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.
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.
Here’s the promised Little River cluster of related families which have some relationship for the ancestral search of Thomas Hunt (and other Rutherford County North Carolina Hunts). The Flat River cluster is a few posts back on this site.
This Little River area mind map, created from research findings, is so large that it cannot be read here, but you can download a PDF file by clicking on this link: LittleRiverCluster.
The quest for the parents of Thomas Hunt has taken on the search for the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the switch from McFarland/McFarlin/MacFarlane to the Hunt surname.
Well-known genealogy blogger, Judy G. Russell, in her “The Legal Genealogist” blog entitled “Y no Surname, The downside of DNA testing” (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/04/08/y-no-surname/) offers the following reasons why a surname might occur.
- At the time individuals in an ancestral line first adopted surnames, there is no guarantee that siblings would have adopted the same surname.
- An illegitimate child would be given or take the surname of the mother rather than the father.
- An orphaned child might take the surname of the family that raised him.
- A young child might take the name of a stepfather.
There were certainly geographical, family, and extended relationship possibilities of such events in Orange County, North Carolina in the middle to late 17th and early 18th centuries that could stand more research for possibilities such as these. Hunts and McFarlands/McFarlins interacted in these areas in numerous family and public events as did associated families. Anyone turning up such interactioins is encouraged to share them here.
If you would like to see more of the article by Judy G. Russell, click the Legal Genealogist link above in this article.