Hicks descendants began a migration south from Virginia during late 1700s

Published 8:22 pm Friday, July 24, 2020

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Today’s story will feature the family of the second generation of the ancestor named Samuel Hicks. His early ancestry and parents were covered in last week’s column. Samuel Hicks (2) was born in 1651 in Plymouth, Mass., as the son of Samuel Hicks (1) and Lydia Doane.

Samuel Hicks (2) was reported to have married Ruth Haskins in 1678 in the city of Rochester, Mass., located in Plymouth County. In 1685, he was reported to own land in Dartmouth where his father spent his last years. In 1688, he served as a witness to the administration of the estate of George Watson, his uncle and husband of his father’s sister, Phebe. Sometime later he apparently moved to Gloucester, Va., which began the family migration farther south. Ancestry.com family trees show Samuel (2) and Ruth were the parents of two sons: Samuel (3), b. 1680, d. 1772, m. Diana Willis; and Daniel, b. 1695.

Samuel Hicks (3) was reported to have been born in Gloucester County, Va., in 1680. Ancestry.com family trees show that Samuel married Diana Willis in 1704 in New Kent, Hanover, Va. Their children were listed as follows. Joseph, b. 1704, d. 1770; Willis, b. 1709, d. 1770; Samuel (4), b. 1714, d. 1789, m. Frances Wyatt; Goulder, b. 1720, d. 1747; Henry, b. 1722, d. 1784; Stephen, b. 1738, d. 1763; and Agnes, b. ca 1739, d. 1773, m. 1763 Jacob Woodall. All the children were born in various counties in the State of Virginia.

Samuel (4) and probably his father, Samuel (3), were residing in Granville County, N.C., when Samuel (4)’s daughter, Diana, and husband, Nathaniel Whitlow, moved there circa 1765 from Hanover County, Va. Upon arriving in Granville County, they settled at Tabbs Creek where Samuel (3) apparently lived since he owned land there, which he left to his family in his will. Records showed he owed taxes in Granville County in 1769 and 1771. He died there in 1772 and left a will in which he named several of his grandchildren since some of his children were deceased. It is of note that he left several grandchildren out of his will, and no explanation has been found for that.

Samuel Hicks (4) was born in 1714 in Brunswick County, Va. In 1738, Samuel (4) was married to Frances Wyatt, daughter of Henry Wyatt and Mary Wynne. The marriage probably occurred in Brunswick County since their first child was born there. They were the parents of four children: David, b. 1739; Absolam, b. 1740; Diana, b. 1742; and William, b. 1745. Although the children were all born in Brunswick and Goochland Counties, Va., the family later moved to North Carolina.  Many of the settlers of the day were spilling over into that state seeing better farming land, etc. Most of the children and their families eventually resided near each other in the Hillsborough district of Granville County, N.C. The only one living elsewhere was Diana and her husband, Jacob Woodall, who appear to have moved to Johnston County.

Samuel Hicks (4) passed away in 1789 in Goochland County, Va. There are no records of why he was there rather than Granville County, but he could have returned to visit relatives or such. His widow, Frances, died circa 1790, a year later, in Georgia where her son, David Hicks, had moved. This reveals the family had moved farther south.

In the next generation, David Hicks, son of Samuel Hicks (4), was born in 1739 in Brunswick County, Va. Some records suggest David was married in 1765 in Goochland County, Va., to Mary Johnson who was believed to have been born in 1743 in that county. They were listed as having the following eight children: Samuel, b. 1753 (but error as parents did not marry until 1763); Harrison Wyatt, b. 1771, d. 1773; Frederick, b. 1776, d. 1830; William, b. 1789, d. 1847, m. Mary “Polly” Phelps; Johnson, b. 1789, d. 1856, m. (1) Catherine Booth (2) Nancy Ragan; Elizabeth, b. 1790, d. 1851, m. 1805 Dickson Parham; Jefferson Wyatt, b. 1791, d. 1841, m. Malinda Phelps (1802-1880); and Nancy, b. 1800, d. aft. 1880, m. John Statum.

David Hicks rendered service in the Revolutionary War for American independence from England. On the Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, he was listed as serving in the Illinois Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, 1783-84. A Fold3.com record states David enlisted as a Virginia Volunteer in 1779 and attained the rank of Sergeant. Other documents show he was captured and kept as a prisoner in Canada for six and a half months. Years later, he qualified for the Bounty Land Grants that were given as pensions to Revolutionary War soldiers in lieu of money.

After the war was over, David returned to his home in the Tabbs Creek community of Granville County, N.C. There is no certainty of his wife, Mary’s, death, but there are indications of him marrying a second wife afterwards. During those years, the government strongly encouraged land grant recipients to settle on their granted land. This is probably why David and his family moved to Elbert County, Ga. It appears David received some land in the 1805 Georgia Land Lottery, because his name appears on the list of recipient draws. Since a daughter married in Elbert County in 1805, it would seem the family moved between 1805 and 1807. Some later records include a wife name Jinny, but David named her as Jane in his will.

In the 1827 Georgia Land Lottery Drawing, David’s win was reported to be in Pike County, Ga., where he was residing at the time. He continued to live there, but he was visiting a daughter in Elbert County when he died in 1820, and it is believed that he was buried there. 

David’s son, William Hicks, was born in 1780 in Granville County, N.C. It appears he moved with the rest of his family to Elbert County, Ga., sometime prior to 1807. It was reported that he was married in 1809 to Mary “Polly” Phelps who was born in 1793 in Virginia. On a lady’s application for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, she mentioned that William and his brothers served in the War of 1812, but no other documentation of that has been found to date. In 1820, William purchased land in the Doves Creek community of Elbert County, which was a few miles east of Elberton, Ga. There is a William Hecks and a Johnson Wicks on the same page in the 1840 federal census for Troup County, Ga. These two appear to be the Hicks brothers and were in the Town of LaGrange. William died in 1847 most likely in Troup County as his widow, Mary, was enumerated there with six of her children in 1850.

William and Mary are listed as the parents of the following 12 children: Lucinda, b. 1810, d. ca 1880, m. John W. Raines; Mary Jane, b. 1811, m. ? Booth; Elizabeth, b. 1816, m. Bryant Johnson; Permelia Ann, b. 1817, d. 1880, m. Thomas J.C. Timmons; Malinda, b. ca 1820; d. after 1886, m. Raleigh W. Stinson; Gillam Thomas, b. 1824, d. 1895, m. (1) Arrena J. Mallory (2) Samantha America Stewart; Susan Ann, b. 1827, d. after 1850; Wyatt Johnson, b. 1828, d. after 1870, m. Mary ?; Elizabeth “Eliza” Thomas, b. ca 1829; Martha Ann Moss, b. 1832, d. 1900, m. (1) Thomas Basley St.John (2) Elijah Smith; James Carter, b. 1834, d. 1931, m. (1) Sallie Andrews (2) Martha E. ?; and Emily, b. 1837, d. after 1850.

The son, Gillam Thomas Hicks, and his family will be featured in next week’s column.

The source for today’s story was the book The Hicks Family Tree; The Magnificent Journey of Our Branch of the Hicks Family Tree, 1455 to 2011, and The Families That Made a Difference, written by Gale Hicks Thompson and Bob G. Hicks.

Anyone who might find an error in the above is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.