The desire of Daniel Haston's descendants to know our
European ethnicity did not begin with the genealogical interest that
surged in the final decade of the 20th century, due to the availability
of personal computers and internet access to repositories of family
records and historical documents. Research files and notes from
Haston family researchers in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s reveal that
their major quest was to know the European origin of Daniel Haston's
ancestors. Who and what are we--English, Dutch from Holland, Irish, Scots,
Germans, Swiss, Swiss-Germans?
Opinions about our ethnicity have varied greatly and
sometimes been held tenaciously. "My granddaddy told me..." oral
histories within the various sub-branches of the Daniel Haston family
have often become accepted as true, even without supporting historical
evidence. Even some of Daniel's grandchildren, two or three generations removed
from Daniel, varied in their opinions. Surely, Daniel's own
children would have known their roots--especially the older ones, such
as David and Joseph and Catherine. But apparently there was not much interest in
communicating and perpetuating knowledge of their family's history from
generation to generation. According to John Rice Irwin, founder of the
Museum of Appalachia,
early European immigrants into Appalachia did not spend a lot of time
looking back to their roots "across the waters."
"As a child growing up in
a rural isolated section of the East Tennessee mountains, I wondered why
the old folks, with whom I spent much of my time, never talked about
their European origins. They were a colorful, jolly lot, and they,
of all people, were wont to tell stories about their families, about the
wild and romantic frontier their fathers and mothers tamed. They
were reflective, philosophical, and even studious when it came to
unwritten history; but in referring to the 'old' family members they
never got beyond Virginia, North Carolina, or possibly
"I never heard a family
member nor a neighbor talk of someone being English, German, Italian,
Scotch-Irish or anything else. Having reflected on this for years
I've concluded that because of generations of migration, the continuing
flow of lore and stories of ancestry was almost totally broken.
There was little or no contact with parents, and most often there was
none at all with grandparents. So, we were all Americans, and if
pushed as to where one's family was from, the family patriarch might
say...'they came from across the waters.'"
Dr. John Rice Irwin (Founder and Director, Museum of Appalachia
From page 10, The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee by Billy
Prior to the 2008 DNA
results that prove, beyond doubt, that Daniel Haston was the son of
Swiss-German immigrant Henrich Hiestand, there were three major views of our
European ethnicity and country-of-origin that were commonly held by
various members of the extensive family of Daniel Haston's descendants.
The 1790 Federal Census recorded 136 heads of
households with the Hastings surname.
Seven of the Hastings households
were in CT, eighty were in MA, two were in ME, twelve were in NC,
twenty-one were in NH, one was in NY, five were in PA, one was in RI,
and seven were in VT.
One large family of Hastings
descended from its progenitor, Thomas Hastings (about 1605-1685), who
came from England to Watertown, MA in America in 1634. The Thomas
Hastings descendents probably account for most of the New England
Hastings families, which was by far the majority of the Hastings in
America in 1790. The Thomas Hastings family was documented in a book
published in 1866, The Hastings Memorial, A Genealogical Account of
the Descendants of Thomas Hastings of Watertown, Mass. From 1634 to 1864
by Lydia Hastings Nelson.
Another family of English Hastings trace their American roots to John
and Mary Hastings who appeared in Henrico County, Virginia (Richmond
area) in 1703. John died in about 1719 and his known sons (John,
George, and Henry) extended his legacy, west of Richmond into Amelia
County and Mecklenburg County. The name "Hastin" and other similar
names were adopted by many of these descendents of John and Mary. Some
members of this Hastin/Hastins/Haisten/Hastings family moved down into
various counties of North Carolina, Fayette County in Georgia, and later
to other southern and western parts of the new country. Robert Wayne
Haisten's Haisten: A 250-Year History of the Haisten Family
(copyright 1983) focuses on this family.
The Henry Hastings family of Orange County, NC has often been connected
to the Hastings of the Henrico, Amelia, and Mecklenburg counties of
Virginia. In his book, Robert Wayne Haisten wrote "The Henry Hastings
under discussion (son of George Hastings and grandson of immigrants John
and Mary Hastings) ... seems to have removed to Orange County, North
Carolina." However, in his January 31, 1985 updated addendum to the
book, Mr. Haisten published a correction to this statement. Apparently,
there is evidence to suggest that the Henry Hastings of Orange County,
NC was not connected to the Virginia family, but that he was
first-generation to America, arriving from England through Maryland to
Orange County, NC. The Hastings families of south central Tennessee
(such counties as Bedford and Franklin and Williamson and Marshall) are
descendents of this North Carolina Henry Hastings.
On a Keener Family website (that apparently no longer exists), it was
recorded that Giles Hastings claimed Henry Hastings "to be the son of
Theophilus Henry Hastings who was sent from England in 1715 to the North
Carolina Colonies to aid the Colonists in the organization of the fight
against the Indians." The site also acknowledged the original
(pre-addendum) claim of Robert Wayne Haisten's book that Henry Hastings
was the son of George Hastings (of Amelia County, VA).
Family Oral History That Favored the English Ancestry
Some descendants of Daniel Haston have believed that Daniel
and/or his ancestors were from England. Sometimes, adherents of this
English theory attempted to tie him to one of the English "Hastings" families that
immigrated to America in the 1600s or 1700s and settled in Watertown, MA
or Amelia County, VA or the Orange County area of NC.
Those of us who bear Daniel's "Haston" surname, know
the tendency for others to look right at "Haston" and pronounce it
"Hastings" or to hear us clearly introduce our self as "Haston" and yet
respond, "Hello, Mr. Hastings." That is probably due to the fact that
the name Hasting or Hastings is much more common than our H-A-S-T-O-N
James Thomas Hasting - Great Grandson of Daniel
Some members of Daniel Haston's family, after leaving White County, TN,
did adopt the Hasting or Hastings spelling of the name. According to
Howard H. Hasting, active Daniel Haston researcher in the post-war 1940s
through the 1970s, "The Arkansas family held a 'family
meeting' in Yell County, not long after moving to that county, at
which it was decided to spell the name 'Hasting," because--as they
said--that was the correct and original spelling." Howard H. Hasting
learned of this Yell County, Arkansas meeting from his father (James
Isaac Hasting) who was an infant when the meeting happened, who later
heard of the meeting from his father (James Thomas Hasting) who
participated in the family's name change. James Thomas Hasting's
father was Isaac Haston, son of Joseph Haston, son of Daniel Haston.
Mr. Howard H. Hasting goes on to explain that this must have been done
after 1880, because the 1880 census for that county lists the family
name as "Haston." One wonders if they just got tired of having people
confuse their name for Hasting or Hastings.
Source: Page 33 by Howard H. Hasting's research report, "The
Daniel Haston Family" (available
on this site).
Pleasant Dawson Hastain - Great Grandson of Daniel
biographical entry for "P.D. Hastain" was included in the 1895
Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis Counties,
Missouri. Pleasant Dawson Hastain was the son of Daniel M.
Haston/Hastain, who was son of David Haston, son of Daniel Haston. The
record states that the name was originally "Hasting" and that his
grandfather (probably thinking of Pleasant Dawson Hastain's great
grandfather, Daniel) came from England. These "vanity biographies" were
popular around the turn of the 19th century and often contained
inaccuracies based on the family's oral history or editorial
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis
Counties, Missouri by Chapman Publishing Company of Chicago, published
1895 (Library of Congress - F 472 JE P8).
Henry Pleasant and Samuel Perry Hastings - Great
Grandson of Daniel Haston
In a November 3, 1960 letter from Samuel Perry Hastings (grandson of
Isaac and great-grandson of Daniel) to his niece Laurann Coleman, Mr.
Hastings wrote, "Pleasant (Henry Pleasant Hastings, Perry's brother)
told that Pa told that there three brothers who came over from
England." It isn't clear if the "Pa" was Pleasant's and Samuel Perry's
father, Hartwell Greene Hastings, or their grandfather, Isaac Haston.
In either case, here is a statement of English ancestry by someone who
was only a few generations removed from Daniel Haston.
Source: Letter in Wayne Haston's Isaac Haston file.
Woodson A. Hastain - Great Grandson of Daniel Haston
Woodson A. Hastain, was the son of Daniel McCumskey and Anna (Green)
biographical entry for him, in the History of Henry County, MO,
states that "It will thus be seen that the Hastains are of the purest
and oldest American stock of undoubted colonial ancestry of English
origin." The reliability of the source, however, is called into
question due to several known errors in the entry (dates of David and
Margaret Haston's births, etc.).
Source: Page 446 of History of Henry County, MO by Uel W. Lamkin;
Historical Publishing Company, 1919.
John Lawrence Haston - Great-Great Grandson of
A similar entry for a
biographical record for John Lawrence Haston (son of David Lavender
Haston, grandson of Isaac T. Haston, great grandson of David Haston,
great-great grandson of Daniel Haston) stated that: "The Haston name
as used in this country is a derivation from the old English Name of
Hastings, borne by the progenitor of the family in America. As the
years have passed, like many other names, this has gradually changed to
its present form. The great-grandfather of Mr. Haston, who spelled his
name Hastons, came to Tennessee from the Carolinas, and settled in
Warren county, where he reared a large family." John Lawrence Haston's
great-grandfather was David Haston, not Daniel. But perhaps he was
referring to David Haston who came with his father's (Daniel's) family
and also reared a large family, as did Daniel. The credibility of
this reference is weakened by the fact that known errors appear in the
account. For example, David Haston settled in White County, not Warren
County. The account goes on (just below the aforementioned reference)
to state that John Lawrence Haston was the son of D.L. Haston, who was
the son of J.H. Haston. The various sources we have indicate that John
Lawrence Haston's father, D.L. (David Lavender) Haston, was the son of
Isaac T. Haston, David's son. We have no record of David Haston (son of
Daniel) having a son with the initials "J.H."
Source: Page 1725, Volume VI of A History of Tennessee and
Tennesseans by Will T. Hale and Dixon L. Merritt; Chicago and New York:
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913.
|So at least as early as the generation of
Daniel's great-grandchildren, some of his offspring thought
their European roots were in England. But none of
these claims cited documentation or other kinds of plausible
evidence to support a connection to either of the English
Hastings families in America or any other proof of English
ancestry for Daniel Haston.
The "Haston" surname is known to be native to Scotland,
leading some descendants of Daniel Haston to assume that we are Scots or
Scots-Irish (also known as Ulster Scots). For example, the late
of climbing fame
in the Alps and on Mount Everest, was born in Scotland. And to
this day, the Haston name is still common in Scotland.
Dougal Haston believed that the Hestan/Haston family
of Scotland descended from the ancient Vikings who used to winter their
ships on the Isle of Hestan, and other islands of the Auchencairn Bay
along the southern coast of Scotland, in preparation of invasions of
Britain. Apparently, the Hestan Isle was a haven for smugglers in the
1600s and 1700s.
|HASTAN, of local origin from
the island of Hestan in the parish of Rerrick,
Kirkcudbrightshire. John Hestan was resident in the parish
of Borgue, and William Hastine and Thomas Hastan were
residents in the parish of Senneck, 1684 (RPC., 3. ser. ix,
p. 567, 569). Janet Hasten is recorded in Torphichen, 1712
From page 346 of The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin,
Meaning, and History by George F. Black, PhD (NY: New
York Public Library, 1946).
Original sources: RPC = Register of the Privy Council of
Scotland. 1. series. v. 1-14 (1545-1625); 2. series. v. 1-8
(1625-1660); 3. series. v. 1-14 (1661-1689). Edinburgh,
1877-1933. Torphichen = Register of baptisms,
proclamations, marriages, and mortcloth dues contained in
the kirk-session records of the parish of Torphichen,
1673-1714. Edinburgh, 1911.
based only on the similarity of the surnames, some earlier Haston
family researchers concluded, without any connecting documentation
or other hard evidence, that Daniel Haston descended from John
Haston of Edinburgh, Scotland, through his son Thomas Haston who
married Polly Stacy, and through their son William Haston who
married Allison Montgomery in 1735 in Amelia County, VA. Thus,
Daniel (according to these assumptions) was of Scottish descent.
And that view is still being circulated, even though it is totally
It might make sense to assume that Daniel Haston's
family was rooted in Scotland, IF we were not aware that Daniel's
real/original surname was not "Haston" or something very similar.
Scots-Irish Emigration to
America and Influx into Tennessee
At the same time Swiss-Germans were emigrating en
masse from Germany to America in the 1700s, another even more
massive migration from Europe to America was underway. More
than 200,000 people emigrated from Ulster, a province in the north
of the island of Ireland, between 1710 and 1775. They fled
Ulster to escape escalating rent, frequent crop failures, economic
pressures, and hope for greater opportunities in America.
Although in America they were sometimes referred to as Irish, most
of them were actually descendants of Scottish Presbyterians who had
moved from the lowlands of Scotland to northern Ireland in the early
1600s. King James - "King of Great Britain and Ireland" - had
enticed them with the promise of land to establish a
government-sanctioned protestant colony in Ireland, the Plantation
of Ulster. Thus, they became known as Scots-Irish (in America)
or Ulster Scots (in Great Britain).
The preponderance of people in East and Middle
Tennessee seem to have been Scots-Irish in the late 1700s and early
1800s. Scots-Irish writer from Belfast, Billy Kennedy, has
said that "according to the Tennessee census bureau, one in five
Tennesseans can trace their roots directly to the Scots-Irish
settlers of the 18th century." In his book, The Scots-Irish in
the Shenandoah Valley, Kennedy quoted a Mr. Kelly who made this
remark in the 1889 Scotch-Irish Congress of Tennessee:
An overwhelming majority of the early settlers
of Tennessee was Scotch-Irish. Every Tennessean descending from
our first settlers is to be put down as of this people if he
cannot prove his descent to be otherwise.
Although Mr. Kelly's statement may exaggerate
historical reality, the general gist of it is true. All three Unite
States presidents who came from Tennessee (Andrew Jackson, James
Knox Polk, and Andrew Johnson) were Scots-Irish. By 1885, 90 years
into Tennessee's history, half of its governors were of this
descent. Genealogical research, particularly in the East Tennessee
era of Daniel Haston's life, reveals that many, if not most, of the
people who were somehow associated with Daniel's family were
Scots-Irish. Even the community in south Knox County where Daniel
lived during his time there was named Iredell. Iredell may have
been so-named for the county of the same name in North Carolina or
from the surname Iredell. In either case, there is no doubt an
Irish connection associated with it.
Seals, author of the History of White County, indicated that
the "Irish and Scotch" accounted "overwhelmingly" for the racial
stock of the early pioneers of White County, Tennessee. He added
that there was a small sprinkling of English, Welsh, and French.
Source: Page 132, original copyright 1935, reprint by
Higginson Book Company of Salem, MA.
In a 1938 tribute to Rev. James Tate Williams, Rev. Paul E. Doran
(Supervisor of the Cumberland Mountain Presbytery of the Cumberland
Presbyterians) echoed the preceding statement of Monroe Seals by
saying that: "White County...was settled by Scotch-Irish stock
mainly from Virginia and North Carolina." He then added:
"Considering the race stock, it was natural that all the early
churches [in White County] should be Presbyterians."
Scots-Irish Surnames in the Daniel Haston Family
It is a well known fact that a mother's or a
grandmother's surname was often given as a first or middle name for
children in early America. That practice continues today, though
not as often as it did in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Files, letters, and research reports from some of the mid-20th
century (and before) Daniel Haston researchers indicate that it was
a fairly common belief among them, at that time, that Daniel
Haston's middle name was Montgomery, which was one of the
most prominent Scottish clan names. However, we do not know of any
documented evidence to prove that Montgomery was Daniel's middle
name. The closest we can come is to point to the
1830 Mortality List
file compiled from a Survey of Revolutionary War Veterans for
Pension Purposes, which refers to him (a farmer who had deceased in
1826 in White County, TN) as Daniel MG. (or MC) Hastings or Hastin.
But the authenticity of that file is in doubt. The Montgomery given
name (first or middle name) appeared no less than six times in the
Haston family during the 1800s. For example, David McCumskey Haston
(David's son and Daniel's grandson) named his third child David
Montgomery Haston in 1833. And then there was
Montgomery Greenville Haston a
prominent Haston who lived near, and was often associated with
members of, the Daniel Haston's family. Although his
connection to Daniel's family is still a mystery, he certainly lived
among them as if he belonged.
Also, some researchers believed that David Haston's middle name was
McComisky, McComiskey, or some other similar spelling of the
Irish or Scottish or Scots-Irish surname. Currently, we have no
hard evidence for McComisky as David Haston's middle name, and it is
doubtful. However, we do know that he and Peggy (David's wife,
Margaret/Peggy Roddy) assigned the name McCumskey (a variant of
McComisky) to their fifth child, Daniel McCumskey Haston. Some
family genealogists have speculated that perhaps this child received
the name "Daniel" from his grandfather and "McCumskey" from his
grandmother's (Daniel Haston's wife) maiden name. Also, David and
Peggy gave a later son the name David Mc. Haston. Some say that the
Mc. middle name for David's son David also stood for McCumskey.
Probably the "McCumskey" name came from David's wife's (Peggy
Roddy's) family. And if so, Daniel's son David would not have
had McComiskey as his middle name. A web search on August 7, 2000
for the name "McComisky" turned up a 1783 Baltimore, Maryland tax
assessment record that led to evidence that appears to connect Peggy
Roddy, wife of David Haston, to a
But that's another interesting and lengthy story.
Some Haston Oral History Claims of Scotland or
Ireland as the Family's Country of Origin
In light of the "Haston" spelling that Daniel
Hiestand's English-literate sons adopted (apparently, while living
in Knox County around 1800), the prevalence of Scots-Irish neighbors
among whom the family lived in Tennessee, and the frequent
assignment of Scots-Irish names to Haston kids, it is not surprising
that early-generation descendants of Daniel would begin to assume
that they were Scots or Irish or Scots-Irish.
E.S. Haston - Great Grandson of Daniel Haston
The E.S. Haston
biographical entry in the 1887 Goodspeed's History of
Tennessee County Histories correctly says that his father was
Isaac T. Haston and his grandfather was David Haston. E.S. was
born September 11, 1850, which means that he was 10 1/2 years old
when his grandfather, David, died (April 1, 1860). E.S. grew up in
the same community where his grandfather lived and would, no doubt,
known his grandfather (who would have known his European ancestry)
well. The E.S. Haston 1887 biographical entry says that he was
of Irish descent.
|Early history books
often referred to the Scots-Irish as "Irish." Who knows
whether or not that is what was intended in the
Goodspeed biography for E.S. Haston, or did the
biographer mean that E.S. was a true (non Scots-Irish)
Irishman? It is true that the Scots-Irish did come to
America from Ireland (the Ulster Province of NE
Ireland), although they were not native to Ireland.
Billy Kennedy (page 27 of The Scots-Irish in the
Hills of Tennessee) also stated: "The early
Presbyterians from Ireland [i.e. the Scots-Irish]
generally knew themselves simply as 'Irish' and were
thus known by the other colonists. The later
establishment and rapid growth of highly visible Irish
Roman Catholic communities led many Protestants in the
United States to adopt the Scotch-Irish label."
John Taylor Haston - Great Grandson of Daniel
On his Form 2, of the
Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaire, John Taylor Haston
(great grandson of Daniel, through Joseph and Joseph's oldest son,
James Alford Haston) said "My Great Grand Father came from Irland
[sic] and were married to Sarah Creeley who came from Germany
Something over a hundred years ago and settled in Tenn."
Actually, his grandfather (Joseph Haston) was married to Sarah
Source: Received from him by the
TN Historical Committee on September 29, 1922.
James Isaac Hasting
- Great-Great Grandson of Daniel Haston
Howard H. Hasting, who was a diligent and prolific Daniel Haston
family researcher in the late 1940s through the 1970s, wrote to
another 1960s Haston researcher: "My father always said that the
family was Scotch-Irish...."
But in his
research report which was released in 1980, Mr. Hasting stated:
All evidence indicates
that the statement [by Daniel's grandson, William Carroll
Haston, that Daniel Haston was of Dutch descent] as to the
nationality of Daniel is correct, notwithstanding contrary
statements by others. This may account for the various spellings
of the name an effort to spell a Dutch name in English.
Howard H. Hasting's father
was James Isaac Hasting, son of James Thomas Haston, son of Isaac
Haston, son of Joseph Haston, son of Daniel Haston.
Source: June 24, 1968 letter
from Howard H. Hasting, attorney in San Antonio, TX to Dave R.
Haston of Sparta, TN (in Wayne Haston's files).
Taylor Casto Haston -
Great-Great Grandson of Daniel Haston
The journal of
Taylor Casto Haston (born December 12, 1887 and died August 24,
1960), great, great grandson of Daniel Haston through Daniel's son
Joseph) indicates that he believed he was from a Scottish family.
Source: Email from Dwight
Haston, grandson of Taylor Casto Haston
Clyde Dewitt Haston -
Great-Great-Great Grandson of Daniel Haston
Daniel Merritt Haston, who grew up in Oklahoma, reported that as a
lad of 10 to 12 years of age (1946-1947) his father (Clyde
1893-1964) related a "bare oral outline" of their
"descendency." "To wit: he said that our ancestors originated in
Scotland and were Scots/Irish, English, and were early settlers in
the American colonies." Clyde Dewitt Haston was the son of Samuel
Arthur Haston, son of David Montgomery Haston, son of James W.
Haston, son of David Haston, son of Daniel.
Source: June 4, 2001 letter from
Daniel Merritt Haston of Wiggins, MS to Wayne Haston of Lewisberry,
|As was true with the English theory
of Daniel Haston's ancestry, the idea that the family
was of Scots or Irish or Scots-Irish descent can be
traced as far back as to some of Daniel's
great-grandchildren. But, again, their assertions
seem to be based solely on oral history, without any
supporting documentation or other hard evidence.
Throughout the history of our country, until
recent decades, the word "Dutch" was commonly used to refer to
persons of German descent, because "Deutsch" is the German word for
"German language." For example, in the Richard Green Waterhouse
journal (Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer
by Elizabeth Waterhouse Layman), the author of the journal
consistently refers to people of German descent (for example, the
settlers of Lancaster and York Counties of PA, as well as others) as
"Dutch." In certain parts of the United States even today, "Dutch"
is still known to be a proper reference to Germans or
|The Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsilfaanisch
Deitsch, are a cultural group formed by early
German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and their
descendants. This early wave of settlers, which would
eventually coalesce to form the Pennsylvania Dutch,
began in the late 17th century and concluded in the late
18th century. The majority of these immigrants
originated in what is today southwestern Germany, i.e.,
Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg; other
prominent groups were Alsatians, Dutch, French Huguenots
(French Protestants), Moravians from Bohemia and
Moravia, and Swiss.
Historically they have
spoken the dialect of German known as Pennsylvania
German or Pennsylvania Dutch. In this context, the word
"Dutch" does not refer to the Dutch people
(Nederlanders) or their descendants, but to Deitsch or
"Pennsylvania Dutch" from Wikipedia
In referring to an early long hunter, Kasper
Mansker, who visited the middle Tennessee area before it was settled
by white settlers, a contemporary of Mansker referred to him as a
"Dutchman...reportedly born aboard a ship when his German parents
were immigrating to America."
Source: Page 10 of The History of Van Buren County,
Tennessee: The Early Canebreakers, 1840-1940. Salem, WV: Don
Mills, Inc., 1987.
Thus, statements regarding Daniel and his ancestors being of "Dutch"
descent indicate that the person making the statement thought that
Daniel's roots were in Germany, not in Holland.
Pleasant Austin - Grandson of Daniel Haston
A biographical sketch of Daniel's grandson, Pleasant Austin (son of
John Austin, Sr. and Catherine Haston Austin) says that his mother
(Catherine) was thought to have been of Dutch descent. Pleasant
Austin was born on September 8, 1820 which was six years prior to
Daniel's death. The Austins lived in the Lost Creek community,
which is an extension of the Hickory Valley community in White
County, about ten miles (down by the White's Cave and through Big
Bottom and around to Cummingsville) from Daniel's home place. So he
grew up close enough to his grandfather that he would have known him
personally, and at the age six, should have had memories of
interacting with Daniel.
Source: Page 861 of Goodspeed's History of Tennessee
Illustrated (White, Warren, DeKalb, Coffee, & Cannon Counties)
[published 1887 by the Goodspeed Publishing Company of Nashville,
TN]. (This book was published about 13 years before Pleasant Austin
died. Pleasant was 67 years old at the time of its publication.)
William Carroll Haston, Sr. - Grandson of Daniel
The classic "Dutch descent" quote, referring to Daniel Haston, is
attributed to William Carroll Haston, Sr. In a biographical sketch
of William Carroll Haston, published in A Biographical Record of
the Cumberland Region by George A. Ogle and Company of Chicago
(published in 1898), it is said of William Carroll Haston that "He
was born here, March 2, 1829, and on the paternal side is of Dutch
descent, his grandfather, Daniel Hastons [sic], being scarcely able
to speak English. At an early date, he [i.e. Daniel] came to
Tennessee, locating in Van Buren County, near the spring now known
as Haston's Big Spring, where he purchased the land now owned by our
subject." It is true that William Carroll never met his
grandfather, since he was the youngest son of David and was not born
until three years after Daniel's death in 1826. On the other hand,
it was he (William Carroll) who lived and died on the very property
that was settled by his grandfather (Daniel) and would probably have
had strong sentimental feelings, as well as "second hand memories"
of his pioneer grandfather. William Carroll died about four years
(1902) after the publication of the book that contained his
biographical sketch. At age 70 at the time of the book's
publication, it is very possible that William Carroll Haston was the
direct source of the information given in his biography.
William Carroll Haston, Sr. was the grandson of
Daniel through David, as was Pleasant Austin, through Catherine.
The descendents closest to Daniel, to whom published statements
exist regarding their ancestry, both point to a "Dutch" descent.
As stated previously, Howard H. Hasting, Sr. said: "All evidence
indicates that the statement as to the nationality of Daniel (in the
William Carroll Haston bio) is correct, notwithstanding contrary
statements by others. This may account for the various spellings of
the name--an effort to spell a Dutch name in English."
Source: Page 5 of Howard H. Hasting, Sr.'s unpublished report
on his Daniel Haston family research; written in 1954 and revised in
Hiestand researchers agree that the children of
Henrich Hiestand would have been
bilingual, but would have probably been more comfortable with the
German language than English. For example, the Bible entries in
Peter Hiestand's Bible (brother of Daniel Hiestand) were written
in German. There is
evidence that Daniel Hiestand/Haston could sign his name in the
old German script, but other people signed for him when English was
required. This bilingualism, but preference for German, would
seem to naturally fit the "scarcely able to speak English" comment
regarding Daniel Haston in the William Carroll Haston, Sr.
Keep in mind: "In some
cases Germans may appear as illiterates when in reality it was
simply they didn't know the English language. They would
pronounce their name with their German accent and the clerk of the
court or other in charge of keeping records would spell the name
phonetically as it sounded to them."
Source: Page III from History
of the Descendants of John Koontz by Lowell L. Koontz, 1979.
|From the research records I have
seen, it appears that prior to the 1950s or so, many (if
not most or all) people who were conducting research
regarding Daniel Haston and his European roots were
focusing solely on the "Haston" (or slightly alternately
spelled) surname. Because Haston is a Scottish
name, these earlier researchers focused on Scotland as
the country of origin for our Haston family. And
they accepted, without any evidence known to me, the
John Haston - Thomas Haston - William Haston Scottish
But it seems that, in
the 1950s or 1960s, someone (perhaps Dave and Estelle
Haston of Sparta, TN or Howard H. Hasting of San
Antonio, TX) discovered some 1700s-era records of the
Swiss-German Henrich Hiestand Mennonite family of
Shenandoah/Page County, Virginia who had a son named
Daniel. And, in light of the William Carroll
Haston statement that his grandfather was of "Dutch"
descent, it made sense to think that Daniel Haston might
have been Henrich Hiestand's youngest son, Daniel
When I began researching my Haston
family in 1999, I determined to remain neutral regarding
the European roots of Daniel Haston until I, or someone
else, found adequate proof to declare with certainty
where our Haston forefathers came from in Europe.
Other than hearsay-based statements or circumstantial
evidence, no evidence emerged to support the English or
Scots/Irish/Scots-Irish views. But evidence, even
strong evidence, did gradually accumulate to indicate
that our Daniel Haston was, Daniel Hiestand, the son of
the Swiss-German Henrich Hiestand. Swiss-German
means that the Hiestand family originated in
but lived in Germany
for some time prior to emigrating to America.
When, in October 2008, I received my
paternal lineage DNA results,
my DNA matched
perfectly (on all 43 points) the DNA of a Hiestand who
is known to be a descendant of Henrich Hiestand through
Henrich's oldest son, Jacob. Since that time, male
descendants of all known sons of Daniel Haston (David,
Joseph, Isaac, Jesse, Jeremiah MC) have submitted DNA
and the results have all been the same--perfect matches
with this known descendant of Henrich Hiestand.
And, also since the earliest known match, our DNA has
matched other known Swiss-German Hiestand men.
-Donald Wayne Haston - February 5,
2017 (Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Daniel
Descended from Daniel > David > William Carroll > Charles Thomas >
Charles Beason > Ernest Boyd Haston