An American Family History


David Hughes

The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle of the American Revoluton. It took place on October 7, 1780, nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson.

David Hughes was born about 1758.

He married Anna Wallis.

David and Anna's children included:

James Hughes (1790, married Susannah Hines),
Robert Hughes (1792, married Elizabeth Devault),
Thomas Hughes (1798, married Minerva McFarland) and
Elizabeth Hughes (1800, married David Kitzmiller).

In 1776 a David Hughes was one of the original purchasers of lots laid off to
establish the town of Jonesborough.

In 1776 he signed the petition of Watauga settlers asking to become part of North Carolina.

David and Samuel Hughes signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

David Hughes appeared on the Washington County, Virginia tax list in 1782. He had 600 acres on both sides of Little Limestone Creek.

In 1778, David Hughes was on the grand jury in Washington County.

In 1780 David, Robert, Thomas, Francis, and John Hughes participted in the Battle of Kings Mountain. David was a private in Lieutenant George Hart and Colonel Chirstie's Regiment at the Battle of Kings Mountain, with his brothers, Thomas and Francis.

He also served three months in Captain James Shelby's company under Major Bledsoe in a company of Rangers. He enlisted the following year and served three months in Captain Valentine Sevier's company and was in an engagement near the Enoree River in South Carolina. He served three months in Captain McNabb's company, and three months under Colonel McCaw.

In 1787, he received a warrant for 150 acres on White Top Creek in Sullivan County, Tennessee

In 1814, during the War of 1812, James and Robert were on Captain William King's muster.

In 1835, he appeared on the pension list in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Anna, died in 1838.

In 1841, Robert was ordained by the Reverend Philip Wood. He was an original member of the New Bethel Presbyterian Church in Piney Flats, Sullivan County, Tennessee.

David died in 1849 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.


East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

Carter County, Tennessee was organized from Washington County on April 9, 1796. Elizabethton is the county seat.

from Families and History of Sullivan County Tennessee, Vol. I, 1779-1992 by the Holston Territory Genealogical Society.

David Hughes, one of the earliest settlers in Piney Flats, Tennesse, was a Revolutionary War soldier. According to records given in the New Bethel Sesquicentennial, three of his brothers, Robert, Thomas, and Francis, fought with him at the Battle of King's Mountian.

David Hughes was born in Ireland in 1757, but it is uncertain when the family came to America or where they first settled. According to his pension claim filed in 1832, more than fifty years later,

about the year 1777 he removed from the state of Pennsylvania to the frontier country of N. Carolina (now Tennessee).

However, attached to the claim is a sworn statement filed by his son Robert in 1850 that

...the said David Hughes had resided in Sullivan County at the day of his death upwards of fifty years past and previously he resided in Frederick County, Maryland...

The exact date he settled is also debatable. On the original pension claim the fourth number given in the date "about 1777" is smudged with the number "7" obviously written over the smudge. Williams in Dawn Of Tennessee Valley and Tennessee History reports finding in the Land Office Records in the Archives of Tennessee at Nashville that David Hughes from Fincastle (at that time most of southwestern Virginia) settled in 1774-1775 "on the banks of the Watauga then near the village of Piney Flats, Sullivan County." These facts indicate that in the mid 1770's David Hughes, having lived for an indefinite period in Maryland and having gone at some time to Pennsylvania, traveled through western Virginia to Tennessee.

It is possible that David and his brothers were accompanied by their father. An older man also named David Hughes was a Sullivan County taxpayer in 1796, but there is no real evidence that he was related to David Hughes of Piney Flats.

Evidentally the family, upon arriving in the area, immediately became involved with the problems of the settlement. Both David Hughes and his brother Thomas signed the petition drawn up in 1776 by the settlers in Washington District to be annexed to North Carolina.

Also David Hughes was one of the twenty-five members of the first grand jury in Washington County. During the Revolution he served twenty-one months fighting the Indians or the British under various commanders: Hart, Shelby, Christie, Valentine, Sevier, and McNabb.

After the Revolution he bought land, married, and built a home. In one of the front rooms of his house he kept a store where, according to his records, such supplies as buttons, bar iron, overalls, bacon, flour, cotter-molds, peach brandy, and salt were sold or traded. Often he accepted feathers in trading. To this day there is a bin under the floor where he kept the feathers until he had enough to ship back to Ireland.

Other settlers came to his store to have him write legal agreements, a few of which still exist. In them can be found names that have been common in the area for two centures.....

His profits enabled him to buy more land, most of it in Sullivan County; however his records refer also to his "plantation near Boones Creek."

He died on June 18, 1849, and is buried beside his wife Anna (1763-1838) at New Bethel Church where he is believed to have been one of the original members and where his sons and some of ths grandchildren and great-grandchildren are also buried. His pension claim lists three children: Robert Hughes, Thomas Hughes and Elizabeth Kitzmiller.

Goodspeed in his History of East Tennessee reported that James Hughes who moved from Sullivan County to Carter County was the son of David Hughes who fought in the Revolutionary War; however, he is not mentioned in the pension claim....Submitted by Nelle Wolfe Starnes, Box 56, Piney Flats, Tennessee 37686

Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Boones Creek is a tributary of the Watauga River.


In 1780:

Agnes Woods have leave of administration on the estate of John Woods. David Hughes and Peter McName her security.

Ord. that James Stuart have leave to build a grist mill on his entry land on Little Limestone, adjoining the entry land of David Hughes, and the same to be a public mill.


from Tennessee Heroes of the Revolution

John Hughes applied for revolutionary pension while living in McMinn County, Tennessee, Sept. 5, 1832. He was born in 1752. He served in the Revolution enlisting first in Burke County, N.C. Later he enlisted again in Capt. Sevier's North Carolina Company and was in a battle on the Watauga River. Later he served in Capt. Jacob Tipton's Company under St. Clair and was in the battle of St. Clair's Defeat. He moved from Burke County, N.C. to what is now East Tennessee and settled in Blount County. From Blount County he moved to McMinn County where he died.

Note:--John Hughes was a brother of Francis Hughes whose record is given above. He was the son of Francis Hughes of Augusta County, Virginia, the family moving to that point from Lancaster County, Pa. John Hughes had a son Francis Hughes. The well known East Tennessee family of Hughes comes from this line.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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