- JOSEPH HATFIELD -
Per Leslie Collier (e-mail posts to the Hatfield mailing list 20 Feb 1998 - 21 Feb 1998):
Given that Joseph Hatfield is credited with a large number of descendants,
a study of them begins with a series of research strategies relating to
time and place for the search.
WHEN TO SEARCH:
The children to a man are usually born no earlier than his 20th
year. Since no real year of birth is known for Joseph, only his 1830
census listing (which indicates age 80-90--or birth 1740-50), let's
arbitrarily rule out anyone born before 1760, noting that any 1760-70
births need most careful attention since no real DOB is known for
A man should begin to leave records during his twenties, even in SW
VA. Therefore, the earliest record establishes latest parameter, for a
man would leave records after reaching maturity at 21. That establishes
birth "no later than" 21 years before the earliest record.
The first records of a man's children usually occur in the same
localities where the man lived. Therefore, let's consider as prime
suspects those Hatfields who left records in Joseph's known localities
during the time period he was known to have lived there.
Most families left both sons and daughters; in absence of
continuous marriage records wherever a family lived, consider as
possible sons-in-law (and therefore possible daughters) other men of
appropriate ages who either lived adjacent to Joseph or whose names
appear on documents created by or about him.
Naming patterns do repeat in families, so pay attention to the
names of children of potential children of Joseph (and even the next
generation down). While not conclusive, these can help. Remember that
Joseph is said to have had 2 wives, so names of their families should
also come into play.
Lifestyle patterns also should be somewhat similar. Joseph
Hatfield's pension says that he was illiterate (as was widow Rachel);
his deeds do not suggest much material wealth (he had 50 ac. in Russell
Co, VA, & later 106 ac. in what is now Scott Co, TN). Although every
family hopes to better itself in each generation, a wealthy,
educated-type would be implausible.
There is no documentary proof known to me as of today that proves
that Joseph Hatfield had 2 wives. "Everybody" says it....how do they
know? Am perfectly willing to believe, but where did this start?
WHERE TO SEARCH:
Note that the single best documentary source created in or near the
lifetime of Joseph Hatfield is the Revolutionary War pension file. This
file gives the following 4 localities:
Russell Co, VA - Place of marriage to Rachel in 1779. Also the
place from which he served in the Revolution.
Campbell Co, TN - Place of death in 1832
Greene Co, TN - Place he lived at unspecified time "after the
Scott Co, TN - Place where widow Rachel lived at pensioning
Extrapolating further from that, add the following counties as
Washington Co, VA - Note that Russell Co, VA, was not created until
1786, therefore records made in that area prior to 1786 would actually
have been in Washington Co, VA (which was itself created from Fincastle
Co in 1777).
Anderson Co, TN - Campbell Co, TN, was created in 1806 from
portions of Claiborne & Anderson Co, TN. Note that Anderson Co is more
likely since that area includes Scott Co, where widow Rachel lived at
the time of pensioning.
Morgan Co, TN - On its way to being Scott Co, TN, the area wher
widow Rachel lived was part of Morgan Co, TN, from 1817-1849.
Fentress Co, TN - Another precursor county to Scott Co.
Wayne Co, KY - Due to the infamous Walker Line muddying the
TN/KY border, Wayne Co, KY, records much early Scott Co, TN, history.
Washington Co, TN - A similar case for this county. Greene Co, TN,
was created in 1783, so it is possible that there may be a record in
Washington Co, TN...less likely, given the dates of the Revolution.
Other locations which turn up in further search:
Lee Co, VA - The Aug 1797 deed in Russell Co, VA (signed by
Joseph & Rachel Hatfield) to dispose of the property of Ericus Smith,
decd., says that Joseph was now "of Lee Co, VA."
That's when and where I began to search for the children of Joseph
More later on what I found.
Back to identifying the children of Joseph Hatfield. There is one child
who seems to have indisputable proof of relationship to Joseph Hatfield.
This is daughter Nancy who married Aaron Whitecotton
She lived to 18 Jan 1870, dying in Reynolds Co., MO. Her census listings
give her birth in 1786 in VA; family records specify 25 Oct 1786. She
was married 2 July 1807 in Wayne Co., KY, to Aaron Whitecotton. The key
is a marriage bond authorizing this marriage:
"this is to certify that I have gave my consent that Aaron Whitecotton
shall marry my dauter Nancy and that he may be my son-in-law - by Joseph
(his mark) Hatfield." Witnessed by John Maxwell and George
Sho 'nuff, Joseph Hatfield is present on surviving Wayne Co. tax lists in
1802, 1806, & 1807 (FHL film 0008269), before moving into what is today
Scott Co., TN (but was at the time part of Anderson Co.) See
LAND IN TN: FOURTH SURVEY DISTRICT OF TN 1806-1810; JOHN McCLELLAN,
SURVEYOR; p. 43; Douthet, James L.; 1988 (Signal Mtn., TN; Mountain
Press): "p. 159 (of original survey book)
Surveyed for Joseph Hatfield, 106 3/4 acres of land in Anderson Co on
Brimstone, one of the branches of New River
James Scott D.S.
James Reed & William Smith S.C.C." Recorded 8 Sep 1808"
This land continued as part of Anderson Co. until 1817 when the
boundaries of Campbell County, TN, were extended to take in the northern
region of Anderson County . . . where it remained until Scott County was
organized in 1849. Joseph Hatfield lived out his life in what was called
Campbell County, although his family filed for the pension and shows
later census records in Scott County. Yes, this is where he appeared on
his only surviving census in 1830. But guess who was his neighbor, the
tax collector, and local magistrate was during these years in the
southwestern part of Campbell County? It was none other than Aaron
Whitecotton, husband of Nancy Hatfield. (And thank heavens for
Just for fun, what was the name of Nancy Hatfield Whitecotton's last
child? It was "Smith Whitecotton" (poor fella, ugly name). And who was
papa Joseph Hatfield's wife at the time of Nancy's birth . . . it was
So--Nancy is easy. Her line is in. She is a daughter to Joseph Hatfield
and Rachel Smith.
That's one down and lots to go.
As an aside, researchers of the Joseph Hatfield line need some
familiarity with the Smith family that produced Rachel Smith, for every
child evinces characteristics and customs from both parents. Rachel
Smith was a daughter to Ericus Smith (who died in Russell Co., VA, in
1792/3) and his wife Bridget Anderson. Her oldest brother was Ale Smith,
who served as an Indian spy during the Revolution alongside Joseph
Hatfield (and in whose widow's pension application Rachel would depose).
Her youngest brother was Andrew Smith, who deposed in her pension
application in 1840. She had another brother, Ericus Smith (Jr.), who
migrated on to Wilson Co., TN. Her parents married and baptised their
first two children (Mary, later married to Ephraim Hatfield of feuding
fame, and infant son John who promptly left a burial record in the
church) in Holy Trinity Church of Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware
(church popularly called "Old Swede's Church"). The family had been in
Delaware for one earlier generation. In the same church are found the
christening records of both Ericus Smith and his future wife Bridget
Anderson. When Ericus' father died in 1753, the church record carried
DEATH AND BURIAL: DELAWARE HISTORY; Vol. 5, No. 3; Mar 1953; Burial
Records 1713-65, Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church; translated & edited by
Courtland B. & Ruth L. Springer; p. 199
"Burials in the Year 1753 (Third Book, p. 913) Dec 27 Hans Smidt, born
in Sweden, in Fahlun Town. Came here to this land in the year 1720. Was
the first ancestor of the Swedish family of Smidt on the Christiana.
Hatmaker. Died of consumption."
Note that this is a direct quote. It would be hard to be more clear. The
Smiths came to America from Fahlun, Sweden. And, yes, they are traceable
there, too. As a matter of fact, they left an astonishing number of
records in both Sweden and Delaware.
For Hatfield purposes, one of the most telling is the 1753 "census" of
the members of Holy Trinity Church. This was taken about a month before
the death of the Hans Smith whose burial is given above. Sweden was a
church state, and kept excellent records. Ministers were placed by
authority of the King, and sent reports back to the royal archives on
their congregations. This 1753 "census" of church membership was an
annual report. Every member of a household is listed (no ages). In the
house of Hans Smith are found two of his sons Andrew and Ericus, and the
housekeeper Bridget Anderson. Ericus married Bridget 22 Nov 1753, just
before papa Hans died. This list of church members was taken much like a
regualar U.S. census, meaning it was geographic. Know that this is
"downtown" Wilmington, Delaware . . . this is absolutely not outside of
town in farmland. (So downtown wasn't much, tax lists of a few years
earlier say that there were only thirty buildings in town.) Hans Smith
was a city boy, a hatmaker by trade . . . never farmed an acre in his
life. His wife's family donated the church land, and his house/shop was
right next door. Here's the Hatfield part----and it's important. Living
exactly next door in teeny-tiny downtown Wilmington in 1753 is a married
Hatfield lady, granddaughter to Edward Hatfield who was a son to to
Jurian Hartsfelder (which Anglicized to Hatfield, seen as just that in
Just how long and how well have these two families known one another?
For a moment, let's look look at two of the names used by the
Smiths--Ericus and Ale. These are oddball names today, and they are
peculiar to Swedes. Ericus Smith appears to have been named for his
uncle Ericus Bjork, who was a lofty personage and minister to Old
Swede's Church in Wilmington (the wives to Hans Smith and Ericus Bjork
were sisters). The name "Ale" is an even older Swedish name. It comes
from Swedish mythology. It celebrates an early King Ale of Sweden
(actually now part of Norway) whose exploits on the battlefield were
legendary (very similar to England's King Arthur or Beowulf). [See
origin of the name in A HISTORY OF THE VIKINGS; Gwyn Jones (Oxford
University Press; New York), 1968, pp.38.]
Unless there is a blood Swedish tie or an awfully huge chunk of
neighborly appreciation, then the Hatfields have no business using these
names. They're just too ethnic to happen by accident.
Back now to Jeremiah Hatfield: I think I buy him as a son to Joseph for
a lot of associations and circumstantial reasons, but most of all for
the name "Ericus."
Jeremiah and Ale Hatfield actually come next in degree of proof, except
that Jeremiah's case is a hair stronger. The single most-telling piece
of evidence is a manuscript written in the 1930's by Larkin Hatfield, a
grandson to Jeremiah, part of which is reproduced below. Please note
carefully that his manuscript in no way mentions Joseph Hatfield,
although it does name the author's grandfather as Jeremiah Hatfield and
makes mention of two brothers to gramps, Joseph and William. Since
brothers share a father, then if we belive that one or more of these are
sons to old Joseph, then we buy in to all of them as sons to Joseph.
Great, that would be three at one blow.
Why would we choose to believe a manuscript written in the 1930's and
what relationship does it imply to Joseph Hatfield? The main reason I
like this Larkin Hatfield document is precisely because it makes no
exaggerated claims. Realistically, most of us can speak with any
accuracy only back to our own grandparents . . . which this does. Our
great-grandparents are usually either deceased before we are old enough
to remember them, or they are so old that by the time we get around to
asking questions, they are pretty useless. I would take Larkin
Hatfield's word for stories about his grandfather . . . these would
still be active family memories. Furthermore, if the details of his
stories can be proven in county records, that adds weight to his
Larkin Hatfield begins by telling his readers that he is 84 years old
and the only one left alive to tell the history of the Snows, Hatfields,
and Smiths (but the Smith line is that of the author's wife, not the
ancestral Smiths). He says that he is a son to Ericus Hatfield and Polly
Snow; this I believe because he would know his own parents.
He goes on to say that his father was a son to Jeremiah Hatfield . . .
never mind, I'll let you read it:
"Three brothers, Joseph Hatfield, William Hatfield and Jerry
Hatfield, of English descent emigrated from Virginia and stopped in
Roane County and settled on a creek called Hurricane Fork. There they
remained for some years, when Joseph Hatfield emigrated to Missouri,
took up land and there reared his family. Some of his descendants still
live in that state. Jerry Hatfield remained in Roane County for some
years, but because of the abundance of game on the Cumberland mountains,
he moved to Morgan county and settled on Obed's river near where it
empties into Big Emery river not many miles from Mongomery, the first
county site of Morgan county. There he lived and reared a family of four
sons and two daughters. In his old age he was drowned while attempting
to cross Emery river in a small canoe during a high tide of water. He
was found lodged in the fork of a tree several days after the water
The four sons of Jerry Hatfield were William Hatfield, Eric
Hatfield, Joseph Hatfield, and David Hatfield. The girls were Celia and
Fannie. Fannie Hatfield was drowned in almost the same way as their
father had been drowned, while crossing the same stream of water in a
canoe. Celia Hatfield married Brantley Golliher, an ex-soldier of the
war of 1812.
They reared one son, who married Miss Jane Lively. They too reared
one son, Henry Golliher who now lives about ten miles north of
William Hatfield, oldest son of Jerry Hatfield, married Lizzie
Hayes, and to them were born four sons, Greelee, Emanuel, and Andrew,
and Jerry Jr.
Joseph Hatfield Nancy Summers and they reared three children,
Samuel, James, and Caroline. Joseph Hatfield died in a rather unusual
way. His brother William was subject to epileptic fits, which were very
severe. He had told his wife that he could not bear to see his brother
William have another fit. One night William stayed all night with
Joseph. On awakeing next morning while they were lying in bed talking,
William was seized with a convulsion. Joseph started across the room to
his bed and suddenly dropped dead before reaching him.
The widow of Joseph Hatfield lived on the home place until her sons
grew up, then she moved to Kentucky and bought a farm near Morganfield
where she lived the remainder of her life, and died about the year
David Hatfield, youngest son of Jerry Hatfield, was almost a giant
in size and strength. He was six foot two inches tall and weighed about
two hundred pounds. His flesh was all muscle and sinew (sic). He was
said to be the strongest man in Morgan County at the time he lived. He
worked for awhile on a steamboat that plied the Mississippi and Ohio
rivers, but occasionally visited his home county, and old Montgomery was
his headquarters. He was a happy, jocular kind of fellow, but when he
was drinking, as most men did in those days, he liked to fight. In those
days there were no weapons used when men fought, they used their fists.
A few years before the beginning of the Civil War, circuit court
was in session at Old Montgomery. There were saloons there and Dave
Hatfield had imbibed too freely and was in a state of mind to box with
any of the best boxers in town. He took off his coat, tied his
suspenders about his waist, and in a loud voice was issuing challenges
to the crowd. The disturbance became so great that the presiding judge
sent the sheriff whose name was Welch, and a deputy by the name of
Langly to bring in the man who was raising such a disturbance. Officers
in those days rarely carried weapons. The sheriff deputized two other
men to aid him in addition to the one he already had. Hatfield backed up
against the walls of the courthouse and knocked each of them down as
fast as they approached. They went staggering back to the court houe to
get further orders from the judge and gathering recruits, two of the
Hatfields friends, Julian Scott and Sam Hall got him out of town.
He slipped away and went to Kentucky. When the Civil War came up he
joined the union army. After the war, he married a Miss Ellen Bell of
Kentucky. They had one daugher Nancy. He died of pneumonia at his home
Jerry Hatfield, Jr., son of William Hatfield, married a Miss
McPeters, and moved to Morgan County, Kentucky, reared a fmaily of
several children, and died there.
Eric Hatfield, son of Jerry Hatfield, Sr., was born in Roane
county, Tennessee, 28 April 1811. At the age of 22 years, he married
Miss Polly Snow who was born 9 Feb 1811. They settled on a small farm
near Crab Orchard creek in the third district of Morgan county. They
reared cattle, hogs, and sheep. All the sheep were brought home and
lotted at night, for wolves were numerous and were certain to get the
sheep if left on the range at night. To show how important the lotting
of the sheep at night was considered to be, I will related a
circumstance that occured while they had only two small children. Eric
Hatfield went to Montgomery, intending to return the same day, but while
there ws summoned on jury and could not come home. This left his wife
and babies there alone. It was a dark, rainy evening, and when he did
not come, his wife, knowing the sheep must be lotted, left the two
little children in the house, the oldest two years old and the youngest
less than a year old. It rained so hard, and darkness came so suddenly
that she got lost in the mountains. Wolves, bear and panthers were quite
plentiful then. She climbed a tree and began to scream as loud as she
could. At first she received no answer, but finally she heard the voice
of a man answer. She continued screaming until the man approached her on
horse back. He was Major David Alley, an uncle of her husband, who
hearing her screams had gone to her assistance. He took her on the horse
to her home where she found her babies safe and sleeping soundly
unconscious of the terrible experience of their mother.
Eric and Polly Hatfield lived there in the third district until
five children were born. They moved on the north side of Crab Orchard
mountain and settled on Murphy's branch. Hee they settled in the woods,
cleared the land, made a home. Eric Hatfield was a hunter and sportsman,
and an excellent shot with a rifle. This new location suited him, for
here he was surrounded with game of all kinds, such as deer, bear,
wolves, panther, wild turkeys and smaller game. In those days the guns
were muzzle loaders having flint locks which were fired by striking a
small piece of steel. Gun caps were unknown. He always kept a flock of
sheep and for this reason had to be constantly on the lookout for
wolves. In all, he killed and scalped 49 wolves. At that time, and I
think even to this day, there was a bounty of five dollars for the scalp
of a wolf over six months old, and two and a half dollars for those
under that age. This bounty was also an inducement to kill these
animals. He lived on Murphy's Branch eleven years and added to his
family two sons and a daughter. At the end of this period, he sold his
farm and bought a farm on Crab Orchard Creek, about one and one-half
miles from where he settled when first married. Soon after he moved to
this place his youngest and tenth child was born. They lived here until
all their children were grown and some of them gone, and some married.
Soon after the Civil War, the Rockwood Iron Furnace was started by a
company known as the Roane Iron Company, and the town of Rockwood began
to be built. This was about the year 1866. Eric sold his farm on Crab
Orchard creek to a man by the name of Stout, died at the age of 83 on 24
Apr 1894. His wife died within the same year, 21 Nov 1894. They had long
been members of the Baptist Church, and died as they had lived,
Christians. They were buried at Haley's Grove cemetery, near the present
town of Crab Orchard in Cumberland County.
Eric and Polly (Snow) Hatfield reared ten children, five boys and
five girls. I will record them in the order of their birth. Eveline
Hatfield lived with her parents until after she was forty years old, and
then married James Melton of Clear Creek in Morgan County. They had one
girl. They are buried in Clear Creek cemetery.
Martha E. Hatifeld married Stanton Powell and lived in Morgan
county for several years after marriage. Just before the Civil War,
Stanton and Martha Powell in company with James and Susan McGuffy
migrated to Newton County, Arkansas. Soon after the war began and they
joined the Federal army and served through the war, beign located on
what was then the frontier, that is what is now the state of Oklahoma.
They were in a number of engagements with the Indians and Confederates.
After the war they came back to Morgan county and bought a farm on Crab
Orchard creek near Pine Orchard where they lived for many years and
reared a family of two boys and several girls. The boys are, Calvin, who
now lives at Wartburg. The girls are Susan, Mandy and Emma who is now
That's enough of the excerpt for you to get the picture. Larkin was
light on details about gramps Jeremiah, but did have a few rumors to
pass along. His main contribution comes in the accuracy with which he
recounts later names, places, and dates of events for the Hatfield
family. I've checked them . . . they're correct.
If I can't catch him lying to me . . . if the records do show the people
he names moving to the places he names at the time he says they go, then
I like his version pretty well. He says that his grandfather Jerry
Hatfield came to this area of Tennessee from Virginia (with which the
1850 and 1880 census of these men or their descendants agrees) and was
in Roane County. That's true, there are court records to back it up. He
talks about Jerry moving to a particular area of Morgan County, also
true with records to prove it. He says that grampaw's brother Joseph
ended up in Missouri and had descendants who lived there to this day
(1930's) (OK, so I can only prove they are still in Douglas Co, MO,
through to the 1920 census . . . give me a break, the 1930 census isn't
open yet). These descendants of Great-uncle Joseph would be his second
cousins. This seems to imply that there was some contact between these
branches of the Hatfield family.
Grampaw's brother William in not mentioned again, but that's OK because
he will kick up again in records left by descendants of Ale Hatfield in
a future installment of this chronicle.
Since old Joseph Hatfield and wife Rachel Smith are not mentioned in this
manuscript, why do I want to believe that Jermeiah Hatfield was a son to
1) His age is right to be a son to Joseph (born in or around 1780) and
2) His geographic location is right for him to be a sattelite to old
3) The records he left include references to others who seem to be sons
to Joseph. For example, the 1806 census of Anderson County, TN, lists
both Ale and "Gery" Hatfield. He shows up in court in Morgan Co. in 1824
with William Hatfield.
4) He named a son "Joseph."
5) Above all, he named a son "Ericus Hatfield." This is the most
critical piece of information, for Rachel Smith Hatfield's father was
In sum, I believe in the following:
Joseph Hatfield b. somewhere between 1740-1750 (1830 census)
d. 19 Aug 1832 in Campbell Co., TN (from the pension)
m. Rachel Smith 28 Oct 1779 in Washington Co., VA
(pension says "Russell Co.," which wasn't formed yet)
Children I like so far:
Ale Hatfield b.1778 (from tombstone only)
Jeremiah b.abt 1780 (to be 21 by birth of first child)
Nancy b. 25 Oct 1786 (descendant's records)
William b. 1790-1800 (census)
Joseph b. 1796 (1850 & 1860 census)
I am still working on Sarah (b. 25 Aug 1800) who md. Absalom Cooper and
ended up in Indiana and Pheriba, the wife of Isaac Reed of Scott Co.,
TN., b. 1791. There is also a possibility with Leander (b. 1795), who
married Moses Sexton of Scott Co., TN. In other words, I haven't really
gotten around to the girls yet. Sorry.
I must admit to doubts about Ale Hatfield, not as to being a son to
Joseph... but as a son to a first wife. That's a whole other story. For
now, suffice it to say that the man needs further research in original
records. The facts that his name is Ale and that he named a daughter
Rachel do make me nervous about pinning him down as a son to a first
wife, unless and until I can find further proof of her.
Please note that I have doubts about the accuracy of the dates supplied
by Rachel Smith Hatfield in her pension application. They were required
pieces of information in order for her to get any money out of the
government. She freely admitted that she and Joseph kept no record of
their family, being illiterate. The marriage book is incomplete, and her
marriage is not recorded. There is no tombstone. In short, I can't
verify whether she made these dates up to qualify for the pension, or if
they are by some chance real.
I will add that I don't trust her version any too far. The woman was
flat-out not handy with a calendar. Here's a sample of dates of birth
for Rachel Smith Hatfield:
1830 Census Age 70-80 b. 1750-60
Campbell Co, TN
p. 236 of census
[NOTE: Rachel is "missing in action" on the 1840 Census]
21 Oct 1843 Age 80 b. ca 1763
Campbell Co, TN
Deposition for pension of husband Joseph Hatfield
11 Nov 1843 Age 84 b. ca 1759
Campbell Co, TN
Deposition in support of pension for widow of brother, Aly Smith
Pension file R9751, under "Eli Smith"
[same court, same judge, same clerk took the deposition only three weeks
after previous deposition, yet she is 4 years older]
1850 Census Age 90 b. ca 1760
Scott Co, TN
p. 727, household of Isaac Reed
24 Nov 1851 Age 96 b. ca 1755
Scott Co, TN Deposition for increase of pension of her husband
(Also note that after her death, her descendants report--)
Death in May 1858 Age 110 b. 1748
[If she doesn't know how old she is, then how can we believe any date
she supplies? Do notice that she gets credit for being progressively
older all the time. ...]
Looking at the known ages of the children of Ericus Smith/Bridget
Anderson, it is apparent that Rachel could not have been born before
1758. If she were older, then she would show on the records of Holy
Trinity Church, for dau. Mary was born and christened in 1754 and son
John was christened and died late in 1757. Given that even if Bridget
became pregnant immediately (unlikely, normal interval between births is
about 2 years), then Rachel could not have been born before 1758, with
1759 being more likely. Suspect that she is older than brother Ali, for
the majority of her reported ages are in the 1750's, while his earliest
proven birth would be 1761 (he sold land to Joseph Hatfield in 1782 and
would have to be 21 to do so). Also suspect that since Rachel does not
show on records of Holy Trinity, that Ericus & Bridget moved prior to
I'm running through the children of Joseph in whom I continue to
believe, and Ale comes next. Like the others, Ale remained illiterate,
meaning that he didn't bother to leave us a lot of juicy records. Just
as in Jeremiah's case, the single best source tying Ale to Joseph
Hatfield is a book written by a descendant, son Emanuel and dictated to
his grandson (OK, Emanuel was illiterate, too, which he confesses in his
book). This book does not mention old Joseph Hatfield whatsoever, but
does talk about Ale Hatfield and two brothers.
STORIES OF HATFIELD, THE PIONEER: EMBRACING A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF HIS
EXPERIENCE IN THE WILDERNESS OF EAST TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY, AND SOUTHERN
INDIANA (Third Edition). Emanuel Hatfield, as told to E. Inman with a
Foreword by Fontella Hatfield Singley (Dorrance & Company: Philadelphia
and Ardmore, PA) 1978. ISBN 0-8059-2524-4.
Interesting book. Emanuel Hatfield was a child by Ale's second wife
Elizabeth Young. He did not die until 1 Jan 1892 up in Greene Co.,
Indiana. For the vast majority of the book, he discusses his own
... his mention of his antecedents is even sketchier than is the case
with the Larkin Hatfield manuscript. Although I'll have to go re-read
the book to be positive, I don't recall that he ever got around to
mentioning Ale Hatfield by name, but referred to him continually saying
"my father" instead of inserting the name.
Emanuel Hatfield did do two highly entertaining things in this book for
genealogists. He describes life in Campbell County, Tennessee, where he
grew up, even giving some detail about what the abandoned cabin looked
like as they left Tennessee forever. Ah, ha! They _are_ from Campbell
County. That's item #1. Next he tells very briefly how, on reaching the
wilds of Indiana, his father (still no name) went to meet with two of
his brothers, Bill and Joe, who had preceeded them to this state. These
brothers helped Emanuel's father locate the land in Greene Co. on which
they settled. That's item #2.
At this time Emanuel drops his uncles Bill and Joe like hot potatoes,
but he did name them.
Lets' see: Jeremiah Hatfield down in Tennessee had two brothers named in
the Larkin Hatfield manuscript . . . William and Joseph, with Joseph
ending up in Missouri and having descendants there as late as 1930. Now
we have added Ale, who had two brothers, Bill and Joe, who preceeded him
to Indiana. Hmmm . . . .
[And, by the way, don't worry that Emanuel Hatfield never named Ale
Hatfield as his father in this book . . . for he left us another record.
Ale Hatfield and second wife Elizabeth Young sleep under a double stone
in Hatfield Cemetery near Owensburg, Greene, IN. This tombstone has
engraved upon it, "Monument erected by Manuel Hatfield."]
Time to do a little more work. So I chased around looking for records of
William/Bill and Joseph/Joe. Sure enough, men of this name depart the
Campbell County area of Tennessee by 1820 and show up in Indiana.
William/Bill stayed there, leaving two wives and the usual cacaphony of
But Joseph/Joe departs again. He is in Daviess Co., IN, (the area
adjacent to Greene Co., IN) on the 1830 census, but leaves after this.
In 1840 he is in Taney Co, MO; by 1850 he is in Ozark Co., MO; and by
1860 Douglas Co., MO. All of these Missouri counties don't count. He
only moved from Indiana once . . . this was a rapidly developing area of
Missouri, and the state legislators kept changing the name of the area
around him. Once he got to Missouri, he stayed put for the rest of his
life, no matter what they called it. ...
His 1850 census shows us that he was born in Virginia in 1796, was
married to a Milly (of the large and widespread Whomever family), and
had children born in Indiana from 1820 through 1835, after which the
kids show Missouri births.
He conveniently named a son Smith Hatfield, who is still in his
household on that 1850 census. Hot dawg! I can run them through the rest
of the census up to 1920. They're still there! Needless to say, there in
Missouri he lives in a nest of East Tennessee families going back to
This Joseph Hatfield is the tie that pulls together the Larkin Hatfield
and Emanuel Hatfield works . . . we are, indeed, looking at a group of
brothers. Each manuscript left out one brother (which would be typical
of works done long afterwards), but they come back together in the
person of Joseph Hatfield of Douglas Co., MO.
We can also place Ale and Jeremiah Hatfield adjacent on the 1806 tax
list of what was then Anderson Co., TN, in Capt. McGuire's company.
Brothers share a father . . . that's the general idea. There are only
two candidates of the correct approximate age range who were in Russell
Co, VA; Wayne Co., KY; and the various counties (as the name changed) of
East Tennessee. These are Valentine and Joseph Hatfield. But Valentine
migrates on, and his children go with him (evenutally to Arkansas) ,
while Joseph stayed in the Campbell/Anderson/Scott/ Morgan County area
of Tennessee. Children of Ale lived adjacent to Aaron Whitecotton
(whose wife is the only dead-out proven child of Joseph) and all of
these "brothers" use names that belong to the family of Rachel Smith.
Ale's second wife, Elizabeth Young, was a sister to Rachel Young, the
wife of Andrew Smith (who was Rachel Smith Hatfield's youngest brother).
This is found in a deed record of Wayne Co., KY.
It all fits together nicely so far.
Joseph Hatfield has lost a lot of children over the
years. I'm going to tell you about some of them now.
GEORGE and JEREMIAH are sons to GEORGE Sr.
Let's begin early... in 1770 and 1771 in Botetourt Co., VA. These
years have surviving tax lists... incomplete, but carrying the
Hatfield neighborhood. Here are found John and George Hatfield, fine
fellows both. (Hang on to John, I'm saving him for another post.) The
list for 1771 is especially interesting, for it gives a multiple entry
for George. Listed as tithables are "George Hatfield and sons George
and Jeremiah." Check out the quotation marks... this is exactly
what the record says.
Remember Virginia's tax law: everybody on this list by name is 21
years old or older. Since George Hatfield has two sons who have
reached 21, he's over 40, and could possibly be older (so born in or
before 1730). His sons George and Jeremiah had years of birth in or
before 1750. record specifies such. This appears to be the same
George and Jeremiah who took land next in Montgomery Co, VA, and were
in Washington/Russell Co., VA, after the Revolution. So, take these
guys off the list of prospects [of children] for Joseph.
GEORGE GOFF HATFIELD
This name comes from a deed made in
Russell Co., VA, on 28 Nov 1809. (FHL film #0032427; VA; Lee County;
Deed Book 2; p.255. George Hatfield to Abner Hatfield, 28 Nov 1809).
"This Indenture made the 28th day of November 1809 between George
Gof Hatfield [NOTE: The "Gof" is very clearly crossed out by the clerk
who copied the deed into the book.] of Lee County and State of
Virginia of the one part and Abner Hatfield of the same County and
State of the other part part [sic] Witnesseth that for and in
Consideration of one hundred dollars to the said George Hatfield in
had paid before the sealing and delivering of these presents the
Receipt Whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath Granted bargained and
sold and by these presents doth doth [sic] Grant bargain and sell unto
unto [sic] the said Abner Hatfield his heirs and Assigns One Certain
tract or parcel of Land lying and being In the said County of Lee
Containg One hundred acres be the same more or less lying on the
waters of the lick branch and bounded as followeth to Wit Beginning at
a large black oak marked with three Chops by the head of a lerge
Spring S10E 40 poles to a large White Oak on the side of a ridge N60W
35 poles to a black Oak & Wite Oak N70W 68 poles to to [sic] a chesnut
and Ridge North 22 poles to a Double Chesnut N6W 20 poles [NOTE: could
read "120" poles, hard to tell] to two White Oaks N43E 90 poles to two
White oaks S75E 100 poles to a spanish oak and hicory by a poplar lick
branch & S20W 195 poles to the beginning-With its appurtenances
thereunto belonging to have and to hold the said parcel of Land to the
said Abner Hatfield his heirs & assigns forever in his performance
where of clear of all Other Claims Whatsoever I oblige myself my
Executors & Administrators and assigns ever to defend in Witness
Whereof I have signed this Indenture the day & year first above
Signed Sealed & delivered in presents of [No witnesses listed at all.]
George, his mark, Hatfield Seal
At a court held for Lee County the 28th day of November 1809
This Indenture of bargain & Sale from George Hatfield to Abner
Hatfield was acknowledged was acknowledged [NOTE: the second set of
"was acknowledged" is crossed out in the same manner as the "Gof" at
the beginning of the deed.] In court and Ordered to be Recorded
Test C Carter
Now to the "Goff" part. It's necessary to understand the deed process
to interpret this document. An owner and his prospective buyer reach
an agreement privately: amount of land, price, exactly when to sell,
etc. They then can either write up a document of sale, called the
"deed," and take it to the courthouse, or they may stand up in open
court session and declare the sale (which means that the court clerk
makes out the actual deed paper). If you are unable to write, then you
either have someone else make out your deed and have several witnesses
who actually watch you sign your mark and sign the deed themselves
going on record as witnesses, or you declare the sale in open court,
so that the entire court stands as witness. This latter process is
what happened here. It is the name of the seller (known as the
"grantor") and his signature or mark that goes at the bottom of the
deed. He is essentially authorizing the transferral of his property to
a buyer and acknowledging that he has received the agreed-upon
payment. It is the buyer (known as the "grantee") who keeps the
original deed document. He has traded his money for this precious
piece of paper that gives him title to the land. There is one more
step: the new owner takes the deed itself to the clerk in the
courthouse and has it recorded in the county's deed books. The clerk
makes what is supposed to be an exact copy of the original deed in the
deed books and returns the original to the new owner to take back
home. What we read on microfilm is this copy that the clerk made.
Remember that this is in the days before a lot of modern
conveniences. There are no erasers, no white-out, no self-correcting
typewriter ribbons, no nifty word processing programs. If the clerk
made a copying error, he crossed it out (the old term is
"interlined"). He did not tear the page out of the deed book and start
over. In the first place, the books were expensive; and in the second
place, copying by hand with quill and ink is slow work and not to be
Scan blow-up from deed copy on page 767 of HATFIELD FAMILY
HISTORY by Harry Leon Sellards, Jr.
Reread that deed above. Notice that there are a large number of
copying errors (and I've marked them "sic"). He found two errors and
crossed them out (yes, I've marked those in the body of the deed), but
missed several more. These include the all-important "Gof" and a
duplication of the phrase "was acknowledged." ...
Scan blow-up from deed copy on page 767 of HATFIELD FAMILY
HISTORY by Harry Leon Sellards, Jr.
That a clerk with obvious copying problems wrote "Gof" and then
crossed it out by no means proves that George Hatfield's middle name
was "Goff." George didn't acknowledge himself as "George Gof Hatfield"
at the bottom. He only made his mark acknowledging "George Hatfield."
Scan blow-up from deed copy on page 767 of HATFIELD FAMILY
HISTORY by Harry Leon Sellards, Jr.
Add to that some knowledge of the use of middle names in America. They
essentially don't begin to crop up until children born in the 1790's,
yet this George Hatfield was born before 1750. He's not supposed to
have a middle name, and neither are his children. His grandchildren,
maybe . .
.but not he himself.
It's simple. If someone wants to claim that George Hatfield was "George
Goff Hatfield," then he needs to find another document where the "Gof"
part isn't crossed out. ...
BUT WHICH GEORGE HATFIELD?
Let's see. There were a father and son both named George Hatfield on a
1771 tax list in Botetourt Co., VA. There are again two men named
George Hatfield on a single tax list in Lee Co., VA, in 1795. But
that's 24 years apart! Is there no other record in between that shows
two Georges? If it's the same "old" George Hatfield, then he's been
missing for too long to be believed. Reseachers need to find a more
continuous record to assert that it is the same two Georges . . . this
one needs a LOT more research.
The George of the 1809 deed would be sixty or older if he were the
younger of the two Georges. He would be eighty or older if he were the
older of the two. However, after 1795, two Georges never again appear
in Lee County. One of them is gone. Although anything can happen,
it's more likely that the older one died. Therefore, if one of them is
mistakenly called "George Goff Hatfield" in 1809, it's far more likely
to be the younger one.
The second George on the 1795 Lee County, VA, tax list could also be
someone's young son. It does not prove that "old" George has cropped
back up after a 24-year vacation on the Riviera. Could be, just gotta
have better proof.
BTW, the Abner Hatfield who gets land in this 1809 deed was born circa
1780 and soon migrated on to Claiborne Co., TN, along with his
purported brothers Ralph and Lynch. This deed is used by descendants
of this group to establish a line going back to George (and from now
on I'm going to call him George Jr.).
"Old" George Hatfield (I'll call him George Sr.) was born in or before
1730. He was busily siring children by the late 1740's, for two adult
sons are present with him on the 1771 tax list of Botetourt Co. Does
he have other children? Probably . . . that would be perfectly normal.
Since George Jr. and Jeremiah are provably his sons, then other
Hatfields whose ages are similar to theirs and who hang out with
George Jr. and Jeremiah are prime suspects . . . not proven, mind you,
but good candidates who need more research to rule them in or out.
Any who can be put into George Sr.'s locality at the time he is there
have a stronger claim than those who didn't leave records near him.
But it's possible that by associating the "sons" to each other
throughout their later lives that a claim of kinship can be made.
Candidates who need further examination as potential sons to George
Hatfield Sr. include the following:
Of course (or do I mean "curse") there are probably daughters, too.
But we don't know their names since the marriage records haven't
survived, if they ever existed. Some thorough and utterly charming
Hatfield researcher could possibly make a life's work of tracing the
various neighbors and associates of all of these Hatfield men and
finally identify a sister or several.
I haven't forgotten John Hatfield of Botetourt Co., VA, and maybe or
maybe not later Lee Co., VA. He's just a special case and gets his own
What do you do with somebody like John Hatfield? He doesn't quite fit
anywhere . . . infuriates my sense of genealogical orderliness.
In the first place, he could read and write, unlike George and gang. In
the second place, he was always being elected to some county office or
judgship or tax collectorship (George and gang often appeared in court,
too, but on the far side of the bench facing the judge). He's a lot more
wealthy than they are . . . horses, slaves, land . . . the whole ball of
We can make a good case . . . no, make that a great case . . . that the
John Hatfield who left records in Russell and Lee Cos., VA, in the late
1700's is the same one who migrated on to Campbell County, TN, and lived
there on the property of his son Andrew. He migrates on again to the
Sequatchie River Valley (specifically Marion Co., TN) with another son
Jonathan in 1828. By the 1830 Census, he's living at the southern end of
the same valley . . . which puts him over the line into Jackson Co.,
Alabama. Go look at a topo map, it's the southern end of the same
Why do I think it's such a great case to be the same fellow? It's the wife,
Rebecca. John's deeds up in Lee Co., VA, (last one in 1801) specify a wife
Rebecca. The tax lists show a younger Andrew Hatfield popping up next to
him there in Lee Co. After 1801, this group is no longer in Lee Co., VA,
but a young Andrew Hatfield becomes a figure of some importance in Campbell
Co., TN. One of Andrew's deeds in Campbell Co. says this:
Deed Book A, pages 73-74 21 Dec 1808
Robert Burton to Andrew Hatfield. 300 acres where he, his father,
Jonathan Basham and Harris Standley now lives to be laid off from the
letter O half way across the Lott O thence along the dividing
line...middle of Lott O until a line to be run from said Dividing line
to the line C.C. will make the quantity 300 acres...\s\Ro Burton. Wit.
Wm Allin, John Hatfield & William Paulley. Reg. 8 (sic) Dec 1808. 21
Dec 1808. Power of Attorney. Robert Burton to his son, Hutchins
Burton...as attorney in fact for the purpose of make a deed or deeds to
the within tract of land...Signed R. Burton. Wit. William Allen, Joel
Parrot & John Hatfield. Proven Dec Term 1808. Reg 8 (sic 1808)
Ah, ha! Andrew Hatfield lives on property in Campbell County with his
unnamed father and some other people (note Jonathan Basham, who came
here from Lee Co., VA). And a John Hatfield witnesses this same
document. We do need to rule out Joseph Hatfield as the father, because
he's in Campbell County, too . . . but that's easy. We know that Joseph
Hatfield's land was in far southwestern Campbell County (Anderson Co.
when he had it surveyed, but Scott Co. by 1850), so where is this
property? Easy to find . . . this is twenty miles away in far
northeastern Campbell County almost at the Claiborne County line. This
land was part of Claiborne County prior to the formation of Campbell
County, not Anderson Co.
See also: TN WPA RECORDS, Roll 7; Campbell Co, item 5; Minutes of the
Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions 1813-1817---p.2 15 Mar 1813 deed
of Andrew Hatfield to John Hatfield for 150 ac. John Hatfield leaves a
few other records in Campbell County (jury lists, more deed witnessing,
etc.), but in 1828 enters land down in Marion Co., TN. It's the same
fellow, because he is accompanied by several entertaining characters
from Campbell County: David Cornett (more soon), Jonathan Hatfield, John
Basham, Jeremiah Holloway)
Sideline on Jeremiah Holloway: TN WPA RECORDS, Roll 7; Campbell Co, item 5;
Minutes of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions 1813-1817
p.62 7 Dec 1813 Jeremiah Holloway discharged from further payment for
maintainance of a bastard child begotten on Ruth
Stover-he is now appointed guardian of same until it
reaches age 8, providing food & clothing, teaching it
to speak in 2 syllable words--puts up bond with
Andrew Hatfield & Phillip Brooks, his securities,$300
Down in the Sequatachie Valley, deeds and court records of John and
Jonathan Hatfield continue to be witnessed by these same Campbell County
buddies. But, wait a minute, you're wondering why I dropped the wife
Rebecca. It's that foolish lapse of Tennessee law that didn't require
the wife to sign off on a deed when her husband sold land, we lose a lot
of Tennessee wives that way. Any civilized state would know that a wife
needs to make records, too . . . but not Tennessee. However, luck is
with us in this case, for Rebecca resurfaces on the 1850 census of
Marion Co, TN. She is there all right . . . age 90, in the household of
Comfort Cornett (widow of David . . . see, I got back to him, too). I've
not put any time into David and Comfort Cornett, but I would
superficially assume that Comfort is a daughter to John and Rebecca.
Otherwise, there's no reason for her to be there since by that time both
Andrew and Jonathan Hatfield, sons to John and Rebecca, live there. (And
you should see how the census taker bungled Comfort Cornett's last name
in 1850 . . . it's clearly written, but is spelled "Chahnt." Figuring
that one out took a serious foray into original records, plus a generous
helping of deep Southern pronunciation.)
Whom do I like as children to John and Rebecca:
James b.abt 1777 (1830 in Jackson Co., AL, with old John, 1840 in
Bledsoe Co, TN . . . which is the north end of the Sequatchie
Comfort b. abt 1785
Lots of space here for other children. I could use some more candidates.
BUT HOW IS JOHN RELATED TO GEORGE, IF AT ALL?
Darned if I know. I can't swear that he's the same John who was in
Botetourt Co. in 1770 and 1771 either. He was usually in the same
general area as George Hatfield and his various potential children . . .
but they never interact on documents. Never once do they cross-witness a
document; never do they intermarry. John is more literate, upstanding,
and leaves better records . . . ...
Just for fun, here's a hair more confusion. Campbell County had another
Hatfield who makes no sense, Jeremiah. Jeremiah was born in 1776
somewhere in North Carolina according to his 1850 census. He lived in
that northern end of Campbell County somewhat close to the John group,
but migrated on to Ray Co., Missouri, in 1836 . . . in party put
together by the Stanley family. Jeez, John Hatfield lived on son
Andrew's property with a Harris Stanley. Too complicated for me today.
Jeremiah, however, was illiterate.
Take Andrew, James, and Jonathan Hatfield off your list of prospective
sons to my old friend Joseph Hatfield. They clearly belong to John and
images are original photos from Minnesota by the webmaster.
Forbush Family Info
8 years ago