Reference Number: 3437
Name: Joshua Hightower
Given Name: Joshua
Surname: Hightower 1
Change Date: 28 FEB 2014
Birth: ABT 1670 2 3
The following was written by Hazel Hightower Smith on September 20, 1987: "Some of the data I have recorded can be verified with court records; some a result of research through Bible records, and some my researched opinion.
4 5 6
Note: Page 285: "The Hightower family is of English origin. According to standard dictionaries of Anglo-Saxon surnames, the progenitors of the family were dwellers in or near a high tower. The first recorded member of this family in America was Joshua Hightower, who settled in Richmond Co., Va., in the latter 1600's. He is considered by historians to be the ancestor of the numerous Southern branches of the family."
First, let me say, I yet cannot verify our Hightower immigrant ancestor, but am of the firm conviction we are English descent, the Isle of Wales.
'Friendship' - one of the earliest passenger ships on record, embarking from England, took nine to ten weeks to complete the Trans-Atlantic crossing and the passengers on board were under obligation to the Governors of the American Plantations.
Year 1653, the 'Friendship', with William Perse, as its commander, arrived with one of its passengers by the name of John Hitower (Hightower). According to the Passenger Ship Search and Attestation report, he had come to Virginia on land transactions.
In view of the foregoing statement, Hightower descendants, now into the many thousands, would be pleased to claim him as their immigrant ancestor. Who knows? He very well could be? However, in spite of the ever ongoing diligent research of the hundreds of avid descendant/ researchers, proof has not surfaced.
The best we can do is speculate and continue the search. This John Hightower could have been the father of a son Joshua, then residing in England. Perhaps a young man, maybe one with high aspirations to come to America, and his father, John, was instrumental in seeing his son, Joshua, realized his dream.
At any rate, it is a known fact, one Joshua Hightower had been in Richmond County, Virginia, owned property there, indicating residence prior to 1698. A suit was filed against his estate in 1698, and it is of record in Court Order Book 2, Richmond County, Virginia. "Attachment granted Thomas Newton against estate of Joshua Hightower by declaration returnable." Since the suit was filed against his estate is a clear indication this Joshua Hightower was deceased, and that he had been a resident of Richmond County, VA. According to Clayton Torrence's Virginia Wills and Administrations, 1632 -1800, this Joshua Hightower was not recorded as having a will, therefore, he died intestate.
Since no records had been kept by the State of Virginia, prior to 1700, as to marriages, births and deaths, researchers are at a loss to determine ancestry of the Joshua Hightower that was residing in Richmond County, Virginia in 1698, with a suit filed March, 1698, Court Order Book 2, p. 389 wherein an action was brought against Joshua Hightower by Giles and James Webb, executors of John Webb, deceased.
The foregoing statement is clear indication there is a Joshua Hightower, very much alive, residing in Richmond County, Virginia. It seem logical to use the foregoing data to link John and the two Joshuas.
John Hightower, believed to have not resided in America, but having bought land in Richmond County, Virginia, in the early 1650's and a son of his, Joshua Hightower who died in 1698, being the first resident of the Hightower family in America. Whether he was our immigrant ancestor is yet to be proven. My researched opinion is that he, indeed, was our immigrant ancestor and the Joshua Hightower named in the suit filed in, 1698, by the Webb brothers was the Hightower I claim to be the husband of Eleanor and the father of six children, two of which he named in his Will, probated in 1726, in Richmond County, Virginia. Numerous court cases are of record in Richmond County, Virginia, 1698-1726, naming this Joshua Hightower.
Clayton Torrence's Virginia Wills and Administrations, states the earliest entry recorded is the Will of one Joshua Hightower, Richmond County, Virginia, in 1726.
According to the State Archivist, Louis H. Manarin, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia "... statewide, this 1726 Hightower listing is the earliest".
Therefore, we feel safe in beginning a compilation, naming it the:
"First Hightowers of Virginia and Their Descendants"
The following statement was written by Walter A. Walker:
Will: 14 APR 1726 Richmond County, Virginia Colony 9
"After the Revolution, the great migration of Virginians carried the Hightowers to various regions south and west. By 1800 there were about thirty families of their descendants. Some moved to Virginia counties farther west; others to the newly opened sections of the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.
For many years I have collected Hightower records from all available sources, in an effort to trace all lines down to recent times, for publications as a general genealogy of the Hightower family. It is strongly indicated that all Hightowers of the country are descended from that early family of Richmond County, Virginia.
The earliest Hightower family of whom we have records lived in Richmond County, Virginia, before the year 1700. There, in 1698, the estate of Joshua Hightower was administered, suggesting residence of Hightowers there sometime before that date.
In 1726, a Joshua Hightower died in Richmond County, leaving a wife, Eleanor, and six children. His eldest son, Charnel, married Sarah Glascock in January 1727/8, and reared a large family. From 1720 to about 1750 three Hightower families lived in Richmond County, close neighbors and closely related--the families of Charnel, John and Joshua. We do not yet know just how these three men were related, John and Joshua could have been brothers; Charnel, the son of Joshua who died in 1726, a cousin.
About 1750 these three families moved to Amelia County, to the part that in 1789 was cut off and made Nottoway County. They settled in the southeast corner of the county, near the present city of Blackstone, where Nottoway, Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties meet. Though some lived in each county, they still were near one another. They continued in that region, close together, until the period of the Revolutionary War.
Fortunately, for the genealogical record, the names, birth dates and names of the parents of the children born in Richmond County, Virginia, between 1700 and 1750 were recorded in the Farnham Parish Register, a copy of which is to be found at Warsaw, Virginia.
Book 5, Pages 14, 15: In the Name of God Amen this is the last will and testament of Joshua Hightower being in perfect Sence and Memory at this time Blessed be God for it -
Death: AUG 1726 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony 2 3 4 5 7 8 1
Burial: AUG 1726 Richmond County, Virginia Colony 2 3 4 5 7 8 1
Item - I do Bequeath my Presious and Immortall Soul to God that gave it and My Body to be buried with a Christian Buriall at the Discression of My Wife -
Item - I give one Feather Bed and furniture to My loving Wife and one flock Bed and Furniture both as they Now are and Thirteen head of Cattle and foure pewter Dishes one bason and one Dozon of Pewter Plates one Tankard three Porergers one Chamber Pott one Great Iron Pott and one small Pott with the hooks - belonging to them -
Feather bed Bolster Beadsted and Furniture and two Pewter Dishes five Plates and two Porrergers and one Middlen Pott and Pott hooks and two Cows and their Increase one Called lovely and the other Crown Rose -
Item - I give and Bequeath to My Son Thomas Hightower one Gray Mare and Colt and their Increase -
Item - I give unto My other four Children Tenn shillings a Peice they not haveing any other Part of my estate -
Item - I give unto my loving Wife a Part or Parcell of Land as I now live on as least of M. Robert Baylis and -- after her Decease to My Son Charnall Hightower - Lastly I make my Wife my full and whole Executrix of this my last will and Testament giveing her all the rest of my Estate heretofore not given and it is my Desire that my wife see this my last will performed as Wittness my hand this 14 day Aprill 1726-
Joshua (J) Hightower
Signed Sealed and Delivered in the Presence of us -
At a Court held for Richmond County this 22 day of August 1726
This Will was Proved in Open Court by the Oath of Henry Williams one of the Wittnesses thereto and admitted to Record -
Test. M: Beckwith CCt
Estate Inventory is in Will Book 5, p. 16-17, Richmond
Eleanor Unknown b: BEF 1675
- John Hightower b: 1692 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Charnel Hightower b: 1694 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Joshua Hightower Jr. b: 1696 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Austin Hightower b: 1698 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Joseph Hightower b: 1699 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Thomas Hightower b: 20 MAR 1712 in Richmond County, Virginia Colony
- Title: Hightower Family Genealogical Database [database online]. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA: Anthony Lee Rockefeller
Abbrev: Hightower Family Genealogical Database [database online]. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA: Anthony Lee Rockefeller
Publication: Copyright (c) 1996-2015, Anthony Lee Rockefeller
- Title: Basham, Luther Malcolm (1942-1997), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Basham, Luther Malcolm (1942-1997)
- Title: Smith, Hazel Betty (nee Hightower) (1909-2000), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Smith, Hazel Betty (nee Hightower) (1909-2000)
- Title: Crawford, Nancy Lee (nee Jones), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Crawford, Nancy Lee (nee Jones)
Publication: 1983 - 2009
Genealogical Database: http://righteousandrottenroots.us/
- Title: Davidson, Richard Tell (1910-1993), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Davidson, Richard Tell (1910-1993)
Publication: July 10, 1983
- Title: A History of Clayton County, Georgia 1821-1983
Abbrev: A History of Clayton County, Georgia 1821-1983
Author: Moore, Joseph Henry Hightower
Publication: Ancestors Unlimited, Inc., Genealogical Society, Clayton Co., Georgia, College Park, Georgia. Printed by W. H. Wolfe Associates P. O. Box 972, Roswell, GA 30077, 1983
Edited by Alice Copeland Kilgore, Edith Hanes Smith, Frances Partridge Tuck ; history by Joseph Henry Hightower Moore ; indexed by Janie Sellars Mitchell ; compiled by Ancestors Unlimited, Inc., Genealogical Society, Clayton County, Georgia. Kilgore, Alice Copeland. Smith, Edith Hanes. Tuck, Frances Partridge, 1940- Moore, Joseph Henry Hightower, 1943- Mitchell, Janie Sellars. Ancestors Unlimited, Inc.
Name: Allen County Public Library
Internet address: http://www.acpl.lib.in.us
- Title: Patterson, J. D. (1911-2003), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Patterson, J. D. (1911-2003)
- Title: Walker, Walter Anderson (1882-1961), Research, personal knowledge and family records
Abbrev: Walker, Walter Anderson (1882-1961)
- Title: Will Records, Richmond County, Virginia
Abbrev: Will Records, Richmond County, Virginia
Name: Richmond County Courthouse