John Adam Kuhn Following in Caspar’s Footsteps
As I have researched my Kuhn maternal line I have often wondered how much my mother knew about her family. Did her father share family information with her? Did she know her grandfather Edward Z. T. Coon? Mother shared very little family information with me about her family. I have learned about them through researching the family to find every nugget of information that is available about them. This has been a project that I began fifteen years ago. However, I then lay it aside.
Research on the Kuhn maternal line had been packed away for several years. Recently my interest was piqued again when looking at Ancestry DNA matches with Coon cousins and those with whom we share a most recent common ancestor. I have more Coon cousins on Ancestry any other maternal line or paternal. Ancestry was their choice for DNA testing; but I would like for them to have tested with Family Tree DNA so that I could look at the matches on the chromosome browser and matrix tool. Anyhow, my interest was in Caspar Kuhn the progenitor of the Kuhn/Coon family. He was the immigrant ancestor; the person who at the age of twenty-six left Switzerland for the colonies; and he traveled with his young wife and infant daughter. He blazed the trail for his descendants.
Caspar was faced with tragedies along the way and as he settled in the new world of Carolina. His infant daughter Anna died before he made it to America. Once he arrived in America his wife Anna Magdalena died not long after. Leaving him to care for Margaret and Caspar Jr. He married a second time, 28 June 1750 in Orangeburg Township, Anna Barbara Ernst. Anna was the widow of George Adam Ernst. Anna and Caspar were married a short time and she died 31 December 1750 after a day’s illness (p. 195 History of Orangeburg County). Caspar married a third time Anna Maria in Orangeburg, South Carolina 22 October 1753. Anna and Caspar were the parents of three sons – John Adam, John Conrad, and John Lewis.
John Adam Kuhn followed in his father’s footsteps in being a successful landowner, prosperous in his business affairs, and a patriotic man. Adam the oldest of Caspar’s three sons and probably more was expected of him. He served in the Revolutionary War. In 1784 he served as a footman in the South Carolina Militia in Colonel Thomas Taylor’s Regiment. For his service to his country he was able to purchase one hundred ninety-five acres of land. Adam was also part owner of two hundred sixty-three acres of land with his father and Lewis his brother. Conrad wasn’t mentioned in this land purchase so possibly he had already removed to Tennessee by 6 April a 1789. There is mention of fifty-four acres of land.
Adam is listed on the 1790 census in Richland County, South with two females who are probably Mary his wife and Elizabeth his oldest daughter, and one male under age sixteen probably Jasper. Then One male over sixteen, Adam. There isn’t an 1800 census for Richland County with an Adam Coon. The next census that I found Adam Coon on was the 1810 Richland County census. Adam is probably the male over forty-five, Mary his wife the female twenty-six through forty-four, Mary his daughter the female under ten years of age, Elizabeth his oldest daughter the female ten through fifteen, and Jasper and Harmon his sons in the under ten age categories.
In 1793 Adam Coon received two hundred eighty-eight acres of land a grant from the state of South Carolina. This land was in Camden District. It is interesting to note in the granting of the land from South Carolina it stated, “assigns a plantation or tract of land.” Adam already owned quite a lot of land and now he is acquiring more acreage. So, he has a large plantation by now.
By all indications, Adam Coon was a man who had acquired land and wealth by working diligently and using his resources wisely. Hard work was taking a toll on him and by the age of sixty-one he was getting weak and was sick. He was still capable of making his dictating his will. Witnesses to the will were Thomas Taylor, John J. Kinsler, and C. Bookter. He died by 10 April 1815.
Green, Edwin L., A History of Richland County, Vol. One, 1735-1805, Southern Historical Press, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina.
Salley, A. S., Jr., The History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, "From It's First Settlement to the Close of the Revolutionary War", Baltimore, Regional Publishing Company, 1969.
Pryor, Gwendolyn, The Swiss Connection, "Hans Caspar Kuhn (1713-1792) of South Carolina and His Descendants with Related Families of Kinsler, Nettles, and Wyrick", Baltimore, MD, Gateway Press, Inc., 1991.
Ancestry.com, 1790, 1810, 1830 and 1840 U. S. Federal Censuses Database online.
Ancestry.com. South Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.