Hastings & James Bell Hastings
Isaac Hastings and his probable son, William Carroll Hastings*, lived in adjacent sections of Greene County, MO in the mid-1800s. In another section adjacent to them lived John Holloway Hastings, whose son, James Bell Hastings, apparently bought the William Carroll Hastings place when he died. Was Isaac Haston/Hastings kinship-related to John Holloway Hastings and James Bell Hastings?
Isaac Hastings was the son of Daniel Haston, to whom this website is dedicated. Daniel and his family settled in White County, TN prior to 1807 while Isaac was still a child. Daniel Hiestand/Haston was the son of Swiss-German immigrant Heinrich Hiestand.
Pre-DNA era family researchers often sought to connect members of Daniel Haston's family to an English (or Scots-Irish) ancestry. Daniel's original Swiss-German surname was "Hiestandt" (the "t" was apparently dropped soon after his father arrived in America). But, English-speaking clerks seem to have found this name difficult to spell and the surname spelling quickly morphed into a wide variety of (chaotic!) spellings. Although Daniel Hiestand apparently was English-illiterate (but perhaps German-literate), his two oldest sons (David and Joseph) were clearly English-literate. And it seems that David and Joseph may have decided to spell their names "Haston" while they were living in Knox County, TN (about 1800). Whether they simply opting for an easier name to spell or were Anglicizing the name to avoid anti-German bias, we do not know. But, the more Anglicized spelling did certainly lead people (including later generations of the family) to think that they were English or Scots-Irish descendents.
Researchers who have studied the family of John Holloway Hastings assert with confidence that his European roots were in England. His supposed lineage is detailed on a website maintained by the Keener family: John Hastings (b. 1670 in Henrico Co, VA) > George Hastings (b. about 1700 in VA) > Henry C. Hastings* (b. 1727 in Orange Co, NC) > John T. Hastings (b. 1760 in Buncombe Co, NC) > John Holloway Hastings (b. 1796 in NC)
Although there are differences of opinion (see note above) related to the specific ancestry of Henry C. Hastings, grandfather of John Holloway Hastings, in either case his family origin appears to be from England. The Henry C. Hastings clan (at least many of them) moved from Orange County, NC to the Bedford County, TN area prior to 1808, which is approximately 75 miles from where the Daniel Haston family settled in what is now called "Middle Tennessee."
Interesting Connections: Isaac Haston/Hastings and John Holloway Hastings
1. Isaac Hastings and John Holloway Hastings lived very close to each other in Greene County, Missouri.
As stated and illustrated above, John Holloway Hastings lived in an adjacent section to Isaac Hasting in Greene County, MO.
This was not the first time that
these two families had lived within the same area. Apparently,
John Holloway Hastings' father's family lived in Knox County, TN at
or near the same time that the Daniel Haston family lived there.
Peggy Hastings, who married John Ault in Knox County, TN on November
22, 1809, was the sister of John Holloway Hastings. She has
erroneously been identified as a daughter of Daniel Haston,
because she lived in Knox County in the same general era as Daniel's
The Daniel Haston family and the John T. Hastings (father of John Holloway Hastings) family both moved to middle Tennessee (Daniel Haston to White County; John T. Hastings to Bedford County) in the first decade of the 1800s.
But, although they lived fairly close to each other in Tennessee, in the East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee sojourns of these families there is no known evidence to indicate that they had any interactions.
2. Daughters of John Holloway Hastings (& Rachel Cannon Hastings) probably traveled to California with the Isaac Haston/Hastings family.
We do know that John H. & Rachel Hastings' daughter, Margaret Ann Elizabeth Hastings, and her husband, Isaac Ackerson Delzell, moved to California.
In Sonoma County, California, Isaac's son, Fletcher Dilay Hastings, lived next door to William B. Delzell, probable son of Isaac Ackerson Delzell and Margaret Ann Elizabeth Hastings Delzell. Source: Page 58 of Illustrated Atlas of Sonoma County, CA - 1897-1998.
Although the surname for members of the Daniel Haston family was often spelled "Hasting" or "Hastings" by various clerks, Daniel's sons David and Joseph (the only Daniel Haston family members known to have been English-literate) spelled the surname "Haston" (as early as about 1800).
When Isaac moved to Missouri, his name was sometimes spelled "Hastin" or "Hasten." If it is true that he was not literate, then he was totally at the mercy of other people to spell his surname, based on how they heard him pronounce it or what common surname they assumed it to be associated with.
On the Federal census the name was spelled "Hastings" and "Hasting." Later, in California the "Hastin" and "Hasten" spellings continue but it appears that, later in life, the name gradually shifted to "Hastings."
The name probably just shifted to "Hastings" because that was a more common name, a name with which English-speaking clerks and others were familiar. Since Isaac lived adjacent to a Hastings family, local clerks and others probably assumed that the two families were related and assigned the "Hastings" surname to Isaac based upon that assumption. And, not being literate, Isaac and his family may not have known the difference--or even cared.