Hughes' Views & News

“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)