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John Walling (1750 - 1836)

John Walling aka Wallen, Walden, Walton
Born in Lunenburg, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 18 Feb 1786 in Tennessee, USAmap
Descendants descendants
Died in McMinnville, Tennesseemap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Nov 2013
This page has been accessed 1,155 times.
1776 Project
John Walling served with Montgomery County, Virginia Militia during the American Revolution.



John Walling was born on July 27, 1750,[1] in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He was the son of Elisha Walling and Mary Blevins.[2][3]

This area of Lunenburg County was carved into Halifax (1752-1767), Pittsylvania (1767-1777), and then Montgomery County after 1777.

In 1777, after the thirteen colonies declared independence from England, John swore an oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia in Montgomery County. His brothers Thomas and Joseph are listed on the same document.[4]

John Walling was a patriot soldier who served in the Montgomery County militia during the American Revolution under Captain John Cox (attached to Col. Joseph Martin's regiment) and later under Captain John Bryson (attached to Col. William Campbell's regiment). His units were engaged in a campaign against the Cherokee nation along the Clinch River, and other activities along the frontier.[1] It appears that his first service (in Cox's militia unit) occurred in 1777, and the second (in Campbell's unit) occurred in 1782.[5]

In 1782, John appears on the tax lists for Montgomery County, Virginia, along with his brothers Joseph and James.[6]

On November 11, 1782, a survey was made for John (appearing as John Walton) for 200 acres on Nob Fork of Elk Creek, branch of New River, Montgomery County, Virginia. His brother, James, had a survey made on Fox Creek Branch, New River, on March 26, 1783, and his brother Joseph had a survey on the east side of New River, May 10, 1784.[7]

The identity of John's first wife is not known.[3] She was killed and scalped in an Indian attack on their homestead on March 17, 1785.[8]

His second wife was Elizabeth Roberts. They married on February 18, 1786.[1][9] His family was again attacked in 1789 by a group of Indians led by a man named Robert or Bob Benge. Joe E. Wallen recounts the following background relating to the blood feud between Benge and the Wallens:

There were never any mass Indian attacks on the Clinch settlers. Instead the Indians would wait in ambush and take a settler on his way to his fields, then kill his wife and children. There was a lot of retaliation back and forth. There came to exist a group known as the Chickamauguas who some wrongly classify as Cherokee; they were not. Chickamagua is the name the whites came to call this group of exiled Cherokees, runaway slaves, and other assorted footpads and criminals who could not live in civilized society. One of their chief leaders was a half breed named Robert or Bob Benge. His father was Scottish and his mother was Cherokee. Benge as he was known to the whites was responsible for much of the depredation visited on the settlers.[10]

Robert Addington provides the following account of the attack by Benge and his band on John Wallen's household in 1789:

Sometime in the year 1789, John Wallen built a small cabin at the mouth of Stock Creek where Clinchport is situated now. He located his cabin on the Kentucky Path and, no doubt, helped to entertain some of the hundreds of settlers who were at that time emigrating to Kentucky over the Wilderness Road. Wallen was not left long in the peaceable enjoyment of his new home in the wilderness. Benge and his forest bloodhounds soon found his cabin. One morning just at daybreak, his wife, on opening the door, was shot by an Indian and slightly wounded. Quickly closing the door, she barred it to prevent its being forced. Wallen, who was yet in bed, then hastily arose and snatching the gun from the rack, shot and killed the Indians nearest the door. The other Indians then rushed upon the house, trying to effect an entrance, nor did they retreat until Wallen had killed three of them. After driving the Indians away, Wallen and his wife went to Carter' Fort, eight miles distant. (Thomas Carter's letter, Draper Manuscripts). [11]

John moved from Montgomery County to the area along the Clinch River near Flat Lick in the far southwestern corner of Virginia and lived there for many years.[1] He appears in Scott County, Virginia, in 1820.[12] Not long after that, he lived briefly in Casey County, Kentucky, and then arrived in McMinn County, Tennessee in about 1822.[1] He appears in McMinn County, Tennessee, in 1830,[13] and was living in McMinn County, Tennessee when he submitted his Revolutionary War pension application in 1832.[1]

John made his will in McMinn County, Tennessee, on April 15, 1836, and died shortly after that. His will was probated in McMinn County on May 2, 1836. He left his entire estate to his wife Elizabeth.[14]


Children of John Walling and Elizabeth Roberts reportedly include:[15][16]

  1. John
  2. James
  3. Jesse
  4. Nancy
  5. Stephen
  6. Thomas
  7. Sarah
  8. Isaac
  9. Maryanne
  10. Matilda
  11. Elizabeth

Research Notes

An earlier edit to this profile identified his first wife as Hannah Lewis, but the source for this claim is unclear. Both Wilder and Wallin list her identity as unknown.

In affidavits submitted with his pension application in 1832-33, John avers that he was 21 when he first served in the militia during the Revolution; but he also avers that he turned 83 on July 27, 1833, based on information from his father.[1] Both claims can't be true, as his first Revolutionary War militia service was in 1777, and he would have turned 21 in about 1771 if he were born in 1750. His birth date in this profile assumes his claim that he turned 83 in 1833 is true; if so, he was actually about 27 when he served in the militia in 1777.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6, "Revolutionary War Pensions," database with images, ( : accessed 18 Dec 2020), Walling>John Walling, pension no. W17, BLWt27690-160-55; citing NARA microfilm publication M804, roll 2482. Partial transcription, Will Graves, "Pension application of John Walling (Walden) W171," Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters, ( : accessed 18 Dec 2020).
  2. Wilder, at 161-62.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wallin, at 110.
  4. Wilder, at 171; citing courthouse records of Montgomery County, Virginia.
  5. Grayson County, Virginia, Heritage Foundation, "Revolutionary War Soldiers," New River Notes, ( : accessed 15 Dec 2020); citing 1777 List of Cox's Militia Company and September 6, 1782 Elk Creek Militia lists.
  6. FamilySearch, "Personal property tax lists, 1782-1857," images, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2020); citing Commissioner of Revenue, Montgomery County, Virginia.
  7. Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800, Vol. I, (1929); reprint, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970), 900; images, HathiTrust, ( : 2017).
  8. Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870, (Richmond, VA: J.L. Hill Printing Co., 1903), 387; images,, ( : 24 Dec 2016).
  9. Wilder, at 162.
  10. Family stories recounted by Joe E. Wallen, Johnson City, TN.
  11. Robert M. Addington, History of Scott County, Virginia (Kingsport, TN: Self-Published, 1932), 125-26; images,, ( : accessed 19 Dec 2020).
  12. 1820 U.S. census, Scott County, Virginia, [township not stated], p. 532 (penned), John Walling Sr; image,, ( : accessed 19 Dec 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication M33, roll 139.
  13. 1830 U.S. census, McMinn County, Tennessee, [township not stated], p. 205 (stamped), John Walling; image,, ( : accessed 19 Dec 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication M19, roll 178.
  14. FamilySearch, "Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," ( : accessed 19 Dec 2020), McMinn>Wills, 1830-1838, Vol. B, image 111, John Wallen; citing McMinn County Court probate records; transcription, FamilySearch, "Will books, 1828-1848, McMinn County, Tennessee," images, ( : accessed 20 Dec 2020), FHL microfilm 24,749, image 132.
  15. Wilder, at 374-75.
  16. Wallin, at 110.

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