Genealogy of the Tynes Family
Copyright © 1998-2007 T. Mark
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The Origin of the Tynes Name
Most historians agree that the name Tynes comes from the Tyne River that separates England from Scotland. This river has given its name to several families, such as Tynesmouth (who presumably lived at the mouth of the river) and Tynesdael (who lived upstream). The name Tynes is probably a shortened form of one of these names. At one time there was even a town named Tines in the parish of Yarrow, Selkirk, Scotland.
Most Tynes families maintain a strong tradition of Scottish origin; indeed, the name of the Tyne River itself almost certainly comes from the Erse word tain, or stream. However, it should be noted that by the late Middle Ages, when surnames became common, the name Tynes had spread over many parts of England. In 1484, the Tynes coat-of-arms was granted; this was an English, not a Scottish, armorial device. Therefore, although all modern-day Tyneses can probably lay claim to distant Scottish roots, in many cases the Scottish roots are very distant indeed, and it is more likely that the Tynes immigrants to the United States came from England rather than from Scotland.
The Tyneses in America
There are at least five distinct strains of Tynes in the United States. Although all of them, ultimately, probably derive from the same origin, it’s not clear just how far back one has to go in order to link these five strands. Perhaps the link may be found in early seventeenth-century Bermuda; or it might be necessary to go all the way back to the ancient Tyne River.
One strand consists of the descendants of John Bezin Tynes, who was born in Barbados in 1833, immigrated to Ohio in 1868 with his wife Madge, his brother Thomas, and their children, and wrote extensively about traditions and legends current in his branch of the family. According to John Bezin Tynes’s writings, his grandfather Thomas Tynes was born in Bermuda in 1781, and moved with his elder brother John Tynes to Barbados. Both brothers were sea captains. Thomas Tynes had one son, John William Tynes, who in turn had three children, the eldest being John Bezin Tynes. The Bermuda Archives has a family tree that traces his descendants in Ohio, Oklahoma and elsewhere. 
A second strand comes from Isle of Wight County, Virginia, where the earliest recorded ancestor is Timothy Tynes. Timothy appears in land transactions in that county as early as 1707, and died there in 1752. His descendants lived in Isle of Wight County for many generations. A note on a family chart provided by Dr. Bayard Tynes of Birmingham, Alabama, states that the family moved from South Carolina to Virginia in about 1700, but this is unlikely, as the usual course for migrations went in the opposite direction. Timothy Tynes and his wife Elizabeth had two sons, Thomas and Robert, and at least five daughters. Their descendants today may be found throughout the southern states; click here for a partial outline. 
The third Tynes group, possibly related to the second, has its earliest detectable origins in Henrico County, Virginia. There an Isaac Tynes appears in records from 1733 to 1750, after which he shows up in Halifax County, Virginia. Isaac’s age is vague enough that he might be one of the unnamed children of Timothy of Isle of Wight County; or he could be a nephew, a brother, or not related at all. He had at least one son, William, who died in Halifax County in 1795. Some of this line is listed here.
The fourth strain, which is mine, can be traced back to one William Tynes, who died in 1761 in Granville County, North Carolina. William Tynes had at least four sons, William, Samuel, John, and Robert Fleming, and a daughter, Jeriah, all of whom moved to South Carolina after their father’s death. Son William died as a young man, while Samuel and Robert Fleming fought on opposite sides during the American Revolution. After the war, Samuel Tynes (the Tory) moved to Campbell County, Virginia — or, at least, one of his sons did. You can see some of the descendants here. His brother, Robert Fleming Tynes (the patriot), wound up in Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.  My line comes from these Louisiana Tyneses; other descendants of Robert Fleming Tynes moved to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas. You can see some of this line here.
Finally, the fifth Tynes group in the United States descends from Dr Benjamin Tynes of the Bahamas. One of Benjamin’s sons migrated to Key West, Florida, in the late 1840s, but died prior to the 1850 census. His name was probably either William James Tynes or Thomas Benjamin Tynes, as these were the only sons mentioned in Benjamin’s 1842 will; but I have not found the immigrant’s name on any American document. His descendants still live in Florida today.
These five Tynes family lines might reflect three, four, or five different immigrations to the United States. Certainly, John Bezin Tynes came to America after the first three strains had been long established. However, the Virginian and Carolinian strains might have derived from a single immigrant ancestor; indeed, William Tynes of North Carolina, like Isaac Tynes of Henrico County, was one generation younger than Timothy Tynes of Isle of Wight County. Timothy’s father could conceivably be the common ancestor of these three lines.
The Tyneses in Bermuda
In Bermuda, most vital records were kept by church parishes until well into the nineteenth century. Bermuda has nine parishes; in many, record-keeping was a chore that the local rector performed when he felt like it. One sees frequent exhortations from governors of Bermuda for church officials to pay more attention to record-keeping. This suggests that the gaps in the records are due to more than just the usual fires and floods.
Of the records that were kept and have survived, the Bermuda Archives has done a wonderful job of assembling and indexing them, often with the volunteer help of local genealogists. In March 1997 I had the opportunity to spend several days in the Bermuda Archives searching for traces of Tynes ancestors. I was able to check records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, wills, and estate inventories. There were also several religious and political petitions that were sent to Parliament in London, some containing many hundreds of signatures of Bermudian residents. Finally, one of Bermuda’s nineteenth-century governors, J. H. Leffroy, set to print thousands of pages of his predecessors’ hand-written notes, involving everything from petty crimes to land disputes to council meeting notes.
The Tynes name occurs frequently in these records until the early part of the twentieth century, when for some reason it peters out. I concentrated on the period from the founding of the Bermuda colony in 1609 until 1744, by which time the Virginian and Carolinian branches of the Tynes family had probably taken root in America. My arrangement of these data into “generations” is, of course, pure guesswork, since in most cases I have no clue as to who really begat whom. You can see a summary of my guesswork here.
1641, June 20: with wife Jane, baptised a son, Robert Tynes, in Southampton Parish
1644: signed a petition in favor of Rev. Nathaniel White’s attempts to create an Independent Church of Bermuda
1660: mentioned in will of father-in-law Robert Kesteven as probable husband of Robert’s daughter Jane (will dated 5 March 1660, proved September 1660)
1663: figures as tenant in Norwood’s survey, in Paget Parish
Stephen Tynes’s presence in Bermuda in 1641 is interesting in that it disproves several legends as to how the Tyneses came to Bermuda. John Bezin Tynes tells the following story in a letter to Walter E. Tynes dated 1901:
“My forefathers hold strongly to the fact of Scotch descent and to a tradition current among the early members of the family in Bermuda and handed down thru successive generations that the head of the family was a Scottish Chieftain, or Lord, who on account of his political affiliations with the unfortunate Charles I was expatriated, soon after the defeat of the Royalists in Naseby in 1645, to Bermuda, which at that time was used by the Roundhead Parliament, as a place of exile for prisoners of State.”
William McDonald Tynes, in his account of the South Carolina branch of the family, expands on this:
“The execution of Charles I and the creation of the Cromwell Protectorate found him and several other of his associates, all unreconstructed Loyalists, in disfavor. They were banished to Bermuda by Cromwell in 1650. Even upon the restoration of Charles II to the crown, it was made a definite precondition of the Restoration that these Loyalists not be allowed to return.”
William McDonald Tynes’s date of 1650 makes more sense than does John Bezin Tynes’s date of 1645; for, even though the battle of Naseby did indeed take place in 1645, it did not particularly involve the Scots. On the other hand, the battle of Dunbar, in 1650, was a direct and crushing Cromwellian victory over Scottish rebels. Nonetheless, as we have seen, there was at least one Tynes already in Bermuda in 1641, which was several years before relations between Cromwell and Charles I degenerated into execution and civil war.
According to John Adams, director of the Bermuda Archives, it was not unusual for local families to embellish their histories with tragic or heroic stories about how they came to the islands. This appears to be what happened within John Bezin Tynes’s line, and one wonders to what extent his eloquent rendering of this story has influenced the perceived histories of the other three American Tynes strains as well.
So how did Stephen Tynes come to be in Bermuda in 1641, and where did he come from? If he and Jane Kesteven were married in England (and, for what it’s worth, there is no record of the marriage in Bermuda), then Stephen may simply have tagged along with his in-laws. The 1660 will suggests that relations were good, and that Stephen and Jane had had a long and healthy marriage.
The family name Kesteven appears to derive from a district of that name in Lincolnshire, in northeastern England. It would make sense that Robert Kesteven and Stephen Tynes were from that area, because both of them were of the Independent Puritan religious persuasion; and northeastern England was a hotbed of Independent activity in the early seventeenth century. (Robert Kesteven was one of three Bermudians involved in the establishment of an Independent church in the islands, for which he earned the undying contempt of the local governors and Church of England authorities, and Stephen Tynes signed a petition in favor of that church in 1644.) It would be interesting to visit the archives of the Kesteven district in Lincolnshire, to see if there were indeed Kesteven and Tynes families living there in, say, 1620. There were also Kesteven and Tynes families in the Aldgate section of London; the Bermuda families may have hailed from there. Finally, there are records of Star Chamber proceedings against various Tynes names in Wiltshire (south-central England), during the reign of Charles I’s predecessor, James I (who ruled from 1603 to 1625).
Perhaps the stories of Scottish thanes and political persecution have the following kernel of truth: Robert Kesteven and Stephen Tynes were Independent Puritan activists somewhere in England, and either moved to Bermuda to get away from the religious authorities, or else were exiled there as troublemakers.
Only Robert Tynes (born in 1641) is known to be a child of Stephen and Jane; we assume that the others were his siblings because we have no evidence for any other possible Tynes parents.
As we have seen, Robert Tynes was born in 1641 in Southampton Parish, Bermuda. He appears as a witness to the wills of John Wilson (in 1672) and Samuel Whalley (in 1675), both of Paget’s Tribe. In 1682, the will of John Robottom mentioned a “negro boy serving a term with Robert Tynes”. Nothing more is known about the life or possible family of Robert Tynes.
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The Tynes Family of Isle of Wight County, Virginia
The earliest mention of a Tynes in Isle of Wight County occurs in a land deed dated 28 July 1707, in which Christopher Reynolds sells 100 acres to Timothy Tynes. Timothy (presumably the same one) continues to appear in land and estate records until his death in 1752. His will, dated 26 August 1747 and probated on 6 August 1752, mentions his wife Elizabeth, sons Robert and Thomas, and grandson Timothy. It also directs that, after his widow Elizabeth’s death, his estate should be equally divided “between all my Children.” Who were those children, and was Elizabeth the mother of them all?
The answer to the second question is probably that Elizabeth was Timothy’s only wife, and was, indeed, the mother of all the Tyneses of the second generation in Isle of Wight County. Land patent records show that on 23 March 1715, Hugh Mathews received 100 acres as a reward “for the importation of 2 persons, Timothy Tines and Elizabeth Tines, his wife.” Again, on 14 August 1716, Nehemiah Joyner was awarded 100 acres “for the importation of 2 persons Timothy and Elizabeth Tines.” (Getting oneself “imported” multiple times, and claiming land each time, was a common gambit in early Virginia; the “importer” and the “importee” would typically share the resulting land.) Unless Timothy married two Elizabeths, it looks as if he had only one wife. Where were they imported from? Unfortunately, the land patent records do not say.
Starting with the two sons listed in Timothy’s will, here are the known children of Timothy and Elizabeth Tynes (click here for an outline):
Thomas Tynes was probably Timothy and Elizabeth’s oldest surviving son, because he is named the executor of his father’s will but receives no bequest in that will (suggesting that Timothy had already given him his inheritance — a common practice for an oldest son). He was most likely born around 1715-1720. Thomas appears in land, estate, and church records in Isle of Wight County from the 1740s until his death in about 1770. He apparently married twice. His first wife was probably a Prudden; we deduce this only because their granddaughter, Penelope Atherton (who married Ashael Brunson), was called the “one true Heir” of Peter Prudden of Bermuda, and there is no visible avenue for that inheritance other than Thomas Tynes’s first wife. His second wife was Celia West, daughter of William West Jr of Beaufort County, North Carolina.
Known child of Thomas Tynes and <unknown> Prudden:
Sarah Tynes: Born about 1740, married Jeptha Atherton on 13 September 1760 in Southampton County, Virginia; had two daughters, Sarah and Penelope; then died about 1763. Sarah Atherton married Joshua Bell and had a son Jesse, but that entire family died out by 1784. Penelope Atherton married Ashael Brunson and moved to Halifax County, North Carolina; their children later moved to Montgomery County, Tennessee.
Known children of Thomas Tynes and Celia West:
The oldest child was a girl whose first name does not appear in any record. She married John Lawrence and had two daughters, Celia (who married Elias Bowden) and Holland (who married first William Hatchell, then John Turner). Various Internet sources have named this unidentified daughter of Thomas Tynes as Martha or Celia, but without citing evidence.
West Tynes was probably the oldest son, since he inherited the bulk of his father’s estate. He was born about 1750, and married Elizabeth Crittenden, daughter of Henry Crittenden; they moved to Bertie County, North Carolina. They had at least three children: West Jr, who married Permelia Cox, had three children, and died in 1841 in Bertie County; and Henry and David, both of whom moved to Smith County, Tennessee. There was also a Timothy Tynes in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and a Sally Tynes who married William Crumpler in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1809; these could be later children of West Tynes.
Benjamin Tynes lived in Isle of Wight County until his death in 1799. He married twice: (1) to Susanna Bridger in 1784, and (2) to Elizabeth Hill in 1788. His will names one son, David, and four daughters, Nancy, Polly, Temperance, and Sally; the daughters are all underage. David inherited Benjamin’s land and lived in Isle of Wight County until 1818, when he sold the land and vanished. (A David Tynes appears in Smith County, Tennessee, on the 1820 census, but he is probably this David’s cousin, a son of West Tynes.) Among David’s sisters, Nancy Tynes married Edwards Burwell in 1804, and Temperance Tynes married Thomas Harrison in 1813.
Thomas Tynes Jr married Elizabeth King, daughter of Solomon and Abigail King, and lived in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. They had one child, Nathaniel; but both parents died during the 1790s, leaving a large estate from both the Tynes and King sides to Nathaniel. Nathaniel himself died in late 1802 or early 1803, leaving no will and no heirs. Since his parents were dead too, his considerable wealth was distributed nine ways among his Tynes and King aunts, uncles, and cousins. Papers from the Nathaniel Tynes succession go a long way toward documenting the descendants of Thomas Tynes Sr who were alive in 1803.
Mary Tynes apparently never married. She appears in her maiden name in her father’s 1769 will, and again as a full inheritor of one-ninth share of Nathaniel Tynes’s estate in 1803 — still using her maiden name. At that time she lived in Franklin County, North Carolina.
Thomas Tynes Sr’s will was dated 14 October 1769 and proved on 3 January 1771.
Robert Tynes appears extensively in land, estate and church records of Isle of Wight County from 1743 until his death in 1794. He must have been born by 1722 in order to have conducted land transactions in 1743. He married Mary Joyner, daughter of Theophilus Joyner and Henrietta Griffin of Isle of Wight County; they had at least seven children. Robert inherited a plantation near Smithfield, Virginia, and he and Mary built a plantation home there in 1750 that is still standing.
Known children of Robert Tynes and Mary Joyner:
Elizabeth Tynes was probably the oldest child. She married Thomas Day and had three children: James Bennett Day, Mary Day, and Juliana Day. Thomas Day died by 1772, and his wife Elizabeth by 1776; the children became wards of their grandfather, Robert Tynes. James and Mary died young, but Juliana married her cousin Davis Day in 1785 and had at least one daughter, Elizabeth Day.
Timothy Tynes, after the deaths of his two brothers, inherited the bulk of his father’s extensive estate and a large number of slaves. He never married. When he died in 1802, his will provoked outrage in his family by freeing all of his slaves and bequeathing most of his land and money to them. This was the origin of most of the black Tynes families of Virginia. The legal wrangle over Timothy’s estate, which lasted for eleven years after Timothy’s death, is useful for identifying the descendants of Timothy’s siblings who were alive in 1803, just as the Nathaniel Tynes succession reveals the same information for the descendants of Thomas Tynes.
Robert Tynes Jr died as a young man, never having married. His will, dated 1772, left his property to his sister (still unmarried) Jean Tynes, and named his father as executor. Some family histories have confused the two wills (father and son, both named Robert Tynes); but the wording of the wills makes it clear that the son died first.
Henry Tynes married Sarah Chapman, daughter of Mary (Crocker) Chapman; they had only one surviving child, Robert, before Henry died in about 1779. Henry’s widow later remarried to William Jordan. Son Robert married Martha “Patsey” Gibbs and had eight children, many of whom kept their families in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, after nearly all their Tynes cousins had left the area. Others, however, spread southward to Alabama and Mississippi.
Mary Tynes is probably the daughter who married Thomas King, son of Augustine King. Thomas King is named as a son-in-law in Robert Tynes’s 1790 will; Thomas King’s wife is never named except in a 1781 deed that refers to “Thomas King and wife, Mary King”. One family historian believes that Mary’s sister Sarah was the Tynes who married Thomas King, and that “Mary” was a second wife, but cites no evidence for this. In any event, this couple had one child named Sarah Tynes King; she married Thomas Purdie in 1799 and they had four children.
Jean Tynes (or Jane in some records) was mentioned as an underage niece in the 1764 will of Sarah Washington. She married Charles Fulgham sometime after 1772 and had at least six children: Elizabeth Fulgham (married Pleasants Jordan, one son Alfred); Robert Tynes Fulgham; Jane Fulgham (married John Dering); Martha Fulgham (married John Goodson); Mary “Polly” Fulgham; and Charles Fulgham Jr, who died without issue by 1812. This family is well-documented in the Timothy Tynes succession, which dragged on from 1803 to 1812.
Sarah Tynes was mentioned as an underage niece in the 1764 will of her aunt Sarah Washington. She apparently never married; however, see her sister Mary (above) for a possible confusion between the two. Between Mary and Sarah, one of them married Thomas King, and the other probably died young and unmarried.
Robert Tynes Sr’s will was dated 21 September 1790 and proved on 1 December 1794.
Sarah Tynes was probably born about 1720. She married a man named Washington. In her 1764 will, she calls herself Sarah Washington; her maiden name is clear because she mentions her brother Robert Tynes and six of his children, and her sister Jean Tynes. It does not mention any children of her own. Many family sources have identified her husband as Arthur Washington, but this is unlikely (even though his wife was named Sarah), because Arthur’s 1761 will names four children. Sarah probably married Arthur’s brother William Washington. William died in 1762, naming in his will his wife Sarah but no children; his executor was Joseph Washington. In Sarah’s own will, she refers to “Money which I Received of Joseph Washington of my part of my Deceased Husbands Estate” — indicating that this unnamed husband was probably William Washington.
Elizabeth Tynes was probably born about 1730. She married Thomas Brown. Elizabeth is known only from one record: a 1779 lawsuit that her son Jesse joined against Elizabeth’s brother Robert Tynes. Elizabeth must have died by 1768, because Thomas Brown is mentioned with a second wife, Ann, daughter of Mary Wentworth, in Mary Wentworth’s will of that year. Some family histories have erroneously placed Elizabeth as a daughter of Thomas Tynes, but neither she nor son Jesse appears in the will of Thomas Tynes, in the will of Celia Tynes, or in the Nathaniel Tynes succession.
Jesse Brown is the only known child of Elizabeth Tynes and Thomas Brown. He must have been born by 1758 in order to be old enough to participate in the 1779 lawsuit. He does not appear in other Isle of Wight County records, so may have died or moved elsewhere.
Mary Tynes was mentioned in a bond dated 1753, in which her brother Robert promised to deliver her share of her father’s estate to her, suggesting that she was underage at that time. She was still unmarried at the time of her sister Martha’s will (1778). She twice sued her brother Robert over his administration of their father Timothy Tynes’s estate — once in 1774 with her sister Martha, and again in 1779 with her nephews West Tynes and Jesse Brown. The dispute was resolved when Robert bought out Mary’s interest in their father’s estate.
Martha Tynes was also mentioned in her brother’s 1753 bond, unmarried and probably underage. She died, still unmarried, in 1778. Her will leaves nearly everything to her sister Mary.
Jane Tynes was mentioned last in her brother Robert’s 1753 bond, unmarried and probably underage. She was probably dead by 1778, because she does not appear in her sister Martha’s will or in the legal tangles with her brother Robert. Some family histories have confused her with the Jean or Jane Tynes of the next generation, daughter of Robert.
The Tynes family of Surry County, Virginia is a puzzling case. Surry County land records show a John “Tyns” as early as 1740. Later census records indicate another John Tynes, probably born during the 1770s, but his relationship (if any) to the earlier John is not known. This younger John could be the grandson of the earlier one; or he could conceivably be an otherwise unknown son of West Tynes. Descendants of the younger John continued to live in Surry County at least through the 1880 census, and are today spread throughout Virginia and other states, often in association with the Addison family.
The Black Tynes Families of Virginia
A look at the 1850 census for Virginia shows that more than half of the Tynes (or Tines) families in that state were African-American. They were not slaves (since slaves were not listed on the regular census); their entries are marked “F.N.”, for Free Negroes. Their story is an interesting one.
In the spring of 1802, Timothy Tynes, a white plantation owner in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, died without heirs. He was the grandson and namesake of Timothy Tynes (d. 1752) who was the patriarch of the Isle of Wight Tyneses, and had inherited a good part of his grandfather’s land and money. His will begins: “My Will and desire is that all my slaves of every description [...] be fully & freely liberated from all Slavery & stand discharged from Slavery & bondage to enjoy all the priviledges that Free Negroes are entitled to by the Laws and regulations of the state of Virginia. It is to be understood that all my slaves & their increase are to be liberated.” He names 81 of the slaves in his will, and bequeaths the major part of his extensive land holdings to the slaves to ensure their maintenance. Much of this land is still in the hands of the descendants of these freed slaves, who took the surname Tynes.
Timothy Tynes’s will gives special treatment to a slave named Beck and her children, suggesting that these may have been Timothy’s own offspring. Beck’s son John inherits an entire river plantation. Timothy also singles out slaves named Sukey, Prince, Tim, Sam, Dick Unge, and Little Charles, for bequests of land or money. Two members of his white family (a niece and the son of a cousin) also receive land. The rest of the freed slaves are to share a large tract of land of which Dick Unge has been given 100 acres.
Why did Timothy Tynes free his slaves? Certainly his will shows a great deal of affection for them. Many descendants of his slaves have sung Timothy’s praises, quite literally — one of them even wrote a poem in his honor. On the other hand, Timothy’s white relatives, who had expected to inherit the land and slaves themselves, were considerably less impressed with Timothy’s forward-looking generosity, and ascribed somewhat darker motives to his actions. Clinton Maury Kilby, great-grandson of Timothy’s nephew Robert Tynes, tells that Timothy offered Robert all of his slaves if Robert would name his first-born son Timothy, after him. Robert declined, perhaps believing that he stood to inherit the slaves anyway; whereupon “the old man got mad and freed his slaves.”
Timothy’s nephews and nieces attempted to contest the will and to prevent the freeing of the slaves. They sued the executor of the will, James Johnston, and succeeded in delaying the process:
The complainants in this Cause, having this day filed their Bill, in which setting forth that injustice will be done to them, if the slaves supposed to be emancipated by the last Will and Testament of Timothy Tynes decd., are permitted to receive the instruments of their emancipations, required by Law. It is decreed and ordered that James Johnston Executor of said Timothy Tynes and all other be injoined and restrained from taking out or delivering to the said slaves, or any of them, copies of the Will of said Timothy Tynes decd., or any other instrument of emancipation whereby the said slaves or any of them will be at liberty to go without the County of Isle of Wight.
James Johnston held firm, however. The will was upheld and the ex-slaves were permitted to go free.
From Virginia to Nova Scotia
Not all of Timothy Tynes’s slaves thought of him as a kind master, nor did they all wait until 1802 to find freedom. A generation earlier, in 1780, a slave woman named Betty fled from the Timothy Tynes plantation and headed north. This was the period of the Revolutionary War; when she arrived in New York, it was under the control of the British army. By 1783 the British had lost the war and were preparing to withdraw from New York. Sir Guy Carleton offered several hundred escaped slaves passage to Canada, and Betty, fearful that the incoming American government would return her to Virginia, accepted. On 23 April 1783, Betty Tynes, age 30, and an unnamed son, age one month, left New York on the ship Baker & Atlee for Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving there four days later. There are still black Tyneses in Nova Scotia today. Some sketchy information on this family is listed here.
Many of the escaped slaves who traveled with Sir Guy Carleton had fought for the British, and were known as Black Loyalists. Carleton’s account of these voyages is called The Book of Negroes and may be downloaded from Blair Cromwell’s Website.
A. J. Tynes
There is at least one African-American Tynes family of Virginia which does not descend from the slaves of Timothy Tynes’s plantation. Anderson Jackson Tynes (A. J. or “Jack”) was born in Halifax County, Virginia, in 1846. He was probably born a slave of Mary Tynes, widow of Isaac Tynes (1768-1819) of Halifax County, or of one of her children. After the Civil War he went to Mercer County, West Virginia, to work in the mines; but by 1880 he was back in Virginia, in a town called Dry Fork in Bland County. He married twice: first to Julia Ann Calendar, second to Emma Gardner or Gordon. Here is a summary of his descendants. The Tynes Chapel in Bland County was named for A. J. Tynes.
Rocky Gap High School, in Bland County, has assembled an excellent series of Web pages on the history of the area, including one on the Dry Fork community and another on its Tynes family (including some interesting photographs).
The Tynes Family of Halifax County, Virginia
The Tynes Family of Granville County, North Carolina
It is convenient, but not quite accurate, to refer to my own branch of the Tynes family as the “Carolina branch”. William Tynes, the earliest known member of this group, probably came from Virginia, as Timothy and Isaac Tynes did; but he died in Granville County, North Carolina, and that is where he and his family left nearly all of their early records.
There is no will or other record of William’s death, but we can assume that he died sometime between 8 December 1760, when he obtained a warrant for 700 acres of land in Granville County, and 27 July 1761, when the executed warrant was delivered to “Patience Tines, widow of Wm Tines”. William’s estate underwent a sheriff’s sale in January 1762, which indicates that Patience herself may have died by that date. “William Tines” appears on 1758 and 1760 tax lists for the Island Creek neighborhood of Granville County; “Patience Tines” appears on the 1761 list; and no previous or subsequent tax list contains any entry for Tynes or Tines. This, plus William’s application for land in 1760, suggests that the Tynes family was new to Granville County at that time. Where were they from before 1758?
William’s wife, Patience, was born Patience Davis, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Davis. Patience appears (as “my daughter Patien Toyns”) in the semi-literate will of Richard Davis, dated June 1760. Richard and his family were also newcomers to Granville County, none of them having appeared on any tax list prior to 1758. In his will, Richard called himself “Richard Davis of Cariline County” [sic], and indeed there is a Richard Davis who appears in land transactions and court records of Caroline County, Virginia, from its founding in 1727 until 1758. The Caroline County order books also record a debt action, on 12 June 1741, by a merchant named Thomas Nelson against one William Tines. This may very well be the same William, and suggests that his family came from Caroline County, Virginia, where he met and married Patience Davis. My guess is that the Tynes and Davis families, and perhaps several others as well, migrated together from Caroline County to Granville County in 1758.
William Tynes had at least four sons (William Jr, Samuel, John, and Robert Fleming) and one daughter (Jeriah). Patience was probably the mother of all of these children; at least William Jr, who claimed his father’s 1760 land grant and was therefore probably the oldest son, referred to her as his mother. Patience was certainly the mother of Jeriah, because Richard Davis mentions Jeriah as his granddaughter in his will. Here is what happened to the five known children of William Tynes and Patience Davis:
William Tynes Jr was probably the oldest son, and was likely born in the 1740s in Caroline County, Virginia. He married Levinah Davis (his first cousin) in Granville County on 4 April 1778. Shortly after his marriage, he entered a claim for his father’s land. William had been in St Mark’s Parish, South Carolina, in 1775, with his brothers Fleming and Samuel, because they all signed a declaration in favor of the defense of South Carolina against British oppression in that year. He brought his bride back to South Carolina, but died intestate in Camden District, South Carolina, in 1782. His widow, “Luvinney Tynes”, was named administrator of his estate. They apparently had at least two children, William and Samuel, at the time of his death. Levinah remarried to Ambrose Gayle sometime before 1785, and had two more children, John and Sarah, by him. Ambrose himself died by 1795. Levinah appears on the 1800 census for Sumter District, South Carolina, with another female and three males in her household. I don’t know what happened to Levinah or her son Samuel after that; but her son William (who took to spelling his surname “Thynes”) married Mary Dennis and lived in Charleston, South Carolina.
Samuel Tynes was mentioned in orphan records in Granville County; Michael Satterwhite, a neighbor in the Island Creek section of that county, served as guardian to both Samuel and his brother John. Samuel was born somewhere around 1750, probably in Caroline County, Virginia. In 1768 Samuel received land from his uncle, Solomon Davis. He was on a 1771 tax list for Granville County, and witnessed a deed there (between two of his uncles, Augustine and Solomon Davis) on 5 February 1775. By August of that year, he was in St Mark’s Parish, South Carolina (later called Sumter District), where he signed, with his brother Fleming, an enlistment roster for a “Vallanteer Company of Horse” for the defense of South Carolina against the British. But by 1780, he had switched sides, and become a Tory colonel. He commanded a British unit in the Black River area of South Carolina, but was soundly defeated by the “Swamp Fox”, Francis Marion, in the battle of Tearcoat Swamp in late October, 1780. He was captured by Marion’s troops after that battle, and apparently released; his Tory unit never regrouped. Samuel reappeared in British uniform briefly in 1781, but after another defeat retired from the military scene. In 1790 he hired his first cousin, Joseph Pomfret Davis, who still lived in Granville County, North Carolina, to file a claim for his father’s land there. He continued to appear in census and court records in York and Camden Districts, South Carolina, until 1796. Family stories say that he then migrated to Campbell County, Virginia. I’ve found no trace of him there, but an Obadiah Tynes does appear there in 1794 when he marries Edith Barlow. Obadiah’s descendants claimed that Obadiah’s father was the same Colonel Samuel Tynes. An outline of this family, which includes Civil War heroine Mary “Molly” Tynes, can be seen here. Some archival photos of this family from the Library of Virginia may be found here. South Carolina census records suggest that Samuel left a large family; it’s a good guess that some of the “stray Tyneses” in the area (see under “Probably Related Families” and “Possibly Related Families” below) belong to Samuel.
John Tynes was also an underage orphan at the time of his parents’ death, and Michael Satterwhite was his guardian. No other record of John appears in Granville County. He was born about 1750, probably in Caroline County, Virginia. He may have died young; but there was a John Tynes living on Long Cane Creek, Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, as early as 1771. This John Tynes also served the British in South Carolina during the Revolution, as a private in Colonel Richard King’s Long Cane Militia, at least during the latter half of 1780. Given his brother Samuel’s Tory record, this may have been the same John Tynes. It may be worth noting that John and Samuel’s uncle, Solomon Davis, sold his land in Granville County in 1779 and moved his family to Long Cane, South Carolina; this may have been part of a larger family migration. I know of no other record of John Tynes, and no proof of any descendants. This area became known as Abbeville District.
Robert Fleming Tynes, known in most records simply as Fleming Tynes, was probably named after Robert Fleming, a magistrate and member of the House of Burgesses from Caroline County, Virginia, until his death in about 1738. (His name can be considered one more clue that the William Tynes family came from Caroline County.) Robert Fleming Tynes was probably born in the late 1740s or early 1750s in Caroline County. By the mid-1770s, he was in South Carolina with his brothers. He signed the same “Vallanteer Company of Horse” enlistment with his brother Samuel in August 1775, but unlike Samuel, he appears not to have switched sides. (Family legends state that he was part of Francis Marion’s brigade that captured Samuel in 1780, but I’ve seen no evidence to back this up.) Fleming kept his ties to Granville County: On 20 July 1782, he was a witness to a deed of gift from Abraham Mitchel (another Island Creek neighbor) to his two daughters. Fleming is on the 1790 and 1800 census for Clarendon County (Sumter District), South Carolina; but by 1805 he was apparently in Liberty County, Georgia, where his eldest son, John Fleming Tynes, married Jane Warren. The name of Robert Fleming Tynes’s wife is unknown, although colorful family stories state that she was his own niece, the daughter of an unnamed sister and Uriah Watkins. By 1814, Fleming Tynes was in Amite County, Mississippi, where he remarried to a widow, Sylvia (Boothe) Dixon, with whom he had no children. He died near Jackson, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, in about 1829. He left no will, but his estate papers show a list of his heirs. His descendants are outlined here.
Jeriah Tynes was born prior to Richard Davis’ will of 1760, because she is mentioned in it. There is no further mention of her in the surviving Granville County records, even though she was most likely an underage orphan when her parents died. Unofficial records of the Jennings family in Sumter District, South Carolina, state that Jeriah married Tyre Jennings, and that Jerusha Tynes, a different person, married Tyre’s father, John Jennings. My guess is that Jeriah and Jerusha are the same person, although I know of no evidence as to which Jennings (if either) she married. She would appear a bit old to be Tyre Jennings’ wife, and a bit young to be his mother. Tyre Jennings, according to Jennings family information, was born in 1765. If I had to guess, I’d say that Jeriah was one of the older children of William and Patience Tynes, born perhaps around 1745 in Caroline County, Virginia; that she was married off at a fairly young age to John Jennings, shortly after her parents’ deaths; and that Tyre Jennings was her first child.
Several Tynes families of the Carolinas and nearby states have a likely connection to the family of William Tynes of Granville County; but no proof of the connections has yet been found.
Timothy Tynes lived the latter half of his life in Conecuh and Butler counties, Alabama. According to census records, he was born in 1788 in South Carolina. During the War of 1812 he served in the Tennessee militia. He married twice: By his first wife (name unknown) he had at least eleven children, and by his second (Margaret Gipson) he had six more. Many of these moved to Sabine Parish, Louisiana, and Nacogdoches County, Texas. Some of this family is outlined here.
The fact that four of Timothy’s sons were named William, Samuel, John, and Fleming strongly suggests a connection to the family of William Tynes of Granville County, since these were the names of William’s four sons; Timothy was therefore probably himself a son of one of these men. There has been much speculation among descendants of this Timothy that he was a son of Robert Fleming Tynes, but this opinion may have been colored by the desire for a Revolutionary War ancestor for admission to the DAR. Timothy’s complete absence from the estate papers of Robert Fleming Tynes makes such a relationship unlikely. He was also probably not a son of William, who died six years before Timothy’s birth (if we are to believe Timothy’s stated age). Therefore, my guess is that Timothy was a son of either Samuel or John Tynes.
Letitia Tynes was born, according to her tombstone, in 1776 in South Carolina. She married Zachariah Landrum, probably in the mid-1790s, and had five children: Sarah, Catherine, John, William, and Elizabeth. Zachariah Landrum may have been from Georgia, and this has led some family historians to infer a link to one Henry Tyne (see below). Zachariah and Letitia lived in Marengo County, Alabama, until early 1830 when they moved to Stephen Austin’s colony in Texas. Zachariah died there in 1833 (when it was still part of Mexico), and Letitia in 1848, when it was Montgomery County, Texas. The name of one of Letitia’s grandchildren, Canzada Tines Springer, strongly suggests a link to the Carolina branch of the Tynes family, and particularly to Robert Fleming Tynes, since one of his children and one of his grandchildren bore the name Canzada Tynes. Again, due to Letitia’s absence from the estate papers of Robert Fleming Tynes, she was more likely a niece than a daughter of Robert Fleming Tynes. She was probably a sister or first cousin to Timothy Tynes of Alabama.
The Henry Tyne mentioned above (Letitia’s possible father), according to stories in Letitia’s family, was a deserter from the British during the Revolutionary War; for this he received a land bounty in Washington County, Georgia, on 23 September 1784. These facts suggest that he was only one generation younger than William Tynes of Granville County. He may be an otherwise unknown son of William, or a nephew, or not related at all.
Francis Tynes appears on the 1800 census for Kershaw County, South Carolina, and vanishes after that. He is 26-45 years old, as is his wife; they have seven children and no slaves. The seven children, two of them over 16 years old, indicate that Francis and his wife were on the upper end of the 26-45 age range. Stories in the Robert Fleming Tynes family speak of a “possible son” named Francis Marion Tynes, named, presumably, after Robert Fleming Tynes’s commander; this Francis Tynes, however, was certainly born before the name of Francis Marion was well known.
James Tynes, born during the 1790s, begins appearing on census records in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1830. Both he and his wife died there between 1842 and 1850; their six children were scattered among orphanages and other families in the area. He could be a son of Francis, Samuel, or John; or he may have been a newcomer in 1830 from a different Tynes branch.
John Tynes appears on the 1850 census for Greene County, Alabama, age 51, born in South Carolina. Since he was born about 1799, he could have been either a late son or an early grandson of any of the four known sons of William Tynes of Granville County. Robert Fleming Tynes is probably out, since we seem to know his family too well; William Tynes Jr is a possible but unlikely grandfather, since no child of his would have been over twenty years old by 1799. The names of this John’s known children (Sophia, Sarah, Henry, John) do not provide a strong indication of his membership in this or any other Tynes line; I place him here solely on geographical grounds. There is a John Tines on the 1830 census for Fairfield District, South Carolina; this may be the same man.
 [Berm175], [Berm138].
 [Kilby], [BayardTynes].
 [WmMcDTynes] Research on this line may be found in [Sandel] and [Harris]. An autobiographical account of the early Louisiana period of this line is in [WETynes].
[BayardTynes] Dr. Bayard Tynes of Birmingham, Alabama, has shown me a chart that appears to have taken Kilby’s research and extended it into the 1930s. Neither Dr. Tynes nor I know who drew up the chart.
[Berm138] Bermuda Archives, folder 138, contains John Bezin Tynes’s undated manuscript, Our Family History and Autobiography.
[Berm175] Bermuda Archives, folder 175, contains a descendancy chart for John Bezin Tynes.
[CampDeeds] Campbell County (Virginia) Deed Books
[CampOrder] Campbell County (Virginia) Order Books
[CarOrder] Caroline County (Virginia) Order Books
[Craig] E-mail from Polly Poole Craig.
[EdgDeeds] Edgecombe County (North Carolina) Order Books
[GranvWills] Granville County (North Carolina) Will Books
[HallettIndex] Clara F.E. Hollis Hallett, Bermuda Index, 1784-1914: Births, Marriages and Deaths from Bermuda Newspapers (Bermuda, Juniper Press, 1989).
[HallettWills] Clara F.E. Hollis Hallett, Early Bermuda Wills 1629-1835.
[Harris] Valerie Fields Harris, John Hastle Tynes and Associated Families (Apollo, Pa.: Closson Press, 1988).
[HfxDeeds] Halifax County (Virginia) Deed Books
[HfxMarr] Halifax County (Virginia) Register of Marriages
[HfxOrder] Halifax County (Virginia) Order Books
[Hornback] Joyce Hornback, The Bowden Family of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee; also E-mail.
[IOWCourt] Isle of Wight County (Virginia) Order Books
[IOWDeeds] Isle of Wight County (Virginia) Deed Books
[IOWMarr] Isle of Wight County (Virginia) Minister’s Returns of Marriages
[IOWOrphan] Isle of Wight County (Virginia) Orphan Account Books
[IOWWills] Isle of Wight County (Virginia) Will Books
[Kilby] C. M. Kilby, Kilbys and Tynes (Lynchburg, Va., 1924).
[Knorr] Catherine L. Knorr, Marriage Bonds and Minister’s Returns of Southampton County, Virginia, 1750-1810 (Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1982)
[McNeal] Ellen McNeal, Families of Sumter County, S. C.: Jennings, Barden, Clark, Dinkins, Howard, James, Tynes, Wright (Columbia SC, self-published, 1997).
[Ocheltree] E-mail from Clifford J. Ocheltree.
[Owen] Thomas McAdory Owen, History and Genealogies of Old Granville County, North Carolina, 1746-1800 (Southern Histories Press, 1993).
[Sandel] Elias W. and Mary E. Sandel, The Descendants of John Peter Sandel & Cullen Conerly and Their Allied Families (1951).
[WETynes] Walter Edwin Tynes, My Pilgrimage (first published in 1928, reprinted by Frances M. Liptrap and James M. Liptrap in 1993).
[VaPatents] Virginia Patent Books
[WmMcDTynes] E-mail from William McDonald Tynes, dated 31 May 1996.
1998-2007 T. Mark James
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