I am looking for the parents of Rachel Dean (or Deen) who married Levi Hunt (1757-1830), son of Col. Jonathan Hunt (1717-1782) and Mary Smith (1720-1757), in Surry county, North Carolina. The date of the marriage bond for Rachel Deen and Levi Hunt is December 11, 1784. The bondsman was Samuel Bryan, who may have been Levi’s brother-in-law. Rachel Dean must have been a resident of Surry county since that is where the marriage bond was posted. In the 1830 U.S. census, Rachel was listed as over age 60 but less than 70, so she was born between 1760 and 1770.
In searching for Deans/Deens in Surry county, NC before 1784 I found John Dean and his wife, Keziah Smith, moved from Halifax county, VA to Surry county, NC sometime between 1772-1774. John and Keziah were married in 1764 in Halifax County and their first born child, a son also named John, was born about 1765. John Dean Sr. died in or before February 1775, as that is when an inventory of his estate was returned to the Surry county court. John Sr.’s wife, Keziah, dies in 1787 in Surry county and her will is recorded. In the 1790 U.S. census, John Dean (Jr.) and Job Dean, both sons of John Sr. and Keziah, are the only Dean head of households in Surry County, NC.
I don’t believe Rachel Dean was a daughter of John Dean Sr. but believe she could be his little sister. John Dean Sr. was the son of Edward Dean and Rebecca Abney. Edward and Rebecca were both born in Virginia about 1720 and were married about 1740. John Dean Sr. was their first child, born about 1741 or 1742. Edward Dean died in 1761, sometime between April 2nd, when his will was written, and June 18th, when his will was recorded. In Edward Dean's will he names his sons but makes no mention of any daughters. However, Edward’s will does mention "the child my wife is now pregnant with." So Edward Dean's wife, Rebecca, was pregnant in April 1761. Apparently no one knows who that unborn child was or even if it survived. However, there is a possibility that child was Rachel Dean since she was born between 1760 and 1770.
Following Edward Dean's death the Virginia court records mention Rebecca in 1765, when she sold a horse, some cattle, and household goods, then there is no further mention of her. She may have died shortly thereafter or before her son John Dean Sr. moved to Surry County sometime before February 1775. If Rachel Dean was a daughter of Edward and Rebecca, she would have been 13 years old in 1774. As the eldest son, John Dean Sr. could have taken responsibility for his little sister Rachel and took her to Surry county with his family. That would account for her presence in Surry county in 1784 when she married Levi Hunt.
So I think there is a possibility that Rachel Dean was the daughter of Edward Dean and Rebecca Abney. There is, however, another possibility I’m aware of and that is that Rachel Dean was an Indian or part Indian.
Rachel and Levi Hunt’s son Thomas was a gunsmith and made a rifle in 1833 that is still in existence. In 2006 the rifle was sold and on a website the new owner gave a little background on Thomas Hunt and his parents, Levi Hunt and Rachel Dean. The website states, "Rachel is believed to have been an Indian, probably Shawnee." There is no source listed for this. However, that belief may be because when Levi and Rachel moved in about 1800 from Kentucky to Clermont County, Ohio, they reportedly "lived in a deserted Indian camp until better accommodations could be built." I have a photograph of Thomas Hunt’s son, George W. Hunt, who would be Rachel’s grandson, and do not detect any noticeably Indian features but I could be mistaken.
Any information or comments on the parents of Rachel Dean/Deen is appreciated.