The Heritage of Daniel Haston

Fort Valley Hiestand Property on Massanutten Mountain

    Henry Hiestand in Virginia  Timeline of VA Hiestand Family

South Forth of Shenandoah River Property     Powell's Fort Valley Property


Why is this Powell's Fort Valley Hiestand Land Important to Daniel Haston Descendants?

What We Know: 

  • Daniel Histand married Christina Nave/Neff in Dunmore County, VA on September 28, 1773.  Circumstantial evidence suggests that Christina was the daughter of Dr. John Henry Nave/Naffe/Neff.  The Hiestand and Neff families were closely connected back in Lancaster County, PA and even back to the Rhine region of southwest Germany.  John Henry Neff was undoubtedly acquainted with Henry Hiestand, from their long-standing family connections.  Dr. John Henry Nave/Neff's family lived about ten miles from the Hiestand property in Fort Valley, westward down the mountain through Moreland Gap (now Route 730).

  • According to the November 1775 census taken by Captain John Denton, Danl. Heastan and Abram Heastan were living in Powell's Fort Valley, VA at the time the 1775 census was taken.  In Daniel's household there was one white male over 16 (apparently, Daniel) and three white females (we assume to be Christina Nave-Hiestand/Haston and two female children). 

  • October 11, 1776 - January 21, 1778) - Northern Neck Grant Survey of 141 acres for Teter (Dietrich) Clem "near the head of Passage Creek in Powell's Big Fort" was adjacent to Daniel Hestant and Abraham Hestant.  The fact that Daniel and Abraham are mentioned separately, probably indicates that they were living on two different tracts of land.

  • On Alexander Hite's 1783 census list, Daniel appears with seven white souls among the families of Powell's Fort Valley.  Apparently, his family had grown from four in 1775 to seven in 1783.  David (March 6, 1777) and Joseph (January 9, 1780) would have been two additions to Daniel's family born in Powell's Fort Valley.  We do not know who the other children were.

  • On the 1785 census list, Daniel's name does not appear.  Apparently, he had moved south by this time.

What We Can Speculate: 

  • Daniel was probably living on his father's 400 acres in Fort Valley from (at least) the time he married in 1773 until he moved south, sometime in mid-1783. 

  • Abraham had purchased his own 300 acres, adjacent to his father's 400 acres.  And the other brothers, Jacob, John, and Peter, seemed to be securely entrenched with their father on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River property.  When he married, in 1773, Daniel (the youngest of the five sons) had to find a place to live and raise a family.  The family's 400 mountain acres in Fort Valley were available and Henry probably permitted Daniel to settle there.  But, land records indicate that Daniel never owned the land.  In 1783, Daniel's oldest brother Jacob (heir apparent to Henry Hiestand who died in 1779) leased the land to James Breeding, which probably indicates that Daniel had recently moved off of the 400 acres tract.

  • From the information above, it seems safe to say that Daniel's sons David Haston (1777) and Joseph Haston (1780) , as well as three other children, were born on Henry Hiestand's 400 acres tract in Powell's Fort Valley.  Or, if Christina Nave-Hiestand/Haston was the mother of David and Joseph, perhaps she stayed with her parents for the deliveries, since her (probable) father was a doctor. If so, the children would have been born on the Dr. John Henry Naffe/Neff farm, less than four miles north of New Market, VA.
    Note:  There are reasons to speculate that Christina may have died early in her marriage to Daniel  and may be buried in the Neff-Kagey Cemetery on what was the Dr. John Henry Naffe/Neff farm.  And that speculation extends to the possibility that by the time David was born in 1777, Daniel had remarried to someone with some connection to a Baltimore, Maryland Daniel McComiskey family.

  • Daniel was living in the "northern neck" of Virginia (Dunmore/Shenandoah County) during the Revolutionary War.  It is highly unlikely that our Daniel Haston served in a North Carolina regiment during the Revolutionary War, in spite of the fact that there is a "Daniel Haston" name on a Revolutionary War land grant for North Carolina veterans.  Where Daniel lived in Virginia is approximately 200 miles north of the North Carolina border.  And Daniel's name does NOT appear on Captain Joseph Bowman's list of Revolutionary War soldiers - a list containing many names of neighbors who lived around them in Fort Valley.  Even the name of "Abraham Haston" appears on the list.

Note: This "valley within a valley" on top of the Massanutten Mountain is called by a variety of names: Fort Valley, Powell's Fort, Powell's Big Fort, The Fort, Powell's Fort Valley, etc.  The name "Powell" came from a legendary early settler who lived on the mountain.  Legend has it that he was a fugitive from the law and possibly a counterfeiter. 


Key Points of Interest - Hiestand Fort Valley Land and Surrounding Area

Zoomable Google Map of Currrent Area

1 = Henry Hestant's (Hiestand) 400 acres, purchased from Peter Tear in 1756 (surveyed October 4, 1751 for Gervas Daugherty) but was not entered into the grant book until June 3, 1778. Deed
Source: Northern Neck Grants Q, 1775-1778, p. 294 (Reel 297).

2 = Abraham Hestant's (Hiestand) 300 acres, assigned by David Clem (Klemm) "in the upper part of Powell's Fort above the Massanutten Path on Passage Creek" on October 5, 1763 but not entered into the deed book until March 26, 1777. Deed
Source: Northern Neck Grants Q, 1775-1778, p. 99 (Reel 297).

3 = Current location of the office and other facilities of the Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center

Historic location of the Caroline Iron (Cold-blast Charcoal) Furnace from the mid-1830s until 1865 when it was destroyed by the Union Army because of its contribution to the Confederate cause.  In its hey-day, there was a very large pig iron operation going on here.  The ruins of the furnace still remain at this location.



Henry Hestantís 400 acres survey of "waste and ungranted land
on Passage Creek in Powell's Fort"

Beginning on the east side of Passage Creek at 3 pines and a black oak sapling standing on the side of a ridge and,

Extending thence North 55 West crossing the said creek two hundred poles [3,300 feet] to 3 white oaks  and a pine standing in level land,

Thence, South 35 West 320 poles [5,280 feet = one mile] to a double white oak and 2 black oaks standing on the brow of a hill,

Thence, South 55 East crossing the aforesaid creek at the distance of 100 poles [1,650 feet], two hundred poles [3,300 feet] to a large black oak and white oak standing on the point of a small ridge between 2 little vallies,

Thence, North 35 East three hundred and twenty poles [5,280 feet = one mile] to the Beginning, containing four hundred acres.

Abraham Hestantís 300 acres survey of "waste and ungranted land at the upper end of Powellís Fort above the Massanutten Path"

Beginning at a black oak on the side of a hill Henry Hestantís Corner, extending thence North 59 West eighty poles [1,320 feet] to 2 chestnut oaks and a Spanish oak,

Thence West one hundred and twenty two [2013 feet] poles to a chestnut oak and two black oak saplings,

Thence South one hundred and eighty poles [2,970 feet] to two Spanish oaks and a chestnut on the side of a hill,

Then South 57 (degrees) 30 (minutes = .5 pole) East one hundred poles [1,650 feet] crossing Passage Creek to a pine on the side of a mountain,

Then North 80 East one hundred and ten poles [1,815] to a black oak and white oak,

Then North 48 East one hundred and forty poles [2,310 feet] to a poplar and birch by a drain at the said Henry Hestantís line,

Then along the same North 54 West thirty two poles [528 feet] to two white oaks in a bottom and thence to the Beginning, containing three hundred acres.


Caroline Furnace - Painting by J.H. Trott

Caroline Furnace Infro from 18594 = Current location
of cabins, dining hall, and other facilities of the Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center.

5 = The "Big Spring" (said to produce 700 gallons per minute) was, during the time of the furnace's operation, channeled for about one-half mile from where the Big Spring emerges from underground to the water wheel of the furnace.  The spring still produces an abundant flow of crystal clear cold water.


6 = Moreland Gap Road (Virginia Route 730) - approximately nine miles to Highway 11, connecting with Highway 11 at about half way between Mount Jackson and New Market, VA.

7 = Virginia Route 675 - approximately six miles from Bixler Bridge on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, essentially the location of Henry Hiestand's land east of the river.

Camp Roosevelt - First CCC Camp

8 = Camp Roosevelt Road (Virginia Route 67) - approximately 24 miles through Fort Valley to the Strasburg Road (Virginia Route 55) on the north end of the valley.

9 = Crisman Hollow Road (Virginia Route 274) - approximately six miles to the New Market Gap (about halfway between Luray and New Market, VA) on Lee Highway (Virginia Route 211).

10 = Camp Roosevelt was America's first (of many) CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camps. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the CCC.  Camp Roosevelt was in operation here from 1933 to 1942.   (Photo on right)


George Washington National Forest

George Wasshington National Forest sign

Fort Valley, including the land once owned by Henry and Abraham Hiestand, has been in the George Washington National Forest since the forest (originally named Shenandoah National Forest) was established on May 16, 1918.