Looking for Descendants: Hans Black, died 1806, Christian Co., KY

I first added Hans Black to my husband’s family tree, many years ago, but never pursued further information because there were so many other lines to investigate.

Now that life is a bit slower, genealogically speaking, I am taking new looks at some of these early discoveries. Hans Black was elderly when he died, as all his children were grown and married. He thoughtfully left a will naming all of them, except perhaps for a daughter Pyle who predeceased him and left a son by Samuel Pyle.

There are some excellent family trees out there on line, but those for Hans Black are not among them. It doesn’t look like anyone has done any further research to expand his family any time recently.

Here is what is known and documented:

There are extant tax records for 1797-1803 in Christian County, Kentucky. No Blacks appear on the lists for 1797-1799, but David and/or Thomas Black, both sons of Hans, appear consistently in the lists from 1800-1803, so the Black family arrived in the area around 1799, but had no taxable land until 1800.

Hans does not appear on the tax rolls; it seems likely that he lived with one of his sons, perhaps Thomas, who he named as executor of his will. However, it also appears that he didn’t migrate at the same time as his sons, as “Hance Black,” over 45 years, appears in both the 1790 and 1800 censuses of Greenville, South Carolina.

Based on census data and Hans Black’s will, he left South Carolina sometime between 1800 and 1806.

It is possible that Sarah McElroy remained in South Carolina, as James and John McElroy are there in 1790, but there are no McElroys in the early 1800’s records in Christian County. It is also possible that Jacob Black remained in South Carolina, as there is a man by that name living in Greenville in 1810. Plus, there are enough Edwards to go around in both Christian County and Greenville in 1810 so Susannah Edwards might take some work to find.

Hans Black’s will was written in 1806, but was probated in Christian County in October 1807. He named his beloved wife, Agnes, along with his children. David, Jacob, Susannah Edwards, Ann Pyle, Thomas, Sarah “McAlroy,” Elizabeth Brasher, and Jean Pyle. He lastly names a grandson, son of Samuel Pyle. That seems to indicated that perhaps a married daughter died. However, since Ann and Jean both married Pyles, it is impossible to tell if either of them were married to Samuel Pyle.

Very old notes that I had taken included tidbits that Hans reportedly migrated from the Netherlands to Maryland to Chatham County, North Carolina. He later removed to Greenville, South Carolina and then Christian County, Kentucky. There were no sources cited for any of this information, but the Greenville, SC info is likely correct as the Brashers came from in the Greenville-Spartanburg areas of South Carolina. Further, Elizabeth Black Brasher survived until 1855 and so appears in the 1850 census. The census indicates that she was born about 1774 in South Carolina.

From past research experience, I know that the Brashers had distinct Tory tendencies during the Revolutionary War, which may be why they later chose to move westward.

In the twenty+ years since I last looked at this family, you would think that multiple researchers would have been able to add lots of details – documented details – to this family. It appears not. As I skimmed through the family trees, no two trees even matched. Hans’ birth year and place were given as 1720-1730 in Netherlands or Chatham County, NC. His wife, Agnes, had a note that her name was Nancy Agnes. I know that sometimes those names were interchangeable, but again no source cited and his wife was clearly “Agnes” in his will. Someone renamed his son David and called him “David Johannes.” The souce cited? “GEDCOM file.” David was shown as born in 1742 in Amsterdam. Son Jacob’s birth year is found as 1726, two years before his father was born. And so on. My twenty year old notes are still a great place to begin, which is a sad commentary after so many years.

Will of Hans Black, Christian County, KY, Book A: 85-86

In the name of God amen, I Hans Black of the County of Christian and state of Kentucky being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be unto God and calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and Testament disannulling all and every other will or wills that may have been made by me heretofore that is to say principally and first of all I hereby give and recommend my soul to God and my body I recommend to the earth to be burried in a Christian (“like” crossed out) manner at the discration of my Executor and as touching all worldly estate as where with it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form impremises.

First I give and bequath unto my dear and loving wife Agnes Black all my whole estate during her lifetime.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my Son David Black the Sum of ten dollars.

Item I give and bequeath unto my Son Thomas Black two hundred acres of land.

Item after the decease of my wife Agnes Black, It is my will that all the estate & property that may then remain together with the Remainder of my land to be sold at public auction and the money equally devided among the following persons my Son Jacob Black my Daughter Susannah Edwards my Daughter Ann Pyle my Son Thomas Black my Daughter Sarah McAlroy my Daughter Elizabeth Brashure my Daughter Jean Pyle and my Grandson Nicholas Pyle son of Samuel Pyle.

Lastly I do constitute and appoint my wife Agnes Black and my son Thomas Black to be whole and Soul executors to this my last will and Testament. In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and Seal this 10th day of March 1806.

Test: J. Gamble and Martha Gamble
                                  Hans Black (his mark)

Hans named David and Thomas early in his will, but Thomas was repeated later on and I think perhaps the set of children named together might have been shown in birth order with David being the eldest son. At least it is a starting place. Elizabeth is the only child for whom I have a suspected birth year found in an actual document. From that, I am going to tentatively assume that (1) Hans and Agnes lost no children who died very young and (2) that the children were all born about two years apart. This will give a better time frame for researching.

This is going to be my starting theory as I now try to document descendants:

Hans Black, born c1730, possibly in the Netherlands married Agnes (MNU) about 1760.


1. David, born c1762; died after October 1807
2. Jacob, born c1764; died after October 1807; lived in Greenville, South Carolina
3. Susannah, born c1766; died after October 1807; married Mr. Edwards
4. Ann, born c1768; died after October 1807; married Mr. Pyle (perhaps Nicholas Pyle)
5. Thomas, born c1770; died after October 1807; perhaps married Edith Pyle
6. Sarah, born c1772; died after October 1807; married Mr. McAlroy (McElroy or some other spelling), probably James or John McElroy and remained in South Carolina.
7. Elizabeth, born c1774, probably Greenville, South Carolina; died 10 February 1855, Christian Co., KY; married Lawrence Brasher
8. Jean, born c1776; died after October 1807; married Mr. Pyle (possibly Joseph Pyle)
9. Mary, who died before October 1807; married Samuel Pyle
and was the mother of Nicholas Pyle. This family remained behind in Greenville, South Carolina.

Next, I will dig deep in the land and tax records, censuses and probate files for further information about the descendants of Hans Black. If you are one of them, please leave a comment!


16 thoughts on “Looking for Descendants: Hans Black, died 1806, Christian Co., KY”

  1. I am a descendant of Hans Black through his son David. My descent is as follows: Hans/Hance Black >> David Black >> Nancy (Black) Janes >> Sarah (Janes) McKinney >> Amy (McKinney) Cave >> Rebecca Betty (Cave) Drye >> Robert W. Drye >> John L. Drye. I have lots of records (abstracts only) documenting Hans/Hance Black in Greenville Co., SC, Orange Co., NC, Chatham Co., NC, and Christian Co., KY. The records in Christian Co., KY are mostly Deed Abstracts from Christian Co. Deed Books A and B, the originals of which I do not yet have. In one, dated 7 Dec. 1804, Hans Black of Chr. Co., KY appoints trusty friend Jacob Black of Greenville Co., SC as attorney to collect all due Hans Black from Henry Brasher et al. (Deed Book A, p. 149). There is also a deed from Hans Black of Christian Co. to Thomas Lindley, dated 8 Sept. 1806 of 400 acres on Rolling Fork of Tradewater. (Deed Book B, p. 266). Then there is another deed involving David Black (Hans’s son named in his will of 1806/1807) : ” 11 Mar. 1811. David Black & Elizabeth [Betty Pyle], his wife, of Illinois Territory” sell 400 acres on Tradewater”. (Deed Book C, pp. 159 – 160). David was subsequently in that part of Missouri Territory which became Lawrence Co., Arkansas. There he died prior to 24 Nov. 1817 when his widow, Betty Black, was appointed administratrix of his estate. I have a copy of that original document. I also have a copy of the original document by which the heirs of Betty Black dispose of her estate (Lawrence Co., AR Deed Book D, pp. 83, 84, & 86). The genesis for my research on the Black ancestry is found in “Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas” published in 1889 by Goodspeed Publishing. In a segment on John P. Black, attorney at law, Pocahontas, Ark., it gives his father as “William Black the grandson of David Black, and the great grandson of David Black, who was a native of Amsterdam Holland, The elder David Black came to America when a boy, settling at Charleston, S.C. and there learned the blacksmith trade. He died in that State. David Black, Jr. was a native of South Carolina, and was a farmer by occupation. He emigrated to Kentucky at a very early day, settling near Hopkinsville, where he lived many years, and in 1815 moved to Randolph County, Ark. He settled at Black’s Ferry, and lived there many years, but died at Davidsonville, Lawrence Co., Ark., at the age of sixty years . . . ” Obviously there are some errors in this account, but that was not unusual because, as today, the information was based on the recollections of descendants, with nothing really substantiated. I think the article DOES, however have merit in connecting this John P. Black back to Hans Black even though Hans is never mentioned. I think there’s probably an extra David Black, too.
    I’m sure you’ve seen the extensive research posted online by Pat and Charles Prendergast of Spring. Texas. There is alot of good information there but few source references are given (ie. Deed Book / Court Order Book, page, etc.). I tried to contact them but had no luck.
    I would be happy to share my research with you but think it would be best to snail mail it to you if you care to e-mail me your mailing address. I’m delighted to know that someone else is trying to do an in-depth and documented history of the Black family and will help in any way that I can. We have an excellent genealogy library here in Houston (The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research) just 10 minutes from me.
    John Drye
    Houston, TX
    P.S. In the distribution of the estate of Betty (Pyle) Black dated 15 June 1827, the following is stated: ” Know all men by these presents that we Thomas Black, James Sloan and Sally Sloan his wife, Thomas Crabtree and Fanny Crabtree his wife all of the County of Lawrence and Territory of Arkansas and Joseph Janes and Nancy Janes his wife of the County of Hempstead and Territory aforesaid, heirs and legal representatives of Betty Black late of said county of Lawrence deceased have this day for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred and seventy five dollars . . . sold and delivered unto William Black of the County of Lawrence and Territory aforesaid one negro man named Fielding, slave about twenty six years old . . . “. Recorded at Christian Co., KY Deed Book A, p. 238, dated 25 Sept. 1806 is the following (abstracted) “Henry M. Wood sold a 6 year old negro boy named Fielding to David Black.” This Fielding, 6 years old in 1806, is surely the same Fielding, about 26 years old in 1827, providing a good link for David Black of Lawrence Co., Arkansas back to Christian Co., KY. Thank you, Fielding!

  2. I’m also related through Hans, Jacob, Hance, David, Riley, Jacob Riley line that remained in Greenville after moving here in 1780s with grants along the Reedy River

    1. I am related via the Hans/Jacob/Hance/John/James Black line. Any info or documents you could share on Hance would be appreciated. I’ve found the court docs from the settlement of his estate having died intestate but have yet to transcribe them. Hopefully there will be more clues there!

    2. Good afternoon,

      According to Ancestry. com via DNA Johaness Black is my fifth great grandfather, Ann Black is my 4th great grandmother, Jehu Pyle is my 3rd grandfather and Margaret Pyle is my 2nd great grandmother.. I am unsure how accurate these DNA findings are.. since it states that I am currently the only the only DNA tested connected to this particular thruline

  3. Hi, I’m not a Black family descendant, but have some images of original records and records extracted from Christian County, Kentucky, that I can pass along to the author of this post if interested and account still active. Perhaps you can post this for the others that have commented.
    Michael Baker

  4. I have been trying to research this family as I am also a descendent. I attempted it a couple years ago and after thinking I had a good bit covered, I switch to another line for a while. However, I am very interested in growing the Black side more, and at the very least confirm what I currently have. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and hopefully it may help someone else as well.
    William Hans Black 1670
    David Black 1696
    Jacob Johannes Black 1726 (Penns)
    Jacob Bennett Black 1753 NC
    Hance “Hancey” Black 1789 Greenville SC
    David Black
    Isaac Bennett “Bud” Black 1859
    Isaac Benjamin Black 1883 Westminster SC
    Otis Ray Black (my grandfather) died in Seneca SC
    I have a few of their wives names but not many. My goal is to confirm if this is indeed the correct line and be able to fill in any missing dates, wives names, or other important information. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Selena Stegall

  5. I believe Elizabeth Black,the daughter of Jacob Black (son of Hans Black), married Noel Hyde. Their children were Polly (Mary?) b. 1797 m. Parker Bottoms; Sally (Sarah?) b. 1799, m. Anthony Fowler; Rueben b. 1802 m. Margaret ________, 1825; Jacob, b 1804 Mary ________;Elizabeth, b 1806 m. Thomas Sanford; Jeremiah b. 1811 m. Sarah Dyer; Charles, b. 1814 m. Mary Williams; and Nancy, b. 1815 m. Thomas Weaver. Mother, Elizabeth Hyde had died by 1823, leaving Noel a widower. They lived in Pickens County, South Carolina. I am a descendant of Charles and Mary Williams Hyde, who lived in Gilmer County, Georgia and are buried at Berean Cemetery in Ellijay, Georgia. Noel Hyde died in Gilmer County, Georgia about the age of 88 years and is buried at Tickanetly Baptist Cemetery. I appreciate knowing some of the Hans Black history.

  6. Hello Linda! Thomas Black and Edith Pyle are my wife’s 5x great-grandparents. I have not done anything NEAR the amount of research you have, but I have found sources to back up data that fills in some blanks you and the other people who have responded have mentioned.

    There is a book written in 1876 called History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, “Centennial Record” by John Carroll Power. You can get a free ebook copy (likely because the copyright has long since expired) at https://play.google.com/store/books/details/John_Carroll_Power_History_of_the_Early_Settlers_o?id=lkgWAAAAYAAJ

    That book was a tremendous resource for finding out about Thomas Black and all of his and Edith’s children. It is almost 800 pages and contains information about Nicholas Pyle’s family as well as lots of other families that the descendants of Hans Black who moved up to Illinois may have married into.

    Thomas’ first wife Edith Pyle Black died on April 15, 1822.
    Thomas Black married a widow, Rebecca Skiles Black in July 1823. They both appear in the 1850 Census living in Sangamon County, IL, and both died in 1851.

    I feel your pain about all the “broken” family trees and loads of unsourced information out there. I pretty much confine all my work to Wikitree these days. It’s not perfect but it’s the best I have found.


    Bill Sirinek

  7. My husband is a descendant from Hans Black also. His grandmother was Georgia Ann Black French from Huntington, Tennessee. She also, had a twin brother George Black who passed away in Texas. Per RootsWeb,com titled Carolina Kin….and Beyond found on the Internet Jacob Hollingsworth Black was born 15 Jan 1821 in Greenville Co., S.C. and died 17 Mar 1905 in Carroll County, Tennessee and is buried in the Black Cemetery in Leach, Tennessee. He was Georgia” grandfather.

  8. Hi I just commented, apparently Agnes Nancy Bennet is my 5th great grandmother and Johaness Black is my 5th great grandfather.

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