An American Family History

Robert Looney


Robert Looney, Jr. was born about 1721 on the Isle of Man. He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Looney.

He married Margaret Rhea. Margaret was the daughter of Matthew Rhea.

Their children included:

John Looney (1744, married Elizabeth Renfro),
Moses Looney (1745),
Benjamin Looney (1748, married Mary Johnson),
Samuel Looney (1751), and
Mary Looney Grimes (1756).

Robert was killed on Reed Creek in 1756 while on an espedition to destroy Shawnee towns and kill as many of them as they could.

After Robert's death, Margaret married Stephen Renfro.


Watauga Pioneer Neighbors



from The National Gazette 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
17 Jul 1821, Tue  •  Page 3

On Sinking Creek, Va. the 26th of February last, Esther Looney, consort of the late John Looney, in the 82nd year of her age, after a short illness. She was the first white female born in Botetourt County, west of James River.


from History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia: 1748-1920 by William Cecil Pendleton

In the summer of 1755, just about the time of the attack upon Draper's Meadows, a scalping party of Shawnees made an incursion into the Middle Holston Valley. They attacked the more exposed settlements, killed several settlers and captured others...

It was to avenge the outrages inflicted upon the settlers in the New River and Holston valleys, as well as the massacre at Draper's Meadows, that the "Sandy Expedition" was projected. The purpose of this expedition was to march to the Ohio River and punish the Shawnees, by killing as many of them as possible, and to destroy their towns.

Colonel Andrew Lewis was commander of the expedition, and his forces consisted of about four hundred men, including one hundred, or more, Cherokee and Chickasaw Indians...

This expedition was assembled at Fort Prince George, afterwards called Fort Lewis, four miles west of where Salem, Roanoke County, is now located. Captain William Preston was placed in charge of the vanguard, and began the march on "Monday ye, 9th day of February, 1756;"

...Major Lewis with the main body of his white force, arrived at New River and reviewed all the troops on Friday, the 13th; and on Saturday, the 14th, Captain Dunlap joined them with a company of twenty-five volunteers. This completed the military force that was encamped at Fort Frederick, which was the name then held by the fort at Dunkard's Bottom.

On Sunday, the 15th inst., James Burke, who had fled from Burke's Garden, arrived at the camp and gave information that Robert Looney had been killed by the Shawnee Indians near the home of Alex Sawyers, on Reed Creek. 

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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