Well known professional researcher, Jonathan B. Butcher, dec, was commissioned by the late Ronald Hart Garris in 1985 to prepare a report on the possible father of Barram Hart. This is the result of his findings. We are indebted to the family of Mr. Garris for permission to place this report on Old Dobbers in the hope it will assist other Hart researchers.|
Ancestry of Barram Hart - First Report
Barram Hart, born ca 1794, lived along the border of Greene and Pitt Counties, NC, and owned land in both locations. Tradition says he was a son of William and Mary (Ormond) Hart but as we will see below there seem to be some problems with this interpretation.
We first find Barram on the Census in 1820 in Pitt Co (p 553). This lists Barron Hart in Noah Tison's District with a household of 1 white male aged 10-16, 1 white male aged 26-45 and 1 white female aged over 45. This could suggest that Barram was at this time unmarried and living with his widowed mother.
However, it may be that the age of the female is here given incorrectly, and this should actually be Barram, his wife Celia, and his step-son (Caleb Cannon Jr ?). At present it is not quite clear just when Barram's eldest son, Jesse, was born.
Jesse's grave says 24 April l821, but according to the Alonzo Dail Bible, Jesse was born 21 March 1820. Thus Barram may well have been married by the 1820 Census. Also in Tison's District in 1820 were John Hart, aged 26-45, and Charles Rountree.
While Barram lived in Pitt it does not appear from the deeds, as far as I have been able to examine them, that he inherited any land there, and indeed no Harts were living in Pitt at the time of the 1800 Census. We first find Barram in the Pitt deeds on 17 Mar 1826 when Celia, wife of Barren Hart, received her dower in the lands of her former husband, Caleb Cannon (DD:225).
Barrum and Cealey Hart released their right in this land to Amos Cox on 20 Mar 1826 (DD:268). Barram then purchased land on the west side of Hencoop Swamp from John Braxton (DD:254) and Moses Slaughter (DD:452). He is listed in Pitt on the 1830 Census (p 58) on the same page as John Hart.
Barram sold his Pitt land in the 1830's, On 12 Feb 1834 he conveyed to Standly Kittrell Jun. 14 * acres on the west side of Hencoop and on the east side of the main road from Greenville to Caswell town, joining Jesse Rountree and Wm Brewer (II:89, witnessed by Jesse Rountree, John Herrington). On 16 Dec 1835 Barrum Harte of Pitt sold for $300 to Joel Braxton 100 * acres joining Joshua Nobles and Jonathan Kittrell (LL:277, witnessed by Jesse Rountree, Caleb Cannon).
Two other Pitt sales are indexed for Barram Hart, both for land west of Hencoop Swamp: to Thomas Griffirn et al, (FF:328) and to John Jenkins et al (FF:408). Unfortunately, book FF is not available on microfilm at the Archives.
In the late 1830's Barram moved back across the line to Greene Co, where we find him on the 1840 Census as Byram Hart, listed near Micajah Hart (see copy). Note that this Census lists only two sons at home, presumably Jesse and Elias, so perhaps Barram Hart Jr (born ca 1823/4) may have been a nephew, or else Jesse may have been out of the house by this time.
When he moved to Greene Barram apparently purchased land from a brother. In the deed you provided, dated 23 Oct 1845, Barram Hart Sr sold to Elias Hart "the land whereon I the said Barram Hart now live which I purchased of my Brother Hart called the Hendon Land containing one hundred & seven acres". Unfortunately, this brother is not named, and the deed of purchase does not survive.
If born ca 1794 Barram would likely have been first subject to poll tax in 1815. An 1815 tax of Pitt survives in the Treasurer and Comptroller's Papers, and this lists only two Harts there:
This suggests the possibility that Barram and William were brothers and both sons of widow Mary Hart. We might then theorize that Barram released his rights to his father's estate when he moved to Pitt, and later returned to Greene where he purchased land from a brother. (not necessarily William)
The 1810 Census of Greene is, unfortunately, lost. On the 1800 Census (see copy) we find no Harts in Pitt, but there were seven families of the name in Greene, including an elder Barram. Note that of these seven only two (Robert and Barram Sr) contained males under age 1O, in which category we should find our Barram.
Both of these seem to have died (or moved elsewhere) before the 1816 tax. We note that Robert had 13 slaves in 1800. This led me to suspect that his widow was the Hannah Hart listed in 1816 with 1822 acres and 8 slaves. This identification is confirmed by a re-recorded deed in Greene Co, dated 2 Nov 1820, in which Hannah Hart, admrx of Robert Hart Sr, sold 25 acres to Robert Carr, joining a line made between Robert Hart Sr and said Carr (16:298, witnessed by J Holliday Hart).
This identification in turn suggests that our Barram may acutally have-been the son of an elder Barram Hart. Of course another possibility is that his father was not listed in 1800, or the male of Barram's age was omitted.
What of the tradition that Barram was a son of William and Mary (Ormond) Hart? As we have noted above, Barram's mother may well have been named Mary, and he was certainly a close neighbor of the Ormonds. However, William Hart apparently did not have a young son in 1800.
Further, what is known of the Ormond genealogy does not seem to account for Barram's mother. The James Ormond Copy Book does show that a Mary Ormond married Willis Hart in Nov 1802, and this perhaps is a nicname for Willam Hart, as no Willis appears on the tax or census.
However, the date of this marriage is five years after Barram's birth. We also note that James Ormond on 9 Sept 1802 married Mary Hart, who was born 28 April 1787 and whose father was apparently living in 1802. We can outline the relevant generations of the Greene Co Ormonds as follows:
William Ormond II, 3 Dec 1738-Mar 1815, ancestor of all the Greene Co Ormonds and only son of William Sr (1696-1739) married on 18 June 1762 Ann Watkins and had:
i. Ann, 14 Oct 1764 - 6 Apr 1832, married 29 Feb 1784 John Harper
There were other Ormonds in Beaufort Co, who descend from William Sr's, brother Wyriott, but at present it does not look as though there is room for Barram Hart's mother in this family.
Unfortunately, we must confront the loss of Greene Co records as a major factor in trying to establish Barram Hart's parentage. It would seem clear however that our Barram must at least have been named for the elder Harram Hart, and presumably descends from the family in Surry Co Va, where Robert Hart married Priscilla Barham about 1690.
Some further perspective can be gained by looking at the family from the other, ancestral direction. Greene Co (originally called Glasgow) was formed from Dobbs Co in 1791. Most Dobbs records are lost, but the 1769 tax of that county lists only a Richard Hart. I do not think Richard was directly connected with our Hart line.
He received three land grants, the first of these being issued 23 Dec 1763 for 300 acres north of the Neuse on the west side of Stony Creek (Dobbs 495). His land fell into Wayne Co when that county was created in 1779.
Richard made a will there on 23 Jan 1790 (Recording Docket A:448), leaving all his property to his wife Cloe Hart and son George Miller Hart. His wife and Joel Herring were executors, and Joel Herring and William Davis witnesses. The inventory of his estate mentions no other Harts.
The Greene Co Harts arrived a little after Richard, settling first on both sides of the Pitt-Greene line. As noted above, I believe they came from Surry Co Va. The Hart family there descends from Henry Hart, of Surry by 1635, and some notes on his descendants are given in J B Boddie, "Southside VirginiaFamilies", (II:153-155) (see photostats enclosed). Henry's grandson Robert Sr, (1666/7-1720) married Priscilla, daughter of Capt Charles Barham, and I believe this is the source of the name Barram Hart.
Robert Sr made a will on 23 June 1720, naming sons William, Thomas and Robert Jr. Robert Jr died in Southampton Co Va in 1770, and his descendants do not seem to have come to Greene Co. I suspect that those in Greene descend Robert's eldest son, William (probably born in the 1690's). William is apparently the William Hart who made a will in Surry Co Va on 27 April 1744, proven 18 July 1744, mentioning his wife, sons Robert, William, John, Moses and Thomas, and daughters Lucy, Mary and Sarah.Witnesses were Charles Binns, John Evans and Thomas Hart. Surry Co deeds might show some of these departing for North Carolina.
Few records are available for Dobbs Co NC, but we do have the land grants and an index to the now lost deeds. Besides Richard, these list the following Harts, in order of appearance:
Micajah Hart purchased land in Dobbs from John Bradly ca 1769 (7:446) and other land from Peter Riggins ca 1777-9 (11:412) and Thomas Daniel ca 1779-84 (12:154). The 1780 tax of Dobbs lists him in District 6 (near Snow Hill and Hookerton) with 522 pds property. I did not find him on the 1790 Census, but perhaps his widow was the Lucretia Hart listed in that year (2-2-3-0-1).
Moses Hart, probably the son of William of Surry Co VA, seems to have come first to Pitt Co. There on 3 Dec 1771 William Stafford of South Carolina sold to Moses Hart of Pitt tracts of 161 and 220 acres, joining Moses Tison (E:44, 46, witnessed by Samuel Stafford, John Tison, Mary Mallet). A State Census of Pitt taken in 1775 (NC Gen Sec Journal, VII:188) shows in Capt Henry Ellis' Co (along Little Contentnea Creek and surrounding area) Moses Hart with a family of 3 white males aged 16-50, 4 white males under age 16, 1 adult white female, 2 female children and 6 slaves.
This large family suggests Moses may have been the ancestor of many of the later Harts in the area. Moses sold his Pitt land in a series of deeds, some of which may have been to his sons:
19 Feb 1774, Moses Hart to George Tison 70 acres (E:181)
By the 1780 tax, Moses was living in District 6 of Dobbs Co where a tax list shows him with 3419 pds property valuation. The Dobbs deed index shows that he purchased land there from Benjamin May ca 1777-9 (11:171-2, 420). He sold land to Joseph Smith (12:411) and to Robert Hart (12:419) ca 1779-83. In Pitt we find a deed of 9 Feb 1793 in which Moses Hart of Glasgow Co sold 230 acres to Benjanin Bynum (N:131). The 1790 Census of Dobbs lists a Moses Hart (1-1-2-0-2) next to a Zachariah Hart (1-1-2-0-5). He probably died before 1800.
William Hart married about 1770 could well be an elder son of Moses, from whom he purchased land in 1774. The 1775 Census of Pitt lists William with a household of 1 white male aged 16-50 and 1 white female and 3 female children. In the land grants we find that on 15 Feb 1780 William made an entry for 157 acres on Gum Branch joining William Peebles and Absalom Rogers, which was granted 21 Oct 1782 (Pitt 508). This was surveyed on 27 Sept 1781 with William Peoples and Benjamin Smith chain carriers.
William sold 100 acres in Pitt to Watkins Hart on 17 Nov 1775 (F:174, witnessed by George Tison, Rachel Tison) and sold 200 acres to James Baker on 25 Apr 1786 (L:78, witnessed by Abraham Rogers, Shadrach Williams). He then seems to have moved to Dobbs Co where he obtained the assignment of a patent from Joseph Henby on 1 May 1786, which was issued to him on 10 July 1788 for 100 acres on Middle Swamp joining Moore and Wilson (Dobbs 1930). Chain carriers for the survey 1 May 1786 were Joseph Henby and Wm Scoggan. William is listed in Greene on the 1800 Census aged over 45.
Watkins Hart obtained land in Pitt from Hoses Hart in 1776 and in 1775 purchased land from William Hart. A Pitt deed of gift of 5 Jan 1778 shows that his wife was Mary, daughter of William Baldwin (F:385). Watkins Hart sold 400 acres in Pitt to Robert Sanders on 12 Nov 1785 (L:142). He then moved to Dobbs where we find that he purchased land from Joseph Sullivant (13:179), Benjamin May (13:177) and Jacob Mercer (13:178) all ca 1784-89. He may have left the area soon after.
Robert Hart was apparently born soon after 1755 as he was aged 26-45 on the 1800 Census. He also appears first in the Pitt records. On 8 May 1779 he made an entry for 200 acres on both sides of the Lightwood Knot Swamp joining his own line and Moses Hart which was issued 21 Oct 1779 (Pitt 277). This was surveyed on 5 Jan 1778 with Benja Smith and Abraham Tison chain bearers. On 23 July 1779 he made another entry in the same area issued 21 Oct 1782 joining his own line and Moses Tison (Pitt 506). This was surveyed on 5 Jan 1780 with Benja, Smith and Abraham Tison chain bearers.
Robert then moved to Dobbs where he bought land from Moses Hart ca 1779-84 (12:419) and from Watkins Hart ca 1784-89 (13:415). Robert obtained two grants in Dobbs and three while the area was Glasgow Co. These are of particular interest in placing him and Moses Hart near the Ormonds. Robert's first grant (no entry date) was surveyed 7 Dec 1788 and issued 24 Oct 1786 for 200 acres on the north side of Great Contentnea Creek, joining his own and Ormond's lines (Dobbs 1899 photostat enclosed). Chain carriers for the survey were Joseph Smith and Zachariah Hart. On 10 July 1785 he made an entry for land on the north side of Great Contentnea and south side of Sandy Run joining John Reddick, Moses Hart and his own line, which was issued 9 July 1794 (Glasgow 26). Chain carriers for the survey were William Hart and Robert Hart Jr.
Robert's last grant was entered 28 Oct 1796 and issued 7 June 1799 for 125 acres on both sides of Sandy Run joining Hambleton, Benjamin May and his own line (Glasgow 111, see photostat), which was surveyed on 28 Nov 1797 with Robert Hart Junr and Willis Hart chain carriers. This is the only other instance I have found of the name Willis Hart and as I noted above it is possible that this was a nickname used to distinguish one of several William Harts.
Robert was listed on the 1800 Census next to a Carr Hart who might be a son, but died before the 1816 tax. We have seen that Hannah Hart was administratrix of his estate in 1820. She is listed on the 1820 Census of Greene (see copy).
Zachariah Hart appears on the 1790 Census in Dobbs next to Moses Hart (1-1-2-0-5) but was not there in 1800.
John Hart also appears on the 1790 Census in Dobbs (1-0-3-0-0) but was gone by 1800.
Barram Hart (Sr), probably born ca 1755/64, does not appear on the 1790 Census and the males aged 10-26 in his household in 1800 were not necessarily his sons. I found one interesting record of him in the Pitt Co records. George Moye Jr, on 23 July 1779 obtained a warrant for 200 acres on the north side of Little Contentnea "Including the Improvement that Ann Hart now lives on and the Improvement sd Ann Hart formerly liv'd on" (Pitt 566, see photostat). I have not otherwise identified this Ann Hart. The tract was surveyed on 29 Nov 1780 and issued on 21 Oct 1782 joining John Joiner and chain carriers for the survey were Joab Tison and Barran Hart (which suggests Barram was at least 16 by this time). As noted above Barram Sr likely died between 1800-1816.
It is my impression that most of the above (except perhaps Micajah) were the sons of Moses Hart and that the younger ones were among the many males in Moses' household in 1775. We would then have the following family:
Moses Hart, born ca 1720 died 1790/1800 Issue (tentatively):
i. Micajah, born ca 1745/8 perhaps died by 1790 leaving a widow Lucretia
Thus far, this discussion of the family origin has not shed much light light on our Barram Hart's parentage. We noted that on the 1800 Census only two Hart families were listed with males aged under 10 years. To add to our confusion, we seem to have more than one candidate to be the other one of these.
First, Jesss Hart, living as late as 1840, also seems to have been born ca 1795/1800. Interestingly, it looks as though it was Jesse's widow Mary who was living next door to our Barram Hart in 1850 with the younger Barram Hart in her household. Jesss was not taxed in 1816 and so was likely born after 1795. He looks to have married about 1819. Was he the brother from whom our Barram bought land ? Interestingly, Jesse seems to be listed next to Hannah Hart, Robert's widow, on the 1820 Census.
I found also the obituary of a Samuel H Hart, Clerk of Greene Co Superior Court who is reported as having died "lately" aged 33, in the Raleigh Register (semi-weekly) issue of 7 Dec 1832. He was thus born ca 1799, although the age is not necessarily correct and he might have been born after 1800. This man apparently left a will.
A re-recorded deed shows that on 29 Oct 1834 William Hart sold to Benjamin Streeter for $1800, 300 acres "on north side of Sandy Run, being the same tract formerly (blank) by the said Wm Hart & Samuel H Hart, dec'd, jointly, & the part of which, owned by the said Samuel H Hart, being by him given in his last will & testament to the said Wm Hart" (16:122, witnessed by Jno W Taylor, W B Edmundson).
The present research has established a framework for looking at the structure of the family, but has not yielded any direct evidence on Barram Hart's parentage. It does however look likely that Barram's father died before 1816 in Greene Co. This is a time and place for which very few records survive, which will undoubtedly cause us difficulties. One source we might try would be the New Bern newspapers, in which we might find a legal notice regarding Barram's father's estate.