51 - Daniel Haston, Jr. Married into the Famous KY Longhunters Skaggs Family

Artist: David Wright, prints available at https://davidwrightart.com/

Did you know that descendants of Daniel Haston, through his son Daniel, Jr., are related by marriage to two famous members of the Kentucky Skaggs family – Charles Skaggs (1760s Longhunter) and Ricky Skaggs (a country music Hall of Fame member).

In an 1802 Knox County, Tennessee power of attorney document, our Daniel Haston was referred to as “Dannel Hastons Senr.”  This probably indicated that he had a son, also living in Knox County, Tennessee, who carried his father’s name. 

In September 2002, a visitor to the Heritage of Daniel Haston website contacted me with information regarding an old family Bible record of the marriage of Thomas Taylor Green to Louisa Hastings, daughter of Daniel HastingsThe bride and groom were both from Adair County, Kentucky.  The fact that their September 22, 1829 wedding was performed by David Hastings, Esq. in White County, Tennessee provided a clue that Adair County, Kentucky Louisa Hastings was in some way related to the White County, Tennessee family of Daniel Haston. 

There is now enough evidence to assert with a high degree of confidence that the Daniel Haston of Adair County, Kentucky was Daniel Haston, Jr.—son of our Daniel Haston ancestor.

The Longhunters

In 1750, the land between the Ohio River on the north, the Cumberland River on the south, and the Appalachian Mountain Range on the east was unpopulated by human residents.  When pioneer settlers in Virginia and the Carolinas began to realize that vast herds of buffalo and deer roamed over the Green River Valley of that area, as well as an extensive population of bears, some of the more adventuresome hunters from the east began to dream of harvesting valuable pelts and furs in “Caintuck.”  Pre-1792 it was a wilderness of western Virginia.  But the potential dangers were great—conflicts with Indians, for example.  Although uninhabited by native Americans, Kentucky was a favorite seasonal hunting ground for several native tribes.  The challenges of rough terrain, dense forests, severe weather, and various species of life-threatening animals confronted white hunters in this “dark and bloody land.”  

In order to make a hunt worthwhile in such a distant and dangerous land, serious hunters found it necessary to spend several months, even a year or more, on expeditions into the wilderness of Kentucky.  Thus, the term Longhunter became the term that appropriately described the men who braved the wildernesses of Kentucky and Tennessee in the 1750s through 1770s, perhaps as much or more for adventure as wealth. 

One of the most legendary groups of longhunters was a Skaggs family from Virginia—especially brothers Henry, Richard, and Charles.  

One of the sons of Charles Skaggs was Archibald (“Archer”) who settled in the part of Green County, Kentucky that became Adair County.

Although not
longhunters, per se, Archer and the other sons of Charles were well-trained hunters.  In the spring of 1790, Archibald Skaggs, some of his brothers, and a few other men barely escaped an attack by Indians while hunting bears somewhere between the Cumberland River and Russell Creek.[i]

[i] Daryl Skaggs, Be Safe and Keep Your Powder Dry. (Published by author, 2014), 218-221.


The Skinhouse Story

Video (15 mins.) of the Famous “Skinhouse Story” 

In the autumn of 1771 (or 1770) Colonel James Knox, Henry Skaggs, and 20 other longhunters (probably including Charles Skaggs) made a camp—which they called Camp Knox—at the site where the Mt. Gilead Christian Church is now located in Green County, Kentucky—on the corner of what is now Skinhouse Camp Road (Route 767) and Skinhouse Branch Road (Route 2188).  They amassed more than 2,000 skins of fur-bearing animals they killed on their hunt and erected a pen or house, covered with bark of trees, in which to store them.  Then something historically unfortunate happened:

The incursion of Indians, after a while, frightened them away, and when three or four years afterward some of the parties were enabled to return to the camp, the roof of the pen had been disarranged and the skins had rotted.  One of the hunters…wrote on a large poplar tree which had lost its bark: ‘2,300 deer skins lost; ruination by God.[i]

[i] William B. Allen, A History of Kentucky: embracing gleanings, reminiscences, antiquities, natural curiosities, statistics, and biographical sketches of pioneers, soldiers, jurists, lawyers, statesmen, divines, mechanics, farmers, merchants, and other leading men, of all occupations and pursuits. (Louisville, KY: Bradley and Gilbert, 1872), 145-146.

Location of the Longhunter's "Skinhouse" Camp

Daniel Haston, Jr. Married Chloe Skaggs

Chloe Skaggs was the daughter of Archibald Skaggs, a granddaughter of Charles Skaggs, and a  grandniece of Henry Skaggs.

October 21, 1807A marriage bond for Daniel Haston and Chloe Skaggs in Adair County, Kentucky was issued on this date.[i]  Chloe’s father, Archibald Skaggs, joined Daniel Haston in signing the bond for the marriage.   Daniel signed in his own distinct handwriting on the original bond document, so he was literate.  Skaggs family documents suggest that Chloe was born in 1786, but that may just be a guess based on ages of other children in the Archibald Skaggs family.  Chloe’s mother was Elizabeth Thompson Skaggs.  

[i] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1783-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

1810 – According to the 1810 Adair County, Kentucky tax list, Daniel Haston owned 100 acres on Russell Creek.  His 100 acres was originally owned by Kinzy Coats,[i] as was the 100 acres of Solomon Harrison. 

[i] Michael C. Watson, Adair County, Kentucky: 1810 Federal Census, 1802, 1805, 1810 Tax Lists.  (Columbia, KY: Watson Publications, n.d.), 44.

Death of Chloe Skaggs

Chloe Skaggs, Daniel, Jr.’s young wife, gave birth to a girl they named Louisa (sometimes called “Eliza.”)  But apparently, Chloe died at about that time, or soon after.  

Marriage to Betsey Harrison

January 8, 1810 – On January 8, 1810, Daniel Heiston entered into a legal bond for a marriage to Betsey Harrison in Adair County, Kentucky.[i]  Bailis (Balus) Harrison, Betsey’s brother, and Daniel Heiston signed the bond.  As you can see from the above tax list, the Harrisons lived very close to Daniel, Jr.

[i] “Daniel Heiston and Betsey Harrison,” Adair County, Kentucky Marriage Records.

Daniel, Jr. must have been one of the few people in all of history whose marriage records to two women appear on the same page of marriage bonds!   And, yes, it’s the same man even though the family names are spelled differently.

March 10, 1810 – Two months after the marriage bond was issued,* Rev. Isaac Hodgen, pastor of the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, performed the marriage of Daniel Heston and Betsey Harrison.  It seems likely that Daniel, Jr. attended the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church (formerly called Russells Creek Baptist Church), which was located near Russells Creek—the creek on which Daniel’s 100 acres were situated.  Isaac Hodgen was a popular Baptist preacher in the area of Green County and Adair County, Kentucky of that era, but he had only been pastor of the Mt. Gilead about five years at the time he officiated Daniel’s marriage to Betsy. 

*Normally, marriages were performed within a day or two after the marriage bond was issued.  Perhaps the two-month delay had something to do with Daniel’s previous marriage to Chloe Skaggs, who apparently had died recently.

1810 Federal Census

August 6, 1810 – This was the census date for 1810.  Daniel “Easton” [sic] was in the category of “Males between the ages of 16 thru 25” on this census.  Since his name appears in the middle of the names beginning with the letter “H” and there is no record of an Adair County, Kentucky man by the name of “Easton” in this era, it seems obvious that this was Daniel Haston, the son our ancestor Daniel.[i]  Thus, this Daniel Haston, Jr. would have been born between 1785 and 1794.  When compared to the 1810 Adair County, Kentucky tax list, his birth years can be narrowed to sometime between 1785-1789 while his parents were probably living in Washington County, NC/TN. 

[i] Year: 1810; Census Place: Columbia, Adair, Kentucky; Roll: 5; Page: 14; Image: 00016; Family History Library Film: 0181350.

Birth of Louisa - Daughter of Daniel and Chloe

August 15, 1811 – Although we have a Bible record that gives this August 15, 1811 as the birth date for Daniel and Chloe Skaggs Haston’s daughter, Louisa, it conflicts with the 1810 marriage bond and marriage dates of Daniel and Betsey Harrison. 

If Louisa Haston was born on August 15, 1811, she would have been conceived approximately in mid-November, 1810.  That conception would have been about eight months after Daniel married Betsey Harrison.  The marriage bond date and marriage date appear to be definite, so I’m guessing Louisa did not know for sure the year of her birth.  That would not be unusual if her mother died not long after she (Louisa) was born and her father died while she was also a child.  She would have had no living parents to help her with that information.

1812 – Daniel and Betsey’s daughter, Polly Ann, was born about this time.  According to the 1850 census, Polly (Mary) [Haston] Vermillion, wife of Matthew Vermillion, was 38 years old and was born in Kentucky.[i] 

[i] Year: 1850; Census Place: Sangamon, Illinois; Roll: 127; Page: 223b.

September 11, 1815 – Here’s a signature written by Daniel Haston (Jr.), when he witnessed a marriage bond for Chloe’s sister, Amy Scaggs.

June 6, 1820 – The Adair County, Kentucky Daniel Haston filed his last will and testament at this time.[i]  The fact that he did not make the trip to the courthouse to sign the will, would seem to indicate that he was very ill at the time the will was made. 

[i] Adair County, Kentucky Will Book C, Volume 1, 75-76.

Daniel Haston, Jr. died shortly after this will was written.  According to his will, Daniel Haston had four surviving daughters in 1820:  Eliza (nickname for Louisa), Elizabeth, Polly (nickname for Mary), and Peggy (nickname for Margaret).  Only Eliza was mentioned as an heir in the 1832 will of Daniel’s father-in-law, Archibald Skaggs.  Evidently, Eliza was the only (surviving) daughter of Daniel, whose mother was Chloe Skaggs (daughter of Archibald Skaggs).  The other three daughters were probably born to Betsey Harrison Haston. 

The fates of Elizabeth and Peggy (Margaret) Haston are unknown, as far as I have been able to determine.  Did they were under 10 years old when their father died and were probably placed in guardian homes.  As sometimes happened, they may have taken the surnames of the guardian parents.  Did they grow up and marry?  If so, whom did they marry and where did they live?  The answers to these questions may never be known, due to the difficulties of researching females of that era.

In the name of God Amen. I Daniel Haston of the county of Adair and State of Kentucky do make and ordain and declare this instrument of writing to be my last will and testament.  Revoking all others.  All my debts are to be punctually paid.  And the legacies herein after bequeathed are to be discharged as soon as circumstances will permit, and in the manner directed.  It is my wish and desire for my executor after my decease to act as following. viz. All my real and personal estate immediately after my decease are to be sold, the land to be sold on a credit which shall be at the discretion of my executor which I think proper to appoint Archibald Skaggs Senr. either private or public sale as he may think it most advantageous to my estate.  The process of my estate it is my wish and desire for it to be equally divided between my four surviving heirs of my body viz. Eliza [Louisa] Haston*, Elizabeth Haston, Polly Haston, Peggy Haston. Wherein the above being wrote agreeable to my wish and desire I freely permit to have my name assigned in the presence of the underneath witnesses this 6th day of June 1820.

                                                                                                                       Daniel Haston

W. H. Tinsley
David Caldwell
Jubal Turner
Edward Tinsley

State of Kentucky
Adair County

At a county court continued and held for the county aforesaid on Tuesday the 10th of August 1820.  This last will and testament of Daniel Haston deceased was exhibited in court and partly proven by the oath of William Tinsley a subscribing witness thereto ordered to be certified.  And at a county court began and held at the courthouse for the county of afsd. [aforesaid] on Monday the 4th day of September 1820 the said will was further and fully proven by the oath of Edward Tinsley a subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Archibald Skaggs the executor named in said will who made oath as the law directs the execution of said will was granted him he having executed and acknowledged bond in the penal sum of $500 with James Flournoy his security conditioned as the law directs.

                                                                                                  Attest Wm. Patterson DClerk

According to his will and the probate date, Daniel Haston, Jr. died sometime between June 6, 1820, and August 10, 1820.  Of the known sons of our Daniel Haston, Sr., Daniel, Jr. was the first and youngest to die.  Unfortunately, he had no male descendants (at least, boys who survived to adulthood), so we have no Y-DNA available for testing as we have with the other five sons of Daniel, Sr.

His first father-in-law, Archibald Skaggs, was the executor of Daniel Haston, Jr.’s estate.  Apparently, he was closely connected to Chloe’s Skaggs family, even after she passed away.

September 4, 1820 – Daniel Haston, Jr.’s will was fully proved in court.  James Flernoy (Flournoy) was security for Archibald Skaggs, the executor of Daniel’s estate settlement.

December 3, 1825 – More than five years after Daniel Haston died, his estate settlement account, executed by Archibald Skaggs, was examined by county officials.  The general inventory had been sold for $105.97 and his land and the “growing crop” were sold for $150.00.  Archibald Skaggs, Daniel Haston’s father-in-law and executor of his estate, received $61.13 for “burying expenses and trouble,” $3.97 1/2 for 1820 & 1821 clerks fees paid, $5.00 for “E & E levels account proven,” and $2.50 for the attorney fee.[i] 

[i] Adair County, Kentucky Will Book C, Volume 1, 254.

September 22, 1829 – Louisa Hastings (Haston) married Thomas Taylor Green on this date in White County, Tennessee.[i]  The Justice of the Peace who married them was David Hastings, Esq.  This was the senior Daniel Haston’s son, David Haston, who was a White County Justice of the Peace at this time.  David, Esq. would have been Chloe’s Uncle David, her deceased father’s oldest brother.  So this marriage record connects the Daniel Haston of Adair County, Kentucky to the Daniel Haston, Sr. family of White County, Tennessee.

[i] Family Bible record handed down through the Thomas Taylor Green family, current location of the Bible is not known.

June 1, 1832 – Daniel Haston, and daughter Eliza (nickname for Louisa), were mentioned in the will of Archibald Skaggs, Senior.[i]  Eliza Haston only inherited $1.00.*  Apparently, Archibald Skaggs (father-in-law of the late Daniel Haston) owed Daniel Haston’s heirs some money too, from an unpaid debt.  According to Daniel’s 1820 will, he had four surviving daughters at that time.  Only Eliza was mentioned as Daniel’s heir in the 1832 Archibald Skaggs will, since she was the only daughter of Daniel born to Archibald Skaggs’ daughter, Chloe Skaggs. 

[i] Adair County, Kentucky Will Book C, Volume 2, 654-655.

Just an Interesting FYI

One of Daniel, Jr.’s daughters and sons-in-laws moved to Sangamon County, IL (county seat of Springfield, IL) in the 1830s.  Guess who else was living in the same county.  Hint:  He was born in KY and was a young man who was practicing law at the time.

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