According to the 1850 Perry Co., KY, census, John Hacker was born in 1768 in Virginia. He likely was born in the upper Shenandoah Valley, where his father Julius was located at that time. The census date is backed by John's own statements in a pension deposition for a Revolutionary War soldier of his acquaintance. In that deposition, (and in others as well) John indicated that during the time period of the Battle of King's Mountain (1780) he was "at that time, big enough to wield a gun. I think 11 or 12 years of age", placing his birth in the same 1768ish timeframe.
If John had a middle name, it is unknown. It was not Matross. "Matross" was a military term for something like a gunner- not a name. Someone who didn't understand what matross really meant picked it up and it unfortunately has been unknowingly and without proof perpetuated as a name. It was another John Hacker who served as a matross with Clark during the Revolutionary War. But "our" John from Kentucky was too young for service in the RW; and in fact he was denied an RW pension because his service was for Indian War Service (St. Clair's Campaign).
For a deeper discussion of the mistaken identity of "our" John Hacker as the Matross who served in the RW, refer to the discussion on the Rootsweb Hacker list and follow Joy Gilchrist Stalnaker's comments as well.
John saw active service on the frontier: In 1791, then living in Sullivan County, he enlisted in the Army of the United States and served under Capt. McMcCormick, 1st and 2nd Regiment under Col. Joseph Dark, in the action known as St. Clair's Defeat in Ohio, also known as the NW Indian Wars. In 1795, John Hacker was serving in Scott's Regiment of Militia, Territory South of the Ohio River.
1796 found John paying poll tax with his brother Julius Jr. in Sullivan Co, while his father, Julius Sr. paid taxes on 640 acres of land.
In 1797, John Hacker was listed for 1 white poll in the Russell County Virginia Personal Property Tax List. According to notes on the excellent Combs Family Website, many of the men found in Sullivan lists also appeared at some time in Washington or Russell lists.
John's Wife Massie
Sometime in the late 1790s, John married a woman named Massie. This marriage timeframe is based on the 1838 divorce papers filed by John. The papers stated: "John Hacker complaining and respectfully showeth that he inter marriece with a certain Masce about forty years since, that they lived together about 21 years at which time she took up with a certain Joshua Muncey and lived with him fore many years and had by him several children...."
Massie is identified by a vanity publication called The biographical record of Jasper County, Missouri as Manassa Pressfield. The biography article was based on an interview with one of Julius Hacker Sr.'s great-grandsons. [Alexis' Notes: Massie is indeed a nickname for the name Manassas,as experienced within my mother's family.]
Many researchers have referred to Massie with the last name of Spread, but I have yet to see any evidence for this name. However, Pressfield is a variation of the name Perciful and in the late 1790s in Russell County there were at least 4 "Pirsiful" men, including one by the name of Valentine and one called Samuel. John and Massie named one son Valentine and one son Samuel. Given that John was living in the Sullivan/Washington/Russell counties area, it is logical that he would have married in that area. If I were a descendant, I would be looking carefully at those "Pirsifuls" (and other variants of the name) to see if I could find any evidence that linked them to Massie.
After dwelling in the Sullivan area for around 20 years,and living briefly in Greene Co., Julius Hacker purchased land in then Knox, later Roane Co. in 1798. Most of his family appears to have gone with him, as all the sons appeared at least briefly in Roane; and two of the daughters married there. In 1801, John signed the petition to create Roane County from Knox.
Between 1805 and 1810, John appeared on the Grainger Co. Tax lists. Then about 1816 John moved his family to Clay Co., Kentucky, where he appeared in the 1820 census. This is based on his 1856 statement in the Nicholas Combs pension deposition that he had lived in the State of Kentucky for 40 years.
By 1840, John was living in Perry Co, KY. He was not living with Massie, who had her own household in Clay in 1840; so who is the woman 60-70 in his household? Could it be his second wife, listed with him in the 1850 Perry Co. census? The Combs website makes a substantial case for Lidia/Lydia being a Combs widow before marrying John. See: http://www.combs-families.org/combs/families/c-n1736a.htm. John appears to have died before the 1860 census.
John and Massie's Children
Because John moved his family to Kentucky and his children have not created issues in tracing the other three sons of Julius Hacker Sr. in Tennessee, I have not devoted the same amount of time to proving and tracking John's children as have other researchers. The Hacker sons who remained in Tenessee and their descendants throughout the United States are my main focus.
The names that appear below are those generally credited by other John Hacker researchers. The best researcher for John's children that I know of is Ken Smith, whose comments on that family have greatly enriched Genforum.
There is excellent documentation for their daughter Elizabeth, as evidenced in the following deed of trust:
Massie and Elizabeth moved to Illinois along with Hacker sons Granville and Hogan. Massie was still alive in 1850 when she and Elizabeth appeared in the Rock Creek, Bartholomew, Indiana census. That census indicated that Massie was born in Virginia about 1782.
If anyone has any documentation on John's children that they wish to share with me, I would be happy to have it.
©Alexis Hacker Scholz 2002-2014.
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