Gwaltneys In America: The Clearinghouse for Gwaltney Family History
Welcome to the Gwaltney/Gaultney/Gortney/Gwatney/Galtney/Gwartney family!
Please mark your calendars for July 24-26, 2015 for our 8th Annual Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming to be held in Smithfield, VA. We have a great program slated for this year, "The Gwaltney Family: American Patriots" with an emphasis on the Revolutionary War period which impacted our Gwaltney/Gaultney/Gwartney/Gortney/Galtney/Gwatney predecessors in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Dudley Gwaltney, along with Gerald Gwaltney and Steve Edwards, will be the keynote presenters along with a special presentation from Albert Burkhart of the Isle of Wight County Museum. I am also planning a brief presentation on the Gwaltney Family DNA project as well.
If you are interested in attending, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a registration form. There is no cost to attend the Homecoming, but if you'd like to eat with us, there is a charge of $11 per meal per person.
We also plan to have some optional activities on Saturday morning like last year. We will again offer a chance to do a trail ride at Steve Edward's Gwaltney Frontier Farm or you can also tour Bacon's Castle, the site of an early anti-colonial rebellion.
The Gwaltney Family Scholarship for 2015-2016 is announced
If you are interested in the 2015-2016 Gwaltney Family Scholarship Application Form, please email me at email@example.com . 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 2015-2016.
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 15, 2015. The finalists will be announced by the end of June 2015 and the winner(s) will be announced at the Nationwide Gwaltney Family Homecoming on Saturday, July 25, 2015.
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
"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.