Hardings of the Northern Neck of Virginia
Published September 1998, Price $30 Postpaid

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For the last thirty years, I have been attempting to trace the ancestry of Thomas Harden, who died in Rockingham Co., North Carolina in 1809. His daughter, Jane Harden, who married William Hornbuckle, is my ancestor.

I traced him from Rockingham and Caswell counties back to Fairfax County, VA, where Jane Harden and William Hornbuckle married, and possibly back to Cople Parish, Westmoreland Co., VA, where he may have lived in the 1750ís.

Among his sons were Peter and Presley Harden, names that appear almost exclusively among the descendants of the daughters of William and Peter Presley of Northumberland Co., VA, who had no male descendants.

This led me to consider the Hardings in this area as possible ancestors for Thomas Harden of Rockingham. Further research has led to his possibly being the son of John Harden of Westmoreland Co., VA and his wife Jane Barecraft, whose brother married a descendant of the Presleyís. Furthermore, there is a Peter Harden in Westmoreland in the 1750ís of Thomas Hardenís age. This Peter witnessed a deed for Ann Washington, widow of Augustine Washington, in 1762 in Fairfax County, but is heard from no further.

However, I have no proof that this is my line.

In researching this family, I found many statements of family connection that seemed to have no proof behind them. Yet I accepted them because they appeared to be accepted by most family researchers. Still, the contradictions were frustrating. Many names appeared in families and were heard from no further. Others appeared to be duplicates. In many cases, two ancestries were supplied for the same man and in others two individuals were combined in one.

I had to sort this out if there was a chance of success in tracing my own line.

I decided to see how much of the material in the published works could be proven from the original records. Since all of the Northumberland County records are on film five minutes from where I work, the job was easy, if time consuming. I expected four or five pages of records to emerge from this research. I also expected a better picture of how the family fit together.

Over the next two months, virtually every family connection in print became untenable. First to go was the English ancestry of Thomas Harding I of Northumberland. Second were the children of his son Henry Harding, who married Jane Arledge. I found incorrect dates, missing children, connections that had been totally missed, other connections that never existed and a mass of original records.

Two months later, this book, at 120 pages, is the result.

I have abstracted word for word most of the court and will and deed records of Northumberland County, except for the later ones, which are summaries. I also added, either word for word or in summary, all the records I could find for Stafford, Westmoreland, Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Loudoun is the least complete since I have not done the court records.

Also included are all the deed records of Rockingham and Caswell counties in North Carolina and many records of Orange Co., NC as well as the complete 1790 census of the state.

In the first section are thumbnail charts of the families of the area as I have reconstructed them. The second section will serve as an index to the records that follow. The records pertaining to each individual are listed in date order. Northumberland Co., VA records have no county designation. All other counties are noted with their name. I have numbered the Northumberland record books for ease in reference although no numbers exist for the early books.

The record sections that follow are the heart of the book. Each record is marked with reference to its location in the original books so the researcher can easily check them.

Finally, I have made extensive comments on previously published works to the researcher can see where the errors were made and how the original records correct them.

I make no claim that my reconstruction of the families involved is the final word on the subject. I present this material so other researchers will have a solid base from which to proceed. All comments are welcome.

 

 

Lee Pound, Irvine, California - 949-246-8580 - lee@leepound.com