The Ohio Years
Chapter 9, Page 85
The Children of Hezekiah and Keziah Hall.
…..pioneers to the Northwest Territories
The Children of Hezekiah and Keziah Hall were
Caught up in the Westward surge of migration
that swept the states formed from the colonies
of the Revolution, following the War of 1812.
For many families this era results in a 'lost
generation' as the movement was so extended
and so rapid, that it became nearly impossible
to trace the migrants. Communications were
almost non-existent and many of the migrants
Fortunately, the Hall - Overstreet group from
Bedford county Virginia (with one exception)
left sufficient traces that considerable is
known about them in the period from 1812 -
The migration of the Back Creek group was socomplete that there are
few, if any, direct descendants of the family known to be presently
in Virginia. However, there were other family kin who remained
there and they will be discussed in the section on: Our Southern Cousins.
The writer's family group migrated from Virginia
to the extreme southern tip of Ohio. Originally,
they settled in Gallia county, later to
become Lawrence county. Family records are to
be found in both counties.
They lived in Ohio for about fifteen years. The
lure of the West was still strong and beginning
in 1826 they left Ohio, principally for Illinois
where again they were pioneers in the San-ga-ma
(Sangamon River) country. They were no longer
Southerners - but a new breed - mid-westerners!
Author's note: Work on this section of the family history required considerable original research and a number of family facts not previously known were found as this had been an era of family history not well known - errors are possible and any future student of the family is invited to inspect the files.
known as 'Old' Billy
William Hadder+ Hall
William, the oldest son of Hezekiah and Keziah Hall, was born thirteen years after his father had acquired the land on Back Creek in Bedford county, Virginia. In March, 1802 he married a neighbor girl Nancy Dixon, 1786 - 1857. Like the Halls, the Dixons' were pioneers in the area and members of a family that had been active in the Revolution. ++
William owned considerable land in Virginia. In November, 1807 Hezekiah gave him 225 acres of land from the Back Creek holdings. Among the witnesses for this transaction were: Elisha Hall (a brother) and John Overstreet (Sr.) a relative by marriage. The teste was not signed until April, 1808. +++ This land was a marriage gift.
October, 1812, William and Nancy Hall sold to John Urguhart for 190 Pounds this same 225 A of land. Hezekiah was now dead and William was planning his move to Ohio.
William took up land in Rome Township, Lawrence county, Ohio (Gallia in 1812). He was the only family member to settle in that township - the rest lived in Union Township. William and Nancy were parents of nine children.
In 1874 a Thomas Walton wrote a history of Rome Township and from it we get an unusual personal glimpse of William Hall. After describing some of his neighbors, Walton continues his account saying:
"The next below was William Hall who came from Virginia about 1820 and was a good farmer, blacksmith and neighbor. Everybody liked old Billy. He was fond of cider and treacle (molasses) beer, of which many younger ones than I can tell you by experience. When he experienced religion, Hector Pritchard ++++ was he (Old Billy) jumped so high that when he came down his heel broke a hole in the floor, which was made of yellow pine. Old Mr. Kimble said, 'Old Billy didn't need any religion, that he was good enough without.' He was kind to children, always noticed them and wo'd talk to them if the old folks had to wait."
It is unfortunate that in doing a family history that more of these intimate portraits are not available.
Walton continued his narrative by telling about William Hadder Hall's family:
"His children - Henry married Harriet (1826), daughter of Henry Neff and went to Indiana where he died. Robert married Julia Miller (1830), daughter of Col. Abe Miller, +++++ and now lives on part of the old homestead. Charles married Sarah (1832), daughter of Zebulan Gillet and moved to Indiana. William D. (Dixon) 1812-1878, married Elizabeth Redford (Radford) (1835) sister to William and Henry Redford. She died and he married (1854) Widow Mary Ann (Mathews) Ewing, 1824-1901, and now lives in a house where old Billy's house stood. J. Wesley Hall married (1845) Mary Smith, daughter of General Abe Smith. * Tabith Hall married (1831) Abraham Neff, and still lives in this bottom. Francis Hall married (1817) Wm Russell, moved to Illinois and died. Polly Hall married Aisel Neal and moved to Illinois. Elizabeth married (1834) Isaac Cumston from near Arabia (OH), moved to Illinois and died." **
Walton's account points up the fact that the movement West continued in the subsequent generations of Halls' who had migrated from Virginia to Ohio.
Tabitha Hall Neff (from the family listing) had a traditional family given name. She married at age 15, died in 1877 at age 61. Six generations of her kindred had lived in Quaker bottom (Rome Township) as reported in the Irontown Ohio Register. Neff was from the German, Knoff.
Still more is learned about William Hall's family from Hardesty's, Hand Atlas History of Early Settlers of Lawrence County, published in 1887. It concerns William's son Robert, who married Julia Miller. According to this account:
'Robert Hall was born in Bedford county, Virginia in 1808 and came to Lawrence County with his parents in 1812, settling near the mouth of Guyan Creek, where their first cabin was erected. From there they moved to the farm in Rome Township where they ended their days. The Hall farm was one of the first in the township.
'The forest was unbroken and abounded in game, and it was a rare thing to see wheat flour, the ground being considered too rich for wheat.
'Of interest, is the fact that both Wm. Hadder and his wife Nancy both died on the farm they first settled. Robert Hall and his wife, Julia, had a family of nine children. One of their family moved to Illinois and another to Missouri.
'Robert Hall was a trustee of Rome Township for four terms. The family were Methodists and their farm adjoined his parents and was located near Proctorville, Ohio.'
This is a small glimpse of the Hall family movement westward. This family likely had participants in the Civil War. Today, the graves of William and Nancy are to be found in the Rome cemetery.
He stayed in Virginia, by choice and
c. 1779 - 1815
In studying the history of the Hezekiah Hall family, how it broke up after 1812, the author speculated on who stayed in Virginia after the father's death, operating the home place on Back Creek and looking after the widowed Keziah. It was Thomas, the second oldest son.
Thomas had received adjacent land from his father on his marriage in 1809 to Elizabeth Radford, daughter of Polly Radford a neighbor. For Surety of the marriage contract he had another neighbor, a kinsman by marriage, Tubal Dixon. Because of the prior land gift, Thomas received only a token bequest in his father's Will of 1811.
Thomas' name appeared on several legal documents involving the family and we know his land joined Hezekiah's. *** Fate decreed that he would soon be gone, he was dead by 1815. The death date is established by a Campbell County court order issued in that year by which Thomas' wife, Elizabeth, is given permission to acquire her dower rights in his estate. (She had to have a home!).
Four years later (1819), Elizabeth, also known as Betsey, re-married to a John Hogan. In January, 1825 the Campbell Court ordered that the children of Thomas Hall be given their shares of his land. From this Order we learn their names: Banks, Wesley, Polly and Nancy. At the same time the allotment was made his widow. Prior to this, she had merely controlled the property and received income from it. The children were now of legal age and eligible for their inheritances.
In subsequent 1825 orders, the court laid off one-third of the land for the widow, the balance divided among the children. It was a small holding, less than 100 acres. In 1835, Betsey, the widow and her children Banks, Polly and Nancy sold about 60 A of land.
We note by the last date, the name Wesley is missing. He had gone to Indiana; later he was to join his uncles in Illinois. We will learn more of him and his descendants in the section on: Pioneering in Illinois. (A Banks Hall is living in Indiana, 1846.) * There may be Hogan descendants in Virginia today.
*possibly (Samuel) Banks Hall m Sarah Hotell, 8 Mar 1836 in Elkhart Co., Indiana
(married into a FFV First Family of Virginia)
Sarah Hall (Smith)
1784 - c.1823
Though not the oldest, Sarah was the first of the Back Creek children to marry. 26 Feb 1800 Hezekiah on behalf of Keziah **** and himself gave consent for this daughter's marriage to Augustine Smith, 1775-1857, a neighbor. Since the consent was given, Sarah may not have been of legal age to marry.
Augustine with his father, John Smith, gave bond to the amount of one hundred and fifty dollars to assure that the marriage would take place. Hezekiah not only signed the bond with his bold signature, ***** but had written out the contract and consent in his own hand and since Augustine and his father could only make their marks, which, as required by law was witnessed by a person who could sign his own name. In this case it was a Caleb Tate, Jr. Thomas Hall, Sarah's brother, also witnessed for the Halls and he could sign his name.
The Smiths had been Back Creek neighbors of the Halls since 1762 when Bowker Smith, Augustine's grandfather, purchased the land which was in the same tract as Hezekiah's. Bowker died shortly thereafter and John, Augustine's father along with Judith, his mother and Bowker's widow, took over the farm. We do not know the name of John's wife.
Augustine and Sarah were perhaps the first of the Virginia group to head for Ohio; after 1812 we find them in the area that became Lawrence county. The first land transaction for them is in 1815 and during the ensuing years Augustine was involved in several land deals; some of them with his Hall kinsmen. At first, they were in Gallia county; later, their area became Lawrence county. They lived in Union township. ^ There is good evidence that others of the Smith family, possibly Augustine's brothers and sisters, were residents of Union Township with them.
If the name Hall isn't difficult to trace: Smith falls into the same category. Fortunately, Augustine is a distinctive name ^^ and he can be followed through the early Ohio census, tax lists and land transactions. In time he owned considerable property and unlike many of his fellows appeared to be content to stay in Ohio, as did others of the Smith family.
He out-lived Sarah by at least thirty years. She died in about 1823. 9 Oct 1824 he married Margaret Doggett. She was not living at the time of his death in 1857.
Family of Augustine & Sarah (Hall) Smith
As near as can be determined the family of Augustine and Sarah consisted of the following:
Abner Smith (Johnson) (Hammock) 1802
Rice Smith (Robinson)         1803 - 1868
Betsey Smith (Miles)         1804 - 1879
Abner was named for Sarah's brother. Rice is a well-known Bedford county, Va., family name. Betsey was for Betsey Hogan, wife of Sarah's brother, Thomas. Catherine is for Sarah's sister (see: Discussion on Kiziah (Hall) Neal.) Thomas for Sarah's brother, although it was a name on both sides of the house.
Betsey (Smith) Miles is the only family member known to have left Ohio, settling with her husband and family in Western Illinois. (see: Pioneering in Illinois.)
Descendants of this family are found today in Ohio and further discussion on them will be made in the section at the end of this chapter on: The Hall Family in Ohio.
With the marriage of Sarah Hall to Augustine Smith, the Hall family came into relationship with one of the First Families of Virginia (FFV). Sarah's descendants would be able to trace their ancestory to a Rev. Guy Smith, a Cambridge-educated Episcopal clergyman who migrated in the 1600s' to Virginia where he became Bishop of Abingdon Parish and was involved in the early history of William and Mary College at Williamsburg. ^^^ Other immigrant members of this family were likewise distinguished.
This Smith family can be followed in the development of the Virginia counties and were involved in the Revolutionary history. Family members migrated south into Georgia and west below the Ohio River into Tennessee and Kentucky. Bowker Smith, 1723 - 1768, Augustine's grandfather, lived in several Piedmont counties, ending up in Bedford on Back Creek. He married Judith Cox in 1746 and had a family of seven children. He was involved in numerous land deals and was in property litigation in Lunnenburg county at the time of his death. The name Bowker came from a family marriage to a daughter of Rev. Ralph Bowker, another prominent colonial clergyman. In later years, the family became Methodists.
Augustine's line in America appears to be as follows:
(1) Rev. Guy Smith; (2) Col. John M. Smith; (3) Bowker Smith: (4) John Smith; and (5) Augustine Smith.
Both the Smith and Bowker lines can be traced in England.
The relationship of the Halls and the Smiths who lived on Back Creek in Bedford county, Va., not only resulted in the Sarah-Augustine marriage but must have been long; intimate as in Hezekiah's Will of 1811 he refers to 'my friend Ralph Smith. Ralph Smith was of this family group. ^^^^
Longest-lived member of the family
Samuel was among the earliest of the family to leave Virginia for Ohio. In 1814, in that state, he was married to Jane Smith. There is reasonable evidence that she was of the Back Creek Smith family.
There is record of several land transactions for Samuel in Lawrence county, Ohio, beginning in 1819 and extending up to 1840 at which time he was preparing to migrate to Iowa. Jane's name appears on some of the records. Samuel was widowed in Ohio and from the census records it appears that he never re-married.
Samuel lived in Village Township, Van Buren county, Iowa. In 1860 he owned real estate valued $3200 and personal property to the amount of $300. In the probate after his death in 1863, the cash residue of his estate, after paying his creditors, was $337.44 which was divided among his six surviving children - each received $56.24
His children, all adults in 1863, were Eliza, Townsend, Levi and William, sons; Sarah (Bryan) and Elizabeth (Hazen?), daughters. Elza, the oldest son, possibly took over his father's farm, as he is listed as a farmer, but not having any real estate.
In the census of 1850 there were fourteen persons living in Samuel's home. This group included his sons and daughters, both married and unmarried and their children, along with a hired girl.
Elza had married Mary Ann Noble (1838) in Ohio but was widowed like his father. He had three children by his first marriage. He was to re-marry about 1850 a Ruth (?) and was to have three more youngsters. His son, John, b. 1842 is thought to have been a Civil War soldier.
Samuel's son, Townsend, in 1837 while still in Ohio married Elizabeth Bush. He may also have been widowed and a father of a child or two in 1850. The daughter Elizabeth was married as was her sister, Sarah. In 1842 Sarah married Abram Bryan. By 1870 the Bryan's with their three children were the only Samuel Hall family members known to be living at the home place in Iowa. From the records of Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Van Buren county, Sarah died in 1874; one daughter the same years. An infant son died in 1867.
Family of Samuel and Jane (Smith) Hall
Elza Hall, b. 1814, Ohio; m. (1) Mary Ann Nobel in Ohio 1838
Child. m. 1. Eliza b. 1841 Ia.
John b. 1842 Ia. ^^^^^
Sarah b. 1844 Ia.
m.2. Ruth __?___ b. 1828 m. 1850 Oh.
Child. m. 2 Adula, b. 1851 Ia.
Margaret b. 1853 Ia.
William b. 1856 Ia.
Van Buren county was one of the first to be settled with the opening of the Iowa territory.
Sarah Hall b. 1821 Oh. d. 1874 Ia.
m. 1842 Abram Bryan b. 1818 W. Va.
Child Rebecca C. b. 1848/50 Ia.
Mary A. b. 1854 Tx. D. 1874 Ia.
Sarah Ellen b. 1860 Tx
Charles W. d. 1867 Ia.
Townsend Hall b. 1817 Oh. It appears that the
Elizabeth Hall (Hazen?) b. 1819 Oh Bryan family lived
William Hall b. 1823 Oh. for a time in Texas.
Levi Hall b. 1827 Oh.
Tabitha Hall (Dalton)
Unfortunately, all that is known of the daughter, Tabitha, is her marriage date and the name of her husband. The marriage occurred in Bedford county in 1806 to Robert Dalton. A Joseph Towler was the Surety and the marriage performed by a Methodist minister. Tabitha was a traditional family name. She was given five shillings in her father's Will.
Elisha, James and Abner Hall
These three sons from the Back Creek home in Virginia migrated first to Ohio and then to Illinois. They will be discussed in the Section: Pioneering in Illinois. However, since they lived in Ohio for a period of about fifteen years some note should be made of their lives during that period.
During the Ohio years, they dealt in land and many of their children were born there. Of unusual interest to the author are their signatures appearing on various documents. They all lived in Union Township, Lawrence county, Ohio. (see section: The Hall-Overstreet Families in Ohio.)
she didn't like her name
Keziah Hall (Neal)
c. 1797 - c. 1825
Keziah or 'Kitty' as she was then called, was a minor child in 1811, the year of her father's death. Because of this, she was allotted some sixty acres of the Back Creek land by Hezekiah's Will. By 1815 she had disposed of her Virginia land.
Apparently she did not like her name, Keziah, and in later years was known as Catherine or Katty and Kitty or Kiturah (?). She, too, left Virginia and joined her five brothers and one sister in Ohio. 28 January 1814 she was married to John Neal in Gallia county, Ohio; the area that was soon to become Lawrence county. The Neals were from Bedford county and John is thought to be descended from Zacharia Neal, d. 1806, a Revolutionary War veteran. In addition to John, others of the Neal family had also joined the Ohio migration.
In common with other pioneers, John and Kitty were involved in several land transactions with the Hall, Smith and Neal families. Their sale of 20 acres to Isaac Russell on the first day of March, 1817 is memorable in that it was the first deed recorded in the newly-formed Lawrence county. Among the family members engaged in land sales with them were: Edward Billups married to Polly Neal; Samuel Hall married to Jane Smith; and Samuel Smith married to Sarah Neal.
The census of 1820 shows them in Union Township, Lawrence county with three children under ten years of age. A girl lives with them, possibly someone from John's family.
Sometime during the years, 1824 -25, Kitty died and on 15 Feb. 1827 John married Nancy Martin. Nancy was of neighboring Rome Township. Early in 1827 John sold his land, eighty-four acres obtained by government patent in 1825 for $160. Soon after his second marriage John was headed westward with his family. Nothing further is known of the Neals.
(John had family members in Sangamon county, Illinois; but no record of him in the area has been found.)
+ Source of Hadder unknown - see discussion - end of this section
++ Of Irish extraction (Dickson) - they had no use for the British
+++ Teste - legal acknowledgment
++++ Local Justice of the Peace. Kimble was a neighbor.
+++++ a local Revolutionary hero
* a local militia officer
** when family members stay in an area much can be learned about them. Wm. Hadder Hall, raises the questions of relationships. Use of a middle name getting more land than the others, and staying in Ohio. Hadder is a family name, not common in Virginia but found in Maryland. Was Wm. A child of an earlier marriage of either Hezekiah or Keziah?
*** according to recently discovered minutes of the Staunton Baptist Church in Bedford county, known in colonial times as "The Moody Meeting House." It was noted that in 1803 Thomas Hall was chosen to keep the records of the church. This church is in the general area where the Hall family lived.
Shortly after Thomas' death, Keziah disposed of her holdings on Back Creek and may have joined the others in Ohio, where she likely died c. 1820.
**** legal rights of women were limited in colonial times.
***** as he did in his Will of 1811
^ Augustine Smith was on the First Grand Jury, Lawrence Co. Ohio. 1817; as was his brother-in-law, Elisha Hall.
^^ also as Augustus, Augustia, etc.
^^^ Smith, Guy b. Ely, Cambridge Co. Eng. Adm. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1683, etc. Bishop, Abingdon Parish, Gloucester, Va., 1702 - 1719, d. 1720. Col. Clergy of Va., 1607-1776 - Weis, 1955.
^^^^ This Smith family is not be confused with the Smith family of John Hall, d. 1794. They were Quakers.
^^^^^ possibly in Civil War.