Hughes' Views & News

This may be the closest I’ll ever get …

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 21, 2014

As I have written about before, I simply cannot say with any certainty at this point, based on the evidence I have in hand, exactly where my 4th great grandfather, Andrew Hughes (1755-1843) is buried.

The question of where my 3rd great grandfather, Andrew’s son, Elisha, is buried — is fraught with even more uncertainty.

James W. Hughes (1798-1881)

James W. Hughes (1798-1881)

But I can say with great certainty where Andrew’s son, and Elisha’s brother, James W. Hughes (1798-1881) is buried. And, it is that certainty that led me to take my chances on a rainy Saturday and drive more than 2 hours from Charlotte, N.C., down to the countryside outside Pickens, S.C., to see the cemetery where James W. was laid to rest some 133 years ago.

Also buried in the same cemetery is a son of James W., named Larkin Hughes. The fact that I am related to James W. and Larkin has been confirmed by the Y-DNA test I did with Family Tree DNA. A descendant of James W. and Larkin showed up as a match for me in the results I got from that test.

This is Bethlehem Church Cemetery, about 1.5 miles outside Pickens, S.C.

This is Bethlehem Church Cemetery, about 1.5 miles outside Pickens, S.C.

I’ve known about the locations of these graves for some time now. I’ve seen pictures of their headstones on Find-A-Grave and I’ve viewed the cemetery and its surroundings on Google Earth. But for me, a tremendous amount of value comes from seeing places like this in person that cannot be replicated any other way.

After visiting the cemetery, I find myself left with many questions. Why, for example, is James W.’s headstone, which at this point is no longer legible, of such markedly poorer quality than that of his wife, Mary Jane Smith Hughes, who died 8 years before him? Was his family no longer able to afford to pay for a nice headstone by the time he died?

The headstone of James W. Hughes is on the left. His wife's headstone is on the right.

The headstone of James W. Hughes is on the left. His wife’s headstone is at right.

Did James W. ever meet his nephew, James Thompson “Thomps” Hughes (my great-great grandfather)? Did he know that Thomps, after being born in Habersham County, Georgia, ultimately settled in “the other Pickens County” (in Alabama) and lived the rest of his life there?

And what about Larkin Hughes, who was Thomps’ first cousin — did he ever meet Thomps? Both Larkin and Thomps fought as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, and both suffered for the rest of their lives as a result of that experience. Were they even aware of each other’s existence?

There’s a good chance I may never find the answers to those questions. And, there’s a good chance I’ll never know for sure where my ancestors Andrew Hughes and his son, Elisha, are buried.

But, I feel better now after having seen the grave of James W. Hughes in person. Because that may be the closest I’ll ever get to the grave of any of my ancestors from that era.



Obituary of my grandfather, Arley E. Hughes (1891-1969)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 16, 2014

This obituary was published on page 2 of The Tuscaloosa News on Wednesday, March 12, 1969.

A.E. Hughes

This photo of my grandparents, Virgie Doughty Hughes and Arley Hughes, was taken at their 50th anniversary celebration in 1967.

This photo of my grandparents, Virginia “Virgie” Doughty Hughes and Arley Hughes, was taken at their 50th anniversary celebration in 1967.

Arley Ezra Hughes, 78, of 1519 Fifth Ave., died this morning at Druid City Hospital.

A native of Pickens County, he had lived in Tuscaloosa for 50 years. Mr. Hughes was a graduate of the University Law School in 1916 and worked for many years with the Alabama Power Co. here.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Strickland-Hayes Chapel with the Rev. Allan Watson officiating. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery.

The body will lie in state in the funeral home until servicetime.

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. C.C. Davis Jr. of Marietta, Ga.; two sons, H.L. and A.E. Hughes Jr. of Mobile; seven sisters, Mrs. Naoma Ashcraft of Tuscaloosa, Mrs. Floy Patterson of Columbus, Miss., Mrs. Pluma Franks of Columbus, Mrs. Dorothy Hill of Philadelphia, Miss., and Mrs. Annie Mae Sanders of St. Petersburg, Fla.; three brothers, Eli Hughes of Tuscaloosa, Charles Hughes of Columbus and Auvin Hughes of Marietta, and nine grandchildren.

Active pallbearers are Lee Hughes, Charles Davis, Larry, Mark, Lowell and Howard Hughes, Robert and Johnny Doughty.

Honorary pallbearers are Roscoe Gibson, Wilburn Christian, Ed Mathews, Glenn Partrich, Joe Brown, Alton S. Shamblee, and the adult men’s Sunday School classes of Calvary Baptist Church.

Obituary of my great-grandfather, James Harvey Hughes (1867-1957)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 10, 2014


My father tells me this photo of James Harvey Hughes and family was taken about 1899.

My father tells me this photo of James Harvey Hughes and family was taken about 1899. (There was no photo published with the obituary.)

This obituary was published on the front page of The Commercial Dispatch newspaper in Columbus, Mississippi, on March 21, 1957.


Well-Known Farmer Of New Hope Community Dies At Age Of 89

Services for James Harvey Hughes, 89, well-known farmer of the New Hope community who died about 9:30 p.m. yesterday at Doster Hospital, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, New Hope.

The Rev. J.F. Sansing will officiate. Burial will be in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. Memorial Funeral Home, in charge of arrangements, announced that the body will lie in state at the church from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., tomorrow preceding the funeral.

Mr. Hughes, a native of Pickens County, Ala., had lived in Lowndes County for 36 years and was a member of the Mt. Zion Church.

He leaves his wife; four sons, A.E. Hughes and E.T. Hughes of Tuscaloosa, Ala., C.G. Hughes of Columbus and A.J. Hughes of New Orleans, La.; seven daughters, Mrs. William Stinson, Mrs. Belton Patterson, Mrs. Titus Patterson and Mrs. Jack Franks, all of Columbus, Mrs. Ingram Ashcraft of Tuscaloosa, Mrs. Ozie Sanders of Gainesville, Fla., and Mrs. Breland Hill of Philadelphia; three brothers, A.E. Hughes of Tuscaloosa, M.E. Hughes of Fayette, Ala., and A.W. Hughes of Kennedy, Ala.; a sister, Mrs. Clersie Livingston, Jacksonville, Fla.; 24 grandchildren and 31 great-granchildren.

Active pallbearers will be James Arvin Jr., Herbert Lee Hughes, Billy Hughes, Lowell Hughes, Howard Hughes, J.C. Patterson, all grandsons. 

Honorary pallbearers will be Birney Imes Jr., Audie Pennington, Franklin Brown, Dr. D.D. Griffin, Henry Daves, V.A. Deason, Grover Sprouse, Dr. A.E. Brown, Dr. Bernard Ellis, Robert A. Ivy, Willis Pope Sr., Willis Pope Jr., Clarence Waldon, Sidney Camp, Ben Christopher.

Serving on the flower committee will be Mrs. Clarence Walden and Mrs. Eubanks McCrary; and the granddaughters. 

The murder of Daniel Doughty: A skeleton in my family closet

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on October 8, 2013

I was quite surprised to learn this story while tracing the ancestry of my grandmother, Virginia Doughty Hughes (1896-1978).

In 1804, my grandmother’s direct line Doughty ancestors lived in the western part of the Pendleton District in South Carolina. The eldest was Joseph Doughty (1755-1815), who was my 4th great grandfather. His children included my 3rd great grandfather, Jeremiah Doughty Sr. (1777-1838) and Jeremiah’s older brother, Daniel.

Daniel Doughty's will

Daniel Doughty’s will, dated Nov. 24th, 1804.

Towards the end of November 1804, Daniel filed a will saying that he was “sick and weak in body but of sound & disposing mind memory and understanding.” In the will he bequeathed “unto my dearly beloved wife Rachel Doughty one feather Bed with the furniture belonging to the same and her wearing clothes and no other part of my Estates.” He left the rest of his estate to his sons, Joseph and Laban.

By the following February, Daniel was dead and his “dearly beloved wife” was in jail, accused of murdering him. A second suspect named John Andrews was also in jail but the alleged mastermind of the crime — Rachel’s father, Laban Oakley — had escaped from jail and was on the run.

South Carolina Gov. Paul Hamilton issued the following proclamation on Feb. 19, 1805:

State of So. Carolina. By His Excellency
Paul Hamilton Governor & Commander
in Chief in & over the State aforesaid.
A Proclamation. Whereas I have received
information that Daniel Doughty late
of the District of Pendleton has been
most barberously and wickedly destroyed
by his wife Rachel, his step-father Laban
Oakley, a certain John Andrews who dis
regarding all social, moral, & religious ties
did most treacherously & cruelly combine
and conspire together and did infuse
into the drink, food and medicine of the
said Daniel Doughty repeated doses
of ratsbane or arsenic of the effects of
which after the most excruting tortures
& lamentable suffering the said Daniel
Doughty did at last die. And whereas the
said Rachel the wife of the said Daniel
Doughty and the said John Andrews
have both been committed to Gaol
under strong evidence of their guilt
but Laban Oakley the step-father as above
said who is believed to have been the first
mover of this wicked conspiracy has
fled & eludes the pursuit of justice. There
fore I deem it proper to issue this my
Proclamation hereby offering a re
ward of $400 to any person or persons
who will apprehend & deliver to the cus
tody of the Sheriff of the District in
this State the said Laban Oakley to be paid
on his being convicted of the said offence.
And I hereby most earnestly call upon
& require all officers civil & military and
all other friends to the peace safety and
happiness of the Community to the
aiding & assisting to the utmost of their
power in apprehending & bringing to
answer with his accomplices to the
Laws the said Laban Oakley to the end
that this dreadful & wicked outrage on humanity
may be followed by the punishment
which is due to it and an example
made which may deter others from
the perpetration of crimes of a nature
so flagritious & detestable. Given under
my hand and with the seal of the State this
19th day of February A.D. 1805 and of
American Independence the 29th.
Paul (L.M.S.) Hamilton. By
the Governor Daniel Huges Secretary
of State. Recorded 19th February 1805.

S.C. Gov. Paul Hamilton offered a $400 reward for the capture of Laban Oakley

S.C. Gov. Paul Hamilton offered a $400 reward for the capture of Laban Oakley

A document from Gov. Hamilton dated Dec. 13, 1805, indicates that $400 had been paid “for apprehending Laban Oakley, a murderer under Proclamation who broke Gaol and fled in Tennessee.”

After the death of Daniel Doughty, his sons went to live with their grandfather, and Laban Doughty’s first name was changed to Daniel. By 1820 this Doughty family had moved from the Pendleton District to the area around Tuscaloosa, Ala. Several of them are buried at Big Creek Cemetery. (My grandparents would meet, almost a century later, when Virgie Doughty wrote a letter to Arley Hughes, on behalf of her father, James Harvey Doughty, inviting him to apply for a job as a school teacher in Pickens County, Ala.)

According to sources I found online, Daniel Doughty the younger (the murdered Daniel’s son) later changed the spelling of his last name to “Doty.” Why he did this, I don’t know, but it may have been an attempt on his part to stake a claim of descent from the Mayflower passenger Edward Doty.

He ultimately settled in Mississippi, where some say the community of Doty Springs was named after him.

My mother’s father, Robert Milton Breland

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on July 28, 2013
This photo was taken at Diamond Head, Hawaii, in the 1950s.

This photo was taken at Diamond Head, Hawaii, in the 1950s.

My mother’s father, Robert Milton Breland, was born on Feb. 14, 1889 in Washington Parish, Louisiana. His parents were Cicero Malachi Breland (1857-1917) and Sarah Frances Powell (1850-1917).

In 1910, Robert Milton Breland and Cora Esther Peirce were married in Louisiana. Cora was the daughter of Adolphus Elliott Peirce (1868-1910) and Etta Pearl Bailey (1873-1952). Robert and Cora’s first child, a girl they named Beryl Bernice Breland, was born in 1911. Robert and Cora would have 10 more children together, with each child born roughly two years apart, until their youngest, Hunter Mansfield Breland, was born in 1933.

This photo of Robert with his son, Leigh, and daughter-in-law, Kathy, was taken in Tuscaloosa in the 1950s.

This photo of Robert with his son, Leigh, and daughter-in-law, Kathy, was taken in Tuscaloosa in the 1950s.

The 1920 U.S. Census shows that Robert, Cora, and five children (Beryl, Lyman, Robert, Greg and Doug) were living in Memphis, Tenn.,  where many of Cora’s Peirce relatives lived. By 1930 they were living in New Orleans. My mother, Gloria Dell Breland, was born in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, in 1931. By 1933 the family were living in Mobile, Ala., where Hunter was born. Cora died in Mobile in 1936, at the age of 44, from uterine cancer. She is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis.

In 1940, Robert and five of his children were living in Northport, Ala., which is just across the Black Warrior River from Tuscaloosa, where my father, Arley Hughes Jr., was born and raised. After that, the four children went first to live with Beryl in Louisiana for a year, and then to Eudora, Ark. for a year, then to Fayette, Ala. for a year, and then to a house on Oakwood Court in Tuscaloosa for two years.

In 1946, Robert Peirce Breland (son of Robert Milton) bought a house on 30th Ave. East in Tuscaloosa. My mother and her closest siblings lived in that house for several years.

In 1949, Robert Milton Breland departed from Los Angeles on Dec. 17 on board a ship headed to Hawaii. He arrived in Honolulu five days later. He lived in Hawaii for several years, but by 1959 he was in Mobile, where he died on Nov. 25 at the age of 70.

According to the Alabama Deaths and Burials Index, Robert was married at the time of his death, and his spouse’s name was listed as Willa Breland. I have never heard anyone in my family say anything about Robert having a second wife. However, I have found records indicating that his second wife was Willa Lillian Murray, who was born in Cincinnati in 1893 and arrived in Honolulu in 1932. At this point I don’t have the records to prove it, but my theory is that Willa and Robert met and married after he arrived in Honolulu in 1949.

Robert is buried in the same cemetery as his first wife, Cora, in Memphis. Willa, who lived for another 18 years after Robert’s death, is buried in Ohio, in the same cemetery as her parents.

Andrew Hughes, postmaster at Stony Creek

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on July 27, 2013
I had to wipe lichen off this headstone in order to read it.

I had to wipe lichen off this headstone in order to read it.

Recently I found a headstone at Stony Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery for a man named Andrew Hughes. The inscription on the stone says simply:

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.

In 1893, A.J. Hughs and J. Hughs owned land close to Stony Creek Presbyterian.

In 1893, A.J. Hughs and J. Hughs owned land close to Stony Creek Presbyterian. (click on map to enlarge)

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.

Rowland Hughes and James Fruit: Missing links in my family tree?

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on July 25, 2013
The entry at the top of this record is for the land shown on Mark Chilton's map.

The top two items on this document are land claims of Rowland Hughes.

One of the things I have learned during my genealogical research over the last 12 months is that I am distantly related to several Hughes families alive today who claim as their earliest known ancestor a man named David Hughes.

This particular David Hughes was born in Kentucky in 1812. His first wife was named Matilda Fruit, and he died in Missouri in 1875.

What I don’t know is exactly how these Hughes families and mine are connected. In other words, I don’t know who our common ancestor was, the proverbial missing link.

However, recently I learned that Matilda Fruit was the granddaughter of a man named James Samuel Fruit, who was born in Orange County, N.C. in 1762 but lived most of his adult life in Christian County, Kentucky. This attracted my interest because my earliest known Hughes ancestor — Andrew Hughes (1755-1843) — lived in Orange County in the 1770s.

In addition, I also learned — thanks to an excellent map posted on a blog by Mark Chilton (the current mayor of Carrboro, N.C.) — that two men named James Fruit and Rowland Hughes owned land close to each other in Orange County during the 1770s. I have since obtained a copy of the land records for this Rowland Hughes from the State Archives of North Carolina, and from that document I know that he filed a claim for and obtained title to this land in 1778. (In 1778 the land was on Haw Creek in Orange County. Now it is in Alamance County, near the city of Mebane, just south of I-40.)

For me, this raises the obvious question of whether or not this Rowland Hughes and my Andrew Hughes were related. It also raises the question of whether or not the James Fruit who owned land near Rowland Hughes is the same James Samuel Fruit that was the grandfather of Matilda Fruit, or if not, was he perhaps a close relative? At this point I simply don’t have enough evidence in hand to say.

In Kentucky, there was a man named Rowland Hughes, who was born in 1756 and died in 1809, who is buried at Hughes Cemetery near the town of Auburn in Logan County. Logan County is just to the east of Christian County.  Is this man the same Rowland Hughes as the one who owned land in Orange County, North Carolina? If not, could he be a close relative of the one in Orange County? Is there any connection between the Rowland Hughes in Logan County, Kentucky, and the David Hughes who married Matilda Fruit?

Again, my answers to all of these questions is that at this point I simply don’t have enough evidence in hand to say. But I hope to one day find out.

If you, dear reader, have any evidence that will help me answer these questions, then I’d love to hear from you!

“Once at the High Rock 20 days …”

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on June 5, 2013
High Rock Ford was an important crossing point for both sides in the Revolutionary War.

The High Rock Ford historical marker.

On Memorial Day (May 27th) I went to see the historical marker for High Rock Ford, which is in Rockingham County, North Carolina, very close to the border with Caswell County.

I went there for one simple reason:  My 4th great grandfather, Andrew Hughes (1755-1843), testified in his federal pension application that he was “twice in scouting parties, once at the High Rock 20 days and once to prevent the Tories from joining Wallace [Cornwallis] …”.

In other words, my ancestor had played a small role in the military campaign that culminated in the Battle at Guilford Courthouse, which some historians cite as the beginning of the end for the British/Loyalist side in the Revolutionary War. I believe that the High Rock he referred to was High Rock Ford, so I wanted to see the place.

High Rock Ford as viewed from the bridge on High Rock Road.

High Rock Ford as viewed from High Rock Road bridge.

High Rock Ford is about nine miles west of the Stony Creek area of Caswell County, which is where I believe Andrew Hughes lived in the 1770s and 1780s, before he bought land in the old Ninety-Six/Pendleton district of South Carolina in 1787 and settled there.

When I stood on the High Rock Road bridge and looked at High Rock Ford, it was easy to see why this ford was an important crossing for both sides in the maneuvers leading up to the Battle at Guilford Courthouse. It’s the only spot for miles around where an army on foot could cross.

It was also easy, in that setting, for me to imagine that I felt my ancestor’s presence.

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)

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.