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The Hughes Family History

Entries: 8991    Updated: 2013-08-25 22:41:04 UTC (Sun)    Contact: Vince Hughes    Home Page: The HUGHES Family Tree


  • ID: I5304
  • Name: Trader Hughes
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1635 1
  • Reference Number:

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    • 2
    • Note:
      (Editor's note: "Trader" Hughes was the first permanent settler
      in Amherst Co. Va. He and his Indian wife established a
      trading post on the north side of the James River, west of the
      Tobacco Row Mountains (circa late 1600's). He has been the subject of my
      research for a number of years and I have been unable
      to connect him to my direct line of Amherst Co HUGHES' who
      settled on the east side of the Tobacco Row Mountains. He
      is finally entered into this database through a proven connection,
      not with my HUGHES line, but through his wife's side.
      His wife was a niece to Pocahontas. She married into the ROLFE
      family and from there the connection goes to the BOLLING family,
      then LEE, BALL, GLASSCOCK, MUSE, McKINNON and finally me.
      The indirect connections between Trader Hughes and William Hughes
      are numerous. Several of these are:
      1. John Floyd is a direct descendant of Trader Hughes.
      2. John Floyd was witness to the purchase of property by William Hughes
      3. James Crews married into the family that was related to Trader Hughes
      4. James Crews sold the original land to William Hughes)


      First name of "Trader" Hughes is thought to be John, however,
      it has not been confirmed. Other researchers suspect the
      name may have been Rees or Rice. Most references mention him
      as "Trader" Hughes, giving no first name. It is said by some
      that he came from a "notable Colonial Family of Virginia."
      Some historical references describe him as a Scotsman, others
      say he was an English cavalier.

      Traders began to move their goods along the upper James
      River around 1720. According to Alexander Brown in his 1895
      book, "Cabells and Their Kin", Hughes was the first known
      white man to open a post for Indian trade above "the falls".
      He built his cabin deep in the silent forests along the Blue Ridge.
      Hughes traded with the local Monacan Indians and was
      accepted by them because of his wife's heritage.

      The stone chimney attached to the trading post was a well
      established landmark and was used as a reference point for
      many surveys done by William Cabell. Part of the chimney
      remains today.

      On November 7, 1999, this writer sought out the old remains of
      the Trader Hughes cabin and trading post. The location was found
      just off the trail around Otter Lake at coordinates 37.55627 degrees
      North by 79.35203 degrees West. The ruins are just off the hiking trail
      and covered by thick growth. All that remain are the bottom 4 feet of
      the chimney and a raised earthen outline of the building's foundation.

      Trader Hughes' grandson, Robert Davis developed a second
      trading post further down the James River at the mouth of the
      Pedlar River.


      The Trader Hughes Story (one version)

      THE LEGEND:
      Most histories of Amherst County, Va recount the first
      settler in the area as being an Indian trader known as "Trader
      Hughes". He, along with his Indian wife, Nicketti, established
      a trading post on the James River about a half-mile west
      of the mouth of Otter Creek. This location was where several
      Indian paths intersected and near the river access to
      the "Valley of Virginia". This must have been a busy
      intersection by 1700 standards!

      According to Dr. William Cabell, HUGHES had the
      first stone chimney in the area, which qualified him at
      the first permanent settler. Hughes' wife, Nicketti, was
      the great grand daughter of the legendary Indian Chief
      Opechanacanough Powhatan and niece to Pocahontas.

      Trader HUGHES and his wife had a daughter named
      Mary Elizabeth HUGHES, who was born in Jamestown
      about 1654. She married an Welsh settler named Nathaniel
      Davis about 1680. They had a daughter in 1711 named
      Abadiah Davis who married William Floyd and their grandson,
      John Floyd played an important part of the formation of
      Amherst Co. and later became governor of Va.

      THE FACTS:
      I have traced my ancestors back to William HUGHES
      of Amherst Co. by tracking the ownership of property
      that was passed from father to son. This property plays
      a key role in unraveling the family connections. The
      property is described as located on Harris Creek
      near a small branch known as Fawn Creek in present
      day Amherst Co. (not far from the Tobacco Row Mountains).

      The "Executives Journals of the Council of Colonial
      Virginia", V. 5, page 136, gives the 1743 patent of George
      Carrington for 6000 acres on both sides of Harris Creek
      on the north side of the Fluvanna River in then Goochland
      County. Page 249 of this book gives the petition of George
      Carrington to include the adjoining patents of John Floyd
      and Orlando Hughes in his acreage.

      So we have a HUGHES owning land on Harris Creek
      as early as 1743. We know from Albemarle and Amherst
      County deeds that both George Carrington & Orlando
      HUGHES were of Cumberland Co. We know that George
      Carrington of Cumberland Co sold land on Harris Creek to
      James Crews, and that James Crews sold land on branches
      of Harris Creek to William Hughes. We know that one of
      the witnesses to this deed was John Floyd and a John Floyd
      was an adjoiner to the patents of Orlando HUGHES and
      George Carrington. We know that William HUGHES had a
      son named Orlander - probably his eldest son. Orlando
      HUGHES died in Cumberland Co in 1768, naming sons Josiah,
      Anthony, Caleb and Leander. A Micajah HUGHES was
      a witness to the will. William Hughes of Amherst County,
      who died in 1802, was my 4th great grandfather.

      THE MYSTERY:
      Was William HUGHES another son to Orlando?
      Or a grandson to Orlando? Who is Micajah HUGHES?
      Was Trader HUGHES a son to Orlando HUGHES, possibly
      Caleb or Anthony?


      Marriage 1 Nicketti Powhatan
        Children
        1. Has Children Mary Elizabeth Hughes b: ABT 1654 in Jamestown, VA

        Sources:
        1. Abbrev: Simonini, Leona, 1134 Lassen View Drive, Lake Almanor Peninsula,
          Note:
          Simonini, Leona, 1134 Lassen View Drive, Lake Almanor Peninsula, Westwood, Calif 96137 leesim@psln.com
        2. Abbrev: http://moon.ouhsc.edu/rbonner/harrison/d0025/g0000040.html#I12337
          Note:
          http://moon.ouhsc.edu/rbonner/harrison/d0025/g0000040.html#I12337