In spite of knowing for sure that Revolutionary War soldier John Hash had seven children who lived to adulthood – because he was one of the few of my husband’s ancestors to leave a will, there is a lot of misinformation, unproved data and what looks to be plain old made up stuff about his children – like exact dates for births, middle names when no documentation has been found to support them, a given name for the mother of Richard Hall and various people assigning the same wife to the three Johns – John Sr. and his two sons, both named John.
I’ve also seen mention that John Hash was a Huguenot – no documentation of course – stating that the name was originally Hache. However, Hash is also found as an English surname and has forms in both Dutch and German. Therefore, I am uncertain what the family’s ethnic origin might be.
Lately, I’ve put some effort into piecing together the family of John Hash through actual documentation, which hasn’t been the easiest job.
However, in addition to John Hash’s will, there are personal property tax lists surviving for Montgomery, Wythe and Grayson Counties, Virginia, which help a bit.
Revolutionary War soldier John Hash left a will in Montgomery County, Virginia, dated 2 April 1784 and entered into court records on 27 May 1784, which named his four sons, husbands of two probable daughters and alluded to a deceased daughter who married a Hall by naming grandson Richard Hall, who received a heifer. Unfortunately, he didn’t name his “beloved wife.”
Will of John Hash
Montgomery County, VA WB 4:63-64
FamilySearch Film #7645566
In the name of God, Amen. I, John Hash, being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God for it, and therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is apointed unto all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.
And first, I give my soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to ye earth, to be buried in a Christian manner at ye discretion of my executors.
And as concerning such worldly estate as God hath given me I give and bequeath in ye following manner:
Item, I give and bequeath to my loving wife my manshun hous and ye sole benifit of all ye land on ye north side of ye creek as long as she lives; with one black horse and a black mare, and two twin cows, one yew and a lam, and a (?), a bed and all ye furniture thereunto belonging; one large pot and a frying pan, one puter dish, one beason, and six spoons ; with 2 spining wheels, and 2 pair of cords and a hackle, one rideing saddle with a box iron and heaters and 2 pleats.
Item, I give and bequeath to my son John who I had by my first wife, five shillings.
Item, I give and bequeath to my son William a full and equall share with all my children of all ye remaining part of my estate, except one cow to Enoch Osborn and one to Francis Sturgen, or ye price of a cow each of them .
Item, I give and bequeath to my son Thomas all my land lying on ye upper side of ye creek so far as to a small run that emties in ye creek above ye ford.
Item, I give and bequeath to my son John, who I have had by my second wife, all my land on ye Lower side of ye above sd creek after ye deceas of his mother whom I leve ye sole executer of this my last will and testiment.
I give Richard Hall my grandson a 2-year-old red heafer.
John (X) Hash
Signed, seled, ratified and confirmed in ye year of our Lord 1784 and in ye presence of Test.
There was also an inventory of his estate recorded:
John’s Inventory, WB 4:64-65
Seven and one half lb wool
a percle (parcel?) of leather
fourteen pounds and one half of Iron
a pasel (pasel?) of iron tools
Seven pounds and one haf of puter (pewter?)
one copper skillet
four knives and 6 forks
three pint cups and one collander
a pesel (passel?) of (?) ware
one riddle (griddle?)
one hair sifter
one hime (hymn?) book
one bed and furniture
two ploughs irons and handgings
one arm chir (chair?)
one Year old Stear (steer)
one grinding stone
Given John’s “pasel” of iron tools and his supply of iron and pewter, I’d say John was a blacksmith.
Although most websites that discuss John Hash give a birth year of 1724 for him, there is no evidence that I’ve found to say with any certainty that he was born in that year.
His daughter Rebecca married Francis Sturgill, whose birth year is estimated to be about 1755. Let’s say that Rebecca was born c1758, as her the birth of her first child is estimated to be about 1776.
Given that John Hash had seven children who lived to adulthood AND he married twice, if Rebecca was a middle child (since there seems to be an order to the way John named his children in his will), then by counting backwards by two years for each child, John Hash probably married somewhere around 1750, give or take a few years. That makes a birth year of 1724 very reasonable, BUT it is still very much an estimate.
Thus, we have the following children for John Hash:
1. John, born c1751
2. William, born c1754
3. Jane, born c1756; married Enoch Osborne
4. Rebecca, born c1758: died after 1840; married Francis Sturgill
5. Thomas, born c1760
6. John, born c1762
7. Daughter, born c1764; died before her father; married Mr. Hall and left one son, Richard Hall, named in her father’s will.
Next, we have Virginia personal property tax lists for Montgomery County. The 1782 tax list for Montgomery County includes but three Hash men:
John, 1 tithe, 3 Horses, 15 Cattle
Thomas, 1 tithe, 5 Horses, 6 Cattle
William, 1 tithe, 4 Horses, 8 Cattle
Missing from this list are two of the three called John Hash.Is this John the father who died in 1784? I would assume so, but even if son John the younger was under 16 in 1782, there is clearly one living adult John who is not residing in Montgomery County, Virginia that year. The younger son John was not to inherit land until his mother died, so he may well have been a teenager when his father died.
Just as an aside, there are five Halls on the list – John, Richard, Richard, William, William and William. That definitely muddies the Hall waters, although I would venture a guess that one of the Richard Halls might be the father of the 1784 grandson Richard Hall.
In addition, Enouch Ozburn is on the list with 1 tithe, 20 Horses and 22 Cattle, as is Francis Sturgeon, taxed only for 1 tithe, no livestock.
The 1787 Montgomery County list, again includes one John, a Thomas and a William. John Hash Sr. had been dead for three years, so is this John the younger son? If so, the elder son John is still among the missing and, again, clearly not residing in Montgomery County. Enoch Osborne and Francis Sturgion are also on it. There are no Halls found in Montgomery County on that 1787 list.
Next, we have the 1796 personal property tax list for Grayson County, Virginia, which is the area that previously existed as part of Montgomery County, Virginia:
1796 Grayson County, VA Personal Property Tax List
There are four Hash men on this list – Thomas, John, William and now a second William, likely a grandson of Rev. War soldier John Hash and still no sign of the (other) son John Hash. With no proof of which John this is – elder or younger son – it is difficult to draw any conclusions.
Having no Virginia censuses for 1790 or the early 1800s is a definite impediment to learning more about this family. However,the 1820 census included three men named John Hash, all over 45 years of age. The first is living in Warren County, Tennessee. The second is living in Grayson County, Virginia. The last is living in Orange County, North Carolina, which is quite a distance east of the Ashe County area where the family lived. Not impossible, but I think that man is part of a different Hash clan.
The 1830 census includes two entries for men named John Hash, who could possibly be one or both of the sons of John Sr. The first John Hash is living in Sullivan County, Tennessee and his age is ticked in the box as 60-69 years old. The second John, also aged 60-69, was living in Sangamon County, Illinois and recorded a bill of sale there in 1825, stating that he was a resident of Warren County, Tennessee at that time. Therefore, John Hash in Warren County in 1820 is the man who removed to Sangamon County, Illinois and reportedly died there in the early 1840s.
The issue here is that John the elder son was likely born in the early 1750s, which means he would be 70-79 in 1830. So, was there an error made in reporting the age of one of these two men named John or is only one of them a son of John who died in 1784?
Also, is the John Hash, likely brother of Rebecca Sturgill who appears in the Ashe County, North Carolina land deeds in the early 1800s the man who removed to Sullivan or Warren County, Tennessee?
At this point, I am leaving John Hash and his family! It will take a lot more digging through land deeds to see if any further inferences can be deduced about the seven children of John Hash.