Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameBenjamin Hathcock 2620, 2C6R
Birthca 1742, Prince George Co VA
Death18 Jan 1852, Big Lick, Stanley CO NC Age: 110
BurialHathcock Family Cemetery, Stanley Co NC2621
Spouses
ChildrenLee (1798-)
 Sally (1790-1860)
Notes for Benjamin Hathcock
BENJAMIN HATHCOCK (1742-1857)2622

Benjamin Hathcock, the progenitor of many North Carolina, Utah and California, Mississippi and Texas Hathcock families living today, was “born and raised” in Virginia and lived there until he moved to Chatham County, North Carolina, before 1775. From census records, it can be determined that he was born in 1742. It is interesting to note that Hosiah Hathcock was a member of Captain Elisha Cain's Chatham County Militia in September of 1772, so Benjamin could be re1ated to Hosiah (see Section 3.2.3). Benjamin Hathcock's date of birth would seem to place him as one of the third or fourth generation of Hathcocks born in America, since the first Hathcock to immigrate to America from England appears to be one Thomas Hathcock, who in 1635 made his landfall in America in Accomacshire, now Northampton County, on Virginia 's eastern shore. Hence, over one hundred years or three generations had elapsed between the landing of the immigrant ancestor and the birth of Benjamin.

There is tradition among the descendants of Benjamin that he was the son of one Mr. Hambleton (now spelled Hamilton} and his wife, whose maiden name was Hathcock. The tradition continues that Benjamin 's parents died in a smallpox epidemic, and Benjamin was adopted and raised by his grandfather, a Mr. Hathcock. In Virginia, during the 1750's, the concentration of Hathcock families was in Old Brunswick County, where they are known to have lived from at least 1732. It is assumed that Benjamin was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, which later became a part of present day Greensville County. It is an historical fact that there was a major smallpox epidemic in that area in the year 1759, and that is probably when Benjamin's parents died. As to his grandfather Hathcock. Only speculation is possible without the benefit of previously written records. It has been speculated that Benjamin was the Grandson of Thomas Hathcock.

Thomas Hathcock was the son of Edward Hathcock and lived in Northampton County, North Carolina, as early as 1758. Records clearly indicate that Benjamin was in Anson County (later Montgomery and Stanley) in November 1782 and Thomas was in the same county (later Richmond) as early as October 1777.2623 it is known that one River Jordon and one John Jordon (Jurden) lived in Montgomery County and that they were neighbors of Thomas Hathcock. It is further known that River Jordon was a previous resident of Brunswick County, Virginia. He later lived in Elbert County, Georgia in the early 1800’s where Hosiah Hathcock moved in 1800. Also, a John Jordon had witnessed a Hathcock Deed in Northampton County in 1757. (See Section 3.1) There is no good evidence of the names of the parents of Benjamin Hathcock and it must be emphasized that Thomas only may be his grandfather. The similarities in Christian names among the early Hathcock families of Halifax and Chatham Counties and those names among the descendants of Benjamin are evident, suggesting a connection.

A few words exist in historical literature providing information to speculate as to Benjamin’s origin and to identify his parents and grandparents. For example, a genealogy was published on Thomas Alexander Hathcock, M.D., the great grandson of Benjamin Hathcock, in Makers of America. Volume 3, "Biographies of Leading Men and Women, Including Family Histories and Accurate Genealogical Records”, by Leonard Wilson, F.S.A., B.F. Johnson Incorporation, Washington, DC. The following is quoted: "According to family tradition, it was to this district (Granville District of North Carolina) and subsequently to this County, (Granville County) which was formed as a separate county in 1746 from Edgecombe, that Doctor Hathcock's family came. In the North Carolina State Records for 1790, there are, in Chatham County, four families of Hathcocks, three in Northampton County, and one, that of Thomas, in Richmond County. Eight members of the family were soldiers in the North Carolina Line at the time of the Revolution. As the list of taxpayers of Granville County in 1788 does not show any Hathcock, the probabilities are that Thomas Hathcock, of Richmond County, who at that time has two sons under sixteen, is the forbear of the Hathcock branch to which the Doctor belongs. Christian names are often repeated in families, and following reasonable deductions, it is possible that all these Hathcocks are descendants of Thomas Hathcock who was a early (Stone County) immigrant.”2624

The repetitive use of the name Thomas Alexander Hathcock suggest that the original immigrant's full name may have been Thomas Alexander Hathcock.

There are some inaccuracies and incompleteness in this writing in that there is no Stone County, Virginia, and there never was a Stone County according to the Virginia State Library. The error is believed to have come from the fact that Thomas Hathcock, the original immigrant, was transported to America by one Captain William Stone of Accomacshire, Virginia. Later, Governor of Maryland. Thomas sailed from London, England, in the summer of 1635 with Andrew Stone, who was Captain Stone’s brother. Moreover, there were more than eight Hathcock (or variant spellings) families in America in 1790. There were at least two families in Greensville County, Virginia: Charles and Jesse Hathcock, sons of Joseph Hathcock. Both had large families there. John­ Hathcock, another son of Joseph Hathcock, was living in Warren County, North Carolina. In Chatham County there were four families, one of whom was William Hathcock Sr., with his son William Hathcock Jr. William Sr. was another son of Joseph Hathcock. Other families were: Hosea, James and John. James is believed to also have been a son of William Hathcock Sr., William Sr. apparently died about 1794 in Chatham County. In Northampton County in 1790 there lived three Hathcock families whose heads of household were: John; Newmon and Reuben, and in Halifax County the heads of household were: Frederick, Ptolemy, William and Isham. Thomas Hathcock lived in Richmond County in 1790, having migrated there from the area which is now Northampton County. And the subject of this sketch, Benjamin, was living in Montgomery County in 1790. Hosiah Hathcock was living there in 1779.

As to the Hathcocks who were soldiers of the American Revolution from North Carolina, there were at least nine, including Isham am Aaron from Halifax County; Holiday, from Johnson County; James, Edward and William, from Northampton County; John, son of Joseph, from Warren County; Zachariah, who was probably from Halifax County; James Hathcock from the Sumter District of South Carolina; and a John E. Haithcock, who enlisted in Southampton County, Virginia. Benjamin is not included in any of the lists of Revolutionary­ veterans. However, it seems that most of the North Carolina Revolutionary Veterans lived in the area that was the Granville District. This district included the modern counties of Northampton, Halifax, Warren, and Franklin.

A newspaper article published in or around Norwood, Stanly County, North Carolina, sometime between January 1927 and June 1930, mentions Benjamin Hathcock as the original one of the family who settled in that part of Montgomery County, which later became Stanly County. The article is in substantial error as to names of Benjamin's children and confuses children and grandchildren of Benjamin. Nevertheless, it is believed that other parts of the article are true. lt states that Benjamin Hathcock came to Montgomery County from Chatham County during the Revolution. Montgomery county records contain an affidavit signed by Benjamin Hathcock which reveals his acquaintance with one William Poplin, a Revolutionary soldier or Chatham County. This affidavit states that Benjamin was born and raised in Virginia, but removed to Chatham County before the Revolution. A Chatham County court record mentions a Sally Hathcock of Halifax County, in conjunction with William Poplin. In 1777, the Chatham County court ordered one Sally Hathcock of Halifax County to appear before a Justice of the Peace and give testimony concerning William Poplin’s stealing a horse. It appears that William Poplin was later convicted. The North Carolina Archives, however, have no record of the testimony of Sally Hathcock. Since Benjamin was probably living in Chatham County in 1777, and was a neighbor of William Poplin might suggest a connection between Benjamin and Halifax County.

Benjamin Hathcock Jr., son of Benjamin Sr., married Nancy Burris, daughter of Solomon Burris and Judith Taylor. Solomon Burris had a grandson named David Burris who personally knew Benjamin and was closely related with the family. In an undated letter from David Burris to an unknown person (probably Eliza Jane Burris - now Burroughs), he described Benjamin as "raised as an orphan boy by a man named Hathcock and he (Benjamin) took his name. But his original name was Hamilton or Hambleton or that is what we often heard" The letter continues: "This generation was much inclined to music. They were drummers, fifers and fiddlers and some were fine singers. I heard grandma Burroughs (Judith Taylor Burris) say that the old man Hathcock (Benjamin) of them all was their fiddler when she and grandfather (Salomon Burris) married.” “Old Jimmy Hathcock, (James Sr., son of Benjamin) your great grandfather on your grandmother Hathcock’s side of the family said that their proper name was Hambleton. Your grandfather Lloyd Hathcock's father was Daniel Perry, but he (Lloyd) took his mother's name. As to their children, I do not recollect that they were twins. I think they died in infancy. That is all that I know about them."

A postscript to this letter continues: “Old Benjamin Hathcock of all. I have seen him often. He belongs to the old school Baptist, Primitive Baptist, and lived to be very old - 115 years of age. They said he had a son named Benjamin who married my father’s sister, Nancy Burris. Old Billy Whitley married one of old man Benjamin’s daughters. (Martha) I have forgotten her name. He lived (William Whitley) to be of great age 118 years.” The letter is signed by David Burris.

This letter was in the possession of Beatrice M. Hanson of Mesa, Arizona, in 1971.

For many years, the late Mary C. Furr and her mother, Elizabeth Jane Burris, compiled records on the descendants of Benjamin Hathcock to whom they were directly related. A letter from Mrs. Furr dated in 1969 states that “My mother told me just before she died that Benjamin’s mother was the daughter of this Mr. Hathcock” (the Mr. Hathcock who raised Benjamin). Mrs. Furr’s records list the children of Benjamin as follows: Jesse Sr., James Sr., Lee, Sally, Martha, Benjamin Jr. and Dempsey. Mrs. Furr’s records have been compiled and incorporated into a volume entitled Hathcock Family History, Descendants of Benjamin Hathcock, Volume IX (1986) by Debra Baugh, c/o James Furr, 4115 E. Mountain View Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85028.

Benjamin lived for the last years of his life with his grandson, Lloyd Hathcock, son of his daughter Sally. It is said that Benjamin owned the first buggy in Stanley County. Although no grave marker exists, Benjamin is probably buried in the Hathcock Cemetery located on Highway 1227 on the east side just before crossing Stony Run Creek, near Red Cross, North Carolina, in Stanley County.
Notes for Benjamin Hathcock
Note added in August 2018. Y-chromosome DNA results on a male-line descendant of Benjamin Hathcock suggest that Benjamin was, in fact, a biological Hathcock, and furthermore that he was a male-line descendant of Edward Hathcock.2625
Notes for Benjamin Hathcock
BENJAMIN HATHCOCK2626

This is the most recently created Indian heritage myth in Stanly Co. genealogy. In 1986, Debra Baugh published a genealogy of Benjamin Hathcock with no mention of any possible Indian ancestry. Debra's grandmother, Mary C. Hathcock Furr, spent four decades researching the Benjamin Hathcock family and writing to other Benjamin Hathcock descendants. Apparently no one mentioned to her that Benjamin was an Indian. In the past few years various people on the Internet have started rumors that Benjamin Hathcock of Stanly Co. was an Indian and one person has even published a book about Benjamin Hathcock being an "Occaneechi Saponi" Indian. Unfortunately, these people have no evidence that Benjamin was a Native American. They base their claim on four points, two of which are dubious at best, one is meaningless, and the other is fraudulent:

1) Benjamin shares a common surname with some people who believe that they are "Occaneechi Saponi" Indians.

2) "Matrilineal" naming patterns and other genealogical errors or speculations.

3) Membership in an Indian association that accepts anyone as a member, not just descendants of Indians.

4) A fabricated claim that Benjamin Hathcock was listed as as Occaneechi Saponi Indian on a 1782 tax list.

I will address each of these arguments point by point. Then I will summarize what is known about Benjamin Hathcock from historical evidence.

1) The Occaneechi Saponi tribe does acknowledge some Hathcock families as Indians, but this group is not a state recognized Indian tribe. Other recognized North Carolina Indians do not accept the Occaneechi as legitimate Indians. The NC Indian Commission, which is composed of NC state recognized tribes, has repeatedly rejected the Occaneechi Saponis' petition for state recognition. Further, there is no evidence linking Stanly County's Benjamin Hathcock with the Hathcock ancestors of the Occaneechi Saponi group.

There appear to be two groups of Hathcocks in North Carolina: (A) Hathcocks who were listed as white, and (B) Hathcocks who were listed as non-white (free people of color, etc). For information on these people, see the section on the Hathcock family on Paul Heinegg's site on Free African Americans at http://www.freeafricanamericans.com.

Some descendants of Hathcocks from both groups today claim to be Indians. However, no research has ever uncovered any evidence that links Benjamin with any prior generation of either of these two groups. The fact is that we don't have any evidence whatsover as to whom his parents were. The only evidence that researchers have that connects Benjamin to the mixed race group that today claims to be Indian is that they have the same surname.

Hathcock (and its spelling variants) is quite a common surname of English origin. Even if one line with this surname had a proven Indian ancestor, it does not automatically follow that all other Hathcock lines have Indian ancestry. You might as well claim that all people named Smith are Indians, just because one Smith is. It's an extremely weak argument that does not meet the standards of proof for a genealogical claim to Indian ancestry.

2) Other evidence that people cite to suggest that Benjamin Hathcock was an Indian is that the two children of his daughter, Sally, Lloyd and Reuah Hathcock, used their mother's surname, not their father's. They claim that Indians have matrilineal naming patterns. However, bastardy is usually the only reason for children having their mother's maiden surname. The fact is that none of the children of Benjamin's other daughters used their mother's maiden surname--including those of Martha Hathcock Dick Whitley (wife first of John Dick and second of William Whitley) and Jane Hathcock Whitley (wife of John Whitley). This is further indication that Lloyd and Reuah Hathcock were illegitimate.

Benjamin's son Lee was charged with bastardy in Cabarrus Co. in 1816 (Bost, Cabarrus Co., North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1805-1817, pp. 192 and 205). Historians have uncovered the phenomenon of bastardy-prone families, with bastardy recurring in subsequent generations, and the Hathcocks may be an example. (Any records relating to the illegitimacy of Lloyd and Reuah no longer exist because of record destruction in Montgomery Co.) In fact, bastardy was common in Stanly/Montgomery Co. during this period. Dr. Francis Kron commented on the prevalence of illegitimate children in the region in his 1835 diary.

In addition, Lloyd's daughter, Sarah (b. 1841), had an illegitimate child, Silas P. Hathcock, with Simeon H. Efird in 1865. Sarah and Silas Hathcock lived with Lloyd for sixteen years after Silas' birth, and perhaps Lloyd's support of Sarah and Silas was the result of his own illegitimacy. Why do present day descendants of Sally Hathcock feel the need to concoct a story about Indian ancestors to cover up the sexual deviance of two people almost two hundred years ago, instead of accepting their ancestor's probable illegitimacy?

3) The people promulgating Benjamin Hathcock's hypothetical Indian heritage have also pointed out that the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia, Inc (AAIWV) have accepted Benjamin Hathcock as an Indian. However, AAIWV accepts as members "all persons who identify themselves as Native American or as descendants of Native Americans, or who simply subscribe to the purposes of AAIWV" (quoting the membership pamphlet of AAIWV). You send them your pedigree chart and you are automatically a member. They do not verify your ancestry for Native American ancestry at all, and so membership in this group is not evidence that Benjamin Hathcock was an Indian. I could send them my family tree with Queen Elizabeth I of England in my Indian line and I would still receive membership in their organization.

I have seen no Benjamin descendants claim to be a member of either of the two Occaneechi Saponi groups. If Benjamin was Occaneechi Saponi, why aren't his descendants members of the Occaneechi Saponi groups? Why have they instead joined a pan-Indian "tribe" in West Virginia?

4) Some Hathcock researchers have been propagating fraudulent data concerning Benjamin Hathcock's supposed Indian heritage. One person has posted on the Hathcock mailing list that Benjamin was listed as "Occaneechi Saponi" on the 1782 Montgomery County tax list (nobles@gulftel.com to Hathcock-L@rootsweb.com, February 10, 1999. Ms. Nobles wishes to attribute her source. "The information that I sent to the Hathcock Mailing List was excerpted from the Occaneechi Saponi book: Occaneechi Saponi and Tutelo of the Saponi Nation: aka Monacan and Piedmont Catawba; Includes The Eastern Band of the Cherokee and Lumbee Nation and Southeastern Indian Nation, etc. Written and compiled by Richard L. Haithcock and Vicki L. Haithcock, page 306.") This is incorrect--no one else has seen such a notation on that document (an example is ghaithco@ix.netcom.com to Hathcock-L@rootsweb.com, May 1, 1999). Further, "Occaneechi Saponi" is a tribal name that was invented only in the last two decades. It did not exist in that form in 1782. Genealogists do make mistakes or incorrectly transcribe a record, but to transcribe something or see something on a record that does not exist falls outside of the realm of a simple mistake. When someone is known to have propagated fabricated data, then all subsequent statements from that person should be considered possibly fraudulent, and closely compared with the evidence rather than accepted at face value.

Facts about Benjamin Hathcock from historical evidence

The fact is that Benjamin was listed as white on all known records, and that no surviving records indicate that he nor his contemporaries ever considered him anything other than white.

What we do know about Benjamin Hathcock's early years comes from the Revolutionary pension application of William Poplin in 1840 Montgomery Co. when Benjamin testified in support of William Poplin's marriage to Lucy:

"On this 25th day of April 1840, personally appeared before me, Solomon Efird, a justice of the peace...Benjamin Hathcock, aged about 90 years from what he says and as his appearance indicates, and who duly sworn according to law, declares that as nearly as he can state, he is now about ninety years of age. That he was born and raised in the State of Virginia and came to the County of Chatham in this State before the Revolutionary War. He further states that he became acquainted with William Poplin and his wife Lucy Poplin before the war and lived in the same neighborhood. That they lived in Chatham...".

Note that Benjamin Hathcock was not described as Indian or Black, and was testifying for a white man. Applicants for pensions typically looked for the more reputable members of the community to testify for them--such as a clergyman--and thus would be unlikely to choose a person of color as their witness, either black or Indian, due to the prejudicial attitudes of the time period.

Benjamin's claim in this statement to be ninety years old places his birth in 1750, not 1742. This is a common phenomena noted by experienced genealogical researchers--as a person ages, their age often becomes inflated. Benjamin may well have been born later than 1750. Based on the birth year of 1750, it is extremely unlikely that Young Hathcock (b. before 1765, d. 1841) was Benjamin's son. Thus the theory that the maiden name of Benjamin's wife was Young because Young was Benjamin's son is incorrect. I have never seen any evidence given for a first or last name of Benjamin's wife. (Some researchers claim that Benjamin's wife was named "Nancy Young", but this appears to be founded on pure speculation, with no corroborating evidence whatsoever.) Young Hathcock might have been a relative of Benjamin, but not his son. Young Hathcock was listed on the 1800 Montgomery Co., NC census. By 1814, Young had moved to Montgomery Co., TN. Young's son, John Hathcock, was imprisoned in Tennessee in 1840, and the following information was listed in his prison record:

"John Heathcock, alias Young. From Davidson County. Crime: maiming. Sentence: two years from 30 Dec. 1840. Rec'd 31 Dec. 1840. He is 26 years old, 5'9", high, weighs 170 lbs. Born and brought up in Montgomery Co., Tenn., about four miles from New York, where his father, Young Heathcock, now lives. Said Heathcock has a wife and one child at the mouth of Yellow Creek in the above named county. He has black hair, black eyes, very dark skin. Has a large mole on the under jaw on the left side, also a small mole under the right eye. His wife was the widow of Allen Nowlin, the brother of Wm. Nowlin." John Heathcock was discharged September 4, 1841 (Sherrill and Sherrill, Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary. Volume 1: 1831-1850. 1997, p. 145 and 225).

Another possible relative of Benjamin could have been Hosea Hathcock, who was listed in early Chatham Co. records and may be the "Ozey" Hathcock mentioned in the following Montgomery Co. record:

#98 July 2, 1779 Jesse Wooten enters 50 acres in Montgomery Co on Rockey Creek of Little Creek; border: "a small distance" above Ozey Hathcock's and joins Collins line. (Pruitt, Montgomery Co., NC Land Entries, 1779-1795, p. 7).

However, it is also possible that Young and Hosea Hathcock were not related to Benjamin at all due to the commonness of the Hathock surname in North Carolina.

Timeline of the early years of Benjamin Hathcock:

Benjamin was born in Virginia circa 1750 (from William Poplin's pension application).

Benjamin moved to Chatham Co., NC before 1776 (from William Poplin's pension application).

Benjamin moved to Montgomery Co., NC before 1782 (listed on tax list).

Benjamin appears on 1790 Montgomery Co. census.

Benjamin buys ninety acres of land on both sides of Long Creek in 1792 (Pruitt, Montgomery Co. Land Entries 1779-1795, page 48: number 726, dated January 20, 1792).

Benjamin buys one hundred acres of land in 1799 with the deed entered in 1816. (from Baugh, Descendants of Benjamin Hathcock, p. 12).

By 1849, Benjamin Hathcock was listed as a pauper in Stanly Co. records. His grandson, Lloyd Hathcock, was paid $38.75 for "keeping" Benjamin Hathcock for November 1849 to November 1850, and the same amount for November 1850 to November 1851. The last notation concerning Benjamin Hathcock is that he died January 18, 1852 ("Poor Relief in Stanly County, 1849-1854", Stanly Co. Genealogical Society Journal, volume 11, number 4, pp. 542-544). Thus the death date of 1857 that some sources have given for Benjamin Hathcock is incorrect. It is probable that Benjamin was a pauper before 1849, since by 1840 he was already living with his grandson Lloyd. Benjamin Hathcock was not described as black or Indian in this record either.

The fact that Benjamin died a pauper was ignored by his descendants, who recounted stories that Benjamin owned "quite a bit of property" and "had slaves and was fairly prosperous" (Baugh, The Descendants of Benjamin Hathcock, p. 18). There is no evidence that Benjamin owned slaves. The 1782 tax list, 1790 census, 1800 census, and 1810 census entries for Benjamin Hathcock do not reveal any slave-ownership. When Benjamin was listed in Lloyd's household on the 1840 Montgomery Co. and 1850 Stanly Co. censuses, no slaves were recorded as belonging to either Lloyd or Benjamin. This is another example of how people exaggerate in their family stories. It is much more exciting to be descended from an Indian or rich man, than from an average white farmer who died a pauper.

Benjamin Hathcock's race is listed as white whenever it is given in every historical record in which he appears. Since all the stories relating to Benjamin Hathcock Indian ancestry are of recent origin and are based on faulty logic or manufactured evidence, there is no reason to believe that Benjamin was an Indian. This is an exellent example of how a small group of people who have a strong desire to have Indian ancestry can create an "Indian" ancestor.

Copyright Leah C. Sims 2000
Notes for Benjamin Hathcock
1790 Census of Montgomery Co NC

Banjimen Hatchcock [Benjamen Hatchcock]

Home in 1790: Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16: 2
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over: 1
Free White Persons - Females: 3
Number of Household Members: 6

1850 Census of Albemarle, Stanley Co NC

Name Age

Lloy Haithcock 41 [Note, Benjamin’s grandson]
Mary Haithcock 38
Melinda Haithcock 14
Ervin A Haithcock 12
Jackson Haithcock 10
Sarah Haithcock 6
Isiah Haithcock 4
Noah Haithcock 3
Lloyd G Haithcock 2
Benjamin Haithcock 108 b VA

Benjamin's wife or wives are unknown. He lived in old age with his grandson, Lloyd Hathcock in Stanly County, NC. He lived to a great age, more than 100 years, some say 115 years. Benjamin was thought to be a Hamilton. His father and mother may have died in a smallpox epidemic soon after his birth and he was raised by his grandfather Hathcock. He appears in Chatham County, NC before arriving in Stanly County, NC. He was said to have won a "sharpshooter contest" after he was 100 years old. He is believed to be buried here since he was living with Lloyd and Polly Hathcock
Last Modified 21 Nov 2018Created 30 Nov 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh
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