PETER HUFF OF SW VA

 

Peter HUFF (o 1730/60 ‑ possibly killed on Huff Creek, present day Wyoming Co, WV, in the1780’s) may be the person who lived just east of the Blue Ridge in what is present day Franklin and Patrick counties of VA. Until Henry Co was  formed in 1776, this area was first part of Halifax Co, then Pittsylvania Co, which joined first Augusta, then Botetourt Co along the Blue Ridge. The first record of Peter HUFF was in Bedford Co, which in 1773 extended south to the Blackwater River. On 3 Mar 1773, Peter HUFF was surety to the marriage of Samuel Huff to Sarah Hix, dau of John Hix, in Bedford Co., Va. The surety requirement was most frequently filled by the father of the groom, but it could also be an older brother. (These early Bedford Co marriages were recorded in American Quaker Genealogy, Vol 6, p 937, even though the people were not all Quakers.  Apparently, some of the records were lost for the Quaker congregations in the area; and the author recorded all the marriages he could find in order to recover whatever Quaker marriages were also recorded in the county records.)

The following year, 1774, in Lord Dunsmore’s War, Peter Huff was a sergeant in Capt  John Lewis’ Company from Botetourt Co while Leonard, and Samuel HUFF were privates.  Judging from the typical organization of frontier militia units, Peter HUFF was likely an older or more responsible person. Apparently all were at the Battle of Point Pleasant in present day WV, and Thomas HUFF was wounded there. It has been assumed that the HUFF individuals, were from the same area, that of Bent Mountain and Back Creek in Botetourt Co, which was adjacent at the time to Bedford Co.   There were 15 companies in all, most from Botetourt Co., but some from Bedford Co, Culpepper Co and other frontier counties.

At the time, Pittsylvania, then later Henry Co, and Bedford Co bordered on Blackwater River, and Peter HUFF lived in Henry Co. A marriage in Bedford Co in 1773 would have meant simply crossing the river and finding a justice of the peace in the area where the bride lived.   John HIX was a resident of Bedford Co. 1778‑1780 tax lists for Henry Co, include Peter HOFF, Samue1 HOFF, Thomas HOFF, Joseph HOUGH, and Samuel HOUGH.  Samuel HOFT and Thomas HOFT took oaths of allegiance in Jan 1778. Samuel HUFF contributed 33 pounds of bacon to the Henry Co. hospital, for which he was paid before June 1782.  On 11 May 1779, Peter HUFF had land surveyed on the South Fork of Blackwater River.  By 1784, he had added 26 acres to his land on Blackwater River. In 1787, only Mary HUFF and a Michael HUFF were on the tax lists for Henry Co. One of Mary HUFF’s neighbors was William ISHAM.  It is possible that Mary HUFF was widow of Peter, but this has not been confirmed.


It was about this time that one Peter HUFF became known as a scout and hunter who explored the Guyandotte River and its tributaries in present day Wyoming, Logan, and Mingo counties of WV.  This Peter HUFF is recorded as being killed by Indians on the creek that today carries his name as Big Huff Creek, a tributary to the Guyandotte. Sandy Huff Creek is a tributary, to Big Huff. There is also a Huff Mountain and a Huff Knob in this part of WV.  Little HUFF Creek was named for a different person, Thomas HUFF of Montgomery Co, who explored it. Thomas HUFF obtained a land grant on the Guyandotte River in 1781.

It is not at all clear which Peter HUFF was killed on Huff Creek, nor has the year been determined. It is assumed that the tradition is correct, and that the Peter HUFF who went to Cocke Co, TN, was certainly not this person. There is a tradition among descendants of John HUFF, a Revolutionary War Soldier and pensioner of Franklin Co, VA, that Peter was son of immigrants John and Hannah HOUGH from Germany to Berks Co, PA. They say Peter married Mary TONEY and moved into the area east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and that one of his sons was John, the Revolutionary War soldier who later lived in Franklin Co.

There is another version of the German HOUGH immigrant story among the descendants of Thomas HUFF/HOUGH of Mercer Co, KY. This story comes from the ISON family. The ISONs trace their, ancestry to Gideon ISON, buried 12‑14‑1701, Shropshire, England (Shropshire Parish Oswestry Vol 4, p 546).  His son John Sr, born about 1680, died in Amherst, VA. John married Martha Elizabeth HOUGH, who died in Augusta Co, VA, dau of John and Mary HOUGH. Gideon objected to the marriage because the John and Mary HOUGH family was of low class Austrian descent. However, the couple md anyway and migrated to America along with several of Martha’s HOUGH brothers. The name was changed to HUFF after coming to America. The ISON ch incl Gideon; John Jr.,  James, Mary, Christian, William, and Frederick; and they established the ISON family in VA. (The name is also carried as ISOM and ISHAM.) John Jr, md Rebecca JONES, dau of Isaac and Mary JONES, and had a large family to include Elizabeth (c 1746 ) who married her cousin, Thomas HUFF. This Thomas HUFF was a Rev. Soldier and a Doctor. He later moved to Mercer Co, KY. It was either he or his son, Thomas Jr, who received the 1781 Guyandotte River land grant and became the namesake for Little Huff Creek. It is thus probable that Peter HUFF and Thomas HUFF were either brothers or cousins, as they both share a tradition of descending from a German John HOUGH. This still does not say which Peter HUFF was killed on Huff’s Creek of the Guyandotte‑

Possible wife, children, relatives, or associates of Peter HUFF were:

 


a.  There were likely two widows named Mary HUFF in the 1785‑1800 time period in Montgomery Co, VA. On 20 Sep 1787, Thomas DOBBINS married widow Mary HUFF. It is not known who her husband was. On 24 Sep 1790, Mary HUFF bought 500 acres of land on Greasy Creek for 100 pounds from William MCDONALD.  On 8 Sep 1796, Mary HUFF sold or granted to Edward MCDONALD 195 acres on Burke’s Fork of Big Reed Island Creek of New River. On 7 Apr 1793, Griffith DICKERSON, son of Obadiah, married Mary HUFF, dau of Mary HUFF. On 17 Apr 1793, in the same area James KEITH married Peggy HUFF, whose parents were not listed. (The husband of this Mary is also not known; however, one William MCDONALD md Ursalla HUFF, dau of Thomas; and Thomas had land on Greasy Creek. This Thomas was the one who settled to Mercer Co, KY.)

 

b.     Samuel, (c 1750 VA? c 1820 TN).  One Samuel was in the Augusta Co. Militia on 6 April 1764 along with William Huff.  Samuel married in Bedford Co. on 3 Mar 1773 Sarah Hix , dau of John Hix.  Samuel served in Lord Dunmore’s War, then apparently lived in Henry Co through the Revolutionary War.  At  some point before 1800 he moved to TN and probably lived for some time in the eastern part of the state.  He eventually moved to Jackson Co., TN in the lands on the western side of the Cherokee holdings.  Children include Samuel, William, Leonard, Rachel and a dau who married a Harris.

c.  John (c 1763 Halifax Co, VA ‑ 10 May 1840 Franklin Co, VA, buried Pigg River Primitive Baptist Church Cementary near Rocky Mount, VA) served in the Revolutionary War from Henry Co in Capt John RENFROE’s company and Capt Thomas Henderson’s company. Descendants say John was born near Huff’s Church (location unknown but surmised to be in Berks Co, PA), but spent most of his youth near Turner Creek and Pigg River in present Patrick Co.  This is probably the best definition of where his parents lived. John married (1) on 14 July 1786 in Franklin Go, VA, Mary GEARHEART (c 1771‑1827 Franklin Co, VA), and she had Susan; Peter; Hannah; Jacob; Isaac and John. He married (2) in 1830 Mrs Polly WADE, but she died the next year ­without children. He married (3) in 1837 Elizabeth GUILLIAMS (1817 ‑1850 OH) who had two ch, James Henry and Ferdinand.  John drew pension S‑5590.

d.  Dr. Thomas (c 22 Feb 1732 VA ‑ after 1831 Mercer Co, KY) lived perhaps in Henry Co, VA. and later in Montgomery Co, VA.  One Thomas served in Lord Dunmore’s War, then a Thomas was a pvt in the 3rd VA Regt during the Revolutionary War, then later was a Colonel of Militia in the Indian Wars.  He married (1) Elizabeth ISOM, dau of John ISON Jr, and Rebecca (JONES) ISON, and they signed a deed in 1783 as Thomas and Elizabeth HUFF. He may have married (2) Elizabeth ?????.  Children may include Thomas; Ursalla; Dr. William; Esq. Richard; Mary; Elizabeth; Jonathan; Nancy and James.  Before 1800, “old Dr. Thomas” settled to Mercer Co, KY.  Either he or, his son Thomas was the one who explored the Wyoming Co area of WV.

 


e.  Leonard (before 1740 ?? ‑     ) by 1761 was a resident of Halifax Co, which then bordered Augusta, later Botetourt. He bought land from John and Mary MILLS as Leonard HOOFF on Little Bottom Creek in 1761. By 1768 Leonard HUFF was on Huff’s Creek at Bent Mountain, which fell in Botetourt Co.  By 1771 he was himself a tigheable resident with four other titheables at the head of Little River. This was south of and over the pass from the holdings on Little Bottom Creek which was a branch of the Roanoke. One Leonard HUFF married Elizabeth ?????? and later moved ‑to Cocke Co, TN. Children may have included John; Peter and Joseph; and possibly others to include Samuel and Leonard.

The following are considered simply because they lived in counties where Peter HUFF left a record.

f.   Stephen (24 June 1756 NJ ‑ 25 Jan 1842 Anderson District, SC) was living in Bedford Co, VA, at ‑the time of the Revolutionary War. He served three times as a soldier, once guarding the lead mine on New River, once in the Siege of Ninety Six, and once guarding supply trains. The name of his wife is not known, and his children seem to include William; John; Elizabeth; Phoebe and Phillip. Stephen may have been part of a HUFF family headed by Henry HUFF who received a 1769 land grant on Glady Creek in Bedford Co and who was on the 1782 tax list.

g.  William (c 1730 VA/ Mar 1803 Mercer Co, KY) was son of a frontier VA family which was killed by Shawnee Indians and William was taken and reared by them as a Shawnee. He returned to live in VA but may have moved back among the Shawnees.   He eventually married Mary HUNGATE, dau of William and Nancy HUNGATE, and settled in Montgomery Co, VA. In 1788, he resettled to Mercer Co, KY. He was an herbal doctor, practicing skills he learned among the Shawnees. Ch incl Richard; William; Charles; Samuel; John; Sally; Rhoda A.; Mary; Hannah and Nancy. This family was closely associated with the HUNGATES west of the Blue Ridge in what is presently Floyd Co, VA.

h.  Richard (     ) in 1767 was in Hugh INNES’ list of taxables in present day Franklin, then in Pittsylvania Co. He had 1 tithe, but no land. On 30 Mar 1769, he received 232 acres of land on the branches of Pigg River. On 13 Oct 1773, he was next to James RENTFROE on the South Fork of Pigg River. At one time he entered 400 acres beginning on the head of Schoolhouse Branch upon the north end of James RENTFROE’s land.

i.   James (     )was a land‑holding resident on Snow Creek in present day Franklin Co, VA, by 17 Mar 1769, when he was listed next to William YOUNG. One James HUFF in 1786 married   Biddy WOODS with Rev William LOVELL performing the ceremony.