Descendants of Thomas Hearns
This page last modified on Tuesday, 24-Feb-2004 18:26:41 MST
According to Greenfield Hill Church Records THOMAS HEARNS was baptized November 1731 (page 371) the son of William Herns/Hearns and Elizabeth Thorp; he died 1803 in Canada. During this period of time, we know that Thomas married Deborah (Deborough) Campbell. We do not know much about Deborah but have information that she was the daughter of John Campbell and Agnes Ruff. If this is indeed our Deborah, she was born on December 24, 1745 in Saint Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.
Dr. W.K. Burr in his boo, Historical Sketches of Prince Edward County, indcates that Thomas' origin was German from Palatine-on-the-Rhine, however, does not give a source for this statement.
Thomas and Deborah have the following children:
Gilbert, born abt. 1760 Phillipse Patent, Dutchess County, NY
Josiah, born abt. 1762 Phillipse Patent, Dutchess County, NY
Johnston, born abt 1765 Phillipse Patent, Dutchess County, NY
Sarah, born abt. 1768 Dutchess County, NY
Thomas Jr., born abt. 1770 Dutchess County, NY
Jason, born abt. 1772 Dutchess County, NY
Darius David, born abt 1773 Dutchess County, NY
Jerusha born abt 1775 Dutchess County, NY
Thomas owned property in Phillipse Patent, Dutchess County according to a book titled Dutches County, N.Y. Tax Lists, 1717-1787 (Rhinebeck, NY, Kinship, 1991) page 270. The entry for Thomas Hearns appears in a section of the book titled 'Southern Precinct'. This southern precinct corresponds today to the boundaries of Putnam County. We know that in the tax records for the 'Southern Precinct' of Putnam County, Thomas paid taxes from 1759 to 1766. Thomas would have been 28 years of age in 1759 and 35 years in 1766.
Thomas and Deborah’s first child and first son, Gilbert, was born about 1760. As Thomas was paying taxes in the 'Southern Precinct' in 1760, we know his approximate location was Philipse Patent. Deborah would have only been about 15 years of age when this first son was born. Thomas would have been about 29 years of age.
This couple’s second child was named Josiah. He was born about 1762 and in the same location. He lists his place of birth as Philipse Patent on his military release records after the Revolutionary War.
Their third child was named Johnson (Johnston), born about 1765. They were still paying taxes in the Southern Precinct (Philipse Patent area) at this time.
Their fourth child and first daughter, Sarah, was born about 1768. The fifth child, Thomas Junior, was born about 1776. The sixth child, Jason, was born about 1772. The seventh child, Darius David, was born about 1773 and the eighth, their last child, Jerusha, was born about 1775.
Where Thomas and his family went after 1766 we don’t know, yet. However, we do know that the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) brought great emotional and literal upheaval to the residents of New York state. This affected Thomas first by forfeited estates.
"Records Relating to the Revolutionary War -- Forfeited Estates", a document put out by New York State Archives on their website states, "As the Revolutionary War progressed and funds for prosecuting the war became scarce, the real and personal property of loyalists was confiscated and sold to raise money for the State. Although initially only personal property was confiscated, in 1779 the legislature attainted 59 loyalists (abolished their civil rights) and declared their real property forfeited. In addition, procedures were established whereby persons indicted for treason also forfeited their lands if they failed to appear for trial."
The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Toronto, Ontario records the following list transcribed from the original document preserved by the State Library, Albany, New York titled Confiscations, Albany, Charlotte and Tryon Counties, New York Under Charlotte County, Kingsbury it lists Josiah Yards [sic], Yeoman; Gilbert Yards [sic], Yeoman; and Johnson Yards [sic], Yeoman. Thomas attended the Conspiracy sessions held in the State of New York to face charges against him. For more details on what transpired at these sessions relating to Thomas read the Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies.
The Canadian Immigration Records Part Two, RG 19 vol. 4447, file 15, page 7 gave these comments: 3rd Township, Roger’s Corps., Thomas Harnes Sr. Year of Record: 1802. Source: Lists for the Surveyor Generals, York, of disbanded Troops, Loyalists, etc. formerly victualled at Kingston. Signed: 12 May 1802. Document is titled: "List of Loyalist Sufferers to have settled at Cataraqui and its Vinicity at the Peace of 1783." Ref.: Transcribed from original documents held in the collection of the National Archives of Canada (Ottawa).
Another source, Early Ontario Settlers: A Source Book written by Norman K. Crowder p. 170, provides the following: "List of Loyalists of and attached to the Kings late Rangers victualled at the 3d Township above Cataraqui [Fredericksburgh] Between 1st July and 31st August 1786."
Index: H938 No. 59 Thomas Harnes Senr (Men-1, Women-1, Boys under-10 2, Girls under 10-2 ) Rations per day: 6
This would indicate that all children were born prior to arriving in Upper Canada. The four children here being Darius, Jason, Jerusha and Sarah.
On Page 110 of the same book, it lists as Settlers at Township No. 3 above Cataraqui [Fredericksburgh], 1785 Muster Roll No.14:
Index No.: E969 Gilbert Harns
Index No.: E970 Johnston Harns
Index No. F29 Thomas Harns Senr
Index No. F30 Thomas Harns Junr
Indicating that all adult military were counted separately and not as a family group.
Upon arriving in Adolphustown the soldiers were given lots to draw for land. One of the land requirements was that at least one of the parcels had to have water, necessitating every soldier receive at least one long, narrow lot and perhaps several additional lots in another area to total the amount of the grant.
The map on the wall at the Loyalist Cultural Centre in Adolphustown indicates 1786 Lot 11 Concession 4 in the names of Thomas Sr. and Thomas Jr. The registration of Crown Deeds officially on July 23, 1830 held at the Land Registry Office in Napanee shows June 9, 1830 David D. Haines West 1/2 Lot 11 Concession 4 (100 acres) and July 23, 1830 Thomas Haines East 1/2 Lot 11 Concession 4 (100 acres), with the grantor in both cases being the ‘Crown’. Since it appears below that Deborah was alone in 1808, and Thomas Jr. was granted East 1/2 Lot 11 in 1822 this may be ‘bookkeeping.’
Several documents relating to deeds in the name of Thomas Sr. may be found on the Deeds Index.
On February 20, 1788, Deborah and Thomas take their children, at least those still living at home including Thomas Jr., and have them baptized by Reverend John Langhorn. It appears that those sons that participated in the Revolutionary War and had started families of their own chose not to join in this event. Those recorded as baptized that day were: Johnson, Thomas, Jason, Darius and Jerusha. Where Sarah was that day we do not know, it may well be she was also married at the time.
Thomas writes his will in 1796 leaving his land and other items (read will) to his wife Deborah, and upon her death to his son Darius. It is also mentioned in the will that Thomas had property located on Lot 71 in the Seventh Township, Bay of Quinte. He leaves this land to his son Jason.
It is not known when Thomas died, however the Assessment roll of 1808, Ontario Register, Vol 3, 1970, compiled 1917 by William Allen Dafoe, M.D., of Madoc, Ontario, shows Deborah only as owner of 55 acres; 45 cleared, rolled log house, 2 horses, 3 cows. Since Darius, who was to look after his mother after Thomas' death, does not have property listed on this assessment; and since he married Nancy Parks in January 1808, it may be safe to say that he was living at home but not as head of the household.
Recently, Bonnie and I had the opportunity to visit Fredericksburgh, and we managed to locate, you guessed it, Lot 11 Concession 4. The lot is indeed narrow, beginning at the Napanee River and running backward, up a hill; and a highway runs through it. From where we stood, we could see that the immediate land in view was divided into at least two lots, one on each side of the highway. Click here to see photos.
PUTNAM - THE COUNTY
The area which makes up Putnam County was purchased from the Wappin Indians by two Dutch speculators in 1691. Six years later the Dutch sold the land to Adolph PHILIPSE, the son of an extremely wealthy merchant. The land became known as Philipse Patent. The patent included all the land to the Conneticut border. Adolph PHILIPSE died childless. His property was inherited, through his nephew by three of the latter’s children - Philip, Susannah (later to marry Beverly ROBINSON) and Mary PHILIPSE.
Philipse Patent also bordered the Conneticut border. For a long time there were disputes as to the true ownership of the lands bordering on the Oblong, and farms were taken up and improved by persons whose titles (on paper at least) dated back prior to the establishment of the Oblong line. The General Assembly of Conneticut at their sessions in New Haven in October, 1707, granted Captain Nathaniel GOULD and others certain lands which lay to the west of the Oblong.
In 1737, the Colonial Assembly designated the Philipse Patent as the "Southern Precinct of Dutchess County, and the Philipses began leasing farms to immigrants from Massachusetts, Conneticut, Long Island and lower Westchester. Until 1812, the area now known as Putnam was part of Dutchess county."
The history of the area is most important in the genealogy research for the Hearns. The names of the counties and location of the lands occasionally show up in documents in a confusing manner due to the changes in ownership and state that occurred back in the 1700’s. The same type of confusion is found later in the research in Upper Canada due to changes in provinces, boundaries, counties, etc.
PUTNAM - ITS CHURCHES
We have not located the burial place for William HERNS or his wife, Elizabeth. Presuming that they remained in the same location until their deaths, but not knowing their religious affiliation, there is a possibility that they are buried in any one of the three old church burial grounds located in Patterson.
The first is the Patterson Presbyterian Church burial ground, often referred to as “The Old Meeting House” which was located west of the newer church located in Patterson today, on the top of the hill, north of the Triangle Inn corner. It was originally built by tenants on Philipse land, settlers from Conneticut, and is probably the meeting house referred to in the description of the Prendergrast Rebellion of 1766 in Pelletreau’s History of Putnam County.
On page 132 of Pelletreau’s History of Putnam County, just prior to the description of the location of William HERNS land, it reads “A highway beginning at Edward GRAYs, so by marked trees to ye Meeting House, from thence to ye west Branch of Croten by marked trees meeting with ye higway that has already been laid out near by Hamblins”.
Furthermore, on page 133 of Pelletreau’s book reads 'The “Meeting House' mentioned was the old log church which stood on the farm of James BARNES, one mile east of Dykeman’s Station. If you read page 133 thoroughly, you will note that the location of the 'Oblong' was in this same area which places William HERNS property in the Oblong very close to the Conneticut border and Fairfield.
In Pelletreau’s book, the History of Putnam County, he indicates that about a half mile from the Triangle Inn corner was an “ancient burying ground, the surface which is thickly studded with rough stones which mark graves…the oldest burying ground in the town”. A Baptist meeting house is shown at that location on Erskin’s military map of 1780, on the north side of the road from Patterson to Carmel, about a half mile west of where Mill Brook crosses it. The date of the building of the church is unknown and there are no records of the pastors or members.
The third church in the area is the Christ Episcopal Church which was organized as the “Episcopol Mission at Fredericksburgh” by three former English officers who settled in the area after the end of the French and Indian wars. The site itself has been occupied since 1763, when the land on which the original log structure and the burying ground were located was set aside by Beverly ROBINSON and his wife Susannah PHILIPSE from their part of the Philipse Patent. The Episcopal Church in the Colonies was managed from England. The original church that was still standing in 1778, was closed during the Revolutionary War.
It would be nearly impossible to discover the burial place for William and Elizabeth HERNS. Their three acres of property was very close to all three of the churches mentioned above and without knowing their religion, it is unknown if they are buried in any of these three. Back then, it was just as likely that the deceased were buried on their own property. If determination is someday made of their religion, a pretty good guess could be made in regard to which burial ground they are resting in.
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