Gwaltneys In America: The Clearinghouse for Gwaltney Family History

Gwaltneys in America Introduction and Beginnings William Gwaltney The Three Sons Gwaltneys In America 1 Gwaltneys In America 2 Gwaltneys In America 3 Gwaltneys In America 4 Gwaltney Tidbits-1 Gwaltney Tidbits-2 The Gwaltney Family Scholarship The Gwaltney Family Scholarship--2 2008 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2008 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2009 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2009 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2009 Gwaltney Homecoming-3 2010 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2010 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2010 Gwaltney Homecoming-3 2011 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2011 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2011 Gwaltney Homecoming-3 2012 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2012 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2012 Gwaltney Homecoming-3 2013 Gwaltney Homecoming-1 2013 Gwaltney Homecoming-2 2014 Gwaltney Homecoming-1

Welcome to the Gwaltney/Gaultney/Gortney/Gwatney/Galtney/Gwartney family!



2016 Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming Information


The dates for the 2016 Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming have been set for Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24, 2016. Our theme for the 9th annual Nationwide Homecoming is “The Gwaltney Family in America’s Greatest Generation”.   During this Homecoming we’d like to recognize the Gwaltney/Gaultney/Gortney/Gwatney/Galtney/Gwartney family members who were born and lived during the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. This era as often been called “America’s Greatest Generation” as it was this group of Americans that endured both the effects of the Great Depression and World War II and came out the other side as a people of resilience, resolve, and appreciation for their blessings. I will be contacting some of our family members who were born during this time as I’d like to include them in our presentations and activities during this Homecoming. If you have any suggestions or ideas on what we can do to honor and recognize our Gwaltney family members who were born during the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s , please pass that along to me at .  


Gwaltney Family Scholarship Announced for 2016-2017

If you are interested in the 2016-2017 Gwaltney Family Scholarship Application Form, please email me at . Depending upon the amount of donations we have to the Gwaltney Family Scholarship fund, we will give out various scholarship awards that could range from $400 to $1,000 for the year to go towards tuition.  If you’d like to make a donation to the Gwaltney Family Scholarship, please contact me for more information. 

Criteria for the Gwaltney Family Scholarship are as follows: 

1)Applicants must be a direct Gwaltney family descendent and no more than three generations from a paternal Gwaltney, Gaultney, Gwatney, Galtney, Gortney, or Gwartney name. This means the applicant can have the last name of Gwaltney, Gaultney, Gwatney, Galtney, Gortney, or Gwartney or have a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent with the last name of Gwaltney, Gaultney, Gwatney, Galtney, Gortney, or Gwartney. 

2.)Applicants must be entering their freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior year of post-secondary education in 2016-2017. 

3.)Applicants must show proof that they have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in their current college coursework or a 3.5 cumulative GPA in high school if they will be a college freshman. Therefore you will need to attach a copy of your most current college transcript or your current high school transcript if you are entering college as a freshman. 

4.)Preference will be given to a student who indicates the need for financial assistance.

You will be asked a few questions about your financial status and we trust that you will be honorable in answering them. 

5.)Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of several short essay questions dealing with career goals, life motivation, and personal character. It is our endeavor to reward a deserving individual who exemplifies solid character, a good work ethic, and a strong sense of direction in life. 

6.)I expect a large number of applicants. Applications will be narrowed down to six (6) or fewer finalists. I will then ask a small committee to conduct a phone interview with the finalists to pick the scholarship recipient. Please remember that if you are not selected to be a finalist, this is not a poor reflection upon your qualifications, but rather that the selection pool was very competitive. 

The deadline for applications is Friday, May 20, 2016. The finalists will be announced by the end of June 2016 and the winner(s) will be announced at the Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming on Saturday, July 23, 2016.


Posey County, Indiana Gwaltney Family Reunion Announced

You are invited to a reunion of the descendants of John Gwaltney (1765-1818) who left Craven County, North Carolina around 1816 and moved into Posey County, Indiana. From this man and four of his sons come many of the Gwaltneys who lived in southern Indiana and southern Illinois. Of course some of those descendants have left the southern Indiana/southern Illinois region and migrated into Missouri ,Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and the western states. 

The reunion will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until around 3:30 p.m. It will be held at the Red Wagon Restaurant near Poseyville, Indiana just off Interstate 64 that runs between Mount Vernon, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky. The restaurant is located at Exit 12/Poseyville Exit . 

There is no cost to attend the reunion except for the meal you buy off the menu. We do ask that you register as the dining hall we are using can only hold 120 people and those who register will be given the preferential seating in the dining hall. 

This reunion is an effort to bring together the descendants of John Gwaltney. Many of you have heard that we hold a Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming in Smithfield, Virginia each year. While we have had several of the Gwaltneys from southern Indiana and southern Illinois who have attended the Nationwide Homecoming in the past, I have had many tell me they’d like to come to Virginia, but the drive is a bit much. So here is a chance to meet some of your 3rd, 4th, and 5th cousins and we’ll give you just a taste of the Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming in Virginia.


Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Gwaltney Family Website! I am Dr. Jeff, a Gwaltney descendent and family history researcher. Although I am not a strong computer tech guy, I have put together this site as a source of information for those interested in the Gwaltney family. It is my goal to piece the whole  Gwaltney/Gaultney/  Galtney /Gwatney/Gortney/ Gwartney family together. I have not done this all on my own; in fact, I tend to compile what others before me have done as I have drawn upon the work of Hank Burnham, Dr. Jack Gwaltney, Raymond Edwards, Martha Haidek, Rosie Gwaltney Fritz, Mary Lewellyn Sweet, Carolyn Gwaltney, William Handy, and so many others too numerous too mention. My thanks to everyone who has been willing to share stories, pictures, and family records.

So I hope you enjoy the few pages I have here. And I hope someday you can attend one of our Gwaltney Family Homecomings, for it is there you can see the legacy of our common ancestor, Thomas Gwaltney (1613-1666) who, by God's grace, established this family in America! 


This is a website devoted to the accumulation and preservation of the Gwaltney/Gaultney/Gortney/Gwatney/Galtney/Gwartney family history in America (Gwaltney is the original Americanized spelling). While there are Gwaltney's who have traced their individual lines back several generations, our goal here is to discover and provide information about the general Gwaltney population in the United States. While all Gwaltneys in America seem to have originated from Surry County, Virginia, migration patterns took them into North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Then into Texas and Mississippi, and ... eventually scattered all over this great country.






The Gwaltney Name

For purposes of simplicity and ease of reading, the name GWALTNEY will be used in this website.  While early spellings of the name have been "Gwalpmey" or "Gualmey", the name GWALTNEY is the earliest Americanized form of the name that has stood the test of American history. Dr. Jack Gwaltney of Charlottesville, VA has an interesting commentary on the origins of the Welsh version of Gwaltney--the name GWALCHMAI. If you are interested in his commentary, you may contact me.

So how did the spelling variations occur? How do we also end up with GAULTNEY, GWARTNEY, GORTNEY, GALTNEY, and GWATNEY being of the same family? Primarily the variance is the result of pronunciation, dialect, and mistransciption by the census-taker's hand. However, all of these names proceed from  the name GWALTNEY.  When Thomas Gwaltney's (3rd generation) offspring began to migrate into southern Virginia and then into North Carolina, their pronunciation and dialect brought about many of the various name spellings. For example, William Gwaltney of Brunswick Co. had at least two sons...Micajah and Michael. That group of Gwaltneys pronounced their name something like "Gawatney". Micajah ended up moving into KY and IN and started spelling the name GWARTNEY. Michael ended up moving into western VA and kept the spelling GWALTNEY.

Benjamin Gwaltney of the Brunswick Co. VA area eventually moved into the state of Mississippi. His pronunciation of the name led to the spelling GALTNEY. John Gwaltney's son, Peterson, also left the southern VA counties of Brunswick and Mecklenberg and went into Alabama and eventually his offspring made it into AR and OK--they ended up spelling their name GWATNEY, leaving out the letter "L".

As these Gwaltneys migrated from southern VA into North Carolina, some kept the name GWALTNEY, while others began to spell the name GAULTNEY and GORTNEY. It is interesting to see how many families had difficulty being consistent with the name even within their own families. Margaret Gwaltney of Hiddenite NC showed me a cemetery of Gwaltneys in Banner Elk, NC and the tombstones of some family members was spelled GAULTNEY and other family members had the spelling GWALTNEY. Sarah Gwaltney Behrens of Denver CO once showed me the photocopied pages of the Henry Hudson Gwaltney family Bible, and there, in black and white, some of the offspring had their names spelled GAULTNEY and others GWALTNEY! No wonder some were confused on how to spell the name.

The Gwaltneys who stayed in VA had no problem keeping the spelling GWALTNEY. It was those who moved further south who had difficulties in determining its spelling. Oh, by the way, even those who spell their name GWALTNEY do not always pronounce it that way. Many Gwaltneys from IL, IN, TN, GA pronounce their name "Gaultney" even though they spell it GWALTNEY.

But whether you are a GWALTNEY, GAULTNEY, GORTNEY, GWATNEY, GWARTNEY, or GALTNEY, you all belong to the same family...the family of Thomas Gwaltney (1613-1666) who settled in VA sometime after 1635. 

The Vision and the Motivation

In all honesty, this labor of love began as a spiritual journey for me. I was very curious about the spiritual heritage of--not only my immediate Gwaltney family, but the Gwaltney Family en masse. My inspiration came from God's promise in Deuteronomy 7:9:

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands." (NIV)

I have seen the hand of God upon my family and was curious about my past generations. Had there been a great-grandmother or a great-great grandfather who had prayed for God's grace to be upon their family and upon their generations? Thus my inquiry into the Gwaltneys was a research into who they were as a spiritual nation.

And thus I began--not just seeking to know my momma's Gwaltney family from Obion County, TN, but all the way back to the beginning--with Thomas Gwaltney, himself, the first Gwaltney in America. There is a lot I still don't know. But I've come to understand this family a lot just by talking with others, researching, and by keeping my ears open.

This site was originally set up in August 2001 and is maintained on an occasional basis. The latest update was August 28, 2014.

58515This website was established in August 2001