Chinn Family

First Generation

According to his Revolutionary War pension application, Perry Chinn was born in 1763 in Stafford County VA. I still don't know who his parents were. However, if he followed traditional English naming patterns for his own children, it seems likely that his parents might be named Rawleigh and Susannah, and that he is a descendant of the large and prolific Chinn family of northern Virginia. Rawleigh or Raleigh is a common given name in this family; nearly every generation has one. Perry married Elizabeth Evans before 1790 in Virginia (I'm still looking for documentation for this marriage). Who were her parents? From her children's names, perhaps James and Mary Evans?

Sometime in the early 1790s Perry and Elizabeth Chinn moved to North Carolina, settling in the part of Surry County that later became Yadkin. Elizabeth died, we don't know exactly when, and in 1825 Perry was married a second time, to Elizabeth Carr. He died on March 7, 1847, and is buried in a family graveyard in Yadkin County.

Perry does not appear in the 1787 census of either Stafford or King George County VA, nor does he appear in the 1790 North Carolina census. The first record of him I have found so far in NC is his land purchases in 1792-1793:

Surry County deed book E:248, 29 Oct 1792, Abijah Elmore to Pearra Chin 80 pds 190 ac water Forbis Ck adj Ashley on S side road leading from the Shallowford to James Pilchers old place adj cor 320 ac Gr Jacob Gallion; by Gallion to Abijah Elmore; being part sd Gallion Gr & part 200 ac Gr Abijah Elmore. Wit: Henry Speer, William X Harden, Israel Nordyke. On 31 Oct 1792 Elizabeth Elmore wife of Abijah relinquished her right of dower in said land before Henry Speer J.P.

Surry County deed book F:104, 28 Aug 1793, Abijah Elmore to Perrin Chin 10 pds (40? [hard to read] acres) water Forbis Ck adj car 200 ac Gr Abijah 20 Dec 1791, wit. Henry Speer, John Williams.

Surry County deed book F:311. 2 Jul 1795 Pearra Chin to John Williams 75 pds 150 ac water Forbis Crk adj Halafax Ashbey, James Pilchers old place, 320 ac Gr Jacob Gallion now in possession Peary Chin, part 180 ac by Abijah Elmore to Chin. Wit. Michael Turnidge, Ephraim Williams. signed Peara X Chin.

He appears consistently in Surry County tax lists from 1812-1822 [the only range I have checked], with 245 acres on Forbish or Forbus Creek

I checked Surry County court records from about 1795-1815 (volumes in the state library of NC). He appears a number of times on jury duty, but not in any cases of note.

On 18 Mar 1818 he was witness to the will of John Williams of Surry County. There doesn't seem to be a direct connection to Perry's family yet (his son James would marry a Sally Williams in 1821, however). The notes to this will abstract [Jo White Linn] mention Perry Chinn's Rev. War service and marriage to Elizabeth Carr.

Second Generation

Children of Perry Chinn and Elizabeth Evans
Rawleigh Chinn (ca. 1789-?) m. Elizabeth Gough in 1806, moved to Warrick Co. IN
Mary Chinn (d. ca. 1823) m. Edmon Phillips in 1806, moved to Warrick Co. IN
James Chinn (1794-1853) m. Sally Williams in 1821, moved to Green Co. Illinois
Susannah Chinn (1797-1868) m. Isaac Ridings (1795-1843); m. 1818, moved to Illinois about 1830
Jesse Chinn (d. 1830) m. Sarah Ridings in 1819
Elisha Chinn (1802-1876) m. Mary Stowe (1806-1871), moved to Denton Co. TX in 1853
Elizabeth Chinn m. Peter Shermer
Catherine Chinn m. George Binkley 1826, moved to Warrick Co. IN
Perry Chinn (ca. 1810-ca. 1890) m. 1) Elizabeth Oglesby in 1831, , moved to Warrick Co. IN; m. 2) Mary ?, widow Allen, between 1860 and 1870
John Hudson Chinn (1811-1845) m. Margaret Ann Cuthrell (1818-1910) in 1839
Dicey (Loadicea?) Chinn
Francis Chinn

Second Generation

Note: I would like to extend this database to include more Chinn descendants - if you have information on the other Chinn children, please let me know. I do have information on Catherine Chinn and George Binkley and their descendants, thanks to Chris Robinson

Children of Rawleigh Chinn and Elizabeth Gough
Mary Chinn (ca. 1808-?)
Hugh Chinn (ca. 1811-?)
Sarah Chinn (ca. 1812-?)
Catherine Chinn m. Nicholas Gentry
Morgan Chinn (ca. 1818-?)
Elizabeth Chinn (1822-1896) m. Coleman B. Allen (1817-1889)
Nancy Chinn (ca. 1829-?)

Thanks to Bob Heil for information on this family!

Error corrected 4/12/02: Sarah Chinn born 1812 is listed in the 1850 census as insane, age 38. She probably did not marry at all. The Sarah Jane Chinn who married Thomas C. Bruce is her cousin, daughter of Perry Jr.

Are Rawleigh and Elizabeth also parents of Jane Chinn, also born about 1812, who married James Gentry Phillips?


Children of Perry Chinn Jr. and Elizabeth Oglesby
John Allen Chinn (1831-1902) m. Nancy Ann Bruce
James E. Chinn (ca. 1835-?) m. 1) Catherine Scarberry, 2) Sarah ?? (1843-1916)
Sarah Jane Chinn (1836-1891) m. Thomas Carter Bruce
William J. Chinn (1839-?) m. Margaret Brown
Jacob Chinn (ca. 1841-?)
Armstrong Chinn (ca. 1844-?)
Rhoda E. Chinn (ca. 1846-?) m. W.L. Stephens
Perry Chinn (ca. 1848-?) m. Lorenda Whittinghill
Elijah Chinn (ca. 1851-?)
Elizabeth Chinn (ca. 1851-?)
Dicea A. Chinn (ca. 1853-?)
Mollie Chinn (ca. 1857-?) m. William A. Bunton

Thanks to Heather Hart for information on this family!


Children of John Hudson Chinn and Margaret Ann Cuthrell
Elizabeth Virginia Chinn (1840-1915) m. Samuel Naylor (1840-1920)
Mary Eliza Chinn (1842-1917) m. William Lafayette Brown (1831-1899)
James Thomas Chinn (b. & d. 1844)
John Hudson Chinn Jr. (1845-1934) m. Lydia Eleanor Austin (1846-1932)

John Hudson Chinn died of sunstroke in 1845, a few months before his son John Jr. was born. In 1850 Margaret Ann and her three surviving children were living with her parents, Maximilian and Margaret Cuthrell, in the Farmington community of Davie County. In 1854 she married James N. Brock, a widower with six children of his own, and they proceeded to have four more children together.

John Hudson Chinn Jr. enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1863. He was wounded severely at Frederick City MD, and was confined for some time as a Union prisoner at Point Lookout MD. His leg wound was improperly cared for and he always had a slight limp. However, he returned to service after his release and fought until the end of the war. After the war he found no work in NC, and rode his horse to Iowa in 1866, where he already knew the Austin family who had moved there from NC. He married Lydia at the home of her parents on Thanksgiving Day, 1869.

My ancestor is Mary Eliza Chinn, sister of John Chinn. Thanks to the internet, and in particular the old Genserv database, where I had listed this family, I made contact several years ago with Lou Sipling Harris, one of John Jr.'s descendants, and we have had a good time exchanging family photographs and stories. My mother has told me that her grandmother Margaret Brown, daughter of Mary Eliza Chinn Brown, used to talk about a time when she was a child, living in Mocksville NC, and they were awakened in the middle of night by cousins who had arrived unexpectedly from Iowa. The trundle beds were pulled out and made up, food was no doubt hurriedly prepared, and the visiting family made welcome. These visitors must have been John and Lydia Chinn and their family. When I told my new cousin Lou this story, she remarked that it sounds just like the Chinns - why waste a stamp to let your relatives know you're coming? If you're family, you'll be welcome.


Mary Eliza Chinn Brown's family Bible

North Carolina marriage bonds

Norfolk VA marriage bonds

Virginia and NC census records 1810-1850

Linn, Jo White (1973). Davie County North Carolina Will and Deed Abstracts (Wills 1836-1900, Deeds 1836-1850)

Personal communications from Heather Hart, Bob Heil, Lou Sipling Harris, and Chris Robinson

DNA project and other resources

CHINN DNA project

As of December 30, 2011, only one Chinn sample has been listed here, and no ancestral information has been given for it. I would be willing to pay for a DNA test by a well-documented male line descendant of Perry Chinn, preferably through John Hudson Chinn Jr. Please contact me if you are interested.

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Elizabeth Harris,