Thursday, October 27, 2011


Trying to make sense of family records is a daunting task.

Errors are recorded in family genealogies, accounts conflict, misspellings are made or multiple spellings are used, duplicate names are confusing, and a host of other issues make genealogies often unreliable. But the most reliable records are court records which record the transfer of land. These records are available in the Register of Deeds office in the county in which the individual lived.

The Van Huss family in Tennessee  is an example of all these problems.  So, to unravel the mysteries of who is who, I traveled to Elizabethton, Tennessee and visited the County Courthouse of Carter County.

The family Van Huss settled eastern Tennessee in the late 18th century.  There are many recorded deeds, but the ones relating to Robert Van Huss settled in and around Elizabethton, Tennessee, near the Watauga River. The site is within a few miles of the Appalachian trail. It is also along the route traveled by Daniel Boone. It is hill country, the kind that has twists and turns, and in the fall when I visited, the leaves were beautiful.

The earliest recorded deed is made by the state of North Carolina to Valentine Vanhooser and recorded August 23rd, 1979. The deed records the transfer, for the sum of 50 shillings an acre, 100 acres "being in the County of Washington* on a branch of Cobbs Creek, beginning at a Linwood at the head of a Spring running north thirteen degrees west one hundred & twelve poles to a white oak, thence north thirty-five degrees west ..."

*As a side note, Washington County, North Carolina would become Carter County, Tennessee at a later unknown, to me, date.

Keep in mind that the Registrar of Deeds records transactions a little later in the names of Mathias and James P. Van Huss.

Now, how do I get from here to Valentine W. Van Huss, who married Lucinda Campbell in 1845 and had a bunch of kids, including James M. (1845), Isaac S. (1847), and Daniel (1848)? This group, I know, from land records in Butler County, Kansas, traveled west and settled  in Kansas in the 1870's.

The key to the puzzle is found at genforum. Here we find " Valentine VAN HUSS was born 14 FEB 1768 in Rowan Co., North Carolina, and died 1 MAR 1858 in Johnson Co., Tennessee. He was the son of 24. Valentine VAN HOOSER and 25. Maria Barbara ZERWE". Note that the spelling Van Hooser  matches the North Carolina deed, as well as the state.

Genforum continues with Valentine's marriage to Catherine Worley,

13. Catherine WORLEY was born ABT 1767 in Rowan Co., North Carolina, and died ABT 1798 in Wythe Co., Virginia. She was the daughter of 26. Michael WORLEY and 27. Anna REIGHERT.

Children of Catherine WORLEY and Valentine VAN HUSS are:
6. i. Michael VAN HUSS was born 6 JAN 1789 in Wythe Co., Virginia, and died 21 FEB 1875 in Lee Co., Virginia. He married Elizabeth ROSENBAUM 11 JUL 1809 in Wythe Co., Virginia, daughter of Anthonius Conradus ROSENBAUM and Elizabeth WORLEY. She was born ABT 1791 in Wythe Co., Virginia, and died 30 MAY 1874 in Lee Co., Virginia.
ii. Valentine VAN HUSS , Jr. was born ABT 1790. He married Elizabeth RAINBOLT. She was born ABT 1791 in Carter Co., Tennessee, and died 19 OCT 1826.
iii. Jacob VAN HUSS was born 21 OCT 1791 in Wythe Co., Virginia.
iv. Elizabeth VAN HUSS was born 17 SEP 1793 in Wythe Co., Virginia, and died 29 OCT 1826. She married John B. RAINBOLT JAN 1812 in Carter Co., Tennessee, son of Adam R. RAINBOLT and Hannah Jane POTTER. He was born 11 NOV 1788 in Washington Co. Tennessee (Now Carter Co.), and died 11 APR 1873 in Orange, Lawrence Co., Indiana.
v. Matthias VAN HUSS was born 27 OCT 1795 in Wythe Co., Virginia, and died 21 SEP 1856 in Carter Co., Tennessee. He married Elizabeth WORLEY 4 DEC 1817 in Wythe Co., Virginia, daughter of Valentine WORLEY and Maria Barbara SPRECHER. She was born 1798 in Wythe Co., Virginia, and died 1818 in Wythe Co., Virginia. He married Lavinia DUGGER 14 APR 1821 in Carter Co., Tennessee, daughter of William DUGGER and Nancy MILLARD. She was born 22 JUN 1795 in Carter Co., Tennessee, and died 28 MAR 1882 in Carter Co., Tennessee.
vi. Christopher VAN HUSS was born 1796.
It seems that the second child, Valentine Jr. is the Valentine who marries Lucinda Campbell in 1845, but there is some confusion...

But wait, the 1830 census of eastern Tennessee shows:

   Mathias         33   3 -  less than  5    1 -  5 through  9
                        3 -  5 through  9    1 - 30 through 39
                        1 - 30 through 39

   Valentine       18   1 - 15 through 19    1 - 20 through 29
                        1 - 20 through 29    1 - 60 through 69
                        1 - 30 through 39
                        1 - 60 through 69

Our Family History has Valentine Worley Van Huss going from Carter County, Tennessee to Butler County, Kansas. But, his father is listed as Mathias Van Huss; so the reference seems suspect. This Matthias was allegedly born in Tennessee in 1795, again suspect. shows Valentine Worley Van Huss marrying Lucinda Campbell in 1845, and it shows they had several children, all of which is confirmed by the Tennessee census records of 1830, 1850, and 1860. But this Valentine was allegedly born in 1818 in Virginia, and his father is not indicated.

Again, going back to the land transfer deeds in Carter County, I can find a final transfer of land by Valentine and Lucinda VanHuss in 1866, a transaction which ends this family's tenure in Tennessee. Of course, other VanHusses  remained in Tennessee, and distant cousins can be found there today.

No comments:

Post a Comment