O Brother Where Art Thou?

I recently struck up a correspondence with a distant cousin named Bill Huff. Bill, along with his brother Max, are two of the most prolific Huff/Hough family genealogists and historians. Their cumulative work is based on the research of the preeminent Huff family historian, Granville Hough. I owe the majority of my Huff family research to these three men.

In my correspondence with Bill, he brought some new information to my attention. My 3x great grandfather, William Huff, whom I’ll call William II, was born 1825 in PA. My research showed that he was the son of William Huff, whom I’ll call William I, born 1782 in PA and Anna Barnes. However, Bill didn’t have William II listed as William I’s son. This was partly due to the fact that William I and Anna Barnes didn’t marry until 1828, three years after William II was reportedly born. There are no records to indicate that William I was ever married before his marriage to Anna, so this is open to speculation. And researchers hate speculation. However, there was a link and paper trail between William I and William II. I had the information in front of me, but it was Bill who articulated the connection, though strange it is.

William II married Delilah Smith before 1843 and had two children with him, William Huff/Hough, whom I’ll call William III (b.1843 OH) and Sarah Huff (b. 1848 PA). Delilah unfortunately passed away before 1860, likely 1859. William II then married 17 year old Levina Foulke in 1859 and they had one child, George Washington Huff (b.1861 IL) my 2x great grandfather.

By 1869, William II, Levina, and Sarah, are living in Morris, IL, but William III is living with his grandmother Ann/Anna Huff in the Joseph and Sarah Thomas household in Felix, Il. This is William III’s aunt and uncle. It is William III’s living with Ann (Barnes) Huff that is the hard link between William II and William I, making it clear that they are father and son.

And with this new information, I believe that Bill Huff was able to add William II to the Huff family line once and for all. But the new information didn’t stop there. While Bill was helping me research my family, he also came across some other information.

            William HUFF (1825 prob. Clinton Co, PA – c 1862 OH) md (1) Delilah SMITH (1825 oh – d before 1860) and in 1850 lived in Greene Co, OH, along with brothers Edward and Hanson and other relatives.  By 1860, William HUFF moved on to Grundy Co, IL, with Hanson and other relatives, but Edward HUFF moved back to Clinton Co, PA.  Two ch are known from the first marriage.

I received this information from Bill via e-mail and it is from his brother Max’s notes. Now that we know the William mentioned above is my William II, we now have two other brothers to add the family tree, Edward and Hanson. Previously, the only children that were known to William I and Anna Barnes were James, Louisa, Sarah, Jonathan, and Silas born between 1829 and 1838. And within a few days of research, Bill was able to add three more sons, born between 1821 and 1825. That’s a total of 8 children over 17 years.

My question for Bill and other Huff/Hough family researchers and historians, is were all the children the children of William I and Anna Barnes or was there another marriage before Anna? I wonder if the 1828 marriage for William I and Anna is off by up to a decade? Maybe they were married in 1818? That would have made Anna about 23 at the time of her marriage and William 36, instead of 33 and 46.

Looks like we all have a little more work to do.


2 thoughts on “O Brother Where Art Thou?

  1. I have a Edward Huff I've been working on in my family tree. I believe him to have been born around 1821 and he is in the census in Ohio in 1850 and returns to PA. Can you give me contact information to get more information on your Huff genealogy?

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