Some tibits of the early Wilburns who first arrived to Carter Co KY. Between (circa) 1834-1855, approximately 10 Wilburn families settled into Carter co KY. Richard Willborun (circa 1717-1820) was their ancestor. He was father of the two oldest (known) Wilburns (Lewis Wilburn
circa 1770-1855) and his younger brother Robert Wilburn
circa (1780-Sept 1859). And in some cases he was grandfather and perhaps even great-grandfather to some of the other Wilburn men and women who arrived during this period.
And yes, Richard was over a hundred years old when he died in Highland, Co OH in 1820. His son Robert was born when he was in his sixties. No doubt he had at least three wives during his long life. It is probable that there was a span of thirty years if not more, between his children.
Richard's father is believed to be Richard Wilburn who was married to a woman named Ann and later died in Goouchland VA in 1756, leaving his widow and minor children in debt. At the time of his death he had at least four grown children with families of their own.
It is probable that this line of Wilburns were among the very early settlers in VA, arriving between 1610-24 at a time when no more than 2000 while colonists lived in the entire colony. Oral history maintains that the first Wilburn progenitor of this line left Wales and arrived to Jamestown when the tiny colony was going through a starvation crisis! (Historial records would support this claim).
The two oldest Wilburns who were among the earliest of the clan to arrive were: Lewis Wilburn and Robert Wilburn.
It remains uncertain if the two brothers arrived together.
What is known from oral history is that Lewis Wilburn arrived with his large family via a handcrafted flatboat and the family floated down from the Big Sandy River to the OH River and then to the Little Sandy and crossed over just above Ashland and then made the trek the rest of the way on foot. Traveling with them were dogs, cats and even one horse.
Lewis and his kin, which consisted of at least two sons of their wives and children settled into the Grahn area of Carter Co KY. In time some of them would marry into the Carroll family, Stewart family, Waugh family, Jarvis family and James family to name a few.
Years earlier, Lewis and his sons settled into Claiborne Co TN. (circa 1810). It is probable that they also lived in Giles, VA. (not proved). Prior to settling into TN, Lewis and his young family once lived in Wilkes, NC. It is believed that Lewis was married to a Cherokee Indian and this claim has been handed down to many of his descendants who for the most part are unknown to each other today.
Both Lewis and his brother Robert had kin (wilburns and Hughes who lived in Pike Co OH which borders on Highland, OH.
According to court records from Highland, OH, (1838) Lewis one the following siblings, Robert Wilburn of Carter KY,
Stephen Wilburn of Claiborne, TN and William Wilburn of Giles, VA. He also had two nephews in OH named Randolph and Russell.
Some of the other Wilburns who later arrived to settle into Carter Co KY also arrived from Giles, VA and TN.
Preston and his brother Jesse Wilburn were living in Fleming KY before settling into Carter Co KY. Both brothers
(according to the 1850 census records were born in TN)
Lewis and his brood left behind many Wilburns and allied family members in the Grahn area of Carter Co KY. this is also true of Jesse and Preston Wilburn (both Civil War veterans who died due to injuries fighting for the UNion cause.
It would appear that all those Wilburns and allied families who have roots in Grahn descend from Lewis Wilburn and his children.
Those Wilburns with roots in or near Grayson KY (for the most part) descend from Robert Wilburn and his son Guy or Gully Wilburn. Guy was married to Martha Robertson and later died in Boyd Co KY.
For more info regarding these Wilburns of Yore, please contact me at my e-mail address. I have a large database of Wilburns with roots in Carter Co KY (thanks in part to many people who have shared their ancestral lines with me).
If I can be of any assistance, I would be pleased to do so and if you have any tidbits and are willing to share with me. That would be great!
Thanks much, your distant cousin in San Diego.
Vikky Wilburn Anders
p.s. I love visiting Carter Co KY and love the people who make my visits so compelling. Good people mean good times.
Thanks again. VWA