The Hulsey, Head and Huff Families of North Georgia
Or, More Than You Ever Wanted to Know
The Huff Family
Family Notes, Credits and History:
A young boy was riding from Cleveland to Rockmart and asked his father: "Where the did Huff’s come from?" His father replied "Union Point, GA." and that was all his father knew. Over fifty years later that boy set out to find some answers. Eight years of research, DNA testing and aid from distant relatives resulted in this website.
The work begins with the compilation of Jewell Pressgrove, found in the author's father's records. Bobbie Cuzzourt over the years researched, explored, maintained and expanded that basic work. Her work is the foundation of this site.
The data files contained in the Ancestry web site, together with other genealogical web sites expanded that foundation, as did the records contained in the State of Georgia Archives. The archival records of the States of Virginia and New Jersey aided the research. Several Civil War web sites were consulted and two Revolutionary War web sites contributed to this book. Of particular help was the Oglethorpe County Site of the Georgia Gen-Web Project, maintained by a descendent of Robert Huff.
The web site of Max Huff shed light on the early years of this book. Willis Huff's THE TWO HUNDRED YEARS ODYSSEY OF AN AMERICAN HUFF FAMILY and the Our Family Tree FICQUETT - WILBANKS - HUFF by Thora O. Kimsey contributed to this study as did the volumes contained in the Oglethorpe Co. Library.. The picture of the Huff-Wakins House was found there as was other illustrations, text and records. The research room of the Mary Willis Library in Washington, GA was also valuable.
The records and knowledgeable assistance of the Clerk of Courts and Probate Courts of Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Greene, Elbert, Bartow and Polk Counties were of considerable assistance, sometimes answering a question with valuable data. Sometimes, the negative answer to a research question is as much use as a positive answer. Such was the case in some offices.
In Oglethorpe County, the author was introduced to Mr. Glenn Paul. Mr. Paul is a fourth-generation descendent of Robert Huff and as such, our cousin. He is a wealth of knowledge of the history of Oglethorpe County and the Huff and Glenn families. The author spent several enjoyable days exploring sites and cemeteries with Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul has clarified a number of points over the period of this study as well as directing further exploration of several points of the study.
Lastly, this site would not have been written without the contributions of Bobbie Cuzzourt. Her contributions are such she is truly worthy of being credited as Co-Author. Her research, hard-earned knowledge, hard work and direction made this book possible.
Our Peter Huff, Sr. was one of at least three persons with that name living in Hampshire Co., VA , now WV, and Prince William Co., VA in the 1770's. One Peter Huff, serving as a Virginia Ranger, was killed by Indians near Oceana, VA while crossing the mountains probably at Lower Road Branch near Huff Creek in 1777. it is unclear that this person is related to our line.
DNA testing has found that the paternal descendents of Peter Huff, Sr. are descended from Derrick Pauluszen Hoff (1649-1730) of Long Island and Maidenhead Township, Mercer Co., NJ.
A second Huff family, related to Peter Huff, Sr., moved on to North Carolina and a descendent of his, Thomas Hoff, settled in Oglethorpe Co., GA in the 1820's. Considerable confusion in records of this family and the descendents of our ancestor, Peter Huff, Jr., has resulted.
The names of the Huff family were spelled in various ways down through the years as Hoff and Huff. Others used the names Haff, Huss, Hauff, Hoof, Hooff and Hough. Our Peter Huff, Sr. was born as Pieter Hoff, used the name Peter Hoff and was recorded as Peter Huff in some early GA NJ and VA documents. Peter Huff, Sr., Peter Huff, Jr. and Robert Huff used the name Hoff including the family Bible. The name Huff came into common usage in Oglethorpe Co., GA after 1810 even though the family used the name Hoff up to 1842 and in one case until 1872. This document refers to "Huff" as the geological data uses that name from Peter Huff, Sr. forward.
Real Estate Records:
Property was transferred in various ways between 1782 and the 1880's. The first was a Headrights Land Grant. The Indian Lands ceded during the 1770's up to 1805 could be settled by occupying the land, surveying and recording a claim resulting in a State Land Warrant signed by the governor. Wilkes, Oglethorpe, Franklin and Elbert Counties were settled under the Headrights System. Many of the Headright Grants were sold with the original owner holding the deed until payment was made. If the buyer did not complete the purchase the deed was never recorded and the property sold to another. This led to a casual attitude to deed recording.
During the period 1805-1837 the ceded Cherokee and Creek Lands were divided into Land Lots and granted by lottery to veterans and widows of veterans. The lucky winners often sold these Land Lot Grants to others upon obtaining title. Winney Huff was one such example, being awarded property in Fayette County as the widow of a Creek War veteran.
During the period 1800 - 1850 many buyers did not record their deeds and relied on the Principal of Adverse Possession (7 years unchallenged possession) to retain title to the land.
The third method was through an inherence acknowledged in a Will, such as the Winnie Huff Dower Lands. Often the acreage and description was not stated. In the case of an Estate Probate, the Probate File was the only record of the transfer and, if part or the entire file went missing, the transfer was not acknowledged. One such tract was the Peter Huff, Sr. property on Goosepond, occupied by Winnie Huff until her death. The recording of Will or Estate Transfer by a property deed did not become common practice until the 1860's.
The Peter Huff, Sr. property of the Goosepond District is the extreme example of the lack of records in Real Estate transactions. He is on-record as buying the Ashworth property of 200 acres in 1788. He apparently purchased other lands and, at his death, the property was designated as the Winney Huff Dower Lands for the benefit of his second wife and his minor children. In 1851, Winney Huff returned taxes on 1032 acres in Oglethorpe Co. without a single recorded property transfer in the previous sixty years.
Historical Time Line:
This historical time line may aid the reader in his exploration of this site:
1624: New Amsterdam, New Netherlands (now New York, NY) founded by the Dutch West Indian Co.
1664: New Amsterdam conquered by England and renamed New York.
19 Apr, 1775: Battle of Lexington, MA, beginning of the American War of Independence.
4 Jul, 1776: Publication of the Declaration of Independence.
20 Nov, 1776: Evacuation of Fort Lee and New York, War moves to New Jersey.
26 Dec, 1776: Battle of Trenton, NJ.
1777: Wilkes Co. created by GA Provisional Government, largest county in GA.
28 Jun. 1778: Battle of Monmouth, NJ.
31 Jun 1779: Augusta, GA falls to British, rebel Ga. government becomes a "State on Horseback."
12 May 1780: Charleston, SC surrendered to British.
5 Jun, 1781: Augusta, GA falls to Col. Elijah Clark and Gen. Pickens of SC, GA government again has a settled location.
11 Jul 1782: Savannah, GA evacuated by British.
13 Dec. 1782: Charleston, SC evacuated by British, end of War in the South but not the end of retaliation toward the Tories or Loyalists.
1790: Elbert Co. created from Wilkes Co.
1793: Oglethorpe Co. created from Wilkes Co.
1793: Creek Indian War. (One of many Indian campaigns by the Ga. State Government.)
1838: Mercer Co. NJ formed from several counties including Hunterdon Co., NJ.
12 Apr, 1861: Start of the Civil War.
26 Apr, 1865: Surrender of Johnson's forces at Greensboro, NC. End of Civil War in the East.
The location cited in the text is the final political jurisdiction, irrespective of the actual jurisdiction at the time cited.