Coonrod S. COON – Indiana Pioneer from Coon’s Fort Area, Marion County, West Virginia – 52 Ancestors (Ancestor 60)

EDIT 23 July 2016: When I published this article, my website CoonWEB located at RootsWeb was still in existence. I have since removed it and am in the process of transitioning the contents to a Coon Family specific blog at http://coongenealogy.wordpress.com.

In the year 2000, I did quite a bit of research on the COON (and various spellings) families in east central Indiana. This was, of course, long before the days of blogs, so I had to publish on the Internet the hard way. This was an exciting new time for me, as I was learning so much. CoonWEB – The Coon Families of East Central Indiana is a sourced site showing my research of these families. It does not present everything, but doing what I did was a lot of hard work, and my first exercise in organizing my data for presentation to the public. I really should pick it up and do more.

My COON research began as an attempt to determine the parentage of our ancestor George COON (later KUHN) who married Sarah JOHNSON in 1855. Myrtle (KUHN) LARMORE, in her writings on the KUHN family (similar to her writings on the JOHNSON family), said that George’s parents were Conrad and Barbara COON (maiden name unknown at that time). It is family tradition that we are descended from Tecumseh, and Myrtle had said that this relationship could have been on the JOHNSON side. I have yet been able to figure out where that could be at all. However, in the 1990s, other relatives found information that led them to believe that George KUHN was “an Indian” descended from Tecumseh, and that he was actually “adopted” by an unrelated KOONS family that had moved from North Carolina to Indiana in the early 1800s. What I found, though, was quite enough evidence to confirm that George was indeed the son of Coonrod and his wife Barbara.

I just wanted to establish with you that I know and can show that Coonrod S. COON is indeed George KUHN’s father, and my ancestor.

Whether or not I am descended from Tecumseh remains to be seen. However, to my surprise, my autosomal DNA test really does show about (depending on how you calculate it) 1.15%-2.05% Native American DNA, with about 1% African DNA thrown in. I’m waiting on my cousins’ DNA results, both COON/KUHN and JOHNSON descendants, to help me narrow down if this is on my mother’s side, my father’s side, or both sides.

Admixture of Elizabeth Ballard, computed using the Eurogenes K13 calculator on GEDMATCH.com.

Admixture of Elizabeth Ballard, computed using the Eurogenes K13 calculator on GEDMATCH.com.

Coonrod S. COON was born 20 September 1803 in what was then Harrison County, Virginia, and what is now Marion County, West Virginia. The West Virginia COON families are descended from Phillip COON from Germany and his son, Joseph, who were probably two of the first settlers in the western Virginia wilderness (the District of West Augusta) in 1772, as I have read that settlers didn’t start coming into that area until that year. In 1776, the District was divided into three counties: Ohio, Yohogania and Monongalia, and the COON settlement was then in Monongalia County, which in 1784 became Harrison County, and finally Marion County in 1842.

There are thousands of descendants of Phillip COON, and thousands (although not as many) of descendants of his son Joseph, so it is not difficult to find and make a study of what has already been researched and written of this family. A lot of it isn’t documented. Some of it is incorrect, but with a lot of focus, I was able to sort out one of the long standing errors, which I explained in my writings on the web site.

A little COON background: In 1777, Phillip and Joseph COON built an “Indian Fort” called “Coon’s Fort” on their creek which was named “Coon’s Run.” Or at least I think they built the fort. The creek is still called Coon’s Run today. I’ve been there, and it was a powerful feeling. Although the fort no longer stands, there is a historic marker near the site. This is not my photograph. You can find plenty of them on the Internet. Like I said, there are thousands of COON descendants.

Coon's Fort Historic Marker, Marion County, West Virginia

Coon’s Fort Historic Marker, Marion County, West Virginia

I mean, when you are encroaching on and taking over the land of someone else, you have to bring guns and build a fort to protect yourself. Paradoxically, I could have ancestry of natives who killed the invaders and the invaders who killed the natives. And that’s the ugly truth. What I have not yet found is slaveholder ancestry, but certainly, that will come.

Let’s get back to Coonrod S. COON. During my research, I discovered that Coonrod’s wife’s maiden name was Barbara RADABAUGH (spelled RIDINBOW on their son Mark’s death record). There are RADABAUGH settlers also in that area of West Virginia. They did marry there in 1822. I don’t yet know who her parents are, either.

The given name “Coonrod” is common in the COON families. Phillip’s son Joseph COON married Catherine CUNREAD (with various spellings), and that surname was then used as a given name. It is possible Coonrod was the son of a Joseph and Elizabeth COON who also came to Indiana and settled near him, but I have not researched that yet.

The details of Coonrod S. and Barbara (RADABAUGH) COON are at http://coongenealogy.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/family-coonrod-s-coon-and-barbara-radabaugh-part-i/.

Here’s a photo of the subject’s grave stone. Thanks for reading!

Conrad S. Coon Grave Stone, Harlan Cemetery, Brown Township, Hancock County, Indiana, USA.

Conrad S. Coon Grave Stone, Harlan Cemetery, Brown Township, Hancock County, Indiana, USA.

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12 Responses to Coonrod S. COON – Indiana Pioneer from Coon’s Fort Area, Marion County, West Virginia – 52 Ancestors (Ancestor 60)

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 11 Recap | No Story Too Small

  2. Rebecca Barnhart-Allan says:

    I am at my wits end to discover who Sarah Coon descended from! Born about 1817 and married Elisha Stewart (Stuard, Steward) in 1833 in Parchment, Virginia. Got anything on this?? Help much appreciated! We are trying to figure out if she is our native american link.
    Thanks!

    Like

  3. Andrea Groen says:

    Elizabeth,
    I am helping a friend of mine with his genealogy and are working on this same line. He has always assumed to believe the family stories of the relationship to Techumseh but your website assumes some credible evidence of the relationship to Coonrad, not John and Massaw as my friend thought. He remembers his Great Aunt Myrtle and would find a lot of information that would put his mind at ease about things if he can have a chance to read what she wrote about the Kuhn line. Where can we get a copy of that to which you refer in your article? Thanks in advance,
    Andrea Groen

    Like

  4. Pingback: Barbara (RADABAUGH) COON, 1805-1882 – 52 Ancestors | Diggin' Up Graves

  5. Pingback: Ancestors for Week 7 – 52 Ancestors (2015 #7) | Diggin' Up Graves

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  7. Barbara Kuhn Burtch says:

    I am one of the many. I believe the Coon Fort was located on the West Fork River. Between Coon’s Run and Helen’s Run there is a U-Bend in the river, with water on three sides and a bluff steep enough to hold a powder magazine. .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Massa Theory – Does Our Family Descend from Tecumseh, and If So, How? | Diggin' Up Graves

  9. Pingback: The Massa Theory – Does Our Family Descend from Tecumseh, and If So, How? | Coon Family Genealogy

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