Facts and Events
Francis Hughes was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
Estate Records of Francis Hughes
Records of Francis Hughes in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
Information on Francis Hughes
From "Papers read before the Lancaster County Historical Society, Volume 25", by Lancaster County Historical Society:
"Francis Hughes, late of Lancaster County, Pa.," bought from John Miller 200 acres of land on North River, in Augusta County, Va., Sept. 4, 1747. Deed Book 2, p. 11.
Notes from Familytreemaker site of D. Michael Hughes of Ingram, Texas: (added with Mr. Hughes permission)
In 1720, Francis is a signatory to a petition requesting that the area on the south side of the Schuylkill river - in the area of Robeson township - be brought into the jurisdiction of Philadelphia County instead of Chester County. He must have been close to 21 years old by 1720. I have therefore estimated a birth date of 1697-1700. Israel Robeson was also a signer of the petition.
Francis is listed on the tax rolls of Chester County, PA as resident in Coventry township in 1725 and 1726.
In the Quarter Sessions minutes for August 5, 1729 in Lancaster County, PA, Francis is appointed by the court as "Constable of Robinson (Robeson) township".
Francis is mentioned in the Cocalico township Quarter Sessions docket (1729-1742). In the Quarter Sessions minutes for August 5, 1735 in Lancaster County, PA, Francis is mentioned in a petition as follows: "Several Inhabitants of the Township of Robinson praying a Road may be laid out Beginning at the most Convenient place near the Sinking Spring on Tolpehoken Road thence by Widdow Jones's, James Lewis's the Saw Mill and ffrancis Hugh's plantation into the Cocalico Road. Thence to the County line in order to Joyn a Road Leading by Millers Mill to Philadelphia".
In the same minutes for court held May 4, 1735: "ffrancis Hughs to appear and prosecute Jno Rogers for assault and battery". The minutes further state "John Rogers: Stealing one Bay Gelding to the Vallue of Six pounds belonging to ffrancis Hughs. Found guilty. Ordered to make restitution, fined six pounds plus costs & Moreover Receive on his bare back twenty one Lashes".
There are other mentions in these court minutes of Francis as a member of the jury, etc.
In the May, 1735 minutes of Cocalico township there is a petition for "a Road from Jacob Smiley's near Kits Miller's Mill to Francis Hughes' on Schuylkill; thence to Campbell's Ford".
Marjorie Shields (a Hughes family researcher) made notes which indicated a reference to Francis: "1735 - Thomas Hughes dec'd Lancaster Co. PA wife Elizabeth, children Elisha, Thomas, Deborah, and David. Mentioned in deed of Francis in Lancaster Co. PA. His wife married Edward Mitchell and moved to Cecil County Maryland." I do not have this deed and know of no other connection between Francis and Thomas. Since Thomas is not listed in Charles' will, I presume he is not a brother of Francis. It is possible that he is a brother to Charles who came over from Wales.
From the records I have, it appears to me that Marjorie is referring to a mention of a Thomas Hughes who witnessed a deed in Lancaster County in 1751. The exact record from "Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Deed Abstracts - Deed Books 'A' through 'M'" compiled by R. Thomas Mayhill is as follows: "(deed book) C99 William Bird (ironmaster) and w Bridget (Britchet) of Robeson tp enf. to Samuel Sealy (ironmaster) of Robeson tp 1,200 pounds (currency). 194 acres Robeson tp: Francis Hughes, Victor Naily, w. side Hay Creek. Also, 80 acres Robeson tp: William Bird; Also, 111 acres Robeson tp: Israel Robeson; Also, 75 acres Robeson tp: Enock Flowers; Also 226 acres Robeson tp: on Six Pence Creek; Also 204 acres Robeson tp: No. adjacent owners shown; Also Robeson tp: William Bird Part of 1,341 acres patented 16 March 1749 to William Bird (part of 243 acres)........ (deed book) C103 (same descriptions as above plus this note:) 29 May 1751 Joseph David, Thomas Hughes J14 4 Jul '51.
I believe the Thomas Hughes above is only coincidentally mentioned here. This does not appear to have any particular significance regarding family relationships. There is, however, a good possibility that a Thomas Hughes is somehow related to our family. There are numerous mentions of a Thomas in close proximity to our family.
1736 Francis Hughes patent in Lancaster Co. PA 194 acres on Haycreek (at the Schuylkill river). Francis is listed as "Francis Hughes late of Victor Nailey". Victor Nailey was a settlement not far from present Birdsboro.
A Francis Hughes is listed on the tax rolls of Chester County, PA as a resident in West Caln township in 1747. This may have been a place of temporary residence for Francis after he sold his land to William Bird and before moving to Virginia.
Francis' property on the Schuylkill was located in Lancaster County until 1752 when that part of the county became Berks County.
1746 - Francis Hughes "yeoman" and his wife Christian sell their "two hundred acres and the allowance" to William Bird for the sum of 280 pounds "current money of Pennsylvania". The sale is recorded in Berks County, PA Deed Book 7, page 486. (Note: Yeoman: a freeholder of a class below the gentry who worked his own land, a small land owner, an attendent or manservant in a royal or noble household, an assistant or subordinate (Webster's). Most likely a small land owner in the deed above.
Francis (73) bought prop in Augusta Co. VA in 1747. Deed Book No. 2 p. 13 - "4th September, 1747. John Millar (Millan) and wife Hannah of Augusta County for the sum of 60 pounds sold to Francis Hughes, late of Lancaster County of the province of Pennsylvania 200 acres in Augusta County being a part of 400 acres patented to Thomas Rutherford, of Frederick County, and by him sold to James Gill, late of Augusta; other part in possession of Thomas Moore. Teste: Mathew Skeen, Thos. Milsap. Delivered to Abra. (?) Bird, January, 1754."
I DON'T BELIEVE I HAVE SEEN ANY RECORD WHICH MENTIONS CHRISTINA AFTER THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY IN PENNSYLVANIA TO BIRD. THIS COULD INDICATE THAT: 1. SHE DIED BEFORE FRANCIS LEFT FOR VIRGINIA. 2. THE FRANCIS WHO BUYS LAND IN VIRGINIA IS NOT THE SAME FRANCIS WHO WAS MARRIED TO CHRISTINA 3. SHE IS SIMPLY NOT MENTIONED IN THE RECORDS (WAS IT USUAL TO MENTION THE WIFE'S NAME IN PURCHASE OF LAND?)
Note that the reference above includes the words "late of Lancaster County of the province of Pennsylvania". This, when combined with the timing of the PA sale and the VA purchase, is a strong indication that the Francis who buys property in Augusta Co. VA is the same as the son of Charles of PA.
Note that the delivery of the deed to Abraham Bird (who was a son of Andrew Bird) probably indicates a close family relationship. (I speculate that Christina may have been a sister or aunt to Abraham Bird). Abraham later (in 1779) proved the will of Francis. This is first indication of a Francis in Augusta Co. VA. He probably came from Penn to Va in late 1746 or early 1747.
Chalkley's Vol I p. 43: 9/21/1750 Francis Hughes - one old wolf head. p. 46 Robt. McClenachan qualified sheriff 8/27/1751. Francis Hughes complains Robt. McClenachan has taken him up as a runaway. I wonder if this could be the Francis "Jr." who is listed in the militia roster in 1767? If Francis Jr. is the son of Francis (G2), he would probably have been born about 1736 or so. This would make him about 15 years old in 1751. This is a strange situation. Robert McClenachan and Francis had both lived in the area for three or four years and should have known each other well enough to avoid this mistake. Peter Wilson suggests that this error may have been caused by his surname. Notice had been posted by Thomas Dansie of King William County for a runaway servant named William Hughes. (Chalkley I, p 46,47).
"Genealogies of Va. Families" p. 138 - Francis Hughes buys 225 a. in Augusta Co. on NR of Shenando. 17 Mar 1756. (also mentioned on p. 354 of Va. Historical Mag. vol 34. The date on this record appears to be in error. This 225 acres was surveyed for Francis Hughes March 27, 1750. It is adjacent to the original 200 acres he bought in 1747.
Henning's Statutes at Large Vol 7 p. 204 - 13 shillings paid to Aaron Hughes and Charles Hughes as wages in militia of Albemarle Co. VA 9/1758. "back wages due from Geo II 'an act for the defence of the frontiers of this colony, and for other purposes therein mentioned". This would give this Aaron a birthdate before 1740 (if he was at least 18 yrs old in 1758). Note the existance of a Charles Hughes, possibly a grandson of Charles and Rebecca (?). During the upheaval caused by the frequent indian attacks in the 1750's many settlers temporarily left the Shenandoah valley and moved to safer ground to the east. It is possible that this Aaron and Charles were part of our family and had enlisted in Albemarle county after moving there for safety. It is also possible that they were members of the Hughes families in Albemarle who may or may not be related to our family.
Some notes on the French and Indian War:
From 1754 to 1758, heavy Indian attacks occurred in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and along the Catawaba River in NC. From October, 1754 to the end of 1756, these assaults resulted in the deaths of at least 68 persons in the Shenandoah Valley. In 1757 and 1758, at least 49 settlers were killed, five wounded, and 86 taken prisoner. During the period around 1756 to 1759, many people fled Rowan County, NC to safety east of the Yadkin River. Peace finally came about 1761.
Francis was listed as overseer of roads in Augusta Co. VA in 1751. In 1752 Francis signs a petition about rerouting a road by his place in Augusta Co. VA.
Francis is shown still owning prop bought from Millar in 1768 when his land was processioned. Valentine Sevier is shown as a neighbor. In 1767 Francis Hughs is named in the processioning of property in Augusta Co.
Militia records indicate that Aaron Hughes, John Hughes, and a Francis Hughes, Jr. are listed as delinquents under Captain Andrew Bird's company for missing a muster on April 16, 1767. The term "Jr." for Francis Hughes, Jr. does not necessarily indicate that he is a son of Francis (G2). It is not likely, however, that he is a grandson of Francis (G2). Aaron would only be about 32 years old at this time and John would only be about 35. He could be a son of John (G2) the brother of Francis (G2), but I have no information proving conclusively that John (G2) was even present in Virginia. I suspect that "Jr." is the son of Francis (G2) and was born after Aaron and John. This would give him a birthdate of about 1738 to 1740 and making his age at this time to be in his late twenties. If this is the case, it would seem that it is impossible for the Francis who served at King's Mountain to be the son of Francis (G2). Francis of King's Mountain stated in his pension application that he was born in 1759. He would have only been 8 years old at the time of the militia muster mentioned above. I believe Francis of King's Mountain was of the next generation and was probably the son of Aaron (G3) or John (G3).
In 1777 Francis died in Augusta Co. VA with Aaron as administrator of his estate. David Grey speculated that there may also have been a son Moses who named his sons Francis, Aaron, and Thomas. The court records of Bortetourt or Augusta Co. VA indicate that 26 July 1779 "Will of Francis Hughes proved and Aaron Hughes qualifies executor." This seems to put Aaron in VA at that time. Note that the Aaron of Botetourt Co sold his land in 1783 to Brewer Reeves and left for Tennessee.
Francis Hughes is listed in 1766 under "Supernumeraries" in the VA court records. There is also an Aaron Hughs listed as a supernumerary" in the same record in 1766. Aaron (G3) would have been 31 years old at this time. Could he be supernumerary because of the military service listed above? I need to ask someone who knows about this.
We need to check for his will in Augusta Co. Va in 1777 to see if he names children. (I checked for Va wills at Clayton Library in Houston and could not find any will for him on microfilm there). Harry Long of New Market, VA told me he had checked the library in Richmond without success. I intend to check further. John Henton was the bondsman (10,000 pounds) for the will of Francis. Henton was the son of George Henton who purchased land in 1717 very near the land owned by Francis and Christina. They apparently attended the same church in Douglassville (Morlatton) as Francis and Christina. John Henton was probably a friend of Francis in Pennsylvania who later moved to Virginia as did Francis. John Henton was also a neighbor to John Hughes (son of Francis) in VA.
David Grey (a genealogist and apparently related to the Hughes family) stated in his notes that historians speculate that this Francis had children Francis, John, David, and Thomas - and that they were all at the battle of King's Mountain. I am not so sure about this. I believe Francis and Christina had children Aaron (b1735), Francis, Jr. (bc1740), and John (bc1732) plus some others (Moses, etc.).
Note that at least two of Francis' children are born between 1730 and 1740 in PA.
In will of Thomas Hughes (733) who died in 1765 "in a weak and declining condition", sons listed are Thomas, John, FRANCIS, Anthony, Matthew, William, and Thomas the younger. Is it possible this could be a son of Francis (73)???? He died in Orange Co. VA. Augusta Co. was formed from Orange Co. in 1738-1745.
Also note that the children of Charles Hughes (575) - Francis and John - could be the right age to be in Augusta Co. in 1740/1750.
After reviewing all of the facts, I have not found any mention of the Francis who moves to VA conclusively tied to a wife Christina. There is simply no mention of a wife's name in Virginia. We need to find the records of the sale of the 200 acres and the 225 acres of land on the south fork of the Shenandoah which Francis bought in 1747 and 1750. If his wife is still alive when the land is sold, her name would appear on the sale documents.