Corrections to Hunt Family History
The Pioneering Spirit. The Hunt Family.
Compiled by Beverly (Wynn) Yount. Copyright 1956.
Descendants of John Hunt who married Jane Coates
Compiled by Hunt Family Research Association
Printed in 1961
(Correction needed begins on page 13)
Descendants of Ralph Hunt owe a great deal to the research behind these two books. However, records found since they were written show the need for a correction in their genealogies.
Both books show that Samuel Hunt, youngest son of Ralph Hunt, is the direct progenitor of the John Hunt/Jane Coates line. Read on to discover that Ralph's son, John, is the real progenitor.
Ralph Hunt's will provides detailed information on his family, and Samuel's first will (dated 1717/18) does the same. But since so many of Ralph's descendents gave their children the same names, it's difficult to know exactly who is who.
Luckily, we now have a second will for Samuel (dated 30 May, 1780) that mentions "my nephew, Wilson Hunt" (actually his great-nephew). Wilson is the grandson of his brother, John, who had previously passed away.
Samuel's brother, John, was born in 1658. He married Joanna Wilson and they had a son, John born 1688, who married Margaret Moore. This is the line that continues on to John Hunt and Jane Coates.
Finally we know that it is Ralph's son, John 1658, and not Samuel who is our direct progenitor! It makes perfect sense because only John's son, John 1688, would have named children Wilson and Johanna, after his mother Joanna Wilson.
John Hunt 1658 died some time before 1735. His wife, Johanna, is documented as joining the Presbyterian Church after 1735 as a widow, living with her son John (husband of Margaret Moore). The record reads: "Johannah Hunt, widow, was admitted to the Presbyterian Church of Hopewell, NJ 31 Aug. 1733."
There are no other Wilson's appearing as Ralph's grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
My interest in this search began when I read papers by Mitchell J. Hunt, who worked diligently to untangle the different Hunt lines in early America. In The Hunt Families of Vermont he numbered the Hunt families of 1790:
Hunt Heads of Families in 1790/1
Massachusetts........148 New Jersey........99
Maine................ 17 Pennsylvania......29
Connecticut.......... 51 Delaware.......... l
Rhode Island......... 23 Total PenJerDel 129
New Hampshire........ 41
Vermont.............. 25 Maryland......... 27
Total New England... 305 Virginia......... 43
New York............ 119 North Carolina... 64
Total NY & NE........424 South Carolina... 25
I first found the confusion between Samuel and John Hunt explained in Mitchell's work: An Evaluation of the Consuelo Furman Manuscript (1955) on Ralph Hunt of Long Island. Since reading that, I believed John to be the true progenitor, but I had no documented sources -- only the author's evidence. Now I am happy to present sources and where they are found.
Ralph Hunt's will is recorded at the Hall of Records, New York, Liber 1-2.
Samuel's first will is on file in New Jersey - New Jersey Wills, Vol. 1, page 248.
Samuel's second will is recorded in Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey - Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Volume VI, 1781-1785. This is available from Google Books.
Samuel's wills from 1780 and 1717 are shown below.
The outline below shows the error where #6 Samuel Hunt is starred instead of #5 John.
Note: Ralph Hunt's parentage has not been proven.