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!



2023 Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming Information


Have you turned in your registration form for the 2023 Annual Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming? Please let me know by Wednesday, July 19 if you plan to attend. The dates for the 2023 14th  Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming have been set for Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30, 2023. 


Gwaltney Homecoming 2023 Agenda

The dates for the 2022 Nationwide Gwaltney Homecoming have been set for Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30, 2023. Our theme for this Nationwide Homecoming is The Virginian Gwaltneys: The Descendants of John Gwaltney

2023 Homecoming Agenda 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

6:00 p.m.—Early Bird Dinner. Tentatively scheduled for Taste of Smithfield in downtown Smithfield.. For those who come in early to Smithfield, we like to have a dinner together just to visit and catch up. Please let me know in advance if you plan to attend so we can find a place to seat all who want to attend. While at Taste of Smithfield, you might want to consider ordering the Gwaltney….a  specialty fried bologna sandwich, and definitely a taste of southside Virginia!

Friday, July 28, 2023


8:30 a.m.—4:00 p.m.— Join us Friday for a trip to the American Revolution Museum of Yorktown. The day begins with a meet up at the Surry County Courthouse located on the corners of highways 10 & 31 in Surry, Virginia at 8:30 a.m. with a departure of 8:45 a.m. to the Jamestown Scotland Ferry for a leisurely ride over the James River.  A breakfast of ham rolls, fruit and bottled water will be offered on the upper deck of the ferry during transfer. We will continue passage along the Colonial Parkway to Yorktown.

Indoor galleries at the museum feature artifacts, films and an onsite restaurant with outside areas offering colonial life experiences. We will purchase tickets onsite - single day adult tickets are $18 and children are $9 (under 5 years old are free). Lunch will be at your leisure, there is a restaurant onsite or you can take the free trolley to the close by waterfront for several other delicious options. Following the day visit to Yorktown we will return to Surry County that afternoon and make our way to Wakefield, Virginia for supper at the historic and noteworthy Virginia Diner. Gerald Gwaltney also suggests if you are not interested in supper at the Virginia Diner, there is a free outdoor concert in downtown Smithfield that evening you might enjoy.


Saturday, July 29, 2023:

NOTE: We are meeting at Mill Swamp Baptist Church, 6329 Mill Swamp Road, Ivor, VA 23866.  Please put this address in your GPS while at a populated region because Mill Swamp Baptist Church is located out in a remote region, and if you wait until then to plug the address into your GPS, you might not have signal, depending on your carrier.


10:00-11:30 am.—Registration

11:30-12:35 p.m.—Lunch prepared by Luke Turner of Smithfield, VA. Menu: Pork Tender Loin, green beans, white potatoes, apple pie, sweet tea and lemonade.


12:35—1:30 p.m.---Introductions and Icebreakers


1:30—2:30 p.m.— The Gwaltney Family in Virginia with Jeff Koonce and others. When

Thomas Gwaltney secured his land grant on the Blackwater Swamp in 1666, he was at the edge of English civilization. While some of his offspring had itchy feet and moved off into new territory as it became available, thankfully the Gwaltneys left their presence in southside Virginia by an unlikely source…Thomas’ youngest grandson, whose lineage made the Gwaltneys a quintessential Southern family.


2:30-3:15 p.m.—The Virginia Gwaltneys—Part 2,  with Jeff Koonce and others.


3:15—3:45 p.m.—Watermelon Break


3:45-5:15 p.m.-The Gwaltney Family Time. Gwaltney Family Scholarship winners announced;

Remembering the Gwaltney descendants who passed from July 2022 through June 2023. Rick Lawrence’s video presentation on drone footage of some of the early Gwaltney family land sites. Dudley Gwaltney will also be presenting on the possible Gwaltney family connection to Joseph of Arimathea.


5:15-6:00 p.m.—Supper provided  Luke Turner of Smithfield, VA. Menu: BBQ pork, rolls, baked beans and  cole slaw, peach cobbler, sweet tea and lemonade.


6:00-8:00 p.m.— Gwaltney Family Night with music by Gwaltney cousins, and a sermon by Reverend Cliff Gwaltney of Hiddenite, North Carolina. 


Sunday, July 30, 2023


10:30:00 a.m. to noon—Family Church Service: If you are interested, we will be attending morning worship at Mill Swamp Baptist Church. Afterwards we are offering an optional tour of Mill Swamp Baptist Church Cemetery, Bethany Methodist Church Cemetery and Ivy Hill Cemetery, where many Virginia Gwaltneys are buried. 


If you or someone you know needs a registration form, please email me at

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 May 17, 2023

80608This website was established in August 2001