Hughes' Views & News

An enduring mystery at Pickens Cemetery

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 30, 2013
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Yours truly with the headstone in question.

For well more than 100 years, local legend in Upstate South Carolina has held that a Revolutionary War soldier named Micajah Hughes is buried in a certain grave at Pickens Cemetery (aka, Pickens Chapel Cemetery), on Three and Twenty Road near Easley, S.C. The grave is marked with a crude flat field stone. When one looks at the stone closely, it appears that the letters “MH” have been roughly chiseled into it.

Some have speculated from there that the “MH” referred to a man named Andrew Hughes, who did indeed fight in the Revolutionary War with a militia unit, who lived within a few miles of the cemetery from 1787 until his death in 1843, and who had a son named Micajah. According to this version of the story, Andrew’s middle name was Micajah, and thus the “MH” refers to him, since Andrew’s son Micajah was not born until 1788, years after the war ended.

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Andrew Hughes once owned land near this location on Mt. Airy Church Rd., 5 miles from Pickens Cemetery.

I have more than a passing interest myself in solving the mystery, since the Andrew Hughes in question was my 4th great grandfather and earliest known Hughes ancestor. I would dearly love to know exactly where he is buried, but I am not convinced that the “MH” grave is his.

Here’s why. ¬†First, there is no evidence in official records to support the idea that Andrew had a middle name at all. In all of the official records I have seen for him, including land deeds and the records related to the pensions he received for his service in the Revolutionary War, his name is given simply as Andrew Hughes (although his last name is sometimes spelled as Hues, Huse or Hughs). There is no hint of even a middle initial for him in any of these records.

Second, as I mentioned previously, Andrew had a son named Micajah who also lived in the area near the cemetery for much of his life. However, Micajah lived his final years in northeast¬†Georgia and is believed to be buried in Dawson County, Georgia. So, not only is the “MH” grave unlikely to be Andrew’s, it is also not likely to be the grave of his son.

That’s how I see it. I’m sure there are others who will disagree with me on this.