Thomas immigrated to the area of Danville, Pennsylvania near Catawissa and was one of the original settlers thereabouts. A number of men named Hughes came from the Maiden Creek area of Berks Co. to Northumberland County in this time period. He and several of his brothers, who may have been George, John and James, were involved in the early settlement of land along the Susquehanna River near Northumberland.
|WPA Mural by John W. Beauchamp in the Muncy, Pennsylvania Post Office.|
I have not been able to determine the parents of Thomas Hughes. Thomas Hughes, the father of Jeptha Hughes, pioneer ancestor in Tioga Co. PA, died on Sept. 16, 1807 Census records help to determine his whereabouts as an adult and of his birth year being prior to 1755. (census 1800).
Census Records 1790 - Thomas Hughes - Northumberland Co.; 1 male over 16 ; 3 males under 16; 4 females.
Census Records 1800- Thomas Hughes - Northumberland Co.; 4 males under 10, 1 male between the ages of 10 and 16, 1 male between the ages of 16 and 26, 1 male over 45. (therefore, Thomas born before prior to 1755)
Early land records show him living in the area of Maiden Creek, near Reading, PA. Deed dated Aug. 17, 1773 (Vol. A 416 Bloomsburg, PA) for a 300 acres tract on the west side of the Northeast Branch of the Susquehanna in what is now Northumberland, Co. "Thomas Hughes, Maiden Creek twp. in Berks Co., carpenter." From this source it can be determined that he was a carpenter and that he was living in Maiden Creek Twp., Berks Co. PA. Also a reference to the same land is given in Vol. K 399, 1 Mar 1775, Northumberland CO PA, Sunbury PA. "Thomas Hughes of Augusta Twp., Northumberland Co. Carpenter (original Purchase 1769) 1 and 1/2 miles from the mouth of Catawesy Creek on the Nescopeck Path."
A petition was filed by Evan Hughes to settle the estate of his father for the sale of a tract of land containing about two hundred and thirty two acres in 1809. It stated that Thomas Hughes was the father of nine children: "Thomas Hughes died leaving a widow named Mary who is yet alive and nine children to wit:Rebecca, intermarried with Jesse Doughtery; Sarah, intermarried with Benjamin Prall; Evan Hughes, your petitioner; Mary Hughes; Rachel Hughes; Isaac Hughes; Jeptha Hughes; Jesse Hughes; and Jonathan Hughes according to the order of their birth and seniority..."
It would appear that Thomas' death was unexpected since he did not leave a will. This petition is the only record official of his children that has been located. In 1958, Phoebe Hughes Button, Hughes family historian, named the children of Thomas and Mary Stevens Hughes as: Sally Hughes (Sarah), Eben Hughes (Evan), Becky Hughes (Rebecca), Rachel Hughes, Polly Hughes (Mary), Isaac Hughes and Jeptha Hughes. Sons Jesse and Jonathan are not accounted for in Phoebe's records. Names in parentheses are as given in the Northumberland Co. Orphans Court reference which named the children in the order of their births which is: Rebecca, Sarah, Evan, Mary, Rachel, Isaac, Jeptha (born in 1791), Jesse, and Jonathan. Rebecca and Sarah were married by 1809. The petition says the last four of the children were still minors.
|"A Settler's Cabin"|
Her death date has to be some time after 1812, since the court records indicate that she was alive when the petition was filed to settle the estate. In addition there is a record, Vol. Q 798, 21 April 1812, 7 Aug. 1812, abstract: Release Hughs, Mary to James Laughead, lot of land to son Isaac Hughes, Mary Hughes relect and widow of Thomas by Orphans court of Northunberland Co. PA.
Thomas and Mary Hughes were my great,great,great, great grandparents. I grew up learning the stories of their son Jeptha, who pioneered to Tioga Co. And of their grandson Frederick and his wife Harriet Van Wey Hughes, who lumbered and farmed with the aide of his large family. And of Simeon and his wife Fannie B. Westlake Hughes, my great grandparents, who dairy farmed in Tioga. All renowned and honored ancestors in the Hughes family tree.
- Mural "Rachel Silverthorne's Ride" (1938) by John W. Beauchamp in the Muncy Post Office, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Online https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Runaway#/media/File:Rachel_Silverthorne_Mural_in_Muncy,_Pennsylvania.JPG. visited Sept. 10, 2016.
- Meginness, John Franklin (1892). History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania , Chapter 8, (1st ed.). Chicago, IL: Brown, Runk & Co.
- Thomas Hughes. Will Book 2, p. 55, Northumberland Co. PA, Sunbury PA.
- Petition to settle the estate of Thomas Hughes. 1809 Orphans Court of Northumberland Co. PA, Sunbury PA , p. 38 and others. Researched and recorded by Cynthia Hughes Smith, July, 1993.
- "A Settler's Cabin", illustration, p.67. http://cran.nust.na/gutenberg/3/4/6/0/34600/34600-h/34600-h.htm. Visited 9.12.16