Hughes' Views & News

An 1812 land sale in Caswell County, North Carolina

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on May 31, 2013
This deed was recorded in Caswell County July Court 1812.

This deed was recorded in Caswell County July Court 1812.

My 4th great grandfather, Andrew Hughes (1755-1843) lived in Orange County, North Carolina, at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. He lived in this part of North Carolina until 1787, when he settled in the old Pendleton District of South Carolina, on land about 5 miles outside of where the city of Easley is now. He then lived most of the rest of his life in that area.

Some genealogists who have researched this Hughes line believe that a man named John Hughes, who died in Caswell County, North Carolina, circa 1799, was the eldest son of “my” Andrew Hughes, and that he stayed in North Carolina when his father moved to South Carolina.

I am researching that question now.  At this point I don’t have enough evidence in hand to say for sure whether or not the John Hughes who died in Caswell County circa 1799 was Andrew’s son. But this much I can say with great certainty:  When John Hughes died, he left behind a will and an estate file, which showed that he owned 200 acres of land on Stony Creek. He also left behind a widow named Mary and five children:  Andrew (“Andy”), John, Obedience (“Bidzy” or “Biddy”), Mary (“Polly”) and Gilson (a son whose name is sometimes reported as “Gibson”).

Some think that Andrew, the son of John, was also the grandson of “my” Andrew Hughes. At this point I can’t prove that. But I can prove that in 1812, Andrew (son of John) was living in Pendleton, South Carolina (where “my” Andrew Hughes lived), and in that year he sold 36 acres of land in Caswell County, North Carolina, that was his portion of the 200 acres left by his father (John).

That fact is recorded in this deed, which I obtained from the State Archives of North Carolina. Click on the image above to see a scan of the original. My transcription of it is below:

This Indenture made and entered into this day of June in the year of
our lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve between Andrew Hughs of the
County of Pendleton & State of South Carolina & Elizabeth
Hornbuckle of the County of Caswell & State of North Carolina of the other
part witnesseth that the said Andy Hughs for and in consideration of the sum
of sixty five dollars to him in kind paid & made safe before the signing
& sealing of these presents by the sd. Elizabeth Hornbuckle then might
whereof he the said Andy Hughs doth acknowledge himself fully
and amply Satisfied & paid for a certain Lot of land being the fifth
part of a certain tract of land left by his Father John Hughs Decd.
to the Sd. Andy Hughs being the fourth lot containing by estima-
tion thirty six acres lying and bounding as following ___________
Beginning at a black (stake?) Bidzy Hughs line running South with
her line twenty four chains to her corner stake (adjoining?) then
With the old line fifteen chains and fifty four links to a Stake
Thence North twenty four chains to a Stake Polly Hughs Corner
Thence East fifteen chains and fifty four links to the first
Station Containing the above mentioned thirty six acres
which tract of land with every advantage thereunto belonging
whith the sd. Andy Hughs do Warrant and forever defend from
the right Title Claim or Claims of all and every other person
or persons Whatsoever claiming the same I bind myself my
Heirs Executors Administrators or assigns to the sd. Elizabeth
Hornbuckle her Heirs Executors Administrators firmly by
these presents as witness thereof & the sd. Andy Hughs
have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal this day
& date within written ___________________________

Signed Seal’d & acknowledged
In presence of us                                            Andrew Hughs (Seal)
Simpson Hornbuckle
James Adams
State of North Carolina
Caswell County | July Court 1812

The Execution of this deed was duly
presented in Open Court by the oath of Simpson Hornbuckle
one of the Subscribing witnesses thereunto and on motion
Ordered to be registered. ______
Archibald Murphey (signature)

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Well, I might have been wrong …

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on May 29, 2013

In my last two posts, I called into question the names that some have used in reference to my ancestors Andrew Hughes (1755-1843) and Andrew’s son, Elisha Hughes (1800-1839). I have since seen information that may call that argument of mine into question.

Could my earliest known Hughes ancestor be buried in the cemetery behind this building?

Could my earliest known Hughes ancestor be buried in the cemetery behind this building?

With regard to Andrew, I wrote that “there is no evidence in official records to support the idea that Andrew had a middle name at all.” For that reason, I argued that the grave in Pickens (Chapel) Cemetery where local tradition says Micajah Hughes is buried is probably not Andrew’s grave. As for Elisha, I wrote, “I have not seen any evidence myself that proves beyond doubt he had any names other than Elisha Hughes.”

But since then I obtained a copy of a manuscript about the genealogy of Andrew’s descendants that was written by Mary Hughes Copeland (we never met, but she was my 4th cousin, once removed) and completed in 1965.  The book refers to a record book kept by Richard Burdine, grandfather of Susan Burdine Hughes, who ran a store in the area of South Carolina where Andrew lived and Elisha grew up.

The book includes records of purchases made in 1828 and 1829 by “Andy Huse,” “Matison Hughes,” “Biddy Huse” and “Peggy Huse.” To me it seems likely that “Andy” and “Biddy” were Andrew and his first wife, Obedience, since “Biddy” was a common nickname for Obedience. In addition, Elisha Hughes married a woman named Margaret “Peggy” Willson, so to me it seems likely that “Peggy Huse” refers to Elisha’s wife.

This historical marker is on Three and Twenty Road near Easley, S.C.

This historical marker is on Three and Twenty Road near Easley, S.C.

In this context, it seems possible — but certainly not proved beyond doubt — that “Matison Hughes” (it was also spelled “Madison” in Richard Burdine’s record book) might have been Elisha. So, at this point I believe I must concede that “Matison” or “Madison” might have been either a middle name or a nickname for Elisha.

By the same logic, I must concede that it’s possible — but again, certainly not proved beyond doubt — that “Micajah” (and its variant spellings such as “Macajah” and “Micager”) might have been either a middle name or a nickname for Andrew.

Once I have conceded that point, then I must also concede that the grave in Pickens (Chapel) Cemetery that is said to be the grave of Micajah Hughes, and which is marked with a fieldstone with the letters “MH” chiseled into it, might be the grave of Andrew Hughes.

One final point to consider:  Carl Garrison, who grew up next door to the cemetery and knows more about who is buried there than anyone else, believes that the letters “OH” (for Obedience Hughes) are faintly visible on the stone that marks the grave traditionally believed to be the wife of the person buried in the “MH” grave. (You have to apply flour to the stone in order to see the letters.)

Taking all of this evidence into account, I still do not find it to be conclusive. However, I do believe there is enough evidence to support the idea that these graves might be the final resting places of Andy and Biddy Hughes.