Hunt, “The 14″  –  Who are we and where did we come from?

For many, it comes as quite a surprise that we can trace our Hunt ancestors back to a family of fourteen (14) siblings, but no further.

On 10-11 June 1995, a U.S.-Wide group of HUNT researchers met in Johnesboro, Tennessee to share their findings.  During this meeting, it was said that HUNT researchers have been searching for over forty years for the parents of these 14 siblings; however they have been unable to find a single bit of acceptable evidence as to who the parents actually were.  Even though there are a few who offer a proposal to their identity, it remains speculation at this point.

Some of the present day descendants believe that their earliest Hunts came to America from Scotland.  This suggestion is equally speculative as there is no evidence to support this idea.

Present day Y-DNA efforts suggest the origins to be Europe; however, to this author’s knowledge, there is no definite proof that the lineage of “The 14″ would lead to a specific country in Europe.  It is worth noting that Hunt researchers are committed to continue this search effort.  We do know that there are Hunt individuals in England, Scotland, France and Germany.

These 14 siblings, our oldest known Hunt ancestors, were born over a 21-year period, in Bedford County, Virginia.  This would suggest that this family of parents and 14 siblings did not move outside of the state of Virginia for at least this 21-year period; January 1755 through July 1776.

Through their lives, these siblings did travel in diverse directions from their birth state, as evidenced by the final days of their lives in: Greenville County, South Carolina; Franklin, Allen and Simpson County, Kentucky; Washington County, Tennessee; Autuga County, Alabama; and in Georgia.

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The fourteen HUNT siblings commonly known as the lineage called “The 14″ are:

1.  Jesse Hunt, b 29 Jan 1755; Bedford Co., VA; d 1824; near Franklin, Simpson Co., KY;

2.  Uriah Hunt, b 3 Mar 1757; Bedford Co., VA; d 7 Oct 1824; Washington Co., TN;

3.  Esli Hunt, b 10 Jan 1759; Bedford Co., VA; d 8 May 1837; Greenville Co., SC;

4.  Mary Hunt, b 18 Feb 1761; VA;

5.  Thomas Hunt, b 5 Jul 1762; VA; d 1826; Washington Co., TN;

6.  William Hunt, b 12 Dec 1763; VA; d begt 1829-1833; Augusta Co., AL;

7.  Asenath “Sene” Hunt, b 15 Sep 1765; VA; d Washington Co., TN;

8.  Joel Hunt, b 20 Dec 1766; VA; d 1834; GA;

9.  Peter Hunt, b 15 Jan 1768, VA;

10.  Elizabeth Hunt, b 20 Nov 1769; V A; d bef 1840;

11.  Moses Hunt, b 29 Mar 1771; VA;

12.  John Hunt, b 30 Jan 1773; VA; d aft 1850, Allen Co., KY;

13.  Benjamin Hunt, b 29 Aug 1775; VA; and

14.  Phoebe Hunt, b 12 Jul 1776.

The source of the list of 14 siblings we call “The 14″ is a page found pasted into a Jackson Family Bible,  This Bible was owned by Mrs. Wilkes of Springfield, TN.

A brief background and account was provided by Mr. William M. Hunt, renowned family history researcher and historian, on 15 November 1986.  His account states:

From that Bible

Esli S. Jackson was the son of Mahala (HUNT) Jackson, daughter of John Hunt, born 30 Jan 1773, and wife Mary (NOTE: “Jarvis” was speculation heard by Eubank sisters, not tradition in their family.).

Also from the same Bible:

Stephen Jackson was born 18 Apr 1811. Mahala Hunt was born 1 Jul 1813.

Stephen Jackson and Mahala Hunt were married 17 Nov 1835.

E. S. Jackson married Mary E. Smith 28 Nov 1858.

E. S. Jackson died 24 Jun 1912.

Additional Information:

E. S. Jackson is buried in Simpson Co., KY.  Family information gives his middle name as Sanford.  In April of 1985, Mr. Bill Ross Hunt, now of Clarks Ford, Idaho, taveled to Tennessee to take color photographs of the Bible [NOTE: Photo copies were sent to William M. Hunt].  In October of 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Roy E. Hranicky of Orange Grove, TX, traveled to Tennessee and make photo copies of the Bible.

NOTE:  The format used to list the births of the 14 children makes it appear to have been copied from a Bible extant in 1830, and seen by E. S. Jackson.  In 1830, public primary records prove Esli, William, Joel, Moses, and John Hunt were still alive.  Esli lived in SC; William in AL; Joel in GA; Moses and John in Simpson and Allen Co.’s, KY.  In 1832, Esli Hunt applied for a pension for service during the Revolution.  Under oath, he stated he ws born in Bedford Co., VA, in 1759, and had a Bible to prove his age.  The court proceedings do not mention the Bible was ever examined.  Esli Hunt was allowed his pension in 19833, and he died in 1837.  Sometime in the late 1950′s, Vinnie Hunt Williams and Mary Copeland of SC, both descendants of Esli Hunt, searched for this Bible and tracked it to the owner only to learn the Bible had been burned in house fire the previous year.  This information, taken all together, is good reason to believe there was a Hunt Bible in existence in 1830, from which Esli S. Jackson could have copied the list of the Hunt siblings.  Also obvious is that Esli Jackson was the namesake of Esli Hunt and the unique Biblical spelling of the name is identical.

The list of the 14 Hunt siblings was brought to the attention of researchers about 1959, by the late Miss Mildred Olivia Eubank, of Franklin, KY, who was a descendant of John Hunt, b 1773.  His Jewel Eubank, sister of Mildred Eubank, personally copied the list and stated there was a note in the margin which read “Thomas Hunt of England was the father.”  This note was not found anywhere in this Bible in 1985.  In 1985, W. M. Hunt questioned Miss Jewell Eubank about this note and she said it may have been written on a scrap of paper.  The source remains unknown and to-date, research has not been successful in proving a Thomas Hunt was the father.

What is equally mysterious is the name of the mother.  I have never even heard of any tradition.  The surname of Henson is seen in VA and TN, and because Esli, Thomas and Moses Hunt each named a son Henson, I have often wondered if their mother had been a Miss Henson.  Little research has been done on this question.

In Retrospect  -  November 5, 2001

Based on correspondence and/or statements currently appearing on websites, it should be understood Mildred and Jewell Eubank never accepted the “missing note” as proof for the name of the father of the 14 Hunt siblings.  Mildred Eubank offered a $100.00 reward to anyone who could supply proof and about two weeks before she died, at age 89, on October 13, 1985, in a letter to this author, she stated, “I don’t care what Old Pappy’s name was, I want to see the proof!”.

Mildred Eubank was an accomplished genealogist, M. A. from West Virginia University, studied Library Science at Peabody College in Nashville, TN, held memberships in numerous Lineage Societies, and listed in Who’s Who in Kentucky Genealogy.

William M. Hunt, November 5, 2001