(7) Elizabeth, unmarried.
(8) Amanda M., married Joe M. Atkins. Issue:
Newell Gray and
Mayma Hunt.
(9) Mayme Ferro, married Roscoe Steward. They have no children. Reside at 404 Rose Lane, Lexington, Ky.

Fourth Generation.

Mrs. Sarah Brewster Irvin Dunn married, second time, John Wood, of English birth. Issue: One daughter, Elizabeth Jane, married Eph. J. Young. She, with her son Arthur, own and reside on the James Brewster farm in Jesamine County, Kentucky, on the Harrodsburg and Lexington pike, which was in earlier times known as Curds road.


Since many of James Doak's descendants thought he was a brother of Rev. Samuel Doak, I will give an account of the early Doak family of Augusta County, Virginia:

From the earliest account, there were three brothers and one sister, came to America from the north of Ireland and landed in Pennsylvania, Chester County, I believe, and remained there a time, when they came to Augusta County, Virginia; David, Samuel, Robert, _____ Finley. They were soldiers in the French and Indian wars. David's will proved June 9, 1799, three sons, Samuel, David and Hugh, eight daughters. I received the following from Mrs. Virginia Doak Burwell, of 146 N. Colton street: Staunton, Va.

"I am a great, great, great granddaughter of Samuel Doak, the original emigrant, who married Jane Mitchaell, either on their voyage over to America, or soon after they landed in Pennsylvania. A deed was made to him by William Beverly, owner of Beverly Manor, Sep. 23, 1741. His will was probated in Augusta County, May, 1772. The following were his children:

1. David.
2. John.
3. Samuel.
4. Robert.
5. Mary.
6. Jane.
7. Eleanor.
8. Isabell.
9. Elizabeth.

A son-in-law, William Brown Test, brother-in-law, John Finley, John Tate."

Second Generation.

1. David Doak married 1st Jenny Alexander. Children,
Col. Samuel,
Amzy and

Third Generation.

1. Col. Samuel married Margaret Shields, of Nelson County, Va., and moved to Missouri. These were his children:
(1) John died in St. Louis.
(2) Alexander died in Missouri and left a family.
(3) Elizabeth Laura m Henry Hawpe and had four children, Margaret, m. William McKee; Elizabeth, m. Isaac Steele. She married second time, Samuel Burnett. David of the second generation married second time, and moved to North Carolina, later Tennessee. He married third time, and had one son, Hugh, who movd to Marshall, Saline County, Mo., and died there.
2. John Doak's (second son of Samuel), will probated June 23, 1806. His children:
Thomas Mitchell,
Betsy Wilson.
3. Samuel Doak (third son of Samuel and Jane Mitchell) was born August, 1749, in Augusta County, Va. He was educated at Liberty Hall, now Washington and Lee University, Rockbridge County, Va. He graduated from Princeton, N. J. in 1776, was licensed by Hanover Presbytery in 1777, and ordained by the same Presbytery at Brown's Meeting House in Augusta County. Dec., 1778, and soon after, it is said, leading a horse, which bore his sole earthly possessions, his books (which books were given him in New Jersey and brought through to Virginia on horseback same as above) he crossed the mountains to the Holston settlement, Tennessee, and established a school, which was afterwards chartered under the laws of North Carolina as Martin Academy, and later under the state of Franklin (now Tennessee), chartered as Washington college, and which was the first literary institution west of the Allegheny mountains. He married Hester Montgomery, and had two sons, John and Samuel and two daughters, Julia and Jane. John became a Presbyterian minister and succeeded his father in the Presidency of Washington College. Rev. Samuel Doak, D. D., afterwards, late in life, established Tusculum College in Green County, Tenn., and was succeeded here by his second son, Samuel, who was also a Presbyterian minister. Of the rest I have a full history down to the present generation.

Robert Doak, one of the three original emigrants (and many circumstances point to his being the father of James, my Great-grandfather), was in Augusta County prior to 1740. His location was near the present

town of Mount Crawford, in Rockingham County, which was divided from Augusta County in 1776, and where all wills and Court records were destroyed by fire, hence it has been impossible to establish his identity satisfactorily.

"The Presbyterians of Augusta County continued their supplication to the Presbytery of Donegal, for a pastor to reside among them. In 1737 they first applied for the services of Rev. Mr. Thompson, who came and preached for a time. They next presented a call for the Rev. John Craig." "At a meeting of Presbytery in Sep. 1740, Robert Doak and Daniel Dennison from Virginia, declared in the name of the congregation of Shenandoah their adherence to the call formally presented to Mr. Craig; and the next day Mr. Craig was set apart for the work of the gospel ministry, in the south part of Beverly's Manor". This congregation was afterwards named "The Augusta Stone Church." Rev. John Craig served this congregation for thirty-four years.--Waddell's Annals of Augusta County.1

In October, 1753, a party of rangers passed through what is now Rockingham County. "The brethren had thus come in their journey to the vicinity of Mount Crawford. They tell of their dinner there of meat and dumplings, and their experience further on at Middle River, and at Robert Doak's," who has a beautiful plantation and good Water. There we bought some hay and chaff." The people were very modest. I have sufficient reason and proof to record Robert Doak as the parent of James. We have the proof that James was born in Rockingham County. Of the children of Robert Doak I have the following: James, born about 1755 to 1760. Robert m. _____ Breckenridge. He came to Kentucky. His name is on the Fayette County court records as early as 1776. Joseph W., one daughter, Mary, married a Breckenridge, and Jane who married James Dunn, son of James and Martha (Long) Dunn. Her will proved June 29, 1849.2

Jane Dunn, of Lincoln County, Ky., advanced in years, but of sound mind _____. To grandson, Robert Dunn, son of Samuel, $150.00; to grandson, Williamson Dunn, son of Samuel, $100.00; to grandson, Mariam Dunn, $100.00; to grandson, James H. Dunn, my gold watch; to grandson, Samuel C. Dunn, son of Samuel, $50.00; to my son, Oliver, $50.00; to Susan Jane Dunn and Margaret Frances Dunn, daughter of my son Samuel, $50.00 each; grandchildren, Williamson and Nancy, children of my son Davis Dunn, $50.00 each; to my daughter, Sophia Wingate, $150.00.


James Doak, after his marriage to Jane Fulton (nee Dunn), settled in Jessamine County, Ky., and bought the plantation of his father-in-law, James Dunn, formerly of Rockingham County, Va., and who died in Jessamine County, Ky., in 1806.

Sept. 6, 1784, James Dunn, of Rockingham County, to John Hopkins and George Baxter, a power of Attorney.

Feb. 22. 1790, James Dunn, of the district of Kentucky, to Peter Bruner, for 170 lands on the South side of Dry River.

Nov. 6, 1806, James Dunn sick and weak. Wife Martha, the furniture and the rent of plantation I sold to James Doak. Negro Charlett to be free, daughter Jean Spear, a negro, grandchildren Alexander and Jennie Carson, $20.00 each; to my daughter-in-law, Eleanor Dunn, and her children, heirs of Samuel Dunn, deceased, one child's part of my estate. The residue to be equally divided among my children and grandchildren, viz., James, Nathaniel and Alexander Dunn, grandson John Carson, Jennie Doak, Martha Wood and Jean Spear. (When my grandmother, Jane (Doak) Irvin, lay sick in her last sickness, in her delirium she continually called for Charlett. My mother did not know who Charlett was, but upon making inquiry of Cousin Brack Scott, learned that she was a colored woman who nursed her when a child.)

Jane Doak, wife of James Doak, died in Jessamine County, Kentucky, July 9, 1814. Her husband married again, Mary _____, and I suppose had other children, as I have heard my grandmother speak of two half brothers who went South.3

Feb. 21, 1826. Inventory of the estate of James Doak, deceased, amount, $423.62.

Nov. Court, 1826. Assignment of dower to Mary Doak, widow of James Doak. J. W. Doak and Robert Doak, acknowledged debt to the estate of James Doak of $100 and $110, respectively.

Id. Id. P-103. Aug. 23, 1828. The final account of Robert Doak, administrator of the estate of James Doak.


Great Falls, Montana, November 14, 1913.

Mrs. Maggie Logan Morris, Corydon, Indiana:

Dear Maggie (that is my only sister's name--across the ocean) : Your letter addressed to me at my home, Corvallis, Oregon, was forwarded to me by my better half.

I have Mrs. Boyd's book on the American Irvines and their kin, and searched it very carefully to see if I could find the link to connect you with your Virginia forebears, but without success.

The Irvines, spelling the name any old way, are to be found all up and down the Atlantic States, and in every State in the Union, Westward to the Pacific.

To me all are kin; for I was born in Scotland, whose borders are the original cradle of all our clan, no matter how we spell our name, and no matter whether we think we are American, English, Irish, Scots or Scotch-Irish.

So, here's my hand to you, as the hand of a friend and a kinsman. Blood, ancestry and history, we have all in common. Our spelling is most uncommon. So let it be. Like these United States, though many we are one.

With respects to your self and your venerable uncle--is he Uncle Sam, I wonder?

Your kinsman,
Ben Irving.


On September 1, 1915, I left home with the intention of carrying out a long desire to visit the location in Jessamine County, Kentucky, where our great-great-grandfathers, James Dunn and James Brewster, settled about 1785.

This was the location where my grandmother, Jane Doak Irvin, was born one hundred and fifteen years ago. A very interesting circumstance connected with my trip was that on the same day I arrived at Nicholasville a lady came from Mississippi to look for the former home of her great-grand father, and the location we were looking for proved to be the same farm, and we rode out to the farm together in the same automobile. Her great-grandfather, Lewis Singleton, owned the farm after my great-grandfather James Doak, as shown by the following record:


James Doak and wife Mary convey to Lewis Singleton, for the sum of $2,300 on the waters of Sinking creek, 92 acres.

After we visited this farm I next visited the farm of Nathaniel Dunn, which was the original home of James Brewster, and to my great surprise I learned that a descendant of James Brewster and James Dunn was living on and owned this farm. Here was a relative I had searched for and inquired about from Maine to California without results. They very cordially invited me to stay over night, which I did to my most supreme pleasure. They were of the good old-fashioned hospitable Kentucky people, where the "latch-string is always out."

A part of the old house is still standing, supposedly the original Brewster house, as its antiquity is not known by the mother of the present owner, who is now nearly eighty years old and lives with her son. The house is of brick. They have built a fine, commodious residence in front of it. The next morning I was taken to see the old spring and milkhouse built of stone in two rooms. In the first room is the spring, where the water flowed out in a voluminous, never failing stream, and in the second room milk and butter were kept. It is in perfect condition and about one hundred yards from the house. The home is surrounded by trees of the black locust strain, of very large size, plainly much over one hundred years old.

Mr. Arthur Young, now owner of this farm, kindly took me the next day to visit several old Dunn homes. Just a little northeast of his place and adjoining is the old James Dunn home, sold to my great-grandfather, James Doak, Aug. 13, 1805, just one year before the death of James Dunn, and which he referred to in his will. On this place is still standing the old home, supposed to be the old house built by James Dunn, and in which my grandmother spent her childhood. A part of the house is built of hewed logs. The house consists of two rooms, with a large old-fashioned chimney at each end. Separating the two rooms is a large passageway, and a stairway leading to attic rooms above, which I have heard my grandmother speak of as the boys' rooms. The stairway was almost too dilapidated to ascend, but I ventured up. On the southwest was a new addition, the kitchen and passageway built of brick. It, too, has a very large fireplace. Just outside the door from the passageway was the cellar, the steps of which had long since rotted away, but I scrambled down over the rocks. Hanging by one hinge was the old cellar door made of rived boards.

Next we visited the "five rod burrying ground" reserved by Nathaniel

Dunn in 1847. It is enclosed by a substantial wall of stone and in fair order, except at the opening for the gate, which had rotted away. There were evidences of many graves, but if they had ever been marked by stones the weather had dissolved them. There were here and there a few peaks. On one corner of a stone, supposed to be a footstone, was a letter B.

The shade trees at this home were the same as around the other homestead referred to, "the black locust."

Following are a few court records from the county:

Robert Doak, administrator of James Doak's estate, conveyed to Will Feathersten a tract or parcel of land containing 102 acres, corner to William Farro, bounded by William Bronough, Lewis Singleton and Nathaniel F. Dunn.

This land passed from William Featherston to Lewis Singleton, from Lewis Singleton to William Bronough, on May 30, 1842. William Bronough and others to satisfy a security debt conveyed to Nathaniel F. Dunn.

Nathaniel Dunn to James H. Headly, of Fayett Co., a tract or parcel of land, in consideration of $9,757.81, reserving five rods of land as a family graveyard. Bounded by Lewis Singleton, deceased, in the Clay's road, corner to Nathaniel F. Dunn, thence to a rock, cor. to Eph. J. Young, containing 195 acres.

This, as I understand, was the original James Dunn farm, and now owned by Charles Evans, of Nicholasville, on which has recently been built a modern residence.

The deed when sold by James Dunn to James Doak was never recorded. I found on record in 1827 where the heirs of James Dunn made affidavit to the fact that on the 13th day of August, 1805, James Dunn, Sr., in his lifetime sold to James Doak his plantation with certain consideration, which James Doak has faithfully kept, giving him a clear title signed by the following heirs: Nathaniel, Alexander and James Dunn, Martha Wood, Jean Spear, Elizabeth and John Dunn.

In looking over the sale of the personal property of my great-grand-father, James Doak, in Feb., 1826, I found that Nathaniel Dunn bought the family Bible. I take it that this Bible was the property of James

Dunn, and is now, as I understand, in the possession of the descendants of Nathaniel Dunn at Crawfordsville. I also found that Nathaniel Dunn bought the clock for the sum of $25. It was of the pattern of "grandfather's old clock," which had also belonged to the ancestor, James Dunn, and was brought from Virginia.

In this sketch I present to the descendants of these forbears the result of many years of diligent search, exhaustion of energy and finances. I am presenting many facts that have not heretofore been collected, and which time had almost obliterated. The task has been attended with every conceivable obstacle and drawback, of long and anxious hours of attendance of sickness and death of dear ones, and a great lack of means and financial backing. The historical essayist, McCauley, has well said, "A people which take no pride in the noble achievements of their remote ancestors, will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by their remote descendants." In the studying of these remote ancestors of the so-called Scotch-Irish blood, I find a large element of the early immigrants were of this so-called Scotch-Irish race from whom I am proud to claim my descent. A large number of our Presidents of the United States are from this compound race, Benjamin Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt and the present incumbent, Woodrow Wilson and many others.

I feel that I have not been capable of performing so intricate a task, and hope that my shortcomings will be slightly scrutinized. Those to whom I feel under many obligations to and received much help from are

Corydon, Ind.


Jennette Irvin, b. May 29, 1800, d. Aug. 15, 1865. Daughter of Samuel Irvin and Jennette Brewster, m. May 8, 1817, to Austin Seward, b. Nov. 22, 1797, died Oct. 27, 189272. Children:

1 The information in this paragraph provoked a lengthy commentary by a researcher cousin, Ralph Doak, which you will find worthwhile if you're also researching the Doak family.
2 This information on Jane Dunn's will attracted the following comments from a cousin:
Date: Mon, 23 May 2005

In the book on page 81, it states that "Jane [Doak] married James Dunn, son of James and Martha (Long) Dunn. Her Will proved June 29, 1849..."

It then proceeds to mention the children of James Dunn and this Jane and many grandchildren, to wit: Per GenCircles, they have another child named Elinor Brewster Dunn. She married a Joseph Broad and lived in Caldwell Co., Ky. She died in 1858.

Here are my problems, as I searched the Census Records to validate this, I ran into some inconsistencies.
  1. The children named in this will per census records were born between 1801 and 1815. James Dunn was born 1754. He and Jane had all these children in between 45 and 60. Not likely and especially so considering James Dunn died between 1816 and 1822.
  2. The names of their children fit another James Dunn, son of Samuel F. Dunn. The first born son being named Samuel fits the first son named after his paternal grandfather. Also if Elinor Brewster Dunn was their child then the first born girl was named after her paternal grandmother.
  3. I have never seen a source quoted for the marriage between James Dunn (son of James Dunn) and Jane Doak.
  4. I have seen the marriage bond when I was in Rockingham Co., Va., between James Dunn and Elizabeth Hopkins, Sept. 1787. This must have occurred just before the Dunns left Va. for Jessamine Co., Ky. It also fits in that in 1784 James Dunn (1724) gave Power of Attorney to John Hopkins, his beloved friend and father to Elizabeth named above. James Dunn Jr. born 1754 is now 33 yrs old. I have assumed till now that if James Dunn Jr. was married to Jane Doak it occurred before 1787 marriage to Elizabeth Hopkins.
  5. This sequence better fits the fact that James Dunn Jr. signed an early affidavit to give clear title to James Doak for the farm he purchased from James Dunn Sr. When a later affidavit was required in 1821, Elizabeth Dunn had to sign it for the then deceased James Dunn Jr.
  6. The children of James Dunn Jr. I have as John, Martha, Alexander, and James. James & John after both grandfathers, Martha after James Dunn Jr. mother.
I'm very open to any other ideas because there are flaws. For example, if the will of 1849 belongs to Jane Davies that married James Dunn (son of Samuel & Elinor Dunn) in Oct of 1800, why is their oldest child not mentioned in the Will. Elinor Brewster Dunn Block didn't die until 1858? She was living in Caldwell Co., Ky when the Will was proved in 1849.

Joe Landry, Dunn researcher

We welcome additional comments on the questions Joe has raised.
3 If you have any clues as to the names of these two sons of James Doak who "went south", or any other information about them, please contact Ralph Doak.

This page was last updated 19 Jun 2014.