A Biographical Sketch of
Patriot Lt. Ignatious Nathan Gann

(Patriot Ancestor of Jim Massingill)

Lt. Ignatious Nathan Gann


Ignatious Nathan Gann's grand parents were Samuel & Elizabeth Gann; Samuel was born about 1705 in Frederick Co. Virginia. His parents were Adam [2445] and Jane Gann born 1727 and 1735 in Frederick Co. Virginia.

Ignatious Nathan Gann [2438] was born 1759 in Halifax County Virginia. He married his first wife Susan in 1780, and after her death in 1810 he married Mary his second wife [date unknown]. He had 13 children from those two marriages. Their daughter Mary (Polly) Gann (#1988) was born 1790 and married George W. Massingill.

He chose to move to the frontier, then known as Washington County NC thus becoming a pioneer. This territory was known as Tennessee. He changed his name to Nathan and dropped Ignatious when he moved to the territory. There he purchased 220 acres for two hundred pounds. This involved much work clearing forest, planting crops, building a home and outbuildings. Horse races were popular when circumstances permitted. One such race in the area involved a horse owned by Andrew Jackson. When the day of the race arrived, Jackson's jockey was sick so Jackson had to ride himself and lost the race. Frontier settlements in early Tennessee commonly built their cabins close together so that they could rely on each other for protection. They were referred to as stations and most contained a blockhouse, fort or structure as a refuge for defense. The Gann family settled near Nolichucky.

In October of 1776, he volunteered for the militia under Captain Vernay to go on a six months tour to the south. The unit rendezvoused near Gilford Courthouse, NC and marched directly to Charleston, SC going into winter quarters at Camden, SC. He was discharged at Halifax in March 1777 .
In 1778, he volunteered under Capt. Michel Harrison of Col. John Sevier's command to go on an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. They marched as far as Coosa Alabama [4 months]. His third tour started in 1779 and lasted 6 months. As horsemen they were to range the frontier and prevent Indian invasions.

Upon hearing of the approach of the British troops commanded by Maj. Patrick Ferguson and of men from Washington County going to fight against Ferguson. He obtained leave to go on the expedition serving under Capt. Christopher Taylor who served under Col. John Sevier and joined forces marching with the North Carolina militia. All of the earliest settlers of Tennessee were referred to as "the over-mountain men" and they had heard of the remark of Major Ferguson that he was going to burn the homes and destroy the settlements of the over-mountain men. At the end of a lengthy trek over the mountains into North Carolina, they engaged Ferguson's troops at Kings Mountain. In the battle of Kings Mountain about eleven hundred men surrounded and defeated a greater number of trained soldiers under the command of Maj. Ferguson, killing him and over 150 of his men in the process. This had significant effect on the conduct of the Revolutionary War in the South. The battle is considered by both American and British historians to be the pivotal battle of the Revolution, the turning point of the war in the South.

He continued to serve in frequent, short tours of duty against the Indians until the Treaty of Peace. He participated in the Battle of Boyd's Creek under the leadership of Col. John Sevier. He received a pension in May of 1833 having served as a private in early tours and later as a Lieutenant.

He died on the l8th of Jul 1839 in Washington Co, TN and was buried on his farm. There is a marker on his grave erected by the DAR. Susan his first wife died about 1810 in Washington Co, TN and was buried on their farm.





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Max Strozier


Web Page Created:

19 August 2009


Web Page Updated:

19 August 2009