I'm trying to find any additional information someone might share about what appears to be a few men named Elijah Bunch that lived on or near the Mississippi River, from near Memphis TN down to near Natchez, MS. The time period was from about 1790 to 1833. There are as many as four of them, but most likely fewer and maybe just two.
It is possible, though a little implausible to me, that they are all the same individual.
I have labeled two of them Elijah1 and Elijah2 to separate them out by an apparent age gap of about 40 years. I don’t know if they are related but obviously it is possible. Furthermore, there is an Elijah – I’ve called ElijahX Bunch - that can be reasonably identified as the same man across several references but it is unknown if he’s the same man as Elijah1 or Elijah2, so he might be a third man. And a 4th man I’ll call ElijahY that pops up late in the game but very well could easily be any of those previously mentioned.
Here is an attempt at a chronological outline.
1795 (circa) – Elijah1 Bunch purchases land in Wilkinson County, MS. This Elijah is often cited as the progenitor of the Wilkinson County Bunches – specifically he’s thought to be the father of John Bunch and Jacob Bunch of early Wilkinson County, MS. His birth date is usually given as around 1750. Any help on this man would be GREATLY appreciated.
Late 1790’s to early 1800’s – a reputed “Pirate Bunch” comes to fame and later spawned myths and legends. So much so, the area of the Mississippi River near Lake Providence, Louisiana is called “Bunch’s Bend” even to this day. Lake Providence is in East Carroll Parish, LA. I call him ElijahX Bunch.
1810 – a reconstructed census at Ancestry places an Elijah Bunch somewhere in Mississippi about 1810. I understand this is thought to be Elijah1 Bunch but is there a specific location given for this? I can only read the index. Any help is appreciated.
1812 – ElijahX Bunch, the pirate, later dubbed a “squatter”, is involved in a legal dispute in Chicot County, Ark. Chicot County borders East Carroll Parish, LA on its north.
1814 and 1816 – this same man ElijahX appears in an Arkansas territory tax list (along with those mentioned in the Chicot County lawsuit), in Arkansas County, Ark.
1820 – Elijah2 Bunch, at about 29 years old, is found in Shelby County, TN (Memphis area). The man listed next to him is Roland Suggs, longtime Attala County, MS resident, possibly associating this Elijah2 Bunch to my Bunches – later of Attala County, MS (this is what started all of this – for me).
1821 – ElijahX appears in state/territory census in Arkansas County, Ark.
1820’s – ElijahX is first called a squatter in Washington County, MS, the eastern neighbor of Chicot County, Ark. According to a few different historical mentions (via Google Books) – this is the corroboration that this is likely “Pirate Bunch”, also known as “Colonel Bunch” and “Captain Bunch”.
1820’s (early) – Elijah2 Bunch (most likely) is cited for trading with slaves in Shelby County, TN.
1825 – one of these Elijah Bunches, possibly Elijah2 Bunch, first appears in a Yazoo County, MS tax list. I believe this could be Elijah2 because his 1820 neighbor Roland Suggs (and later apparently his 1830 neighbor Isaac Crowder) appears to be on this list with him.
1827 – According to the book “Delta Plantations” (it’s on Google Books) ElijahX Bunch, though it does not specify his first name in the book, is listed as owning property in Washington County, MS. I have not been able to find the record mentioned here. Can anyone help with this?
1828 – Elijah2 Bunch, at about 37 years old, is found in St. Francis County, Ark – state census.
1830 – Elijah2 Bunch, at about 39 years old, is found in St. Francis County, Ark – fed/state census. His next door neighbor might very well be Isaac Crowder, later of Attala County, MS. Though I haven’t seen the census image, the transcription reads “Isaac Crowden”.
1831 – ElijahY Bunch, if he is different from those mentioned, is found in Lawrence Co. Ark - state census
1832- ElijahY Bunch, if he is different from those mentioned, is found in Lawrence Co. Ark - state census
1832 – Elijah2 Bunch, at about 41 years old, is found in St. Francis County, Ark – state census. This obviously places him and the man just above in two different counties in the same year. If St. Francis and Lawrence counties were closer (3 counties in between), I might easily assume they are the same man. It is certainly possible they are the same man.
1833 - ElijahY Bunch, if he is different from those mentioned, is found in Lawrence Co. Ark - state census
1833 – December, Attala County MS is first established. There were (I believe) two fires in Attala County that destroyed a lot of early records, making research on my Attala County Bunches pretty tough. Though it is interesting that I can’t find any more early Elijah Bunches of this region after that 1833 census in Lawrence County.
It’s just speculation from here until further information can be found.