History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1887

Hunt Family - JOHN HUGHES HUNT Biography

John Hughes Hunt, of Williamsport, born April 18, 1830, in War ren county, New Jersey, is a lineal descendant of Ralph Hunt, a native of England, who was supposed to have been a Royalist and a warm partisan of Charles Stuart II, in whose army he was probably engaged against the commonwealth, and who upon the defeat of the young king and his consequent flight into Normandy as well as the unsettled condition of affairs in England during the reign of Cromwell, was led to look to America, whither he came and settled in what is now Queens county, Long Island, where he was one of a company that purchased from the Indians the land on which Newtown, in said county, is situated, in 1656, and was one of the patentees thereof. The purchase money for the land of Newtown was one pound. Ralph Hunt settled on the island when Peter Stuyvesant was Governor of the Dutch and was admitted to an equality with them in the management of their affairs, but afterward incurred their displeasure on account of his opposition to some of Stuyvesant's despotic acts toward the English Connecticut colony. In 1662 he was chosen one of the officers to conduct the affairs of the town; in 1663 was chosen to town office by Charles II; in 1664 was admitted as a freeman of the Connecticut colony; in 1665 was commissioned lieutenant of the militia of the town by Governor Nickoll; in 1666 was elected freeholder of Newtown, and in 1667 was chosen constable, besides filling other similar positions. His house and barn with their contents were destroyed by fire in 1668, and the first church edifice in New town was erected on land donated by him in 1671. His will was dated January 12, 1676. He was survived by the following children: Ralph, Edward, John, Samuel, Anna and Mary.

Samuel Hunt, youngest son of Ralph and Anne Hunt, settled at Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville), Mercer county, New Jersey, where he possessed considerable lands and other large estate. His will was dated January 15, 1717. He was survived by his wife Abigail and seven children: Samuel, Ralph, John, Thomas, Jesse, Mary and Anna. He bequeathed his homestead farm to his son Samuel and his widow Abigail. He bequeathed to Ralph and John other lands, and to the remainder of his children certain legacies.

Thomas Hunt, son of Samuel and Abigail Hunt, was born about the year 1705. He was a resident of Amwell township, Hunterdon county, New Jersey, where he is supposed to have been the owner of considerable real estate. He was also the owner of several hundred acres of land in Greenwich, Sussex (now Warren) county. His wife, Abigail Hunt, bore him several children.

Edward Hunt, son of Thomas and Abigail Hunt, was born in 1734. At some period prior to 1772 he became a resident of Greenwich, Sussex county, and lived on his father's land in that township. In the same year he purchased of Israel Pemberton two hundred and twenty-two and a half acres of land lying at the junction of the Delaware and Musconetcong rivers, which is described in the deed as a part of a tract of sixteen thousand and five hundred acres that William Penn, Gawen Lourie, Nicholas Lucas and Edward Billinge conveyed to Robert Squib in 1676, and the same which Squib's executors, Nathan Filson and Johnathan Johnson, conveyed to Thomas Byerly in 1705, whose representatives, Charles Williams and Thomas Jones, granted the same to Israel Pemberton in 1771. In 1779 Edward Hunt purchased of his father a tract of two hundred and sixty-six and three-quarters acres adjoining the Pemberton tract, which is set out in the deed as a part of what Thomas Hunt purchased of Peter Lott in 1758,-and his lands then extended from the Delaware river to Chelsea Forge (Finesville). When Mr. Hunt came to this part of the country it was mostly an unbroken wilderness and the government of New Jersey subject to the British Crown. Here he erected a log cabin and commenced clearing up a home for himself and family, and after an active life of prosperity for a period of fourteen years, died on some day between the tenth of March, 1786, the date of his will, and the eleventh of April, 1786, the date of its probate. He left a widow and eight children : Edward, William, John, Ann, Rebecca, Katurah, Amelia and Hannah. By his will his lands were to be equally divided between his sons, Edward, William and John, his wife Mary to receive forty pounds per year, have a room to live in with necessary furniture, fire, wood and cow kept during her life. The residue of his personal estate he gave to his five daughters equally divided among them, except that he remembered his grandsons, Thomas Sproul and Edward Vaugn, and directed his negro man Samba to be appraised and kept on the plantation by one of his sons, such son paying the valuation thereof.

William Hunt, son of Edward and Mary Hunt, was born about 1766. He was allotted the upper division of his father's land and included the land on which Finesville is situated. He, like most of the early settlers, first erected on it a log tenement, and afterwards, probably 1800, built himself a stone house, which in 1894 was still standing. He married Rebecca Beavers, who was a daughter of Joseph Beavers, who was a colonel of the Second Regiment, Hunterdon County Militia, in 1776 and held the office during the war. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and settled in Hunterdon county before the Revolutionary war. He was a justice of the peace, and was noted for his love of right doing. He contributed largely toward building the Presbyterian Church at Greenwich, New Jersey, in 1775, of which he was a member. He was the father of two sons and thirteen daughters. His remains were interred in the Greenwich Cemetery of the Presbyterian Church. William and Rebecca Hunt were the parents of four sons and nine daughters Wilson, Joseph, Ralph, Edward, Nancy, Amelia, Katurah, Rachel, Elizabeth, Harriet, Sarah, Pleasance and Mary. William Hunt (father) died at the age of forty-five years; his wife died November 22, 1853, aged eighty-one years.

Ralph Hunt, son of William and Rebecca Hunt, was born in Finesville, New Jersey, February 22, 1800. When a young man he learned the trade of shoemaker, at which he worked until his marriage, when he became a farmer and finally engaged in the business of general store keeping. He was an old line Whig and Republican in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was united in marriage to Eliza Hughes, daughter of Dr. John S. and Eliza (Bergen) Hughes, and granddaughter of Hugh Hughes, who came from Wales to America and settled on the Musconetcong in Greenwich, Sussex county, New Jersey, about 1750, where he built and operated a forge. He was a lawyer, and in 1764 was appointed by George III. judge of common pleas of Sussex county, and in 1775 was a member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey. He married Martha Breckenridge, of Philadelphia. Three children were born to Ralph and Eliza (Hughes) Hunt: John Hughes, mentioned hereinafter. Mary Martha, who became the wife of Stewart Mellick and resided in Harmony, New Jersey, afterwards removing to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where her death occurred in 1887 or 1888. Henrietta, who became the wife of Elias Deemer, resides in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Mr. Deemer is a prosperous lumber merchant and leading politician, recently elected to Congress, third term.

John Hughes Hunt, son of Ralph and Eliza Hunt, was born in Warren county, New Jersey, April 18, 1830. Throughout his active career he has been prominently identified with the lumber industry and railroad interests. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and of the Masonic fraternity. In 1861 he married Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of John H. Johnson, and after her death married Martha Young, of Ringoes, New Jersey, daughter of John H. and Mary Young, the ceremony being performed in 1880. One child was the issue of the first marriage, Charles Derr, born March 23, 1862. He received a public school education, was engaged in business for four years, after which he learned the trade of machinist. He read medicine with Dr. Doame, and graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1887. He immediately began practice in Williamsport, and has since built up a lucrative professional business. He is a specialist of the eye, ear and throat. He is a member of the State Medical Society. In 1889 Dr. Hunt was married to Anna Maria Schuman, daughter of August Schuman, of Williamsport, and they have one daughter : Helen Elizabeth Hunt.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Lycoming County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1906.

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