Hastons - A Family of Pioneers

Daniel Haston and his family were American pioneers, in the truest sense of the word. And we can’t begin to imagine how tough it was to be a pioneer in the wild wilderness of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and the Caney Fork River valley in the decades just before and after 1800.


Daniel’s Hiestand (Henry Hiestand) family was among the earliest European settlers in the Shenandoah Valley of northern Virginia. And, like his father, Daniel was driven by a pioneer spirit.  He settled his young family in the part of western North Carolina that became Tennessee, more than a decade before the Volunteer State was born.  


Daniel moved his family to the outskirts of the little village of Knoxville when there were only a few houses and stores there.  The little town that grew up around General James White’s Fort was a “Dodge City” kind of settlement–with a jail but no church building in its earliest years.  Daniel’s family was living “south of the Holston (River), opposite Knoxville” when Tennessee became the 16th state in the USA on June 1, 1796.  The Daniel Haston family was truly one of the “first families of Tennessee.”

Join First Families of Tennessee

If you can trace your lineage back to our Daniel Haston who was living in “Tennessee” before it became Tennessee, and prove it with documentation, you qualify to join the First Families of Tennessee.

Hearing talk around Knoxville of a future treaty with the Cherokee Indians that would cede what we know as Middle Tennessee to the State of Tennessee, Daniel knew he had to make his move to get decent land in the Wilderness west of the Cumberland Plateau before greedy land speculators gobbled up all of the prime land.  So even before the Treaty of Tellico was signed, he and his family were squatters at the head of the Big Spring Branch of Cane Creek a few hundred yards before the creek emptied into the Caney Fork River of the trans-Cumberland Plateau wilderness.  


When the land became available for purchase, Daniel and some of his family and friends who moved with him were able to make preemption claims, based on occupant rights.  When a petition was circulated in the summer of 1806 to create White County, TN–Daniel’s name was added to that petition, as well as three others in his Big Spring Branch settlement of family and friends.  They were founders of White County, TN and some of them became founders of Van Buren County, TN in 1840.  

Join First Families of White County

If you can document your genealogical connection to Daniel Haston of White County, TN, you can join the First Families of White County, TN.

Some of Daniel’s children and grandchildren later followed their own pioneering dreams and moved west in pursuit of land, more land, good land, good land-cheap.  In many cases, wherever they went many of them were some of the first white settlers–in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, California, Washington state, and elsewhere.

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