The Hulsey, Head and Huff Families of North Georgia.
Or, More Than You Ever Wanted to Know.
The Huff Family


Peter Huff, Jr. (Hoff)

Born: 1750 in Hoff’s Mill, Hopewell, Hunterdon, NJ
Died: 1828 in Oglethorpe Co., GA

Married:
1) Elizabeth NMN about 1785 in Prince William Co., VA
Born: Abt. 1766.
Died: Bef. 1818, Oglethorpe Co., GA
2) Winneford Porter on 14 Feb 1818
Born: 1784 in Wilkes Co., GA.
Died: Aft. 1851 in Oglethorpe, GA.


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Note:
Peter Huff, Jr. and his sons were adverse to recording deeds during their lifetimes. As a result, it is difficult establish the exact locations and the size of their landholdings. The issue is further complicated in that all recorded deeds were meets-and-bounds deeds, listing only the adjoining property owners at the time of purchase. Several land transactions were by Probate Award and, as such, was generally not recorded.

Origin:
Based on DNA Testing of his descendents, Peter Huff, Jr. was of Dutch origin and was descended from Derrick Paulsen Hoff (1649-1730). He was the grandson of Charles Dericksen Hoff, a miller who founded Hoffs Mill in Hunterdon Co., NJ.

The family used the name Hoff in NJ, VA and in GA within their family and some Real Estate Records. The name Peter Huff was used in the community during his life.

Early Life:
His father moved to Hopewell Township, Mercer Co., NJ about the time of his birth and moved to Prince William County, VA in the early 1770’s. In the late 1880’s his father had property in both Prince William Co. VA and in Elbert and Wilkes Co., GA.

Peter Huff Jr. married a wife known only as Elizabeth NMN about 1785 when he was about 34 years of age and one daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Prince William Co., VA.

He may have managed his father’s property in Prince William Co., VA for several years before he moved to GA.

Middle Life:
In about 1787, Peter Huff, Jr. migrated to GA where at least two of his brothers had previously migrated.

In 1788 Peter Hoff, Jr. bought 200 acres on the waters of Mack's Creek in then Wilkes Co., GA from Benj. Ashworth. The deed stated that Peter Hoff was in possession of this tract at the time of the sale. This property was included in the Goosepond Dist, Oglethorpe Co, at the formation of the county in 1793. This property was on the road from his brother’s location in Elbert County and his father’s and other brother’s location in Wilkes County.

Over the next 12 years, seven children were born to him and his first wife. We do not have a name, other than Elizabeth or date of death for his first wife. She made have died in 1800 or as late as 1817. If she was buried in the family cemetery in the Millstone community, her grave is unmarked. (There is another Huff cemetery near the Goosepond home, but none of the graves are identifiable.)

In 1800, the census recorded Peter Huff’s family as himself, 5 male children and two female children. His wife was listed. One female 16 to 25 is unknown and may have been a servant. He owned 2 male slaves in that census.

When Peter Huff, Jr. arrived in Oglethorpe County the cash crop was tobacco, shipped down the Broad River to Petersburg where it was inspected, taxed and bought by wholesalers. The tobacco was then shipped by water to Augusta and Savannah. Some grain was raised to be distilled into whisky and shipped to Augusta.

The invention of the cotton gin in 1794 made short staple cotton a viable cash crop and before 1810, cotton supplanted tobacco as the cash corp. Oglethorpe County was not a monoculture community however. Grains (wheat, rye and corn) were viable cash crops and by 1830, their value, distilled into whiskey, exceeded cotton in value.

While tobacco required intensive labor at certain times, cotton required sustained amounts of labor and slavery was required to produce large cotton crops. If a farmer wished to improve his economic condition, he turned to slaves for agricultural production. From about 1800 until his death, Peter Huff, Jr. owned and worked slaves for his agricultural production.

Over the years 1788-1812, Peter Huff, Jr. obtained eleven Headrights Grants of varying acreage from others for land in Oglethorpe County. The exact acreage is unknown. His widow’s dower lands in the Goosepond Dist. totaled 1, 032 acres.

Peter Huff, Jr. served as a private in the Creek War of 1793 and became involved in community. He was the appraiser for an estate and served as road supervisor for the Goosepond Dist from 1800 to 1807. He may have operated a store in Goosepond as he brought a court action for debt 1807, being awarded $ 107.00.

Later Life:
In 1812 he bought 171 acres in the Millstone community from James Denny and moved to that location. He opened a store and blacksmith’s shop about 3 miles from his new home at the intersection of (now) Lexington-Carlton Road and Gene Smith Road. . The store became a considerable establishment and he sold whiskey as a bootlegger in pint bottles, becoming nicknamed “Pint Peter.” While illegal, the sale of whisky was tolerated by the local community. Based on a later estate appraisal, his son, Robert, continued to operate the store after Peter’s death until his own death in 1842.

In an application for a new Post Office in 1842, the application requested the new Post Office be named Pint Peter, abbreviated as Pt. Peter in the application. The Post Office was named Point Peter by the authorities misunderstanding the abbreviation.

Being widowed, Peter Huff, Jr. married Winneford (Winny) Porter in 1818 (he was 68 and she was 38 at the time of her marriage and she may have been previously married) and two sons followed; Henry H. in 1820 and James in 1823. The younger son had 6 nephews older than him at his birth.

His agricultural practices showed a great utilization of resources. In addition to cotton, he grew grain, distilled the grain into whisky and fed the brewer’s waste to his cattle and hogs, maximizing his use of farm products.

Based the Returns made for his estate; he operated both the Millstone farm and the Goosepond farms. The Goosepond property was possibly supervised by one of his sons during his later life.

In 1820, he bought a second farm of 93 acres on Millstone Creek upstream for the first farm. This farm, on (now) Cedar Creek Road, became his final home and the house became known as the Huff-Watkins House. He and Winny lived there for the remainder of his life. He died on 6 Jun 1828 at 78 years of age. He was survived by six adult children by his first wife, his second wife and two minor children.

The Estate of Peter Huff, Jr:
Peter Huff, Jr. died a wealthy man. He owned at least 1330 acres in five known tracts, possibly other tracts and a Land Lot in Fayette Co., GA. His heirs valued this land at $ 1, 080, probably a low valuation as they sold the property to themselves. His 34 slaves were valued at $ 10, 455 by the appraisers and were valued at $ 9, 400 at their distribution to his heirs. (See Slavery in the Huff Family) His personal property was valued at $ 2, 196. He owned cotton worth $1, 066.93. He held notes valued at $ 10, 967.95, not all of which were collectable. His estate was valued to be at least $ 25, 000 and was possibly over $ 30, 000. He apparently had outstanding obligations of less than $ 2, 000. (The Record is unclear.)

Among the two-page inventory of his personal propety were 4 horses, 4 bay horses, 70 head of hogs, 40 head of sheep, 53 head of cattle, one gig and harness, one road wagon, Still Cap and Worm for distilling whisky and a Cotton Gin, hand operated. The store inventory is not included, possibly because Robert Huff had bought him out previous to his death.

His Will provided that his second wife, Winny, was to be awarded Dower Land of about 800 acres and a portion of the estate equal to each of his surviving children. The initial distribution of the estate awarded slaves and cash in the amount of approximately $ 2, 500 to each of his 8 heirs. Later distributions are not always recorded.

The Administrators, Robert and Richard Huff, sold some of the property to family members on 10 Dec. 1828 taking notes in payment:
Thomas Bell and Joseph Bell: $ 51.06 for an unknown property.
Winny Huff: $ 287.19 possibly for the Ashworth property of 200 acres.
Charles Huff: $ 404.38 possibly for the Whinny Huff Dower Lands of 800 acres.
Robert Huff: $ 146.43 possibly for the Millstone Creek Home property. (A deed, recorded on 1 Apr 1829, from the Peter Huff Estate to Robert Huff sold the first Millstone Creek property of 191 acres for $ 500.00)
Richard Huff: $ 190.97 for an unknown property.
Note: It is likely that the last four properties are undervalued.

The Estate continued in being until the majority of James M. Huff and later until the death of Winny Huff in 1851. After Robert Huff’s death in 1842, Sarah Huff became one of the Administrators of the Estate. The Estate rented out the slaves of the minor sons and paid for the minor sons’ lodging and expenses. The final distribution of the Estate is not recorded.

Winny Huff:
After her husband’s death, she moved to the Ashmore tract in the Goosepond Dist. and lived there with her minor sons, Henry P. and James M. The Estate paid her board for the children and paid their expenses. In the 1832 Land Lottery, she was awarded two Land Lots in then Cherokee (now Fannin) County, one as a widow of a Veteran and one for her minor children of a Veteran. At some point she sold one of the Land Lots.

In 1837, she bought 126 acres from William Bridges and apparently moved there. At an unknown time before 1850, the Ashmore tract was transferred to Charles Huff, her stepson. She was an active farmer and owned 15 slaves in 1850.

Her sons achieved their majority in 1841 and 1844 and she continued to live until 1851 probably on the Bridges property. The final settlement of the Peter Huff, Jr. Estate is not recorded.

After her death, her probate file contained the second Fannin Co. Land Lot that her heirs sold. The disposition of the Bridges property, her slaves and her personal property is unknown.

DNA Evidence:
In August, 2006; a proven male parental descendent of Derrick Hoff was tested with a Y chromosome DNA Haplogroup Q. Since that time a proven male parental descendent of Robert Huff (1788-1842) has tested with Haplogroup Q. The children of Robert Huff are descended from Derrick Hoff through Charles Dickerson Hoff, Peter Huff, Sr. (Hoff) and Peter Huff, Jr (Hoff).


Children of Peter Huff, Jr:
See separate articles on each.

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