Some “Points of Introductory Conjecture” about 18th Century Persons Named Julius Saunders

The following correspondence from a relative in Houston has prompted me to pull together some thoughts about Julius Saunders of Bedford County, Virginia. Please contact me at if you have information to clarify any of the issues raised here.


Been reading your commentary on the two Julius Saunders. I was recently made aware of a third, b 1755 in Virginia and in Kentucky for Revolutionary service. Have you come across him before?

A DNA test is forthcoming for one of my siblings. We are descended from George Woodward Saunders b 1819 in Kentucky. His probable father was John G, whose probable father appears to be the Julius b 1758.

P. S.
Houston, Texas

Hi P____ –

The DAR record contains only a fact or two, the name, the death in 1799, and the defense of Fort Logan.

However, this information in itself does not appear to me to be based on any document.

I did come across a muster roll of Captain Ben Logan’s militia.

Logan’s Fort Kentucky prior to Boonsboro battle in 1778 The Militia of 1777… The following is recorded exactly from the Draper Papers: A list of Capt. Ben LOGAN’S pay roll with oral note* – gives among others, v ig. Capt. Ben Logan Lt. John Logan Alex Montgomery, Ensign* Azariah Davis, Ensign Benj. Patton, Sargt. Wm. Menifee, Sargt. Rosel Stevens, Sargt. George Clark, Sargt. Hugh Leeper John Martin James Leeper George White John Fain Wm. Casey Robert Barnett John Kennedy JULIUS SAUNDERS, Benjn. Briggs Nich. Proctor, Sr. Nich. Proctor, Jr. Page Proctor Joseph Proctor Reuben Proctor Philip Trammel Geo. Scote Joseph Kennedy Jared Menifee James Menifee Wm. Whitley *This roll must have been made out prior to Sept. 1778 when, Alex Montgomery, Ensign, was killed on Kenton’s horse foray.

I don’t want to reject a lead out of hand, but would be very interested if you or anyone else has knowledge of what happened at Fort Logan, whether the person named Julius Saunders was the JULIUS SAUNDERS from the Fluvanna portion of Albemarle County. He would have been 20 if you use my guess of 1758 birth or 23 if he were born in 1755.

If we do a little more digging about this muster roll, and Ensign Montgomery and Kenton’s horse foray, maybe those will tie it to Albemarle.

Cordially, Bill

 I like your term “points of introductory conjecture” and decided that our e-mail exchange should be posted on the site. I can always edit and revise if (1) we get new information to supplement what we have discussed so far, (2) if you prefer not to have your name associated with the web-post. . .

Several of our family history-oriented relatives do read the website, and may have some leads. In the meantime, I’ve begun to dig up bits about the Logan et al., especially the controversies surrounding Daniel Boone. I suspect our ancestors knew a lot of these players.

Cordially, Bill


Thank you for your reply and the Logan’s Fort information.

The DAR record was of interest to me because there are three Virginia-born Julius Saunders indexed in their roll, with two appearing to have served in different states with different years of birth, though being recorded as 1755 (A100552) and 1758 (A100553) – with Julius the husband of Jemima (A208813) being the third. Curious that A100553, or the “Captain” as he’s referred to in your writings, has been earmarked for further review. Given your attention to detail, it’s presumed that there is more information on his service to establish his rank and service record. Would love to have that info if you have it handy.

I know this means next to nothing other than as an early exercise. Thought you might find it interesting with your hypothesis of Julius being the son of Julius and not of George. If there indeed were two Julius Saunders of the same 1750s generation, it occurred to me that the elder Julius could yet claim one as a son without disqualifying the other as the son of George.

We’ve been aware of the potential parentage beyond George Woodward Saunders b 1819 of Kentucky, though we’ve not even penciled it in over the years because of a lack of direct documentation, and that research efforts have gone elsewhere in the tree. His first son James Wood Saunders* is my second great grandfather. His fifth son Wesley Zachary Saunders was a documented DAR descendent for this member 537158, linking him to Julius A100553.

Again, our documents run a little thin beyond George Woodward. He is noted as Woodward G. Saunders (inconsistent with the George Woodward from Census, land, and church records) on p 546 of Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler, and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1892.** His father is listed there as George W. instead of the John Gardiner of New Kent, Virginia, which has presented a wrinkle.

Other families’ online research appear to link George W., John G. and a Julius as the sons of Julius and Jane Hughes Saunders with various birth dates (and of course, no direct sources listed): ex.

At this point I don’t know how much use this would be on the website beyond points of introductory conjecture. My next stop is to review an alleged large Saunders file in the Clayton Library here in Houston as the former work of a Katherine Reynolds. Of course we’ll also pass on any future DNA findings or points of interest.

Regards, P_____ from Houston

Several of our family history-oriented relatives do read the website, and may have some leads. In the meantime, I’ve begun to dig up bits about the Logan et al., especially the controversies surrounding Daniel Boone. I suspect our ancestors knew a lot of these players.

Cordially, Bill

In the meantime, here are a few issues about Julius Saunders that I feel should be advanced as “points of introducctory conjecture”:

1. Did, in fact, the JULIUS SAUNDERS, whom I believe was born in January, 1758 in what is now Fluvanna Countuy, Virginia (then Albemarle) participate in the Revolutionary War activities on the Western frontier (Kentucky)? He would have been 20 at the time of the muster referenced above.

2. I believe that there is a strong possibility that the grandfather of JOSEPH, Ammon and William BURNETT, sons of PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT, was JULIUS SAUNDERS SR (father of JULIUS SAUNDERS of Bedford County, Virginia, who apprenticed PRISCILLA’s three boys.

3. My current thinking is that it less probable that JULIUS SAUNDERS of Bedford County, to whom the three BURNETT boys were apprenticed, was their father. My return to Bedford County in October 2013 to do some more research there is what has changed my mind. Absent any evidence of a separation between JULIUS and his wife JANE HUGHES SAUNDERS, who appears to have lived with him throughout this period, and the close association of this family with the Bedford County Quaker Community, it seems to me improbable that JULIUS’ wife and the Quaker Community would have permitted two married persons to conduct an ongoing extra-marital affair that produced three boys.

4. The Bedford County court in a very unusual move at a time when “home correction” (in that time and place, the acknowledged customary right of a husband to take matters into his own hands when a wife was known to be “straying”) to have issues a restraining order against Williamson Burnett for physically abusing PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT.

The complaint against Williamson was brought before the courts by David Saunders.

[See Bedford County 1805 May 27 – Court Order BK:200 ‘Williamson Burnett was ordered on his own recognizance to be of good behavior towards PRISCILLA BURNETT for 12 months by complaint of Priscilla by David Saunders.”]

It is important to know why David Saunders brought this action which imposed himself in another man’s marital situation. What WAS David Saunders’ relationship to or interest in PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT?
What facts DO we know about David Saunders?


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