Henry and Valentine Huff

Henry Huff signed his will on March 17, 1841, and it was recorded in the Clarke County, Georgia, Courthouse at the November Term, 1843. This will lists the names of Henry's children, his six sons--John, Littleberry, Valentine, Wiley, Leroy, and Green--and his five daughters--Mary, Elizabeth, Lona or Leona, Lydia, and Sarah. At the time Henry made his will his wife was deceased, and her name is not known. Henry Huff owned a sizeable plantation and fifteen slaves.

Henry is established as the son of Valentine Huff by a power of attorney that he gave his brothers-in-law still living in Rowan County, North Carolina, so they could sell his father's land. The power of attorney is found in Deed Book 18, page 675, in Rowan County, N.C.

It is not known when Henry moved to Georgia, but he is on the Tax Digest of Hancock County for 1794 and 1796. Hancock had been formed in 1793, and settlers had started coming in. The next we know about Henry is that, on August 6, 1797, he bought a 113-acre tract of land in what was then Jackson County. In 1801 his land fell in Clarke County when that county was formed from Jackson, and in 1875 it fell in Oconee when that county was formed from Clarke. Henry bought additional tracts of land, all on Rose Creek about four miles south of the little town of Watkinsville. It should be noted that, when henry bought this first land in 1797, Watkinsville was a very small frontier town and that the area around Athens was still a wilderness with Indians a threat. The University of Georgia did not open until 1801, and even then the Athens area was still wilderness, although a few settlers had moved in.

In his will Henry Huff left two tracts of land in "the Cherokee Territory" to the children of his deceased daughter Mary. The writer obtained a copy of the title to one of these tracts from the Georgia State Archives. This tract was in Habersham County. The writer has seen a reference to a tract that Henry won in Irwin County. These tracts were won in the State Lottery.

Note on the Athens area. In 1785, Governor Samuel Elbert granted William Few 1120 acres, comprising most of the property in what is now Athens. When Few's health failed in 1799, he sold his Georgia land, including the site of the future Athens, and moved to New York City. In March 1800, a man named Daniel W. Easley bought 693 acres of the easternmost part of the Few tract. Six hundred thirty-three acres of Easley's land were later bought as the site for the University of Georgia.

The Huff Cemetery about four miles south of Watkinsville is on land that Henry Huff owned. The writer has been able to establish this fact through a study of land records. Martha Anne Huff Poulnott, granddaughter of Henry Huff and daughter of Henry's son Green, inherited the part of Henry's place that contained the cemetery. The writer and his brother, Robert L. Huff, Sr., have had a marker erected in the cemetery in memory of Henry Huff. It reads:

CA. 1765--CA 1842

As stated earlier, Henry Huff's father was Valentine Huff, but the name of his mother is not known. Nothing is known about Valentine Huff prior to 1771, when he bought two lots in a little town called Hamburgh, which Jacob Funck laid out in a section where Washington, D. C., is today. When our national capital was developed, Hamburgh was included. A deed to the two lots is on file at the Maryland State Archives (MSA No: C 1237, Prince George's County Court (Land Records) AA #2, p. 357 Jacob Funk to Valentine Hoff, 28 October 1771 (Md HR 5723, 1-20---6-24) In 1771 Valentine Huff was a cartwright in Frederick County, Maryland. It is not known when he got there. Only two Valentine Huffs contemporary with Valentine have been found. One of these arrived from Rotterdam and landed in Philadelphia in 1744. (See Ralph Beaver Strassburger's Pennsylvania German Pioneers. The other Valentine was naturalized about 1761 in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This Valentine is mentioned in M. S. Giuseppi's Naturalization of Foreign Protestants. (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1979, p. 69) All three of these Valentines may be one and the same man, or it may be that they are not related or connected in any way. The Valentine who came to Philadelphia in 1744 was probably 18 or 20 years old, and the Valentine who bought the lots lived until about 1800, so the age would be consistent.

By 1776 Valentine had moved form Frederick County, Maryland, to Rowan County, North Carolina, and had bought a 320-acre tract of land. Records of the purchase and sale of this land are on file in the Records Office in Salisbury, N.C. Record of the sale of the land gives the names of Valentine's heirs, that is, the names of his sons and the names of his daughters' husbands. Names of his daughters have been found in other sources. In the 1990's some of the daughters' descendants were still living in the Salisbury area. When the land was sold, a quarter of an acre was reserved for a cemetery, and it is assumed that Valentine was buried in this cemetery, but the writer could find no trace of it on a visit he made to the area in the early l900's.

In Rowan County, North Carolina, Valentine Huff lived near Squire Boone, the father of Daniel, but by this time Daniel had moved on to Kentucky. The land that Valentine bought belonged earlier to one of Daniel's brothers, George Boone. The record of the purchase of Valentine's land is in Deed Book 8, page 363, and record of sale is in Book 19, pages 898-900. These records are in Rowan County, but this county has been divided, and the land that Valentine owned is now in Davie County not far from the County seat of Mocksville.

Valentine Huff had seven children: three sons -- Henry, Valentine, Jr., and Frederick -- and four daughters --Esther, Elizabeth, Eve Rosannah, and a daughter who married George Tanner. Valentine,Jr., was married twice, first to Jemimah Hughes and second to Rebecca Jackson; Esther married Jacob Roland; Elizabeth, John Sain; and Eve Rosannah, Charles Hunter.

Clarke County Georgia, Biographies of Henry Huff and His Father Valentine Huff, submitted by Lawrence Huff, great-great-grandson of Henry Huff.