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!



Hello Everyone!

Next weekend, July 24-26, 2015,  is our 8th Annual Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming. We have a good crowd enrolled and I am looking forward to seeing everyone.  Great food, great historical presentations, great fellowship and great music from Steve Edwards, Nelson Edwards, and Russell Gwatney! If you need to do a late registration or need more information, you will need to email and request Gwaltney Homecoming info. Thanks!


Finalists for the 2015-2016 Gwaltney Scholarship Announced

We had a great response to the 2015-2016 Gwaltney Family Scholarship this year and there are six finalists to announce. Finalists are chosen on specified criteria and their responses to several short answer questions. Now the finalists will undergo a phone interview to determine who will be the recipients of the scholarship. The number of scholarships and the amount of the awards is determined by the amount of donations given to the Gwaltney Family Scholarship Fund.

Congratulations to the six finalists!


1.Among the six finalists is William Wayne "Tripp" Gwaltney III of Birmingham, Alabama. Tripp is the son of William Wayne and and Stacy Gwaltney, Jr. and the grandson of William Wayne and Betty Gwaltney, Sr.. He is the grandson of William Henry and Delta Gwaltney of Robertsdale, Alabama. This line of Gwaltneys descends from Smith County, Tennessee. Tripp is a student at Florida State University and is majoring in music performance.

 2.Alyson Gwaltney of Marion, Illinois. Alyson is the daughter of Danny Gene and Julie Gwaltney and the granddaughter of Lee Frank and Joanne Gwaltney. She is the great-granddaughter of Easton Justice "Spay" and Susan Gwaltney, Jr. of Obion County, Tennessee. Alyson plans to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and major in pre-pharmacy and move into the pharmacy program at the university.

 3.Payton Gwaltney of South Hill, Virginia. Payton is the daughter of Robert and Billie Jo Gwaltney and the granddaughter of Robert W. and Lucy Gwaltney, Jr.. She is the great-granddaughter of Robert Woodson and Hattie Gwaltney, Sr of Mecklenberg County, Virginia. Payton plans to attend Old Dominion University and major in business management. 

 4.Lane Gortney of Elkhart, Indiana. Lane is the son of Ryan and Angee Gortney and the grandson of Ron and Vicki Gortney. He is the great-grandson of A.J. and Velma Sue Gortney who left Rutherford County, Tennessee to move into Indiana. This line of Gortneys comes off of the Smith County, Tennessee Gwaltney family. Lane is a student at the University of Northern Ohio and is majoring in Automotive High Performance. 

 5.Mary Hannah Byrd of Brandon, Mississippi. Mary is the daughter of Julie Gwaltney Byrd and the granddaughter of Charles Franklin and Donnie Gwaltney, Jr. She is the great-granddaughter of Charles Franklin and Mary Gwaltney, Sr. who descend from the Posey County, Indiana line of Gwaltneys. Mary plans to attend Mississippi College and major in chemistry. 

 6.Erin Gwaltney of Ringgold, Georgia. Erin is the daughter of George Curtis and Deborah Gwaltney, the granddaughter of George Clydale and Elizabeth Gwaltney, and the great-granddaughter of James Campbell and Elizabeth Gwaltney of Smith County, Tennessee. Erin plans to attend Georgia Tech and major in biomedical engineering. 


See the photos of our finalists on the Gwaltney Scholarship pages.


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.

38623This website was established in August 2001