Posted By:George H. Stevens
Subject:Irish surname DUNIGIN for Nancy DUNIGIN & Wm. Dunigin FOY of SC & TX
Post Date:March 20, 2007 at 05:03:56
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Forum:Caldwell County, TX Genealogy Forum
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Hello Revis:

While I am unfamiliar with the view of your earlier WRIGHT researcher (Alline Halliburton Elliott) that the middle name of William D. FOY Sr (1823-1892) was "David," it nonetheless has come to be my view that his middle name was probably "Dunigin." For a long time I had no idea what the "D." stood for, nor of the maiden name of William D. FOY's mother, Nancy. However, in June 2006) I received an E-Mail from John George Nolte III (email:, who was kind enough to send me a copy of a biographical sketch of the father of William D. FOY, who was an early Texas pioneer. That sketch included detailed information that would have been known only by close family members and probably drew on family bible records. It stated that Frederick FOY of SC moved to Ouachita Parish LA shortly after his marriage to Nancy DUNIGIN in 1803. It also provided the names and dates of birth and death of the seven children of Frederick FOY & Nancy DUNIGIN, including their only surviving son (first child John FOY lived for only two days) William "Dunigin" FOY Sr. This information suggests that William's middle name preserved his mother's maiden name. Ths biographic sketch is not a primary source, but until we see the actual Foy Family Bible Record, it is as close as we are likely to come to primary materials. I find this information credible and see no reason to doubt it. Here is the full citation, as forwarded to me last summer:

The biographic sketch is from "Republic of Texas Roots, Our Proud Heritage," compiled by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Luling, Caldwell County, Texas, 1986, page 3.

"Frederic Foy (1770-1854)"

"Frederic Foy – a South Carolinian by birth – moved to Ouachita Parish, Louisiana shortly after his marriage to Nancy Dunigin in 1803. They resided there until a few years after the birth of their seventh child, William Dunigin Foy. Early in 1828 Frederic moved his family to the district of the municipality of Nacogdoches known as Tenehaw that is presently Shelby County, Texas.

He was a delegate from the district of Tenehaw to the first state convention of Texas on October 18, 1832. This convention was held at the town of San Felipe in Brazoria County which was in Austin’s colony. At that time Stephen F. Austin and members of the convention declared a “firm and unshaken adhesion to the Mexican Confederation and Constitution, and (to) do our duty as Mexican citizens.”

The Foy family was living in San Augustine County, Texas in 1837, and Frederic’s headright was issued there on March 18, 1838. As he had arrived in the Republic of Texas before 1835, he was “entitled to one league and one labor of land upon the condition of paying at the rate of three dollars and fifty cents for every labor of temporal or arable land, one dollar twenty cents for every labor of pasture land.” He held the position of judge of Sabine County, Texas and resided there until 1851. The federal census of 1850 listed him as farmer and stock raiser in Sabine County.

He then moved his family to Guadalupe County, Texas near Prairie Lea in Caldwell County where he became quite prominent. He and his wife, Nancy Dunigin Foy, both died in 1854 and are buried in the Happel Cemetery which is located just across the San Marcos River in Guadalupe County near the towns of Prairie Lea and Fentress.

Frederic and Nancy had seven children John Foy, who was born July 26, 1809 and died on July 28, 1809; Polly Foy, who was born on February 19, 1811 and died on March 5, 1811; Eliza Foy, who was born on March 7, 1812 and died on October 4, 1849; Permelia Foy, who was born on April 13, 1815 and died on September 23, 1873; Rebecca Foy, who was born on April 22, 1819 and died on February 17, 1848; Ann Hamutal Foy, who was born on December 20, 1820 and died on October 4, 1825; and William Dunigin Foy, who was born on May 7, 1823 and died on May 14, 1892."

I should add, Revis, that the surname DUNIGIN appears to me to be Irish. Frederick FOY's parents were Peter FOY and Hamutal MOORE, who lived on 100 acres in what is today Saluda Co., SC. If we look around in SC for other DUNIGINs we observe that the 1790 US Census for nearby Greenville, SC, lists the two similarly surnamed families of Thomas "DUNEGIN" and Isaac DUNEGIN." In the 1800 US Census for Hillsborough, Orange Co., NC, there are seven separate DUNAGIN families, those of Ashley, Charles, Dice, James, Sarah, Thomas, William. The spelling of Nancy DUNIGIN's
surname and that of her parents and grandparents is likely to vary widely, however, and I am not yet able to link her to these local families, some of which emigrated directly from Ireland before the Revolution, and others of which emigrated first to PA and then came south to NC and SC via the great wagon road through the Shenandoah Valley of VA and across the piedmont of the Carolinas.

But the bottom line is, Yes, I do believe that William D. FOY's middle name should be corrected to "Dunigin."

Regards, George Stevens (Fort Washington, MD).