Edward Dunagin's Family History

Edward Dunagin's picture

When I first started this project,
researching the 'Dunagin' family. I knew
there would be problems, because my family
came from the hill country of Kentucky.
but I NEVER suspected the quagmire of

For some reason, my father changed the
spelling of my last name on my birth
certificate, from the immediate family
spelling of 'Dunigan' to 'Dunagin' he
would not tell me the reason. He passed
on in 1987.

Because of this, I suspected there might
be some difficulty with the spelling of
the last name. but little did I know.

I ran into a fellow, RV Dunagan, Dick,
that had been publishing a newsletter
called DOAS, 'Dunagans Of All Spellings'.
He was kind enough to send me a back
issue of his newsletter, that educated
me with the information that 'Dunagin'
has lots of different spelling.
( as I conducted this research
I have almost come to believe that there
is a operate gene in this family line
that is inclined to changing the
spelling of the last name.) Even with
the early problems of spelling,
writing, and education, both of the
family and those that transcribed the
Dunagin name. I also have found that
this line is very cautions about
revealing any information and is very
suspicious of any questions that are
asked. This seems to be a DOAS trait.

First let me start with my immediate
family. My fathers name is Decorsie
Dunigan born in Lee County KY, August
29, 1909. He passed on Jan 12, 1987
in Columbus Ohio. Dad married my mother,
Margaret Marie Cramer,in KY in 1931. She
was born in Ohio Oct 13, 1915 and passed
on in Columbus Ohio ____________. I have
no siblings and was born Nov 14, 1932 in
Columbus Ohio.

My father Decorsie was an itinerant farm
worker that followed the harvests in the
western US in the 1930.s. He did this, so
like many others of that time, to survive
and provide funds that were sent back to
his family. Just before World War 2, he
became an Iron Worker in Ohio. He went
into the US Army in Sept 1942. He served
in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France,
and Belgium. He was awarded the Silver Star
for bravery. He returned from WW2 in 1945
and continued to work as an Iron Worker
until his retirement in 1970 in Columbus
Ohio. As noted above, he passed on in
January 12, 1987 and is buried in the
Methodist Church Cemetery on Rathmel Rd
south of Columbus Ohio.

My grandfather's name is Berry Dunigan
and he was born in Lee County KY June
10, 1879 or 1876 and passed on Nov 1964
in Columbus Ohio. He married Ellen Rachel
Fields in Lee County KY about 1900.(date
estimated.)Ellen Rachel Fields was born
Jul 2, 1883 and passed on in Columbus
Ohio Oct 20, 1945. They are both
buried at the Methodist Church Cemetery
on Rathmil Rd, south of Columbus, Ohio.

The 1920 Lee County KY census, St Helens
Pct has the following:

Berry Dunigan age 42
Ellen Fields Dunigan age 30
Anna B age 15
Goldie age 14
Francis age 12
Ccourey age 10 (this is my father
John age 7
Green age 1 (full name is
Breck and Clay were twins that were
born Jan 19, 1920.

Pauline Dunigan was born of them in Lee
County KY June 18 1916 and died of
Consumption (TB) about 1919.

Another son, Parker Dunigan was born in
Fullerton KY Jul 7, 1923. Parker Dunigan
is the only direct relative still living.

Some time between 1920 and 1923 Berry
Dunigan shot a man in Lee County KY and
had to leave right away because the
man had brothers that might have tried
to get even. They moved to Fullerton KY
from Lee County.

This family finally settled in Obetz
Ohio, just south of Columbus. around

The 1900 census shows a widow, America
Dunigan age 38 and in that family are:

Berry G age 20....(I reason that this is
my grandfather and his full name might
have been Berrygreen, for they named a
son Greenberry later on)
Green age 17
Dinah age 14
Ada age 14
Lizzie age 7..(according to
Parker Dunigan, she later on lived in
Seattle Washington and one of her
nephews, Clay Dunigan visited her there
during World War II)

According to Parker Dunigan, his father
Berry Dunigan, was raised, along with
his siblings, by an uncle. This could be
the brother of Berry Ransom Dunigan.
Note the America Dunigan widow above.
Parker Dunigan also says some of his
people had gone to Montana.

Parker Dunigan also reports that his
uncle Green Dunigan had lost a leg
before he died. He also reports that
Bonnie Fields ,his mother's sister
married Dave Emory Coomer and they lived
in Winchester Ohio. John Fields and
Lawrence Fields, Parker's uncles, also
lived in Ohio.

I have located a birth record of my Grandfather,
Berry G. Dunigan in the LDS's database. This
record gives his father as William Dunigan,
and his mother as America Couch.

William Dunigan's father Issac Dunigan and
his mother as Nancy with no last name is
reported in the same LDS database. This Issac
Dunigan's date of birth is given as in VA about
1809 and his death on June 13, 1858 (Interesting
that they knew the exact date of death.)in
Owsley Co, KY.

This record does not name Issac's parents.

Top of the morning to you

Hi there Ed,

I'm very grateful you started this project. It is so interesting. I really enjoyed your story. Hope to hear more from you.
It seems like I'm the only one posting information of late. I sure would love to hear from Mr. Hayes. He says he's the Great Grandson
of Ezekiel and Lydia Ann Dunagan. If that's so we are cousins. I've been trying to find out who my GGG Grandmother's parents are. With all the information Grandma Mary had which was passed down to her from her father Ezekiel. I haven't found a thing about Lydia's parents.
Well I hope I do maybe you could assist me with this??


Hannah Dunagan Barber

Edward Dunagin's picture


There seems to be a real slowdown on DOAS at Roots Web and Yahoo. Maybe its just the change in the seasons. Oh well..............

In my Family History I have raised a lot of questions. I would have thought that someone would have had comments or, maybe, answers to me. But none at all.
I am in hopes that these few comments would raise some inquiries into my questions. Or maybe some tips for me to find answers. I am 74 years young now, and am in hopes that I can leave my children with not too many mysteries of their "roots"


Edward Dunagin-Dunigan
6850 River Rd Suite 213
Columbus GA 91904-2391
Mobile Voice 406-570-0992

Edward Dunagin's picture

Parker Dunigan

Sorry for this late reply. Parker is 87 years now. Just had a heart attack last month...March 2010. He lives in Columbus Ohio
phone number 614 444 2240.

Edward Dunagin-Dunigan
Mobile Voice 406-570-0992

Decorise Dunagin

Am I right in reading he was your Dad? He was my Uncle. My Dad was Clay Dunigan. All originally from Kentucky but moved to Obetz. I rememer Decorsie and Nanny (?) living in Delphi or Adelphi OH, just outside Laurelville. We lived outside Laurelville with Berry Dunigan, my grand father.
Cindy Dunigan
Buellton, CA

Dunigan Family from Lee County Ky


I just came home last night from a burial at StoneCoal Cemetary we buried Aunt Dot "Dorothy Dunigan" next to her husband Ralph Dunigan. I am the Granddaughter of Clifton Dunigan and Martha Marcum Dunigan. My Mom may be able to answer many of those questions you have or find out for you.

My Mom Elizabeth Ann Dunigan was born in Lee County Ky near the family graveyard. We now live in Cincinnati Ohio.

If you get this message email back and Mom can fill you in on a lot of the Family history. I also have worked with a John Dunigan who is the son of Wheeler Dunigan and the Grandson of John Dunigan. He and I found out we were related many years ago. He still owns some of the property down there. His mother was a Brandenburg which we are also related to!!

Lisa Knapp


Edward Dunagin's picture


Still trying to email you

Edward Dunagin-Dunigan
Now in USA, Columbus, Georgie