) - Miriam (Jeremiah W. P. Stevens) - Sarah (Samuel Gwinn) - Billescent (Simeon K. Hoffman, 1845) - Mary (George Keller, 1843) - Paulina (Levi Jarrett, 1847).

The thrift of Samuel, Sr., may be seen in the circumstance that in the course of his long life, although living in a poor frontier community, he became able to divide $12,000 in specie among his sons, Andrew and Samuel, Jr., taking each a half-bushel of coin and carrying it by packsaddle to their homes beyond Keeney's Knob. James, Jr., is said to have been the first white child born in Monroe after the Clendennin massacre. Two sons of Robert were colonels in the United States army. In general the Gwinns have been good, industrious, and intelligent citizens.

[A History of Monroe County, West Virginia by Oren F. Morton, Published 1916 by The McClure Company, Inc., Staunton, Va. - Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]