Robert Huff (1788-1842)

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


Robert Huff (Hoff)

Born: 24 Nov 1788 in Wilkes Co., GA
Died: 7 Jul 1842 in Oglethorpe Co., GA

Married on 3 Jul 1814:
Sarah (Sally) Hardman
Born: 15 Sep 1796 in Oglethorpe Co., GA
Died: 22 Dec 1872 in Oglethorpe Co., GA


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Note: It is difficult establish the exact locations and the size of his 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, were generally not recorded.

Robert Huff used the name “Hoff” in his family and some of his real estate transactions. He was known in the community as Robert Huff. The Census recorded him as Robert “Haff.”

Robert Huff, the second of 8 children of Peter Huff, Jr., was raised in the Goosepond Dist. of Oglethorpe County until age about age 19 when his family moved to the Glades Dist. where his father farmed and opened Pint Peter's Store.

 While his father retained the Goosepond land, the sources think Robert Huff moved to the Glades as a young man as he married Sarah Hardman of the Glades in June, 1814. Her father, William Hardman, gave them lands of 260 acres on what is now Gene Smith Road between Point Peter and Millstone Church. The property abutted the Peter Huff property. The Sarah Huff home place remains occupied by a second home, now in a state of disrepair.

He was considered a solid citizen at that time as he was elected Luientant of the Militia at age 26 in 1814. The Militia was considered a serious force of state troops at that time as the War of 1812 was underway and Indian Campaigns were still a distinct possibility. His period of active service was less than six months.

He, in 1819, was appointed to Militia Dist. Captain, a post with both Militia and civil responsibilities at that time He served as Capt. until, and at age 34 and he resigned in 1822. His duties included the collection of taxes in the Glades Dist. He later served as a Justice of the Peace and on the Roads Commission for the Glades Dist. and one term as Judge of Inferior Court.

In the 1820 Census he is shown with 3 boys under 10 (John Peter, William Benjamin and James R. W.), his wife and nine slaves. At this time he was primarily a farmer and he continued operating his farms throughout his life.

As his family and farm profits grew, he begins buying land in the Millstone Creek watershed. He recorded 9 purchases for a total of 875 acres between 1820 and 1829. In two sales in 1829 and 1831 he bought the Millstone Creek Water Mill and 100 acres in two transactions. This Mill, of which the ruins of the building and dams remain, is now known as Echols Mill. Between 1830 and 1842 he recorded purchases of additional 795 acres near or on Millstone Creek for a total recorded purchase of 1772 acres, more or less, mostly on or near Millstone Creek.
 

He also purchased his Uncle Charles Huff's farm, 199 acres, from a John Wilkerson in Wilkes County and also purchased his grandfather’s land adjacent to the first tract in one or more unrecorded transactions.

He ceased buying land after 1838. Based on the returns of his estate, it appears that his total land ownership was 3200 acres of which 850 acres lay in Wilkes County. He, at his death, also owned land lots in Irwin, Appling and Calhoun counties in addition to the above acreage.

With one exception he did not record a land sale in his lifetime. The exception was Millstone Church that he sold 7/10 acre and a spring for a baptismal pool.
At some point in the 1820’s he purchased his father’s store in Point Peter. (Neither Peter Huff or Robert Huff are showing as owning the land on which the store was located.) The store was a considerable establishment based on the inventory of his estate.

In June, 1828 his father, Peter Huff, Jr., died and Robert Huff and his brother Richard became administrators of the estate. They were responsible for the well being of their step-mother, Winnie, and their two minor half-brothers, Henry P. and James M.  The estate continued until the 1850's and Winnie's death. Robert was succeeded as administrator by his wife, Sarah, after his death.

 One of the tasks of the estate was to distribute the 28 slaves of Peter Huff, Jr. among the heirs and to dispose of the available cash and lands. Each heir received about $2, 500.00 in cash and slaves in 1829 as a partial settlement. Robert Huff’s portion was $ 1, 396.90 and five slaves of which four were a family group.

Robert bought the 1813 Millstone Creek property (171 acres) and the 1821 property of 93 acres including the Huff-Watkins home.

The Goosepond farm (800 acres) and the Ashmore tract were designated as the Winny Huff Dower Land was converted to cash by its sale to Charles Huff.

In 1830, Robert was shown with his wife, 7 minor boys (John P., William B., James R. W., Joseph T., Thomas P., Mathew R. and Isaac C.) and 1 minor girl (Elizabeth F.) in the Glade Dist. One daughter, Zilla Ann was born and died in 1825. Eighteen slaves were attached to his household and he was on record as owning 875 acres plus the Sarah Hardman dower lands of 260 acres.

Robert Huff was shown in the 1840 Census as living in Glade Dist. with Sarah, 7 sons (Joseph T., Thomas P., Mathew R., George R. W., Charles M. and Jacob E.) and 3 daughters (Elizabeth F., Lucinda M. and Nancy J.). Three sons (John P., William B. and James R. W.) had married and established their own households. One son, Isaac C. had died in 1837.

After Robert’s Huff’s death, a detailed inventory (10 double-column pages) of his estate was conducted. His farming activities were a major operation. His livestock included 40 sheep, 2 yokes of oxen, one yoke of oxen not broke, 27 head of cattle, 83 hogs, 30 pigs, 10 horses, one stallion, 10 mules, 33 geese and 17 bee hives.. He owned 2 ox carts and several wagons. His family and servants wove their own homespun cloth (six spinning wheels and a loom). His inventory included leather hides for shoes and harness. He owned a cotton gin, apparently powered by a treadmill, and a still and worm. The brewer’s waste was fed to his livestock.

He operated a large general store with an inventory of several pages. He gave his customers credit for their store purchases.  To some extent, he operated as a banker, holding 88 notes in small amounts on his neighbors, of which 56 were listed as “doubtful” of collection.

Robert Huff's death in July, 1842 at age 54 without a Will and the actions of the Administrators (as set out under the laws governing Probate) had the effect of destroying his fortune in an attempt to safeguard the support of his wife and the 7 minor children in his home.

The Estate designated 600 acres and his home as "Sarah Huff Dower Lands" for the support of his wife and minor children. The final settlement of the Estate lasted until 30 Dec. 1874, two years after Sarah’s death.

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).

 

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