An American Family History

David Looney

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

David Looney was born about 1735 in Augusta (now Rockbridge) County, Virginia. He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Looney.

He married Mary McClellan.

Robert Looney (1752),
Joseph Looney (1755)
Anna Looney (1758, married John Vaughn),
Mary Looney (1761, married Jeremiah Taylor),
Sarah Looney (1764, married Samuel Gregg),
Julia Looney (1767),
Janie Looney (1770, married Samuel Caruthers),
David Looney, Jr. (1777),
Abraham Looney (1780, married Elizabeth Gammon).

They lived on Muddy Creek, two miles above the Holston River. David built a blockhouse.

David signed the 1777 Petition of Holston Men.

In the 1778 Washington County court records

Ord. take the depo. of David Looney and Jas. McCain on behalf of Peter Huffman, defdt. in a suit with William Cocke, on a cavit.

In 1780, he was appointed to be a justice of the peace in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

In 1783, 1784, and 1789 David received warrants for land in Sullivan County, Tennessee. At that time it was in North Carolina.

David died on May 1, 1810 in Blountsville, Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Watauga Pioneer Neighbors



from Boyle Genealogy: John Boyle of Virginia and Kentucky by John Boyle

 David Looney, with three others of the family, participated in the memorable victory at King's mountain, three of them being officers.

In 1783, a memorial was presented to Congress of the "Freemen inhabiting the country westward of the Alleghaney or Appalacian mountains and southward of the Ouasito" (Indian name of Cumberland mountains), setting out their environment "by vast wilds of barren and inaccessible mountains" that they had maintained their settlements during the war, and were the aboriginal inhabitants—and as freemen, claiming the natural rights of American citizens, asking authority for local self government. Among the memorialists was David Looney, born in 1735. He was a delegate from Sullivan county to the convention which attempted to form the state of Franklin. He was a member of the first Tennessee legislature from that county, and was buried at Jonesboro. His wife was Mary McClellan of Virginia, born 1741.

Their son, Abraham Looney, was born September 18, 1780, married in that county, May 19, 1803, Elizabeth Gammon, born there September 19, 1786. Her father was Richard Gammon, born 1750, a member of the convention that formed the state of Tennessee, as well as of the first legislature of that state. Her mother was Sarah Gamble, born 1750, at Richmond, Virginia, where her family had long resided.

Abraham Looney possessed much influence and considerable wealth. He was a banker and latterly a large iron producer in Middle Tennessee. They first lived in Sullivan county, where their eight elder children were born, and afterwards at Columbia, Maury county.


I—Polly Looney, b. June 10, 1804.
II—Sally Gammon Looney, b. Aug. 16, 1806.
III— David Looney, b. May 12, 1808.IV— Richard G. Looney, b. Dec. 20, 1809; m. Jan., 1832, Eliza T. Carruthers.
V—Jane M. Looney, b. Feb. 16, 1812; m. Feb. 9, 1832, Parry W. Porter. They left several children.
VI—Elizabeth A. Looney, b. Jan. 12, 1814; m. Apr. 15, 1838, Dr. A. F. Bracken.
VII—A. Lavraiset Looney, b. Oct. 26, 1816.
VIII—George Gammon Looney, b. Sept. 5, 1818; d. 1847.
IX—Abraham McClellan Looney, b. Dec. 19, 1820; d. Dec. 30, 1904.
X—Joseph William Looney, b. Sept. 11, 1822; m. Nov. 30, 1848, Mary E. Lacey.
XI—Robert Fain Looney, b. Aug. 5, 1824; d. Memphis, Nov. 19, 1899.
XII—Leonora Adelaide Looney, b. Aug. 25, 1830.


Guilford County, North Carolina was organized in 1771 from parts of Rowan and Orange Counties.
Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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