Andrew Hughes, postmaster at Stony Creek
LIFE MAR. 13, 1831
Buried next to Andrew is Lucinda Hughes, who died 21 years later, in 1852, at the age of 65. Buried next to her is Lucinda E. Hughes, who died at the age of six months in 1859. The inscription on her stone says she was the daughter of A.J. and S.A. Hughes.
Starting with these clues, I set out to find out what I could about this Hughes family — even though I have no evidence to suggest that I’m related to them. Here’s what I have learned so far.
In 1818, an Andrew Hughes married Lucinda Tate in Caswell County. The date on their marriage bond is Jan. 26, 1818. Their wedding probably took place soon thereafter.
On Feb. 21, 1827, an Andrew Hughes was appointed U.S. postmaster for the community of Stony Creek, which at that time was in Orange County. (Stony Creek Presbyterian is now in northern Alamance County, and there is a Stony Creek township nearby in southern Caswell County.)
When Andrew Hughes died in 1831, he did not have a will. However, there is an estate file for him in the North Carolina State Archives that provides detailed evidence about what he owned, who his heirs were, and how his assets were disposed of.
The heirs identified in the estate file were Andrew’s widow, Lucinda; Bluford W. Reid and his wife, Cornelia Anne Hughes (Andrew and Lucinda’s daughter); and Andrew and Lucinda’s then-unmarried children, Elizabeth Anne Hughes, James Henry Hughes, Andrew Jackson Hughes (who is also referred to as simply “Jackson” in the estate file), Martha Anne Hughes and Adeline Hughes.
His property, as recorded in the estate file, included two tracts of land in Orange County and one in Caswell County, and several slaves. The handwriting in the estate file is at times difficult to decipher, but it appears that the slaves were sold and the proceeds were divided among the heirs.
As for the land, an 1893 map of Alamance County (shown above) shows two tracts of land close to Stony Creek Presbyterian that were owned by an A.J. Hughs and a J. Hughs. It seems likely that A.J. Hughs was Andrew Jackson Hughes, son of the Andrew Hughes and father of the Lucinda E. Hughes that are buried at Stony Creek Presbyterian. By the same logic, J. Hughs might have been James Henry Hughes.
I believe I have managed to document the life of Andrew Jackson Hughes until his death in 1905. In the 1850 U.S. Census, he is listed living with his mother, Lucinda, his brother, James, and his sister, Adaline, in Alamance County. In 1860, he headed a household that included a 26-year-old woman named S.A. Hughes, a 5-year-old girl named Alice Hughes, and a 39-year-old man named J.H. Hughes (who was described as “insane” on the census form).
In 1900, the U.S. Census shows a 74-year-old Andrew Hughs living in Burlington, N.C., with his wife, Sarah A. Hughs, and a 16-year-old black female boarder named Effie Bradshaw. The 1900 Census also shows that Andrew and Sarah were married in 1853.
According to a listing on the Find A Grave website, Andrew J. Hughes, husband of Sarah A. Hughes, died on May 7, 1905, and is buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington.
I have also found evidence suggesting that Cornelia Anne Hughes and her husband, Bluford W. Reid, are buried in Guilford County, N.C.
I don’t know yet what happened to the other children of the man whose lichen-covered headstone set me off on this genealogical record-diving expedition.