Speculation on Timing of Ancestral Name Changes

I have evidence of three surnames in my ancestral line which I have traced by records back to Thomas hunt (Sr.) who was born ca 1787 in North Carolina according to the 1950 Blount County, TN federal census.

The graphic below is an attempt based on records and DNA information. The data following adding dates for times prior to 1787 contains my best attempt to show the times that name changes might have taken place. It is subject to change as more information comes to light.


Deason Lafayette Hunt is the father of the author of this blog post authenticated by birth certificate, parental testimony, and personal experience.

Relationship GGF Name Pct. of DNA Years Date  
Self   Deason     1943  
Father   Deason Lafayette 50   1910  
Gfather   Joseph 25   1867  
GGF 1 William 12.5   1816  
GGGF 2 Thomas 6.25 156 1787 {Proscription
GGGGF 3 Hunt or McFarland?? 3.125     1744
GGGGGF 4 McFarland?? 1.563     I
GGGGGGF 5 McFarland?? 0.781     I
GGGGGGGF 6 McFarland?? 0.391     I
GGGGGGGGF 7 McFarland?? 0.195 312 1631 ?? I
GGGGGGGGGF 8 McGregor?? 0.0975     1603}
GGGGGGGGGGF 9 McGregor?? 0.04875      
GGGGGGGGGGGF 10 McGregor?? 0.024375 406 1537??  
    Surnames became common between 1250 and 1450???????        


  1. William Thomas Hunt I believed that Thomas Hunt was adopted by a Hunt family in North Carolina and that his last name was either McFarland or McFarlain. William Thomas Hunt I heard his grandfather (William Marshall Hunt I) tell him this story many times.
  2. What he cannot remember is whether it was his grandfather (Thomas Hunt Sr.?) or great grandfather (Thomas Hunt Sr.’s father?) whose original name was McFarland. (This is an interpretation of his. Did she mean W. T. Hunt I as the “his” reference or Thomas Hunt Sr. as the “his” reference?)
  3. Hilda Hunt Tucker said the tradition in her James Hunt branch of the family (those who did not come to Texas in the late 1840’s) was they had a Scotch background.
  4. We may assume that William M. Hunt and James Hunt heard this story from their father Thomas Hunt Sr.
  5. Was Thomas talking about himself or his father?


Thomas Hunt Sr. — What We Know

Thomas Hunt Sr. was born about 1787 in North Carolina according to information posted (age 63) to the 1850 census enumerator in Blount County, Tennessee and his calculated age as oldest male in the 1820 census in Rutherford County, North Carolina and the 1830 and 1840 censuses of Blount County, Tennessee. He died about 1856 (certainly by December 2, 1856 when a court filing contained this testament: “Thomas Hunt formerly of Rusk County… but now dead” in Rusk County, Texas. The gravestone at the center of the Hunt Cemetery east of Henderson in Rusk County which is a native stone marked with the letters TH has been passed down through the years as the burial site of Thomas Hunt Sr.

A Land transaction in Rutherford County, North Carolina (coinciding with his move through the mountains to Tennessee) in 1819, transactions in Blount County, Tennessee in the 1830’s, and 1840’s, and transactions leading up to and including the probating of his estate in the 1850’s in Rusk County, Texas document his presence in those areas and times.

Thomas’ wife was Louvisa but her surname and ancestry is unknown to us today. In the 1850 census of Blount County, Tennessee the wife’s name was written as Lucy when her age was 63 which makes her birth about 1787 like her husband. In January of 1858, a deed transaction in which she and sons sell all interests in some of Thomas’ estate land, she is described as “Louvisa Hunt widow of Thomas Hunt deceased.” Searches in the 1860 census or later census years turns up no one of that name and her age in her own household, that of any children in Texas, or as a Louvisa or Lucy of proper age to have remarried in Rusk County, Texas.

Children of THOMAS HUNT and LOUVISA  from census and other records are:

1) Elizabeth Betsy Hunt, b. Abt. 1810, North Carolina (estimate based on marriage date and census of father Thomas Hunt 1820 and husband James Bedford 1830-40); d. Bet. 1870 – 1879.

2) Absolom Hunt, b. September 10, 1811, North Carolina; d. November 20, 1866.

3) James Hunt, b. January 21, 1812, North Carolina; d. July 16, 1865, Blount County, Tennessee.

4) Unknown Male Hunt, b. est.. 1813.

5) John Hunt, b. 1815, North Carolina; d. Aft. 1860.

6) William Marshal Hunt, b. May 1816, North Carolina; d. August 02, 1906, Rusk County, Texas.

7) Stephen Hunt, b. 1819, North Carolina.

8) Thomas Hunt Jr., b. May 13, 1821, North Carolina; d. October 05, 1888, Rusk County, Texas.

9) Martha CassandraHunt, b. April 08, 1822, Tennessee; d. April 21, 1901, Texas.

10) Madison Hunt, b. est. 1825, Blount County, Tennessee; d. Abt. 1858, Prob. Texas.

11)Mary Mahala (Mahalie) Hunt, b. est. 1830; d. Abt. 1915, Charleston, Franklin County, Arkansas.

12) Samuel Hunt b. February 15, 1832, Tennessee; d. July 03, 1893, Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas.