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John E. Haston Families - Bledsoe County, TN

Reconnected to Tennessee Pioneer Daniel Haston

This may be (but not for sure) the grave of John E. Haston, in a line with his grandson or great-grandson? Howard T., daughter Dora, and wife Mary E., in the Seals Cemetery on the Cumberland Mountain in Bledsoe County, TN). A brick with some unreadable markings to the left of his (maybe) stone could (possibly) be the marker for his first wife, Scottie McGuire.

Jeanenne Haston Kendrick (daughter of Larry Arlon Haston), whose roots run deep in Bledsoe County (Pikeville), TN, and I got into contact with each other in mid-June, 2024. Jeaneene explained that her Haston family had not been able to trace their family back past John Elder Haston.  That was just the challenge I needed to look for her family’s connection back to Daniel Haston and his Swiss-German Mennonite father, Henrich Hiestand–our earliest immigrant ancestor. 
 

The task was a bit more challenging than I expected but was accomplished with some assistance from Carolyne Oakes Knight, Librarian of Bledsoe County Library, and her 100+-year-old researcher friend, Sara Agee Goins.  Yes, Sara was 100+ years old at the time she helped with this project!  

John E. Haston’s Two Families

1860 Bledsoe County Census

At the time of this 1860 census, Scottie and her three children were living with her parents.  Her husband was not on the list.

The Haston family lineage chart below summarizes the connection from the John Elder Haston family in Bledsoe County, TN all the way back to, and beyond, the Hastons who settled at the head of the Haston Big Spring in what is now Cummingsville, TN.

Research Notes & Conclusions

  • Although there are many well documented family references to John Elder Haston having been a husband of two wives (Scottie McGuire & Mary E. Ferguson) and having had several children in Bledsoe County, TN, no other documents (such as tax, land, and court records) have been discovered.  Apparently he was not active as a landowner, civic leader, etc.  
    Note: There are some unindexed Bledsoe County  records that have not been thoroughly searched that might reveal some information about John Elder Haston’s life in the county.
  • The biggest challenge in this research process was to connect this John Elder Haston to a descendant of Daniel Haston, the patriarch of the Middle Tennessee Haston family.  
  • A Great-Grandson (John E. Haston) of Daniel Haston (Daniel>Joseph>Isaac>John E.) was born in what was White County in 1832.  The area became Van Buren County in 1840.  But in the White/Van Buren County records there is not mention of this man’s E middle initial/name being “Elder.”  So, was this White/Van Buren County John E. Haston the same man as John Elder Haston of Bledsoe County, TN?
  • The deeper I got into the research, the more circumstantial evidence began to suggest that they were the same man–John E. Haston (Great-Grandson of Daniel Haston) was the John Elder Haston who lived in Bledsoe County and raised families with two wives, the first of whom apparently died in about 1870.

The Accumulation of Evidence

  1. At the time of the 1850 census, John E. Haston was 18 years old and living with his parents (Isaac and Emeline Haston) in District 7 of Van Buren County.  While it is true that District 7 may have extended to the Bledsoe County line, I don’t think the Isaac Haston family was living that far away from Spencer in 1850, based on the location of some of his (as per the census) neighbors whom I know to have lived in or close to Spencer.
  2. When I read that John Elder Haston lived in Bledsoe County, I immediately thought he was living in the Sequatchie Valley, near Pikeville.  But documented evidence indicates that he was living in the section of Bledsoe County that is on the Cumberland Mountain in or near what is now the Bellview Community–near the Big Spring Gap Road, the Winesap Community, and the Seals Cemetery where his wife Mary E. Ferguson and some other close relatives were buried.  See the comment under the featured image on top of this page.  This location was near the Van Buren County line.

3. The currently known strongest documented evidence to connect John E. Haston (son of Isaac and Emeline Haston, born 1832 in what became Van Buren County, TN) to John Elder Haston of Bledsoe County, TN is the names the Bledsoe Countian gave to some of his children.  For that era, this is a kind of evidence frequently used by genealogists to make such connections.

According to the 1850 census, John E. Haston was the oldest son of Isaac and Emeline Haston in Van Buren County.  Remember, this Isaac Haston was grandson of Joseph Haston–not Joseph’s brother Isaac or another of the many Isaacs in the Haston family.

  • John Elder Haston of Bledsoe County, in about 1860, named his first son “James T. Haston,” the name of Van Buren County James E. Haston’s younger brother.  
  • John Elder Haston named his 1878 daughter “Martha Haston,” the name of John E. Haston’s only sister.
  • John Elder Haston gave the name “Miles” to his 1882 son “Richard Henry Miles Haston.”  Miles was the name of John E. Haston’s younger brother.
  • John Elder Haston named an 1885 son “William Haston.”  John E. Haston had a younger brother named William.

So, John Elder Haston (of Bledsoe County) who gave his earliest children the same names as the siblings of John E. Haston (of Van Buren County) strongly suggests that John Elder Haston and John E. Haston were one and the same man.  Also, notice the sequence of the names given to John Elder Haston’s children compared to the age sequences of John E. Haston’s siblings!  The parallel was definitely coordinated.  

Summary of Circumstantial Evidence

John E. Haston of Van Buren County = John Elder Haston of Bledsoe County

  • They both carried the “Haston” name. 
    Note: At that time in (what is now) Middle Tennessee the extended Daniel Haston family was the only family with that surname!  They essentially had to be closely related, if not the same person.
  • They both were in the same age range.
    Note: From the 1850 census we know that Van Buren County’s John E. Haston was born in about 1832.  Some family documents say that John Elder Haston was born in 1842, but there is no support for that birthdate.  In fact, we know that he was married to Scottie McGuire in the 1850s.  
  • They both were from the same general area.
  •  John E. Haston of Van Buren County disappeared from public records at about the same time that John Elder Haston appeared on the Cumberland Mountain in nearby Bledsoe County.
  • The naming patterns of John Elder Haston’s children and John E. Haston’s siblings added to all of the above evidence is conclusive.

Descendants of Bledsoe County Tennessee’s John Elder Haston can be assured that they are genealogically connected, and closely so, to pioneer Daniel Haston who settled on Cane Creek near the Caney Fork River as early as 1803 or 1804.  Two or three years later Daniel Haston signed the petition to create White County, TN.  That area of White County became Van Buren County in 1840 and his descendants played some important roles in the creation of the new county.

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