Hughes' Views & News

Obituary of Larkin Hughes (1824-1914)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 22, 2014

This Larkin Hughes was not a direct line ancestor of mine, but he was a first cousin of my great-great grandfather. This story was published on the front page of The Pickens Sentinel on June 25, 1914.

Mr. Larkin Hughes Died Tuesday, 23d

Larkin Hughes (1824-1914)

Larkin Hughes (1824-1914)

Mr. Larkin Hughes, one of the old and honored citizens of Pickens County, died at his home about 4 miles from Pickens at 3 o’clock Tuesday a.m. He developed a case of pneumonia only last Saturday.

Mr. Hughes was a little over 90 years old at the time of his death and was one of the oldest and best known men in the county. His friends were many and they will be deeply grieved to learn of his death. He was born in Pickens County and served in the Confederate Army and was made a lieutenant during the war. During the war he received a wound in one arm and it gave him trouble until his death.

Mr. Hughes was twice married, his second wife and the following children are living: Jas. A., and Alfred Hughes, of Laurens County; Mrs. Charlotte Clayton and Miss Tirzah Hughes of Pickens County, and Mrs. Belle Davis, of Inman.

He was a member of Twelve Mile Methodist church and Keowee Lodge No. 179 A.F.M. The funeral was held at Bethlehem church Wednesday and the body was buried with Masonic honors.

The Sentinel joins with unnumbered friends in extending to the family sincere sympathy.

Obituary of Larkin Hughes

This is a screen shot of the front page from the June 25, 1914 issue of The Pickens Sentinel.

Obituary of James W. Hughes (1798-1881)

Posted in Genealogy by tahughesnc on April 22, 2014

This James W. Hughes was not a direct line ancestor of mine, but he was a brother of my great-great-great grandfather. The obituary below was published in The Pickens Sentinel on July 21, 1881.

James W. Hughes (1798-1881)

James W. Hughes (1798-1881)

DEAD – James W. Hughes, died at the residence of his son, Larkin Hughes, four miles South of this place, on Friday, the 15th instant, at 6:30 o’clock p.m. Mr. Hughes was born near Pickensville in this County, on the 31st of day of July, 1798, and was consequently eighty-two years, eleven months and fifteen days old. He lived all his life in this County, except about four years which he spent in Georgia, and reared a family of children here who, together with several grand and great grandchildren, survive him. He had been an earnest devoted and exemplary member of the Methodist Church for sixty years or more, and all who knew him had the utmost confidence in his honesty, patriotism and Christian fidelity. He died full in the faith and much esteemed and beloved by all his circle of acquaintance. His remains were interred in the graveyard at Bethlehem Church, Rev. S.P.H. Elwell preached his furneral, and in an eloquent and feeling manner portrayed the moral worth and many Christian virtues of the deceased. To the sorrowing relatives we extend our heart felt sympathies.

Obituary of James W. Hughes

This is a screen shot of the obit from The Pickens Sentinel.

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 ancestry.com. 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.