Christian’s son Daniel

Christian’s son Daniel (b. abt 1755) got short shrift in the book. Daniel had a total of 15 children by two wives. However, the book has traces of only two of Daniel’s children: Information about Daniel’s son William David is at page 258 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY. Information about Daniel’s grandson Joel (son of Daniel’s son David) is at page 252 of the book.

Thanks to Jim Hufferd (descendant of Christian’s son Daniel) and to Barry Wood (descendant Christian’s son Christian II), we have been able to piece together the basics of the life of Christian’s son Daniel. We have no photograph of Daniel, but we have his signature:

Daniel was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in about 1755. When Daniel was about five years old, his father moved the family to Frederick County, Maryland. On August 23, 1779, Daniel married Elizabeth CASSELL in Frederick County, MD. Daniel was about 24; his wife likely was a year or two younger.

Daniel and Elizabeth spent the early years of their marriage in Maryland, with Daniel developing a trade. Land transfers and purchases found in the Maryland Archives show that Daniel was involved in leatherwork. A transaction from 1779 lists him as a “cordwainer,” someone who makes shoes from cordovan leather.

Daniel’s first three children – David, Joseph, and Daniel Jr. — were born in Maryland; the third was baptized at the Pipe Creek Brethren Church, in an area that is in Carroll County, MD, in modern times.

Daniel was in Harrison County, Kentucky, by 1789 when his fourth child (John) was born. He and his wife Elizabeth lived near Berry, KY, on Raven Creek, and had four more children: Rachel, Deborah, Jacob, and William David. (Yes, he had a son “David” and also a son “William David.”)

Sometime after January 25, 1800, and before May 4, 1801, Elizabeth died, leaving Daniel with four children under ten years old.

On May 27, 1801, in Bourbon County, KY, Daniel married Barbara DAVID, daughter of William Henry DAVID and Mary Ann SIMMONS. Daniel was about 46 years old; Barbara was about 26. Barbara’s father was 15 years older than Daniel, and her father and Daniel were friends. (Barbara was named in her father’s will as “Barbary HUFFORD.” That will was recorded October 13, 1819, in Will Book F, Page 313; Bourbon Co., KY.)

Daniel and Barbara had seven children, born over a span of about 14 years: Daniel, Susannah, Catharine, Benjamin, Mary Ann, Delila, and Eli.

Daniel died sometime in 1817, and on January 8, 1818, his property was sold at an estate sale. When Daniel died, he had 12 children living: from his first marriage, David, John, Rachel, Deborah, Jacob, and William David; from his second marriage, Daniel, Susannah, Benjamin, Mary Ann, Deliah, and Eli. His son Joseph (from his first marriage) had died before February 1813, leaving one son.

Researching Daniel’s descendants provided a shock for me: I descend from Christian’s son Casper, and Casper and his brood were heavily into the German Baptist Brethren Church. Like Mennonites and Quakers, Brethren are Anabaptists and pacifists. Also like Mennonites and Quakers, the Brethren Church strongly opposed slavery. Brethren were barred from holding people as slaves. In Maryland, African Americans joined the church, and in 1835 the church affirmed that membership should be the same for people regardless of the color of their skin.

What is below is from the Church of the Brethren web site. It explains the Brethren response to slavery:

What did the Dunkers believe concerning slavery, at the official denominational level? Since the Dunkers or Brethren had migrated from Pennsylvania into a few southern States (Maryland, Virginia) with significant slave populations, the issue of slavery would inevitably confront them denominationally at their Annual Conference. The earliest record of an official mention was in their Annual Conference minutes for 1797, held at Blackwater, Virginia: “It was considered good, and also concluded unanimously, that no brother or sister should have negroes as slaves; and in case a brother or sister had such he or she was to set them free.” This had the effect of barring members from Communion and even disfellowshipping those who persisted in retaining slaves. Again the issue was similarly reflected in the minutes of the 1813 Conference held at Coventry, Pennsylvania.

But how did the Dunkers feel about having slaves or negroes in full membership status? The first mention is found in the 1835 Conference minutes from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: “It is considered, that inasmuch as the gospel is to be preached to all nations and races, and if they come as repentant sinners, believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and apply for baptism, we could not confidently refuse them.

Should members “hire” slaves from slaveholders, thus evading any ruling concerning ownership while still enjoying the benefits of their labor? It was a very common practice in slave States for people to hire slaves from their masters under a contractual agreement: so many slaves, for so much work, for such a period of time. Questions regarding slavery or related matters repeatedly came to the Dunker or Brethren Annual Conference for consideration, but one of the more definitive pronouncements is found in the minutes of the 1855 Conference held at Linville Creek, Virginia: “We, the Brethren of Augusta, Upper and Lower Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Hardy counties having in general council meeting assembled at the church on Linville Creek; and having under consideration the following questions concerning those Brethren holding slaves at this time and who have not complied with the requisition of Annual Meeting of 1854, conclude: That they make speedy preparation to liberate them either by emancipation or by will, that this evil may be banished from among us, as we look upon slavery as dangerous to be tolerated in the church; it is tending to create disunion in the Brotherhood, and is a great injury to the cause of Christ and the progress of the church. So unitedly we exhort our brethren humbly, yet earnestly and lovingly, to clear themselves of slavery, and that they may not fail and come short of the glory of God, at the great and notable day of the Lord. Furthermore, concerning Brethren who hire a slave or slaves, and paying wages to their owners, we do not approve of it. The same is attended with evil which is combined with slavery. It is taking hold of the same evil which we cannot encourage, and should be banished and put from among us, and cannot be tolerated in the church.

Long before cannons sounded in Charleston harbor, the Dunkers repeatedly gave clear and unambiguous official statements regarding their beliefs over the issue of slavery. It was an “evil” that could not be “tolerated in the church” because the “gospel of Jesus Christ was to be preached in all nations to all races.”

That’s what I knew about my Huffords, and I had assumed that all of Casper’s siblings were Brethren and had lived similar lives. I was wrong. While working on the story of Christian’s son Daniel, I learned that some of Daniel’s descendants held slaves:

  • The 1850 Slave Schedule shows Daniel’s widow Barbara in Scott Co., KY, with three slaves: a 40-year-old man, a 14-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy. All slaves described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Woodford Co., KY, shows the widow of Daniel’s grandson Joseph with two slaves: a 58-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl; both described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Harrison Co., KY, shows Daniel’s son John with five slaves: a 50-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man, a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old boy; all described as black.
  • The 1860 Slave Schedule of Pike Co., Missouri, shows Daniel’s grandson James with 11 slaves: a 52-year-old woman, a 38-year-old man, a 36-year-old man, a 22-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man, a 10-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, a 4-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, and a one-year-old girl. All were described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Scott Co., KY, shows Daniel’s grandson John Harvey Hufford with one slave: a 12-year-old girl.
  • The 1860 Slave Schedule of Woodford Co., KY, shows Daniel’s granddaughter Catherine STONE (Mrs. PAYNE) as holding one slave, a 40-year-old woman, described as black.

That was all shocking to learn, but it is not something that I’ll gloss over or pretend was not so.

Below is a list of Daniel’s descendants, through his grandchildren. It is presented in graphic form rather than text format because the software for this blog does not allow for proper indenting for a descendancy chart:descend-1

PAGE NOTE: Daniel Hoffart’s son William David is listed on page 258 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY.

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