Hughes' Views & News

My great-grandfather, James Harvey Hughes (1867-1957)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on March 5, 2013

It seems odd, but I know far less about my great-grandfather, James Harvey “Jim” Hughes (1867-1957), than I know about his father, James Thompson “Thomps” Hughes (1831-1919) or his great-grandfather, Andrew Hughes (1755-1843).

Jim Hughes and family in 1913.

Jim Hughes and family in 1913.

That may be because Jim, as far as I know, never served in the military whereas Thomps served in the Civil War and Andrew served in the Revolutionary War. I learned much of what I know about Thomps and Andrew from records related to their military service.

Here’s what I do know about Jim Hughes. He was born on August 10, 1867, in Pickens County, Ala. He was the first child born to Thomps and his second wife, Jane Mitchell Hughes. Jim married Louisa Thornton in 1889 and they had 12 children. Their first child, born in 1891, was my grandfather, Arley Hughes Sr.

Jim lived the first 50 plus years of his life in the vicinity of Ashcraft Corner, which is in Fayette County but very close to where the boundaries of present-day Fayette, Pickens and Lamar counties meet. But by 1930, when he was 63 years old, he had relocated to Lowndes County, Mississippi, near the town of Columbus.  According to family legend, Jim said that he moved to Mississippi “so my daughters wouldn’t have to marry their cousins.” (Two of his aunts, Hulda Hughes Wilson and Adline Hughes Wilson, had both married first cousins of theirs.)

He died on March 20, 1957, at the age of 89. He is buried at Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Columbus.

The only other information I have about him comes from a one-page bio that was written by my cousin Carol (Hughes) Olive and given to me in the late 1980s. Here is an excerpt from that:

“He was a small man weighing only about 115-120 pounds. To overcome his lack of physical strength he learned to improvise to make his farm work easier. He had a very active imagination and used it to design and build such things as a dry kiln to cure sweet potatoes. He did this before the Department of Agriculture or anyone else that we know of in the state of Alabama did. He was known as a superior farmer that produced not only cotton and corn but also sweet potatoes, vegetables, peaches, apples, strawberries, dew berries, scuppernongs, grapes and any new product that he thought would be profitable.”

South Carolina pension application of Andrew Hughes, 1826

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on February 18, 2013

In my last post, I mentioned both the federal and South Carolina pension applications filed by my 4th great grandfather Andrew Hughes (1755-1843) for his service as a militia soldier in the American Revolutionary War.

Partial transcripts of his federal pension application are available online in at least two different locations that I know of, and there may be others. However, I have never seen a transcript of his South Carolina pension application online anywhere. So, below I am posting my transcription of a photocopy of the document. (I purchased my copy of the document from the S.C. Department of Archives and History.)

To the President and other members
of the Senate and to the Speaker
and other members of the House of
Representatives of the State of
South Carolina.

The Petition of Andrew Hughes
Humbly Showeth
That your petitioner
was a volunteer and turned out to defend
his Country against the British Tories
and Indians during the Revolutionary
War. He went a tour of duty against
the Cherokee Indians. The next tour
of duty he went a volunteer in Capt.
Waddy Tate troops of light horse to
Cross Creek where the Scotch were
defeated. The next he was at the
Battle of Camden under the same
Capt. Tate. The next tour of duty he
did was a tour of 9 months. He was
at Charleston, from there to Purysburg
Capn. Jameson. He went from there
up to Augusta and pursued the British
to Briar Creek where he was in
the Battle there. He did four tour,
One of six months, one of nine months
and two of three months each.
He was out from the time he was three
and twenty years of age until the
close of the war. Was in the
Minute Service during the whole
time. Always was ready & went
when called on. Was almost constantly
out on duty. He found himself most of
the time. Found his own horse and
equipage. He says he never received
any pay or anything for his services.
He says he is now seventy one years of
age last April. He has a wife aged
about sixty one years. He says he is poor
and now needs the assistance of his country
for support.

He therefore prays your Honorable
Body to grant him a pension or such
other relief as shall to your
Honorable body seem need.
And he will ever pray.
Andrew Hughes (signature)
11th Nov. 1826

The State of South Carolina        Before me personally
Pendleton District                         came Andrew Hughs

a very respectable citizen of
the District and made oath that
he has resided in the District
constantly for the last thirty-
nine years. That all the
facts stated in the annexed
petition are substantially true.

Sworn to 11th Nov. 1826 Andrew Hughes (signature)

Before (?) Grisham
Not. Pub.
Ex Off
G.W. 2

State of South Carolina     Personally came John
Pendleton District              Wilson before me the

subscribing justice, and being sworn in due form of
law, and on his oath saith, that he knew Andrew
Hughs to serve a tour of duty in the Revolutionary War
of six month, under General Rutherford, and that he
himself served with him; and at another time, he
served another tour of duty of nine months with the
said Hughs, under General Aash, and was with
him in the battle at the mouth of Brier Creek.
And that he knew the said Andrew Hughs to
serve in two other campains in the same war.

Sworn and subscribed to
before me this 11th day of (Belden?) 1826
John Wilson (signature)

A. Douthit Qu.

South Carolina               We the undersigned have
Pendleton District         for a number of years

been acquainted with Andrew Hughes of this
Dist. and know him to be an honest
endusterous good citizen, now far advanced
in life and not in circumstances to procure
a livelihood without hard labour and
as we believe he rendered important services
in the American Revolution we think
he aught of right to be placed on the pen-
sion list. Sept. 20th 1826

(Signed)      Ja. Osborn
William Wilson
James Douthit
John Wilson
Andrew Hamilton

The committee on pensions to whom was reported
the petition of Andrew Hughes praying for
a pension, respectfully report
that they have considered the same, and
recommend to this house that the prayer
of the petitioner be granted and that the said
Andrew Hughes be allowed a pension.

December 1826
John McComb

My earliest Hughes ancestor, Andrew Hughes (1755-1843)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on February 16, 2013

In 1787, 600 acres of land in SC were surveyed for my ancestor, Andrew Hughes.

The earliest Hughes ancestor that I can claim with a reasonable level of confidence is a fellow named Andrew Hughes, who was born near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on April 4, 1755, and died on or about Sept. 1, 1843, in Pickens County, South Carolina.

Much of what I know about Andrew Hughes, including the locations and dates of his birth and death, is recorded in documents related to two separate pension applications he filed for his service as a militia soldier in the American Revolutionary War.  He applied for a pension from the state of South Carolina in 1826 and received payments from the state until 1834, when he applied for and was awarded a federal pension.

According to his federal pension application, Andrew was living in Orange County, North Carolina, when he joined a North Carolina militia unit that formed in Caswell County soon after the Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776. Some of the campaigns and battles that he took part in were the Rutherford Expedition, Cross Creek (I believe this refers to the battle at Moore’s Creek Bridge), Camden, and Brier Creek.

By 1787, Andrew had settled in the Ninety-Six District (later called the Pendleton District) of South Carolina and he then lived in that area for most of the rest of his life. A land grant record shows that 600 acres of land along “the south fork of Brush Creek” (now known as Brushy Creek) were surveyed for him in September 1787. I believe that this land was probably located somewhere between the present-day town of Easley, S.C. and the Saluda River.

Andrew and his first wife, Obedience Sumner, had several children together; I’m not sure of the exact number. (I do know that I am descended from one of his sons, Elisha, who was born in the Pendleton District about 1800.) Obedience died in 1829. Then in 1835, when Andrew was 75 years old, he married Nancy Mauldin, who was 63.  It was a second marriage for her as well.

Andrew and Nancy moved from the Pendleton District to Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1835, apparently so they could live closer to her children. But the move to Georgia created a problem for Andrew:  In 1836 he had to travel back to South Carolina to collect his annual pension payment because there was no other way for him to get it. But while there, he was injured in a fall from a horse. After that, he never returned to his second wife in Georgia. He died in South Carolina seven years later, in the house of one of his sons, Charles Hughes.

Twelve years after Andrew’s death, Nancy filed an application seeking both pension benefits and bounty land as Andrew’s widow. Her application was contested and was the subject of much legal wrangling for more than a year before she was awarded a small pension of $40 a year.

A letter written on her behalf in February 1856 by her attorney, Thomas S. May, provides one possible explanation for why Andrew never returned to Nancy in Georgia. I advise taking this with a grain of salt:

Andrew Hughes returned to South Carolina in the forepart of the next Summer Sometime in June; his Hughes sons all living there in S Carolina Kept the Old man there he being very feeble and old & injured by a fall was not able to return to his family without help which his sons would not afford him, being a drunken set, & perhaps kept him there in order to git his pension money; he being very anxious all the time to return (???) Nancy Hughes then with her children & being very old & infirm could not go back to him in consequence of Bad Health and for want of means.

Note: The above is from my own transcription of the letter. (???) means I could not decipher what was written in that space.

There is still a lot that I don’t know about Andrew Hughes. For example, I don’t know who his parents were, and I have never seen a portrait, drawing or any other likeness of him, so I have no idea what he looked like.

But this much I do know. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of descendants of Andrew Hughes, myself included, are alive today. I personally know of Hughes families in upstate South Carolina, northeast Georgia, the area between Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Columbus, Miss., and in Jacksonville, Fla. that can trace their lineage to him. There are probably many other Hughes families descended from Andrew that I am not aware of.

Perhaps one day we will be able to trace the line back to Andrew’s parents and even farther. I certainly hope so!