Nathaniel Bunch is my 4th great-grandfather in my mother's mother's family line. He is also a common ancestor I share with President Obama (who is his 5th great grandson). Nathaniel was born about 1793 in Louisa, Virginia, the son of Charles Albert Bunch and Mary Bellamy. The Bunch family had been in Virginia for several generations, but appear to have begun moving west into Tennessee,by the early 1800s.
Nathaniel married Sarah Wade Ray, who was born in 1793 in Virginia, the daughter of Archibald Ray and unknown mother, on November 15, 1810 in Overton, Tennessee; they were married by Justice of the Peace John Rollins. They settled in Overton County, where they remained through 1840. Nathaniel's occupations are listed as farmer, blacksmith and mechanic. He was drafted in Overton to serve in the War of 1812 for a period of three months in November 1813. He actually continued in service for four months and six days and was discharged at Fayetteville, Arkansas on February 10, 1814. According to family history, was at the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. His original discharge papers state "I certify that Nathaniel Bunch, a private in my company of Tennessee Militia under the command of Major General Andrew Jackson, in the expedition against the Creek Indians, has served from 4th day October 1813, to the 10th day February 1814, and is honorably discharged." Signed by Abel Willis, Captain 2nd Regiment, V/W.T.M., Charles Sevier, Major, 2nd Regiment, V/W.T.M.
Nathaniel and Sarah had eleven children: Mary "Polly", John, Anna, Charles, Calvin, Bradley, Obedience, Nathaniel, Jr., Nancy, Larkin, and Frances. Shortly after 1840, the family moved to Arkansas, settling first on the Osage Creek in Boone County, then in Newton County. Nathaniel received 80 acres in Newton County in 1850 for his service in the War of 1812. (The land is said to still be owned and lived on by the Bunch family.) Nathaniel died on February 16, 1859 (cause of death recorded in the family Bible is pneumonia fever).
When the Civil War broke out, all of Nathaniel's sons enlisted in the Confederate Army. All of them survived, returning to their homes in Arkansas and Missouri. Sarah lived until February 28, 1878. She and Nathaniel are buried together in the Liberty Cemetery in Newton, Arkansas.