52 Ancestors: #5 Perry Tunnell (1787-1826)

Perry Tunnell, son of Rev. Stephen and Kezia Money Tunnell, was born in 1787, probably in Virginia since his parents lived in Virginia until 1788.  Like his father and four of his brothers, Perry was a Methodist minister.  He married Catherine Self, daughter of Presley Self and Amelia (Amy) Gunter,  about 1807 in Alabama.  They had eleven children, seven boys and four girls, and all of them were born in Alabama, and all except the eldest moved to Texas.

Little is known about my 4th great grandfather, except that he and his wife were charter members of Cedar Mountain Methodist Church which was organized in 1819 and located about twenty miles north-east of what is now the city of Birmingham, Alabama.  Catherine’s brother, Francis Self, and his wife Lydia, were also charter members of this church.  The church became known as Shiloh Methodist Church in 1826.

Rev. Perry Tunnell died in the summer of 1826 at the age of thirty-nine.  He had preached a morning sermon at a camp meeting in Alabama and died before he reached home which was only a few miles away.  His wife was left with ten children at home, the eldest only eighteen years old, and expecting their eleventh child.  Elizabeth Jane Tunnell, the last of Rev. Tunnell’s children, was born on the 27th of November.  It is unknown where Perry Tunnell is buried but there is an old cemetery at the site of where the Cedar Mountain Methodist Church was located in Jefferson County, Alabama.  Some of the stones are broken or unreadable but seems we will never know Rev. Tunnell’s earthly resting place.


Armstrong, Z. (1926).  Notable Southern Families, In Six Volumes, Volume III.  Chattanooga, Tennessee:  Clearfield Publishing Co., Inc.

West, A.  (1893).  A History of Methodism in Alabama.  Nashville, Tennessee:  Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South.

This entry was posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge, Surnames, Tunnell. Bookmark the permalink.

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