Who are we these Hunts and related McFarlands who can trace back to North Carolina to Rutherford County (Hunt) and Orange County (McFarland and perhaps Hunt).
- I know from records and research that my line is at least seven generations of the Hunt surname.
- I know from family tradition shared as late as 1852 that we are some unknown number of generations of the McFarland surname. (A McFarland boy or orphan was adopted or took the Hunt name from a Hunt family with which he lived.)
- We might or not be McFarlands or MacGregors even though by Y-DNA I was identified as of “Hidden MacGregors of Clan MacFarlane” just in the last year or so.
- I have been accepted into membership by Clan MacFarlane Worldwide and The Clan Gregor Society within the last year.
- Two latest references I have seen lists those of our group(s) as “MacFarland or MacFarlane/MacFarlin, hidden MacGregors” in one instance and “Scots Modal Highlanders B.”
The search continues as we seek records which will confirm the names and locations of ancestors back beyond the known seven generations.
FYI: Stand by for upcoming posts concerning new DNA developments which call in question the information about Hidden MacGregors of Clan MacFarlane. As more information and analysis comes available, we might have to revise some of the things that we have written here in previous posts. (Deason Hunt)
I have evidence of three surnames in my ancestral line which I have traced by records back to Thomas hunt (Sr.) who was born ca 1787 in North Carolina according to the 1950 Blount County, TN federal census.
The graphic below is an attempt based on records and DNA information. The data following adding dates for times prior to 1787 contains my best attempt to show the times that name changes might have taken place. It is subject to change as more information comes to light.
Deason Lafayette Hunt is the father of the author of this blog post authenticated by birth certificate, parental testimony, and personal experience.
|Relationship||GGF||Name||Pct. of DNA||Years||Date|
|GGGGF||3||Hunt or McFarland??||3.125||1744|
|Surnames became common between 1250 and 1450???????|
- William Thomas Hunt I believed that Thomas Hunt was adopted by a Hunt family in North Carolina and that his last name was either McFarland or McFarlain. William Thomas Hunt I heard his grandfather (William Marshall Hunt I) tell him this story many times.
- What he cannot remember is whether it was his grandfather (Thomas Hunt Sr.?) or great grandfather (Thomas Hunt Sr.’s father?) whose original name was McFarland. (This is an interpretation of his. Did she mean W. T. Hunt I as the “his” reference or Thomas Hunt Sr. as the “his” reference?)
- Hilda Hunt Tucker said the tradition in her James Hunt branch of the family (those who did not come to Texas in the late 1840’s) was they had a Scotch background.
- We may assume that William M. Hunt and James Hunt heard this story from their father Thomas Hunt Sr.
- Was Thomas talking about himself or his father?
- Between 1748 and 1752, Orange County North Carolina grew from “not quite 20 taxables” to a population of approximately 4,000 people.
- First found record for the Orange County McFarlands (aka the hidden MacGregor MacFarlands) is 1755 when William McFarland is on an Orange County, Tax Roll.
- These McFarlands are believed to have been born in the period between 1750 and 1755 although specific location is not specified: William (Jr?) 1750, Peter 1751, Thomas 1751, William Thomas 1752 (same as Thomas?), Walter (Walker?) 1753, Peter 1753.
- No McFarlands (aka hidden MacGregors) in the area which would become Orange County (Granville, Edgecomb, Bertie, Chowan, Ablemarle) in the period 1664 to 1750.
- The search for parents or William McFarland (married Keziah) will find them wherever William was born about 1731.
- Two possibilities are Pennsylvania and nearby Virginia.
- Pennsylvania – There were grants along the Hyco River in what became northern Orange County in 1748, and along the Dan River, the Hogan Creek, and County Line Creek in 1751. In what became central Orange County, grants on the Eno River were entered for the year 1751. Governor Gabriel JOHNSTON reported that settlers were flocking in, mostly from Pennsylvania. The Eno community, about seven miles north of Hillsborough, was the most distinctly Scots-Irish settlement in the county. The Scots-Irish also lived east of the Haw River.They also settled in the area east of the Haw River and in the Little River and New Hope Creek sections. From the middle colonies came families of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians as well as German Lutherans. Members of both groups followed the same course of migration, traveling southward down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, through the Roanoke Gap in western Virginia, and on into the Yadkln River Valley of North Carolina. From there some moved eastward into Orange County making homes along Hyco Creek and the Eno and the Haw rivers.
Sources: http://www.carolana.com/NC/Counties/orange_county_nc.html, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncalaman/early.html, http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/surveyreports/orangecountysurveypubmanuscript-1996.pdf
8. Virginia – English immigrants from VA settled in northern Orange along the Hico River and County Line Creek.
Questions trying to tie up a few loose ends about Rutherford County North Carolina Hunts in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
- Who is this Polly Hunt?
(18 April 1811, William L. Queen Sr. of RCNC to Edward Towrey of the same, $32 paid to Samuel Queen and $6 paid to himself, 127 acres on Wards Creek joining Michael Hufsetlers and Polly Hunt, being part of a grant to Robert Collingwood. Witnesses: A. Whiteside, Mareday Queen. #274, 21 August 1812.) ( Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book 26, p. 659, cited in BGSOTC 33(3):137, 2005.)
2. Is she related to this Catherine Hunt?
(1809 – 6 April 1809, William L. Queen of RCNC to Catharine Hunt of the same, 130 dollars, 105 acres on the west side of Ward’s Creek joining Moses Queen, the waggon road that leads from Francis to John Smith’s, and the pounding mill branch, being part of a grant to William Sheppard. Wit. Robert H. Taylor, Robert Wells. #30, 12 March 1811.)
( Rutherford Co. Deed Book 26, p. 406, cited in BGSOTC 33(1):31, 2005.)
3. Who is this James Hunt?
(“JAMES HUNT: signed a deed with Wat Hunt in 1804.”) ( source: correspondence from Harold Rollins to Deason Hunt, 1979.)
4. Who is this Samuel Hunt?
(Dills, Henry / Hunt, Samuel / Deed/20-21/41/1803.) (Source: Rutherford Co., NC — Deeds — Deed Index “D”, 1779-1917, sorted by Grantor. http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/rutherford/deeds/dgrntor.txt.)
The Carolina Road or the “Old Carolina Road” are names for various sections of the Great Wagon Road and other routes in colonial America. “The ‘Old Carolina Road’, extending from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the Yadkin Valley, was one of the most heavily traveled roads in eighteenth century America.”
Central Virginia (High Road)
Starting in Pennsylvania, this “Carolina Road” led through southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and into Alabama. This was a major migration route of Swiss-German and Scotch-Irish settlers into frontier America in the 1740s until the American Revolutionary War.
Some consensus indicates this Carolina road started in Frederick, Maryland, with feeder roads and other trails reaching from Pennsylvania. Parts of this Carolina Road, almost 55 miles, follow modern U.S. Route 15 through Loudoun, Fauquier and Fairfax Counties in Virginia.
Used as a transportation route, in addition to early settlers, manufactured goods including woolen and linen clothes and leather products, such as harness, saddles, boots and shoes, were sent south, and hides, indigo and money were sent back north. Many drovers herded swine, cattle, sheep and even turkey flocks along the Carolina Road. Because many of these drovers would pick up cows and other livestock to add to their herds in northern Virginia, this was also called the “Rogues’ Road” by local farmers. “Indeed, as early as 1747, a Fauquier land grant refers to the Carolina Road as “Rogues Road,” a name that appears in Fauquier and Loudoun deeds throughout the early 19OOs. A few miles north of Leesburg, on old Montresor farm, a narrow wooded stream valley still bears the name Rogues’ Hollow, for tradition states that this geographic depression was the lair for thieves about to plunder travelers.”
Counties in Virginia, north to south, in the 1740-1750’s which the Carolina Road passed through or near were Fairfax (Loudon part in 1757), Prince William, Culpepper, Orange, Louisa, Goochland, Prince Edward (part would become Henry in 1776), Lunenburg (Halifx formed from part in 1752 and Mecklenburg formed from part in 1764). Brunswick was adjacent and east of Lunenburg.
Halifx and Mecklenburg counties Virginia are directly north of old Granville County, NC from which Orange County, NC was formed.
North Carolina Section
The Carolina Road extended into North Carolina as a major trade route and access for early settlers. However, once again it became known by different names, both locally and regionally. “In our state it is known as the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, the Great Wagon Road, or simply the Wagon Road. In Virginia, it is called the Carolina Road, because it led to Carolina.”
An early settlement by Morgan Bryan, a Pennsylvania Quaker, took six weeks to travel from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.
“The trail called “The Great Wagon Road” or “The Old Carolina Road” passed thru the Bryan Settlement, about one mile south of the junction of the Deep Creek and the Yadkin River, at a place called the Shallow Ford.”
In York County, South Carolina, the Carolina Road seems to have split, one branch going westward to Chester and south to Columbia, South Carolina along U.S. Route 321, the other branch of the road staying nearer the river to Columbia (U.S. 21). The road ended at the Savannah River across from Augusta, Georgia.
The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road through Virginia, North Carolina, and on to Georgia was the main road that thousands of Scots Irish who landed in Philadelphia used to spread southward to settle that back country including the North Carolina Piedmont and especially to our search that portion that was Granville County and then Orange County. The map here is a 1751 map by Fry and Jefferson sourced from Wikimedia (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Kitfry-1-.jpg )with the route superimposed as crooked red line. Place names and arrow in red were added later for this post. This is one of the possible routes of our ancestors into Orange County. Possibilities are that they made the trip from Pennsylvania straight to North Carolina or perhaps briefly settled in some of the Virginia counties in the valley along the way..
Updated 6 December 2015
As with all genealogy as you connect with other researchers and compare information new things are discovered.
Since the “Granddad was right” article was written in 2013 we have met several Hunt researchers including Miles Philbeck, who is a descendant of William “Wat” Hunt a “supposed” older brother of Thomas Hunt Sr. Since meeting Miles extensive DNA testing has been done on the male “siblings’ of Thomas Hunt Sr. (The article “Granddad was right” is appended to the end of this update.)
Miles Philbeck discovered some interesting documents in the State Archives of North Carolina that pertain to William Thomas Hunt Sr born about 1787 in North Carolina. It seems in 1784 and 1785 in Orange County North Carolina there were two court cases of interest.
It seems that “John Hunt legal husband of Elizabeth Hunt charged his wife Elizabeth with adultery with William McFarland legal husband of Elizabeth McFarland”. At some point Elizabeth Hunt and William McFarland had even left the state of North Carolina together.
It appears from these records that Thomas Hunt Sr was a product of the adultery cases. The ironic part is there is not any Hunt DNA in Thomas Hunt Sr., as his mother was not a Hunt. As always with genealogy the answer to his parentage only generated many more questions that need to be answered.
The questions include is the John and Elizabeth Hunt mentioned in the documents the John Hunt who married Elizabeth Tyus? Is the William McFarland mentioned Senior or Junior (we believe it was Junior)?
If Thomas’ parents left the state and were together, how is it that William McFarland Jr came back and had several more children with a different wife? Did Elizabeth and John Hunt raise Thomas Hunt Sr?
In another ironic twist it seems that, none of the “brothers” of Thomas Hunt Sr., Absalom Hunt, William Wat Hunt, Kinch Hunt, and Thomas Hunt have any male line Hunt DNA. Every one of the descendants tested for a different family surname in the area. It seems that Elizabeth and John Hunt lead interesting lives. A descendant of Madison Hunt was also tested as he is in this area at the same time and to date only matches one other person in the ftdna database who also has the last name of Hunt.
William Wat Hunt descendant’s match males with the surname of Veazey and Brackett.
Absalom Hunt descendant’s match males with the surname of Veazey and DeVinney.
(William Wat and Absalom could be brothers and it may be that Elizabeth had a long term relationship with their father or that John Hunt may have been a Veazey himself)
William Kinch Hunt descendants match males with the surname of Duke.
Madison Hunt descendant’s matches a male with the surname of Hunt.
Many intriguing possibilities are still to be learned about these Hunts in Orange County NC / Rutherford County NC in the late 1700’s. Stay Tuned.
Granddad was Right (The original article)
When I was a child, my grandfather told me the story about how a McFarland child in England was orphaned, adopted by a Hunt family and how 200 years or so later, I was the result. The oral history had been passed from generation to generation with a few variations, but with several elements of the story being fairly consistent. There were some variation on the name. Some had the adoption happening in England, Wales, or as the result of parents dying at sea. Most all versions of the story had the child at 18 or so being given a new suit of clothes, $100 and being told that he was welcome to stay, or to find his own way in the world.
Flash forward 40 years. Long after my Grandfather died, DNA testing would come to be a reliable form of identification. Also, I would go through a marriage of 24 years, and shortly afterward, meet up with a retired engineer that happened to be a darned good genealogist. Susan took an interest in my story and decided to follow it to see where it went. One of the first things she did was to have me take a “YTDNA” test. After confirming positive for “human”, it also confirmed that somewhere along the line, a McFarland had been in my parentage. At least one element of the story Granddad told me was correct.
We know from Census and other records, that I’m related to a Thomas Hunt Sr. (born abt 1787 and died 28 July 1856). He is first found in Rutherford County NC with an William “Wat” and Absalom Hunt in the 1820 census. His first child is born in 1810 in North Carolina but what county is unknown.
The DNA test has Thomas Hunt an exact 37 match to the Orange County North Carolina McFarland’s. One record so far at least ties the Hunts to both counties. Absalom Hunt married his wife Patsy White in Orange County.
Thomas Hunt Sr moved to Blount County TN in 1828 and then to Rusk County Texas in 1851.
Thomas Hunt Sr named his children after both the Hunt and McFarland lines:
1. Elizabeth Betsey Nancy Hunt (1809) married James Madison Bedford (William “Wat Hunt was married to Rebecca Bedford)
2. Absalom (1811) Absalom Hunt was both in Orange and Rutherford Counties
3. James (1812) There is both a James Hunt and a James McFarland in Orange County NC. The McFarland married Nancy Matterson. The 1812 James Hunt married Pretia Rose in Blount County TN. One of my exact McFarland DNA matches ancestors also married into a Rose family in North Carolina.
4. John (1815) Both a John Hunt and John McFarland, the McFarland married Elizabeth Maddeson
5. William Marshall (My Line) (1816) After William Wat Hunt who was in Rutherford County. The Cain family also married later on into the McFarland’s and named one of their children William Marshall Cain
6. Stephen (1819 ) There are no Hunts or McFarland’s by this name. There is Stephen Wilson who signed petition and took in a Thomas Hunt (son of a Elizabeth Hunt)
7. Thomas Hunt Jr (1821)
8. Martha Cassandra (1822) No Martha (but there was a Martha Patsey Matterson marriage to Larkin McFarland) No Cassandra’s in either family.
9. Maddeson (son) (1828) Named after Maddeson family all four McFarland / Maddeson marriages took place before his birth
10. Mary Mahala (1830) No Mahala in either family that can be found at this time
11. Samuel (1832) There is a Samuel Hunt but no McFarland’s by this name
Through records in Orange County we have learned that a Henry Hunt lived about 3-4 miles from the Orange County McFarlands (William, Peter, and Thomas (the DNA match McFarlands)) however no connection has been found between Henry Hunt and my Hunt line. From the Family Finder DNA test I do match a person researching a Susannah Hunt born 1715 in England married John Palmer in New York in 1738 and dies in Orange County NC in 1760. Whether this is the same Hunt family is unknown. With the family finder test it is just as likely there is a match with unidentified ancestor.
Not much is known about Thomas Hunt Sr. wife but that her name was Lucy. Although several of their grandchildren were named Louvica, Louvisa, and Louisa it is highly likely this was her name. Interestingly enough that same unique spelling also is in the Rose family.
We are though looking for information on the extended family lines of Hunt, Palmer, Rose, Maddeson (Madison, Mattison), Cain, Ray, Allen, Horton, and we are sure several that we don’t even know yet.
At this point we still have several open questions. Was there an adoption as family legend holds? Am I the result of a chance encounter, a “paternity lapse”, or a “lucky neighbor”? In an ideal world, perhaps we’ll find a record in a 200-year old book that tells of an adopted child. Or maybe, as Ernest Gann said “the complete answer may only be revealed when it can no longer serve those most interested”. I’d like to hope that Granddad was right, and that Ernest Gann will be wrong, and with any luck at all, there’s a record out there that can definitively tie the two families together. The DNA test is irrefutable.
I am related to the McFarlands of Orange County NC from the late 1700’s. Like all of us, I am the child of many fathers. I’m proud of my deep roots in East Tennessee and North Carolina (from both my paternal and maternal sides). I’m also proud of my Scottish roots and the heritage that comes with it. It only took 40 years or so, but at this point, we’re confident that Granddad was right.
William T. (McFarland) Hunt and Susan Kromer Hunt
A page in the Hunt Archives displays the information above formatted a bit differently, but it is the same information and sources. The link: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tompkins/hunt-family-legends/GranddadwasRight.html
We did not start the search for our Hunt ancestors nor are we the only ones involved. When I (Deason Hunt) started genealogy research in the late 1970’s, I found a trail which had been blazed by others. My parents (Deason L. Hunt Sr. and Ozie Mae Moody Chadwick Hunt), who shared what they knew, got me in contact with my cousin, Jean Hunt Branch. It was she who pointed to the first group of Thomas Hunt researchers.
They were William Thomas Hunt I, my Uncle Willie, and my cousin Mary Frank Deason Dunn. They were the hubs of the first group of researchers reaching out to and responding to others. That first group also included Gene Hunt Thomas, Hilda Hunt Tucker, Lois Hunt McIntyre, and Adele Gorsch. Some I met, some I corresponded with, and some I only learned about from correspondence between Mary Frank Dunn and Uncle Willie which was made available to me by several sources. We also had research help in the form of information primarily to the these early researchers efforts of my grandmother Annie Fears Hunt Propes, Col Hunt, Homer Hunt, Lobel W. Hunt, T. Luther Hunt, Otis and Edna Hunt, Bill Ensley, and Abbie Irene Rushton.
About the year 2000, I was involved with cousins in preparing (and researching) for a Thomas Hunt family book. This was a group undertaking with myself as chief writer of the volume but with some chapters depending heavily on information from some of the others. They included myself, Mary Frank Dunn, Lynda Tillison Jones, my wife Martha Shipman Hunt, Benny Britton, Kay Hunt Dawson, John Dulin, Robin Hunt, Walt Hunt, Walter B. Hunt, Walt Leonard, Betty Phillips, Lovey Smitham, Ken and Betty Stevens, Melvin Vinson, Lydia Wade, Lola Wilson, and Rebecca Wilson.
As this was not only a book about Thomas Hunt Sr. but also his descendants, we also corresponded briefly with others by postal mail and email in gathering information. This was, however, those who got us to the book publishing and that point in our research.
In 2013 cousin William Thomas Hunt III (Bill Hunt) and Susan Kromer Pavlech began actively researching including dna analysis. This indicated that our ancestral line runs through McFarlands and as McFarlands who were in Orange County, North Carolina in the 1700’s. Various threads now have Thomas Hunt descendants and McFarland researchers sharing information as well as genealogists for the Rutherford County, North Carolina Hunt family lines. That makes four generations of the family involved in the search.