James Cahoon (~1699-)

It is believed -- but no certain evidence proves -- that the James Cahoon who lived in New Bern in the early and mid-1700s belongs to the third generation of Cahoons in North America, being the son of Samuel Cahoon and the grandson of William Cahoone and Deliverance Peck.

William Cahoone is thought to be the first Scottish Cahoon to emigrate to the colonies (first working as an indentured servant in Massachusetts) in 1650, and his story is detailed widely among various Internet sources. He is the father of Samuel Cahoon of Nansemond County (now Suffolk), Virginia, whose family migrated to North Carolina around the turn of the eighteenth century. Among Samuel's children is a son named James.

James first appears in Craven County in the early 1700s, buying a plantation of 320 acres on the north side of the Neuse River between Northwest Creek and Broad Creek from William Handcock Jr. on 5 May 1730 for 50 pounds. Unfortunately for James's descendents, records show that he sold the plantation back to Handcock on 14 June 1733 for 100 pounds, doubling his initial investment. Colonial court minutes show that James was the plaintiff or defendent in several litigations through the mid-1700s but little else is known of him.

He is believed to be the father of John Cahoon, born in 1726 and first mentioned in Craven County court records in 1778.

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John Cahoon (1726-1783)

Will abstracts of John Cahoon of Craven County, North Carolina, and Olilia Rhymer/Rhimer of Jones County show that John was married to Appellonia/Apollonia Rhymer/Rhimer. The North Carolina Early Census Index places John in Onslow County in 1769 and in 1770, and a document of taxable property in 1779 shows that John Cahoon owned 75 acres in District One of Jones County, paying 901 pounds in property taxes that year.

On January 16, 1780, John executed the will of his mother-in-law, Olilia Rhymer/Rhimer, which named her daughter, Appellonia, and these grandchildren: Frederick Shilling, George Shilling, Stephen Wallis, Frederick Wallis, Benjamin Cahoon, Daniel Cahoon, Mary Wallis and Anna Wallis.

John's own will, recorded in Jones County, named his sons Dudley, Jonothan, Benjamin and Daniel; his daughters Rachel Simson, Susannah and Sarah; his wife Appolonia; his son-in-law Stephen Wallis; and daughters-in-law Mary and Anne Wallis.

The first federal census in 1790 shows a "John Cohun" -- the same misspelling as is given for his son Dudley's name in the same document -- in Craven County, with four "free white" males (two above age sixteen, including himself, and two under age sixteen) and two "free white" females in the home.

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Generation of Dudley Cahoon (1752-1823)

Evidence places Dudley Cahoon in Onslow County, North Carolina in 1770. He signed a petition to create Jones County (adjacent to Onslow and Craven counties) in 1778 and was located in Jones County in 1786. The first federal census in 1790 shows a "Dudley Cohun" as head of household in Jones County, North Carolina, with one son under age 16 and five "free white" females in the home, possibly including an unnamed wife. Deed transfers show that Dudley Cahoon purchased and sold several large parcels of land in Jones County through the late 1780s, 1790s and 1800s, consistently collecting profits from their sales.

Dudley married Sarah Fries/Frees in Craven County on 20 March 1811. Their witness was J.G. Stanly, who is also listed as the witness to the marriage of Dudley's grandson, Miller Cahoon Sr, to Mary Jane Martin, in 1843.

Dudley appears to have lived in the Brices Creek area of Craven County and named two children in his will: Polly/Mary and Carney. Carney died about 1833 with no children. He should have been under 22 years of age, based on the marriage date of Dudley Cahoon to Sarah Frees/Fries on 20 Mar 1811. John Fries (brother or father of his wife) was the executor of Dudley's will.

[Please email corrections, clarifications or additional information to CarolinaCahoons AT gmail DOT com]