of descendants of
John and Mary Anderson Walker

Page Updated 19 Mar 2008

Images below were taken from the page http://www.angelfire.com/tn/digginroots/walkphoto.html
The owner of the page from which these were taken is Cousin Rhonda Jones, shown here in July 2003 with her husband Bobby.

E.mail Rhonda at:   rehjones@comcast.net

Return to my page for John Walker and Mary Anderson
Return to my Genealogy Home Page



[John M. Gwin NOTE: If this John Walker is the son of William Walker and Elizabeth Culbertson, as Rhonda Jones' website claims (and we have no reason to doubt this), and William Walker is the oldest brother of the Jane Walker who married John Gwin, my ggg-grandparents, then the John Walker in the photo above is first cousin to my gg-grandpa, William Gwin, and, thus, my own first cousin four generations removed; John Walker's father, William "Capt. Bill" Walker, is then my ggg-granduncle.  This is illustrated in the chart below:
Elizabeth Magill
.........................John and Jane Walker Gwin
Capt. William Walker and Elizabeth Culbertson
1st cousins
John Walker and Mary "Polly" Myers
2nd cousins
Wm. Marion "BB" Walker
3rd cousins
child of "Black Bill" (Rhonda's great-grandparent)
Adrian Sutton Gwin
4th cousins
grandchild of "Black Bill" (Rhonda's grandparent)
John McDonald Gwin
5th cousins
g-grandchild of "Black Bill" (Rhonda's parent)
children of John Gwin
6th cousins
Rhonda Jones
Then "Black Bill" Walker, pictured below, is my 2nd cousin thrice removed, and Rhonda and I are 5th cousins once removed.]

son of JOHN and MARY,
 with handmade rifle, "OLD DEATH"

I would love to hear from any of you who are interested in these pages. --John Gwin

From: "Dave Steele" <dsteeleatthewindowgallerydotcom>
Date: March 19, 2008
To: <jmcdgwin@zianet.com>
Subject: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

Can you tell me anything about the origin of this Musket?  It is rumored to have been used in the Battle of King's Mountain.  Did the gun get passed down to William Marion? Thanks for whatever help you can provide.
Dave Steele

From: John Gwin
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008
To: Dave Steele
Subject: Re: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

Dave, thanks for writing--good to meet you!
I know absolutely nothing more than what is on the page you saw, but there are cousins who may know--in fact, let's put your query on the page and see who responds. I'll also forward this to some of the family we already know.  How are you related? Drop me another line--your line, that is ;-)
Thanks again and best to you,
In Jesus,

From: "Dave Steele" <dsteeleatthewindowgallerydotcom>
Date: March 21, 2008
To: "'John Gwin'" <jmcdgwin@zianet.com>
Subject: RE: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

Thanks for writing back. I don’t believe I’m related, except as we are all children of a common Father.  I inherited the gun “Old Death” and the misc. powder horns, etc., from my father who had it passed down to him.  It hung above the mantle in our farm house in the early 50’s when I was a child.   My grandfather Heath Steele lived in Knoxville and was an avid hunter and history buff.  Family tradition is that he bought the gun from Black Bill’s youngest son.  I suspect that must have been between 1900 and 1920.  I contacted the Smokey Mountain Institute after I inherited the Gun after hearing that someone there was giving a talk about Black Bill and Old Death and stating that it was a mystery as to what had happened to it.  Are you familiar with the book The Lure of the Great Smokey Mountains?  There are some great stories about William Walker in it.
All the best for a blessed Easter,
In His Grip,
Dave Steele

From: rehjonesatcomcastdotnet
Date: March 21, 2008
To: dsteeleatthewindowgallerydotcom
Subject: Re: Fwd: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

    Your e-mail was forwarded to me by my distant cousin John Gwin.  According to all surviving family members of Black Bill Walker at the time of my research, he handcrafted this rifle himself, and it stood over six feet tall.  You can also find this information in the book Lure of the Smokies which is found in public libraries.
    My grandfather was Black Bill's grandson, and I also had the opportunity of interviewing the last surviving son of Black Bill a few years ago before he passed, Howard Stinnett.  As far as I know he still has one daughter who lives in California but would be quite elderly, if still living.
    So, as I said, the information I have comes from first-hand knowledge of his descendents, that it was handcrafted by Walker himself.  I was contacted a few years ago by someone whose family acquired the rifle through a sale by one of Walker's descendents, and it was used by their ancestor, so it could have been used in different ways, locations, etc.
    I hope this answers your questions, not to mention a few you didn't ask.
Rhonda Jones

From: John Gwin [mailto:jmcdgwin@zianet.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:47 AM
To: Dave Steele
Cc: John and Sharon Gwin
Subject: Re: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

Dave, you're quite welcome, Brother, and I hope you got your questions answered by Rhonda.

Would you be interested in doing me a favor? Since you have the gun now, would you please take some closeup photos of it and email them to me? I'd post them on the page with yours and Rhonda's recent emails. Then everyone could catch up with this MOST interesting piece of family lore!
Our Good Friday service was powerful in people's lives tonight. Precious time. Thanks for your good wishes for Easter, and Sharon and I send you ours as well.
In Jesus,
From: "Dave Steele" <dsteele@thewindowgallery.com>
Date: April 5, 2008 10:34:07 AM MDT
To: "'John Gwin'" <jmcdgwin@zianet.com>
Cc: <rehjones@comcast.net>
Subject: RE: "Black Bill" Walker's "Old Death"

John & Rhonda,

I’ll send a few pictures at a time.  Sorry it took so long, life is hectic.

The framed plaque, above, reads as follows:
Was the Property of a Noted Hunter of The Smokies,

"Black Bill" Walker
It shoots a 2 oz. ball and has slain over 150 bears, 200 deer, painters" (panthers), turkeys, and numbers of smaller game.

It was altered to its present cap-and-ball type from flint-lock soon  after the Civil War and no doubt saw service at the Battle of King's Mountain, October 7th 1780.

"Black Bill" Walker, "The old trapper of Tuckaleech, The Tolstoy of the Smokies
Photo by the author
Black Bill and OLD DEATH from an illustration in THE LURE OF THE GREAT SMOKIES
by  Robert Lindsay Mason.
of Tuckaleechee Cove.

Says Black Bill in "THE LURE OF THE GREAT SMOKIES" a well known recent book by a Knoxville artist & author ROBERT LINDSAY MASON: "I allus was a fool about the woods an 'thar wasn't nothin' resky I didn't want ter do. I named her OLD DEATH 'cause she'd kill whatever I could see, an' furder!"