Family History

The Hunters and the Vestry of St. Paul’s Parish, Chowan, N. C.

NOTE: Many Hunter kinsmen cited in this report as fathers, sons, uncles, and nephews served as vestrymen in St. Paul’s Parish. Our lineage extends from Vestryman and Church Warden Isaac Hunter to his son Isaac of Bute / Warren Co., N. C., who was not a vestryman. Jacob and Elisha, also sons of Isaac Sr., are noted in the vestry records of Chowan. 
 

From the earliest years of the eighteenth century, the vestry of St. Paul’s Parish (Chowan, N. C.) was composed of twelve men elected to administer community services in the precinct.  Their ususal term was one year, and their duties, mainly secular, included levying and collecting an annual poll tax from tithers, accounting for parish moneys, paying the minister’s salary and the  parish bills, contributing to the support of widows and indigents, controlling vermin (wolves, wildcats, squirrels), settling property boundaries, and approving standards of weights and measurements within the parish.

Until the colonies broke away from Great Britain, the established religion was the Church of England.  In allegiance to the faith, every vestryman was required annually to take an oath that he foreswore a belief in transubstantiation and supported the Test Act, which excluded Roman Catholics and nonconformists from office.  “I do declare,” each vestryman swore, “that I believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or in the elements of bread and wine at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever, the Declaration to wit: I will not oppose the doctrine, Discipline, and Liturgy of the Church of England, as by Law established.”

From the roster of vestrymen in St. Paul’s Parish two were elected as church wardens.  A warden’s duties included maintaining church property, hiring readers to preside in the absence of a parson, supplying prayer books and Bibles, caring for the poor and the destitute, and imposing fines for improper behavior.  Wardens (with terms of one year), the clerk of the church, and readers received salaries.  Vestrymen were not paid.

Until the 1740s St. Paul’s Church, founded in Edenton in 1701, served the whole parish.  As the community grew, other parts of the precinct needed additional houses of worship.  Costen’s Chapel was built in 1741 by Richard Bond and Jonathan Parker on land James Costen donated from his plantation.  Knotty Pine Chapel dates from 1742, and the vestry minutes attribute its construction to Parker.  Farlee Chapel was the third.  These were located north of Edenton.  Costen’s, also called Costan’s and Constant’s, was near the mill of Isaac Hunter on Bennett’s Creek and Meherrin Swamp.  Knotty Pine, near Sarum, was in the northwest.  Farlee was on Indian Town Creek near Ballard’s Bridge, a few miles north of Edenton.  A sole minister of the parish conducted one service a month at each. The locations of these four chapels are shown on An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with Their Indian Frontiers . . . by Henry Mouzon and others (London: Robt. Sayer and J. Bennett, May 30, 1775).  Today the sites of the three chapels are in Gates County.  St. Paul’s is in Chowan County.

Although the minutes specify no regular meeting dates, the official year began around March 25.  In fact, the vestry convened variously in January, February, March, June, September, and December.  Rotating the meeting sites evidently equalized northern and southern members’ travel, and beginning in the 1740s, the vestry alternated between St. Paul’s or the courthouse at Edenton (in the south) and Costen’s Chapel (in the north).

In 1701 a clerk of the church began keeping minutes.  Vestry Minutes of St. Paul’s Parish, Chowan County, North Carolina, 1701-1776, by Raymond Parker Fouts (GenRec Books, 1983), transcribes the ledgers up to the year the parish was rocked by the colonial spirit of the impending revolution.  In fact, revolutionary passions were stirred within church and chapels as Daniel Early, rector of St. Paul’s, orchestrated an uprising by denouncing unjust taxation and the Boston Port Act. “The cause of Boston,” he orated at the courthouse, “was the cause of us all!”  Also insensed, fifty-one Edenton women instigated their version of the Boston Tea Party by pledging to shun the drinking of tea and to wear only clothing made in the colonies.  Page 143 of the original minutes documents the vestry’s protest and its first move in cutting ties to the state church:

   “Sacred love of Liberty and Our Country to Maintain and support all and every the Acts Resolutions & Regulations of the said Continental & Provincial Congress to the utmost of our power and ability.  In Testimony whereof we have hereto set our hands this 19th day of June 1776.  Ricd. Hoskins, David Rice, Aaron Hill, Pelatiah Walton, Wm. Hinton, W. J. [Thomas?] Bonner, Wm. Boyd, Tho. Benbury, Jacob Hunter, John Beasley, Willm. Bennett, William Roberts.”  These twelve were the current members of the vestry.

In commemoration of the role the church played in the Revolution, a marble plaque engraved in 1916 was affixed to the interior back wall of St. Paul’s.  The citation, titled “The Test,” is the parish’s “Declaration of Independence.”  It was issued more than a month before the Continental Congress published the Declaration of Independence that severed the colonies from Britain and began the war.  The citation is followed by the names taken from the vestry record cited above:

“We, the subscribers,” the inscription reads, “professing our allegiance to the King and acknowledging the constitutional, executive power of government, do solemnly profess, testify, and declare that we do absolutely believe that neither the Parliament of Great Britain nor any member or constituent branch thereof have a right to impose taxes upon these colonies to regulate the internal policy thereof, and that all attempts by fraud or force to establish and exercise such claims and powers are violations of the peace and security of the people and ought to be resisted to the utmost, and that the people of this province singly and collectively are bound by the acts and resolutions of the Continental and Provincial Congresses, because in both they are freely represented by persons chosen by themselves, and we do solemnly and sincerely promise and engage under the sanction of virtue, honor and sacred love of liberty and our country to maintain and support all and every the acts, resolutions and regulations of the said Continental and Provincial Congresses to the utmost of our power and ability.

“In testimony whereof we have hereto set our hands this 19th of June 1776.  Richd. Hoskins, David Rice, Aaron Hill, Pelitiah Walton, Wm. Hinton, William Roberts, Thos. Bonner, Wm. Boyd, Thos. Benbury, Jacob Hunter, John Beasley, Willm. Bennett.

By 1778 males citizens throughout North Carolina, showing themselves to be on the side of American patriots, were signing the state’s official Oath of Allegiance.  The following is the version of the oath recorded in Bute County, where three sons of Isaac Hunter (Isaac, Jesse, and Daniel) had moved in 1757:

I will bair faithful and true allegiance to the State of North Carolina and will Truly Endeavour to support and maintain and Defend the Independent Goverm’t Thereof against George the third King of Grate Brittain and his Sucesers & the attempts of any other persons prince or power state or potentate who by secret arts Thrasons Conspirecoys or by open force shall attempt to subject the same and I will in every Respect conduct my Self as a peasfull orderly subject & that I will Disclolse and make known to the Governor some member of the Councill of State of som justice of the superior Courts or of the pease all Treason conspireceys and attempts committed or Entended against the State which Shall come to my knowledge.

“So help you God.” (“Miscellaneous County Records, Bute and Warren, 1774-1804,” Thomas Merritt Pittman Papers, PC 123.9, North Carolina State Archives).

In Bute, Jesse and Isaac and Isaac’s son Solomon signed the Oath on 20 February 1778 before Young McLemore, a justice of the peace.  Reportedly at the eruption of war their brother Jacob Hunter, a St. Paul’s vestryman in 1776 and a fervent communicant at Costen’s Chapel, forsook the English church and became a no less ardent Methodist.  In Gates County his son Isaac became a Methodist minister. 

 

I.

From the 1730s until his death in 1753 Isaac Hunter remained a vestry member of St. Paul’s Parish and in many years he was a warden and a reader at Costen’s Chapel.  He was the first in the family to become a vestry member. At times his brother (or nephew) William Hunter, also was a vestryman.  The Hunters lived in the northern section of Chowan, the “upper parish.”  Isaac, the owner of a plantation and water mill, was a son of William Hunter, a weaver, whose earliest record yet documented, a land patent, dates from 1685 in Nansemond County, Virginia.  When the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina was settled in 1728, the Hunter land proved to be in Chowan and not in Virginia.  After Isaac’s death, his sons  Elisha and Jacob and Elisha’s son Thomas followed Isaac as vestry members.

The first mention of Isaac Hunter as a vestryman is recorded in the entry of Easter Monday 1732 and next in 1733 when he was reelected.  In October 1734 at the meeting held at the Chowan courthouse he was appointed  reader for the upper parish and paid for officiating.  In 1735 he was both named again to the vestry and elected a church warden at a salary of £28 / 17 / 3.  In 1736 when  called to give account of tithes collected, Isaac had not finished making the rounds to his parishioners.  In May, after an additional month to complete them, he reported a total of £520 / 12 / 0.  The vestry declared him to be further indebted to the parish in the amount of £81 / 15 / 3.  However, this total was reduced by a credit of £13 /15 / 0 because for five and a half months Isaac had boarded W. Weston, an apparent indigent and ward of the vestry.

In 1737 Isaac was re-elected as a replacement for Robert Forster, Esq., who had “departed this governm.”  On Easter Monday, 3 April 1738, Isaac was elected yet again, along with Richard Parker, Robert Hunter, John Alston, Thomas Luten, John Sumner, William Arkill, Edward Hare, Charles King, Jacob Butler, John Blunt, and Will Spight.  Robert Hunter was Isaac’s brother, and Richard Parker was the father of Isaac’s wife Elizabeth.  John Alston, a colonel and a sheriff, also is a significant connection of the Hunters.  He would be the grandfather of Ann Alston, whom Jesse Hunter, one of Isaac’s sons, would marry in 1758, and of Martha Alston, whom Isaac’s son Isaac would marry in 1760.

In 1739 Isaac and Robert Hunter and John Alston were reelected.  Alston continued to serve in 1740.

In 1741 the vestry ordered the construction of two new chapels: “That Mr. Richd. Parker, Mr. Isaac Huntor, Mr. Thos. Walton and John Sumner do Imploy or hire work men for to built two Chappells in Chowan prish. Viz. At James Costans or there abouts as they Shall Think fitt and the other at James Baddeys [this may be Farlee’s Chapel] or near there abouts and the Dementions as here Mentioned Vizt. Thirty five foot Long and Twenty two foot and a halfe wide Eleven foot in the pitch between Sill and plate and a roof workmanlike near a Squear and to be a Good fraim Gott out of Good timber and coverd with Good Siprus Shingles and weather boarded with feather edged plank plained Sinoche broad with Good Lapp of two Inches at the best and Good Sloapers and flowers [floors] of Good plank of Inch and a qtr. thick and Soaled with Good plank with three windows Suitable for Such a howse or howses and two Doars Suitable with a pulpitt and all things Sitable according to the [illegible]ew of the sd. Richard Parker, Isaac Hunter, Thos. Walton and John Sumner.”

In April 1742 the vestry met at the new Costen’s Chapel at Meherrin.  Present were seven of twelve vestrymen: Isaac Hunter, Richard Parker, Dempsey Sumner, John Sumner, William Skinner, Thomas Walton, and Richard Bond.  They voted to pay Isaac £16 for serving as reader during 1741.  In May 1742, Isaac evidently was not a vestryman, since his name does not appear on the roll of the meeting held at the Chowan courthouse that month, but his service to the parish was noted.  In April 1743 he was paid £15 for “Reading Divine Service the Year 1742,” and he and William Skinner were voted to remain as “Readers in Chowan Parish.”

When the vestry assembled at Edenton on 4 June 1743, it was ordered that “Mr. William Hunter be allowed for five Woolf Scups and two Wild Catts Sculps Which Amounts to £22.”  William is either Isaac’s brother William or William’s son.  At the Easter Monday meeting of the vestry, 26 March 1744, Isaac was elected again and was named also as a church warden, with pay at £15.  The vestry adjourned, with the recommendation that its next meeting be held “at the Chapple on Mr. James Constants Plantation.”  When convened there on 28 June 1744, they voted “on the Motion of Mr. Henry Baker that as he has Given One Acre of Land Timber to Build a Chapple on Knotty Pine Swamp whereon the Chapple Now Stands, In Consideration thereof it is ordered That he Shall have Liberty to Build a Pew in any Part of the sd. Chapple he Pleases.  Ordered that the Church wardens & three of the Vestry to lay off the Pews belonging to the Chapples of this Parrish and in a Regular form, In Order for the Inhabitants to build Pews thereon & to be built in a Regular form all a like. . . .  Ordered that the old Chapple Standing Near the Sandy Pine Shall be Sold at Publick Vendue Giving Ten days Notice by Advertisement by Richard Bond & Isaac Hunter Giving Six Months credit for the Payment thereof & the money arising thereby to be applied to the use of building a Chapple at Tottring bridge.”

The meeting of 9 May 1745 was held at Edenton with a recommendation that the next be held at Constan’s Chapel.  Isaac Hunter continued to serve as a vestryman, being reelected at the Easter Monday meeting, 31 March 1746.  Also, he and two others were named to be readers, one each at Edenton, Costen’s, and Knotty Pine.  Clement Hall, clerk of the vestry, was appointed at a salary of £60 proclamation money to continue as minister of the parish during 1746 and to preach “every other Sunday” at Edenton, Costen’s, and Knotty Pine.

In April 1747 Isaac’s name again appeared in the roster of elected vestrymen and as a reader (£15 per annum”).  At the meeting of 23 May 1747 John Alston, “formerly sheriff” of Chowan County, presented his account for service in the year 1745.  “Also, then Mr. Isaac Hunter Exhibited his Accot. as Church Warden for Ye. Years 1744 and 1745.”

In April 1748 Isaac again was elected.  The minutes state that he and William Hunter, along with other new vestrymen, “met at the Court house in Edenton, and were duly qualified by taking the Oaths by Law appointed for the Qualification of public Officers and subscribing to the Test and Declaration prescribed by the afd. Act of the General Assembly for the Qualification of Vestry-men.  And the said Vestry having taken their Places proceeded to the Choice of Church wardens for this present year.”

In May 1749 Isaac and William again took the oath as vestrymen.  Mr. Isaac Hunter, one of the Readers of the said Parish laid his Account before the Vestry, as it stands here underneath stated; and vouch’s the Same, upon his Oath, whereby it appears, that there is due to him upon the Whole, the Sum of £51 of the late current Bills of Credit of North Carolina: Chowan, Saint Pauls Parish &c. July the 2nd 1749.  The claim of Isaac Hunter, stands thus.  Viz. To Serving as Reader three Years at £15 / 0 /0  £45 / 0 / 0 And for finding Bread & Wine three Times for the Sacrament at forty Shillings pr. Time  £45  £6  £51″

In April 1750 when Isaac came with other vestrymen to take the oath, the minutes show he was paid £31 for services.  In April 1751 the minutes state that “Mr. Isaac Hunter be Continued Reader at Constants Chappel & to be allowd. Forty Shills. proclamation Money for this present year.”

During the previous two decades his devoted membership on the vestry had been continuous except for the interruption in 1742.  The minutes of 1752 again show his name to be absent.  It can be supposed that he had become ill or had died, for his will, signed in 1752, was proved in the court of Chowan County in April 1753, with his son Elisha as executor. 

 

II. 

Four years passed with no Hunter as a vestry member, but in 1755 the next generation of the family began its service to the parish.  The roll shows surnames from the vicinity of Costen’s Chapel, including scions of the interrelated Hunters, Waltons Hintons, and Parkers, as well as their neighboring familys of Gordons, Granberrys, and Sumners.  The Mouzon map of 1775 locates the Walton plantation and water mill directly south of the chapel and, like the Hunter tracts, southeast of Bennetts Creek.

On 12 December the General Assembly of North Carolina met at New Bern to appoint parishes and vestries “for the encouragement of an orthodox clergy for the advancement of the Protestant religion and for the settlement of parish accounts.”  Accordingly, on 17 December the freeholders of St. Paul’s Parish assembled at the Chowan County courthouse to elect vestry for a period of three years.  Among the twelve was Elisha Hunter, Isaac’s son, and with the group,  a few being his kinsmen, he took the oath and swore allegiance to the Test Act.

On 5 July the new vestrymen met at Costen’s Chapel.  Elisha and his first cousin Timothy Walton, son of Elisha’s aunt Rachel Hunter Walton, were present.  At this session Jacob Hunter, Elisha’s brother, produced a claim against the parish in the amount of 15 shillings proclamation money, the “expense of providing bread and wind &c for three communions at Consten’s Chapple.”

At the next meeting, 9 August 1755, Jacob was paid 40 shillings proclamation money for serving as reader at Costen’s in 1753. The son had assumed his late father’s duties at the chaple.

At the session of 6 September Elisha was present to witness his brothers Jacob and Daniel submitting two wolf scalps and claiming a bounty of 10 shillings for each.

On 25 October 1755 at Costen’s Elisha and his uncle William Walton were present for the roll call.  Settled with other business was a boundary dispute as the vestry declared that Robert and Moses Lassiter’s lands began adjacent to Jacob Hunter’s Mill (formerly Isaac Hunter’s Mill) along Meherrin Swamp and the road to Bennetts Creek.  In another settlement Samuel Harrill and John Rice’s land was established as being in the vicinity “of the cart road that leads to Elisha Hunter’s, then down by Meherrin Swamp to Bennetts Creek.”  (The Hunter mill formerly had been Rice property.  Isaac had purchased it from John Rice, Sr., in 1744.)  In the same meeting the vestry verified that land of Elisha and Jacob’s brother Jesse Hunter and of Benjamin Blanshard was situated “from Bennetts Creek Road beginning at Bennetts Creek bridge.”  Some of this family acreage had been in the original tract granted by patent in 1701 to the Hunter brothers’ grandfather William Hunter of Nansemond County, Virginia.

When the vestry met on 27 December 1755 at Costen’s Chapel, Jesse Hunter was appointed collector of parish taxes.  He posted a surety bond of £1,000 proclamation money, with his brother Elisha and John Gordon serving as his sureties.

Elisha was absent from the meeting of 24 April 1756 held at Costen’s Chapel.  The vestry awarded William Hunter 10 shillings for submitting the scalp of a wolf he had killed in the parish.

When the vestry met at Costen’s on 22 May 1756 Elisha was present, along with other vestrymen, including his uncle William Walton and his cousin, Church Warden Timothy Walton.

In September 1756 Elisha was paid 18 shillings, 8 pence proclamation money “ye Error for Money Recd. of Robt. Beasley and not Entered in ye above Account 0 / 18 /8.”

Elisha and the Waltons were present for the roll call at Costen’s on 20 January 1757.  Jesse Hunter produced his accounting of the past year’s parish tax collection (1755).  After he had sworn on oath that it was complete and correct, it was approved and entered in the record.  From the collections Jacob Hunter was paid £5 “as per order of Vestry.”

Elisha was present at the meeting on 7 May 1757, and it was “ordered that Mr. Elisha Hunter Repair and Tar the Three chapels Vizt. Constants, Farlees, and Notty Pine and That he cause good Glass Windows in Sash to be Fixed to each of Them and That he be Allowed a Reasonable Charge for the same.”

Mention of three Hunters appeared in a review of the previous year’s financial report: On 22 May 1756 “by Proc Bills recd  from Jacob Hunter for a horse sold him by Demsey Sumner Chh. Warden”; “By Procl. Bills recd from Jesse Huntor Collector of Parish Taxes £41 / 3/ 0″; and “1756 Sept. 15 to proc paid Elisha Hunter for a Clame due to Isaac Hunter Deceased 15 shillings.”

Elisha Hunter, as church warden, was present at the meeting held at Costen’s on 3 September 1757.  Business from 1756 included “£87 15 9 Procl. Pr. Jesse Hunter as pr. Order” and for 1757 “To £30 / 0 / 0 Do. Pr. Jesse Huntor.”

Elisha was present for the roll call at Costen’s on 7 January 1758.  “Elisha Hunter the other Church Warden Produced his Account with The Parish Proved and Allowed by which it Appears There is a ballance Due to him of £3 / 7 2 Procln. Ordered That The same be paid to him by the collector of the Parish Tax and That The Account be Entered in The Vestry Book. . . .  Chowan County ss. Elisha Hunter came before me and made Oath That The above is a Just Account of his Actings and doings as a Church Warden to This Day.  Certified This 11th day of March 1758.  Demsey Sumner.”

At the Chowan Courthouse on 26 June 1758 a new roster of vestrymen was announced, and among the twelve were Elisha Hunter, Jacob Hunter, William Walton, and Timothy Walton.  Next came the election of two wardens—Jacob Hunter and Willis Riddick.  The Hunters were present for the two remaining meetings in 1758, on 9 September and 23 December, and for meetings on 24 February and 25 May 1759.  At the May meeting it was “ordered that Mr. Elisha Hunter be Allowed 40 shillings proc. for his Trouble and Expence [illegible] The Administration on Docter Abraham Blackhalls Estate for the Benefit of the parish.”  Following the report of the May meeting is this entry: “1759 To Money paid by Jacob Hunter £24 / 0 / 0.”

The vestry met next at Costen’s in September.  Jacob Hunter,”former Church Warden produced his Accot. proved according to Law whereby it Appears there is a ballance of £104 / 18 / 3½ proclamation Bills Due the parish which he payed this Day to the present Church Warden John Gordon.”  In November 1759 the vestry again met at Costen’s, with Jacob Hunter, Elisha Hunter, and Timothy Walton attending.  John McKildo was appointed collector of the parish tax, with Elisha Hunter and John Gordon as sureties.  (McKildo was the successor to Jesse Hunter, Elisha’s brother and the former tax collection, who with their brothers Isaac and Daniel had migrated to Bute and Granville Counties.)

Elisha and Jacob were present for the meeting held again at Costen’s in January 1760.  In April the session was held at the church in Edenton, with Jacob Hunter attending.  On 15 September, at the church in Edenton, the vestrymen took their annual oaths.  Among the assembled were Elisha, Jacob, William Walton, and Timothy Walton. On 27 September Elisha and on 20 October he and Jacob were present at Costen’s, and Elisha was paid 18 shillings proclamation money.  At the meeting on 6 December at Costen’s Jacob received a payment of £2 for reading and other payments of £5 / 1 / 4 proclamation money and £8 / 11 / 6.  Elisha received £3 / 7 / 2, and William 10 shillings.

Elisha and Jacob attended the meetings on 17 April and 20 October 1761 at the church in Edenton.  On 12 May 1762 Elisha and Jacob were present, and Elisha and Abraham Hill were appointed church wardens for the year.

Minutes through 1776 are largely routine lists of attendees and details of agendas.  The names Elisha, Jacob, and Thomas Hunter weave through them.

On 26 October 1762: Jacob and Elisha were present.  Elisha “produced an acct of £70/ ? /3 for work and disbursements and that he had Recd. of John Gorden £19 / 2 / 4 ordered the Collector to pay to said Hunter £1 / 10 / 11 being the ballance Due on the sd. acct.” The minutes show that on 21 January (for service in 1762) Jacob received a payment of £8.  On 26 October 1862 Elisha paid the Rev. Mr. Daniel Earl £52 /1/ 0, and the parish paid Jacob Hunter £15 / 1 / 0.  Also in this entry: “Paid Mr. Hunter for work done on Costens Chapel £11 / 40 /0.”

There are no minutes for 1763.  On 1 August 1764 at Chowan County courthouse Jacob, Elisha, Timothy Walton, and William Walton were among the vestrymen taking the annual oath.  The date of the next meeting is not specified, but Elisha, Jacob, and the Waltons were present.  On 23 October 1764, with Elisha, Jacob, and the Waltson present, a matter of business settled the property line between William Bond and Palatiah Walton (“all lands included from Meherin Swamp beginning at Jacob Hunter’s Mill up to the said swamp. . . .”)

Elisha and the Waltons attended the meeting at St. Paul’s Church on 23 April 1765.  Jacob was named church warden.  On 28 October 1765 at the church Elisha, Jacob, and Timothy Walton were present.  Jacob Hunter and William Bond, church wardens, “ordered that the vestry meet tomorrow morning at 8 oclock at the Church in Edenton.”  Jacob “produced his account for reading at Constants Chapel Two years past and providing the Elements for the Sacrament £8 / 18 / 0, which is allowed.  Elisha, “former Church Warden, produced his acct. allowed and ordered to be recorded.”  In addition, payments of “St. Paul’s Parish 1765 in account with Elisha Hunter former Church Warden,” were noted, among them the following: “To procn. pd. to Sarah Hunter for Curing Mary Floyds foot £3 / 0 / 0,” “Cr. St. Pauls Parish in acct. with Elisha Hunter Cr.”  and “Balance Due to Elisha Hunter £1 / 2/ 6.”

At the next meeting, held at the church in Edenton, the Waltons and Jacob Hunter, church wardens, were present.  The vestry again met at the the church on 8 May 1766, with Elisha and Jacob present.  On 27 October Elisha, Jacob, and the Waltons were present for the meeting at the church in Edenton.   There again on 26 January 1767 were Jacob, Elisha, and the Waltons.  Jacob “produced his account of Reading at Costens Chapel the years 1765 & 1766 at £4 and for providing the Elements for the Sacrament Two Several times.”

On 27 April 1767 vestrymen took the annual oath.  Jacob and the Waltons were present for this meeting at the church in Edenton.  On 20 May 1767 Elisha and other vestryment took the oath, and on 23 May 1767 Elisha, Jacob, and Timothy Walton were present.  Jacob was appointed church warden “of the Parish of Saint Paul the ensuing year.”  He attended the meeting in Edenton on 28 July and on 27 October 1767.  At the latter meeting it was ordered that John Parish carry John Gooding orphan or James Gooding to Mr. Jacob Hunter Else to Receive future reward for keeping of him. 

On 30 April 1768 Jacob was present at the church in Edenton but was not reelected warden.  It was ordered that he “be paid £4 for reading at Constants Chapel the year 1767.”  At the meetings on 27 October 1767, 21 March 1769, 19 September 1769, and 21 March 1770, all held at the church in Edenton, Elisha, Jacob, and the Waltons were present.  At the last of these Elisha was paid £6 “for Repairing Costens Chapel” and Jacob was paid £4 for “Reading at Costens Chapel Last year.”

The year 1770 is the first in which Thomas Hunter, the only son of Elisha, is listed in the vestry.  With his election a third generation of Hunters officially began serving the parish.”Be it Remembered that the Freeholders of St. Pauls parish met the Sheriff at the Court House in Edenton on Monday the 16th of April 1770 and Did then & There pursuant to an act of assembly, Choose & Elect the following persons to Serve as vestrymen for the Three Ensuing years, Vizt. Elisha Hunter, Jacob Hunter, Samuel Johnston, William Walton, William Hinton, Timothy Walton, James Sumner, Thomas Hunter, Pallatiah Walton, Richard Brownrigg, Thomas Hoskins, John Baptist Beasly who were Summoned by the Sheriff to meet at the Church in Edenton on the 28th Day of April at which Time and place Ten of the said Twelve did meet and Quallifye according to law and then proceeded to the Choice of Church Wardens for this year.”  It was “ordered that Mr. Elisha Hunter be paid fifteen Shillings for work by him Done on Farlees Chapel.”  The minutes show that Jacob Hunter received 6 shillings “for Elements for the Sacrament.”

Thomas Hunter, Elisha, and the Waltons appeared in Edenton for the meetings on 20 June and 29 October 1770.  At the April meeting of 1771 Elisha, Jacob, and Thomas, along with their two Walton kinsmen, answered the roll call.  It was ordered that “Jacob Hunter be paid £4 for “Serving as Clerk at Costens Chapel the year past.”  On 18 September Elisha, Jacob, Thomas, and Captain William Walton were present.  All these attended the next meetings in Edenton, on 1 April 1772 and 9 May, at which Thomas Hunter, “late Church Warden be Continued another year.”  “Thomas Hunter, C. W.” and Elisha Hunter attended the meeting held in Edenton on 17 June, at which “Jacob Hunter Esqr. produced his acct. of £5 for his Reading at Costens Chapel finding 24 pains of Glass, and finding Elements for a Sacrament at Costens Chapel.”

On 16 September and on 31 October 1772 Elisha, Jacob, and Thomas attended.  At the latter the boundaries of two properties were settled—”Ordered that Thomas Grigory and Abraham Harrel Procession all the Lands from the Loosing Swamp Down Perquimon Rode to Capt. Mills Riddicks Plantation thence by the Cart road that Leads to Elisha Hunters and then down by Meherin Swamp to Bennets Creek and up the Creek by the flat Branch then by the Loosing Swamp.”  The other “Ordered that Maximillion Minshew & Frederick Laciter Procession all the Land Between Meherin Swamp & the Piping Branch beginning at Jacob Hunters Mill up to Said Swamp. . . .”

On 12 April 1773, when the freeholders of St. Paul’s Parish convened at the courthouse to elect a new slate of vestrymen for a three-year term, Jacob and Thomas were chosen again.  Elisha’s name is missing.  (Elisha , in frail health, would sign his will on 7 May 1786 and in that year would  die in the part of Gates County that formerly had been a part of Chowan.) On 27 April Jacob and Thomas were present, and it was “ordered That Thos. Hunter late Church Warden be paid £41 / 9 / 7 proc.”  At a meeting held at the church in Edenton on 28 August 1773 Thomas Hunter was present, and there on 18 May 1774 Thomas and Jacob were present, and it was ordered “that Jacob Hunter be alow’d $8 / 12 / 8 proc. for Reading at Costans Chapple March 1773 & 1774″ and “that Thos. Hunter be alowed £40.  Thos. Hunter agrees to finish the repair & finish all the wooden work of the inside of the Church and the Doors in a good decent workmanlike manner to the Satisfaction of the Vestry & find all the Materials for the same for which he is to have £40 Proc. Money the same work to be compleated in three months from this date.”

At the meeting of 20 August 1774, in Edenton, Jacob and Thomas were present, and again it was ordered that “Thomas Hunter be alowed £41[the figure has increased by £1] for finishing the inside wooden work of the church he having done it to the satisfaction of the Vestry.”

On 7 May 1775, at Edenton, Jacob and Thomas were present, and the vestry “ordered that Jacob Hunter be alowed £4 proc for Reading at Costens Chappel for the year one thousand and seven Hundred & seventy four.  It was ordered also “that Rachel Walton [sister of Jacob and Elisha and wife of William Walton] be alowed twenty nine shillings for keeping Mary Ward one Month & twenty three days.”  It was ordered that “Thomas Hunter be allow’d £2 / 19 / 2 proc for the Rent of a house for Jesse Lasseter and a Hundred weight of pork & one barrel of Corn.”  It was “order’d that Thos. Hunter be alow’d 13 shillings proc for tending Elizabeth Burges & child thirteen days.

The final pages of the minutes take the business of St. Paul’s Vestry through mid-1776, and after the statement of the vestry’s resolution to support the Continental and Provincial Congresses, the entries are brief.  The Hunters are included in these closing reports: “Thomas was reimbursed “for Meal & for Jesse Lassitor per Acct. 5:5″ and “Jacob Hunter for Reading at Costens Chapple the yr. 1775.”