The Jacob Hunter Trust

14 January, 2021

A wealth of information that digs deep into Hunter territory. Early Hunter Family and Church.

The Jacob Hunter Trust

On being forwarded the Jacob Hunter Trust’s newsletter (2021) by Madam Pauline, I knew that the information it contained would be of interest to our Clan members! Richard H. Hunter, who is currently the trust’s president, has written a piece on Early Hunter Family and Church which could be of use to those seeking new sources to establish their family trees.

The Jacob Hunter Trust was established in October 1991 in order to restore and maintain the Hunter family cemeteries and to collate and share genealogy information of Major Jacob Hunter (ca 1720). The descendants of Jacob (a Revolutionary War soldier) and his wife, Mary “Polly” Dancer Hunter Lee are prodigious and all can trace their ancestry back to their founding forefather William Hunter. William Hunter, (Jacob’s grandfather) was thought to have been a weaver from Alnwick, Northumberland in the northeast of England. He immigrated to Nansemond County, Virginia in the latter part of the 1600s. (Now North Carolina).

The Jacob Hunter Trust newsletter (January 2021) tells the story of early Hunter settlers and their connection to the church between 1600s – mid 1700s. The church was loyal to the Anglican Church of England and was responsible for spreading the Christian faith throughout the colonies. Supported by the Mother Country, clergymen and vestries were appointed and chapels and churches were built. The tradition of recording births, marriages and deaths within the parishes of the churches means that important ancestral information has survived and Hunter descendants have been able to make use of this.

The Jacob Hunter Trust cemetery

In 1759 a move to break away from Great Britain was already underway and in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. The break caused the decline of the Anglican Church and Hunter families sought other forms of worship such as the Methodist movement. Many Hunters are still affiliated to the Methodist Church today.

And there is more…….much more! Dr. Raymond E. Hunter has researched and written William Hunter of Nansemond Co. And His Early Descendants (2013), a genealogy reference, and it is a significant source for Hunters throughout the U.S.A. To purchase this book and to read more on early Hunter history visit www.JacobHunterTrust.or

A call to action

Richard H. Hunter, Trustee of the Jacob Hunter Trust shares his concern for the trust and gives some tips on how to help keep the generations informed and interested in their ancestry.

The Jacob Hunter Trust 

6 June 2021 

A Call to Action 

The Jacob Hunter Trust needs your participation and support.  Over the last 30 years, the Jacob Hunter Trust depended on the interest and  generous support of our extended family which allowed us to accomplish many  historical firsts. We discovered lost family burial grounds, restored them to a level  that showed respect for our ancestors, documented the history of people buried, and  advanced the history of our family. 

We invited the affiliation of several prominent family researchers and began  publishing an annual newsletter with articles describing the history of our family. We  located and published the reports generated by early family researchers and made  them available on our website. 

We developed and supported, free of charge, a website that shares our family  stories and history to anyone with access to the world wide web. We joined forces to  publish a book in 2013, William Hunter of Nansemond and His Early Descendants, that  remains available today and sold at cost. The authors of that family history continue  to collaborate and present additional findings and conclusions through articles in The  Jacob Hunter Trust Newsletter, also available on our website.  

Currently, we manage or oversee five historic family burial grounds and have  cousins currently locating and researching three additional family cemeteries in North  Carolina. All our cemeteries, except for one, were forgotten and had fallen into ruin  before being discovered and restored by our group.  

In 2019 we discovered the original land and family burial ground of our  immigrant to America, William Hunter. This sacred cemetery holds the remains of at  least 120 of our earliest ancestors in America. 

The critical problem we face today is that our current Trust members and  supporters are “aging out.” Most of us involved in advancing our family history and  providing financial support are in our 70s and 80s. Many of our early supporters have passed on. We have very few supporters in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. For example, as  of June this year only 10 people have donated to the trust. Eight of these donors are  in their 70s and 80s. The other two are in their 50s. Last year (2020) only 12 people  sent gifts and most of them were in their 70 and 80s. If our younger generations do  not become involved in the work and support of the Trust, our work will end. In a  few years our cemeteries will again be forgotten and fall back into ruin. 

The Jacob Hunter Trust is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)13 charitable trust  and provides tax benefits to donors. Further, we are a 100% voluntary organization  and none of our volunteers receive funds from the trust. All gifts are used to advance  our mission, fund our website, and fund the maintenance and restoration of our  cemeteries. All donations to the Trust over the past 30 years, and all the  expenditures, are publicly available and printed in our annual newsletters available  on our website, 

What can be done to ensure the survival of the Jacob Hunter Trust?

We need all who value the work the Trust has accomplished, who have benefited from the family history we have accumulated, and who are interested in  seeing the Trust survive in the future, to become active and consider the following  actions: 

  1. Talk to your children, your grandchildren, your cousins, and other relatives  and introduce them to the Jacob Hunter Trust website. Tell them stories about  their ancestors and stimulate their interest in the history of our family. 
  2. Encourage your children to participate in researching their family and to join in  the work of the Trust. 
  3. Consider writing stories from your life experiences and sharing those stories  with your family. 
  4. Consider researching your family history and submitting articles for the Jacob  Hunter Trust Newsletters. 
  5. If you are skilled in marketing or fundraising, please volunteer a few hours a  month and develop a marketing plan or a fundraising effort for the Jacob  Hunter Trust. 
  6. If you have knowledge of how to distribute information on various other  websites, share your skills with us and distribute our research to others who  may be interested. 
  7. If you have computer programming skills or website development skills, please  volunteer some time to assist us with expanding and improving our website.
  8. Purchase a copy of our book, William Hunter of Nansemond and His Early  Descendants and share it with your family. Dr. Raymond Hunter and his  daughter, Lynn Hunter Palmer ( have  generously kept the book in print and sell it at their cost.  
  9. Become an ambassador for the Jacob Hunter Trust and share our work with  meaningful people in your life. 
  10. Please send an annual gift to the Jacob Hunter Trust by writing a check to the  Jacob Hunter Trust and mailing to 10202 Briggs Rd, Marion, IL 62959 or via  PayPal on our website.  
  11. If you are fortunate to have accumulated wealth during your lifetime, please  consider including the Jacob Hunter Trust in your will or make the Jacob  Hunter Trust a beneficiary of your “payable on death” bank or investment  accounts. 
  12. The Trust hopes to build up enough funds so that we no longer need to depend  on individual donations to continue our work, hoping to establish a perpetual  care fund for our current cemeteries and those we hope to discover in years to  come. If our family members provide annual gifts, this dream will be realized, and we will not need to depend on donations from future generations. 

The survival of the Jacob Hunter Trust depends on recruiting family members in  their 40s, 50s, and 60s. We know that many of those in their 20s and 30s need to  devote their time and resources to their growing families. During our 40s 50s and 60s  many tend to become more philanthropic and may also develop a deeper appreciation  for their ancestors. Please help us recruit new relatives who will support our work, volunteer to help, and ensure the Jacob Hunter Trust will continue to benefit future  generations. 

This past Memorial Day weekend I had the privilege of showing my youngest  granddaughter where some of her 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd great grandfathers and  grandmothers were buried. She learned where they lived, something about their  lives, and where they are laid to rest. I told her that most people in America today  don’t even know the names of their 3rd, 4th, and 5th great grandparents, much less  where they lived and where they are buried. The Jacob Hunter Trust hopes to  encourage our younger generation to value the life and sacrifice of their ancestors.  Being grateful for the lives and works of our ancestors is a worthy and satisfying  endeavor.  

Please join us in supporting and advancing the work of the Jacob Hunter Trust.  Thank you for being a part of the Jacob Hunter Trust family. 


Richard H. Hunter, Trustee Jacob Hunter Trust, 10202 Briggs Rd,  Marion, IL 62959,

618 521-2814

Do you have a Hunter story to tell? Would you like to share it with our Clan Hunter members on this blog space? Contact Lucy’s Blog at I look forward to hearing from you!

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