Edmund and Nancy (Jones) Huff of PA

Edmund Huff ( ca 1747 -- after 1810 Lycoming Co., PA) first appears on record in Oct 1766, when he applied for 200 acres of land in Lancaster Co, PA.; described as "across the Blue Mountains, on the north side of Armstrong's Creek, including improvements by Czephaniah Hoff." It was signed EDMON HOFF. The natural assumption is that Edmon was the son of Czephaniah. (Zephaniah ??) and he was applying for legal title to land which his father had settled and improved. No record of any Cephaniah or Zephaniah Huff (or Hoff) has been found in PA records. It is likely that he had settled on vacant land in an area and a time where no title was necessary, if one made certain "improvements" and his neighbors were agreeable.

One year later, on 6 Oct, 1767; EDWARD HUFF, of Lancaster Co. applied for a Warrant for 250 acres located on Delaware Run, on the north side of the Juniata River, in the newly opened territory of Cumberland Co.

May 1768: John Lukens surveyed the Warrant for EDWARD HUFF and found it to contain 256 acres. This property is directly across the Susquehanna River from Armstrong's Creek, a distance of about 30 miles. The land along the Juniata River had just been purchased from the Indians in 1766, and opened for settlement. The move from Armstrong's Creek to Delaware Run was just a matter of crossing the Susquehanna and going up the Juniata about 30 miles. Captain James Patterson, who also lived on Armstrong's Creek was one of the organizers of the group of settlers and established a Fort and Trading Post at the junction of Delaware Run and the Juniata. The length of time Edmund occupied the Delaware Run property is not known. He was taxed there in 1768 as EDMOND HUFF for 268 acres known as "Barley Field". The same year, an EDMUND HUFF was reported living on Antes Creek in Nipenose Bottom. This is 45 miles north of Delaware Run, and was still Indian Territory. Later, both Gersham Huff and Benjamin Huff lived in the near vicinity, if not the same property.

1769: The Delaware Run property was again taxed, but to another person "living on Huff's land". Also in that year, an early government survey party sent to scout the Indian land to the West, discovered EDMUND HUFF building a cabin at the "Eagle's Nest" near present day Milesburg. The survey party was startled, as he was the only non-Indian in the area. They labeled him as "an Early Cumberland Adventurer". The "Eagle's Nest" was an Indian village and had been used for centuries as a temporary camp for hunting parties. How he got away with settling there is not known, but he was later known to be a "Keeper of Stills"; so he may have used that as a bargaining tool. At least the story indicates that he lived for only a short time on Barley Field before moving on to the West, and new land possibilities. He retained ownership as late as 1770, as he is mentioned in a deed description by James Crampton as "adjoining land of EDWARD HUFF and Wm. Patterson".

1774: There is a gap from 1769 till 1774, when Edmund is documented as living one mile above the mouth of Lycoming Creek. That was in Northumberland Co. but in an area that would later become Lycoming Co. The area indicated would be either in present day Williamsport or Jaysberg/Newberry, depending on which side of Lycoming Creek. I believe it was on the west side, as Edmund later became a trustee of the Jaysberg Cemetery. If it was on the east side, it would be in a park area today where the Little League World Series is played each year.

Since Edmund's birth and family is still unknown at the time this is being written, there is still a possibility that Edmund was an emigrant. Granville Hough has ventured an opinion that Edmund was not only not an emigrant, but he believes that he was not even the son of an emigrant. He knew the system too well. He was able to work the system extremely well, in acquiring land warrants and using the Courts. He was a pioneer and an adventurer, but he knew how to get the most that could be had. He appears to have accumulated land in several counties, some of which was passed on to his son John. Family tradition had always held that this Huff family was ethnically German, and that Edmund's grandson - my g- grandfather - had spoken only German until the age of 21. I find more and more evidence that it was not true. My g-grandfather wrote home faithfully all through his service in the Civil War and his handwriting and composition is not that of a recent convert to English. It is not that of a well-educated man, but there is not the usual transposition of certain words that is common with persons who have acquired English as a second language.

1775: Edmund had already married Nancy Jones, daughter of Pickett and Anne Jones. Pickett was born 1722 and married 1742, in Baltimore. No records have been found for the period of 1742 till 1774, when he appeared in Lack Township of Cumberland Co. In Picketts Jones' will dated May 1775, he mentioned his daughter Nancy, wife of EDMOND HUFF.

1776: Both EDMUND and EDWARD HUFF are listed as receiving Depreciation pay for service in the Northumberland Co. Militia. They are listed in the same Company, but never in the same list. In one list it is EDMUND and the next time it is EDWARD.

1778: An Edmund and an Edward Huff are listed as members of the Northumberland County Continential Line (Militia); but never on the same list. They both received Depreciation Pay in separate entries (Pg 369, 682, PPA, Series 5, Vol 4).

1778-1780: EDMUND HUFF was assessed State tax in Turbit Township for a valuation of 135.3.

1778: This was the year of "The Great Runaway" when all settlers on the West Branch fled in the face of severe Indian attacks. Most went back to the southeast portion of Northumberland County where they had the protection of several Forts and the County Militia. Since Edmund had been living one mile above Lycoming Creek in 1774 and is documented as living in Linden in early 1778, it is reasonable to assume that he was on the West Branch at this time. This was likely the time he built "Fort Huff", a blockhouse on the property at Lycoming Creek. There is a record in this year (1778) of him living near Linden, a few miles west of Williamsport. This could in fact be the same property on Lycoming Creek, as Linden is just on the west side of the creek. Lycoming Creek is now the west boundary for Williamsport, but may have been some distance west of the boundary in 1778.

1779: EDWARD HUFF appointed administrator for the estate of Levi Jones in Northumberland Co. At that time, Northumberland Co extended from the present location to the north and west to include the current counties of Montour, Lycoming, Clinton, Centre, and Snyder counties.

1780: Edward Huff was listed on the State Census as living in Turbot Township.

1781: Edmond Huff was a signer of the First Petition to the State Government concerning person's rights to land they had previously settled "beyond the purchase line". This concerns land along the West Branch which had been settled originally by the "Fair Play Settlers" and was considered by the state to be Indian land - and therefore illegal. This was the settlement threatened by the Indians in 1778 and evacuated in "The Great Runaway".

1781: The original settlers began to claim prior rights to the land they had settled; although they had not yet returned to the area. The state was negotiating with the Indians to extend the purchase line farther west, thus including the West Branch lands within the Commonwealth.

1782: Edmund Huff witnessed the Estate Proceedings of William George, deceased, on 29 May; in Turbot Twp. of Northumberland Co.

1782:Northumberland Co, State Supply tax on 150 acres, to Edmund Huff. Pg. 505.

1783: Bald Eagle Township, Edward Huff appeared on the Federal Supply Tax List. Bald Eagle was escentially all land west of Lycoming Creek, on both sides of the River. This is the first indication that the settlers had returned to their prior claims on the West Branch.

1784: Northumberland Co., Edward Huff was on the Federal Supply Tax List for 100 acres.

1784: EDWARD Huff signed the "Second Petition" claiming prior rights to lands settled prior to the "Great Runaway". This second petition was three years after the first. Many persons signed both, but Edward Huff signed the second where Edmond Huff signed the first. Even in this instance, the two names never appear on the same list.

1785: EDMUND Huff taxed for 100 acres in Bald Eagle Twp., Northumberland Co. In 1783/4, EDWARD Huff had been taxed for 100 acres.

1785: EDMUND Huff obtained two Land Warrants of 300 acres each on 25 July, in Northumberland Co. PPA, Series 3, Vol 25, p 70.

1785: A printed version of the Bald Eagle Twp, Northumberland Co. Tax List shows EDMUND Huff, whereas the original handwritten document clearly reads EDWARD Huff. In addition, on the original document, a valuation of 100 acres was entered - then crossed out.

1785: August Session of the Northumberland Co. Quarter Sessions Court receiver and approved a Petition for the Erection of Townships about Lycoming and the Great Island. Decreed that the first shall be called Lycoming and the second Pine Creek Township. The area from Lycoming Creek shall be Lycoming and from Pine Creek upwards, be called Pine Creek. One of the signers of the Petition was "Emd. Huff".

1786: Edmund Huff, Joseph Mahaffey and James Grier were appointed Tax Collectors for Lycoming Township. Edmunds signature is on the final document submitted to the Board of Commissioners.

1786: Edmund Huff was taxed for livestock. (PPA p. 710).

1787 Edmund Huff was taxed for 187 acres.

1787: In the February session of the Northumberland Quarter Sessions Court, a petition was presented requesting a Court District for the Lycoming area to include the area between Loyalsock Creek and extending westward on both sides of the river to Quinashohorty Creek. The first signer (of 26) was "Edmond Hoff".

1788: Edmund Huff was taxed for 170 acres and livestock. A John Huff also appeared and was taxed on 60 acres. Both were in Lycoming Township.

1788: At the May session of the Quarter Sessions Court of Northumberland County, a Petition was offered and granted to create a Court district and elect a Justice of the Peace for the area between Loyalsock Creek and Quanashoky Creek Edmond Hoff was one of eleven signers of the petition.

1789: Edmund Huff was taxed on 400 acres and John Huff was taxed on 300 acres. Both were in Lycoming Township.

1790: The first Federal Census. In Northumberland County were: Edmund Huffe 1-5-6, John Huffe 2-0-3, Benjamin Huffe 1-2-3, and William Huffe 2-0-1.

1790: Edmund Huff signed a petition to the Governor asking for speedy justice for the killers of two Indians, or else the settlement at and near Pine Creek would have to be abandoned. It is unclear if he was actually living in Pine Creek at the time. Tax records indicate he was still in Lycoming Township.

1791: Edmund Huff and John Huff were taxed for land and livestock.

1793: Edmund Huff held a land Warrant for 400 acres, on 15 March. (PPA Series 3, Vol 25, p 178).

1795: Lycoming County was formed on April 13th. It initially had townships of Muncy, Bald Eagle, Washington, Loyalsock, Lycoming, Nippenose, and Pine Creek.

1795: The first case before the Court in the newly formed County of Lycoming was a dispute between Edmund Huff and Jacob Latcha concerning land rights established before the "Great Runaway". This case went on for some time and became a Landmark for other cases concerning "prior rights". (pp 422-424 Indian Land and its Fair Play Settlers. - Linn)

1799: Edmund Huff was appointed administrator for the will of Levi Jones, who had died in Northumberland County.

1800: The second Federal Census: Edmund Hoff 22202-00301. It seems likely that this large family contained two families or grandchildren.

1800: The first County Census was held for Tax enumeration purposes. It lists Edmund Huff, 53, farmer; Nancy huff, 51, his wife; Elizabeth Huff, 30 and Hannah Huff, 28. (Hist. of Lycoming Co., p 245.)

1801: Edmund Huff was a customer, with a credit account, in John Sloan's store in Loyalsock Township. He paid his account with Rum.

1803: Edmund Huff gave a certain tract of land with all "appurtances". It was known by the name of Longscot on T....... Creek on the West Branch of the Susquehannah River, in Lycoming County. It was given in exchange for the "love, good will and affection of my son John." The document was witnessed by Elizabeth Huff and Hannah Huff. It was labeled as a Bill of Sale of Gift. It was written and witnessed on 22 May 1799 and recorded 8 June 1803 (or 1805). At the time of Recording, both Hannah and Elizabeth swore that they witnessed the signing by Edmund. It could give the impression that Edmund had recently died and they had presented this document to be recorded.

1810: Federal Census for Lycoming Co. lists two Edmund Hoff persons: (1) Edmunde Hoff 00301-00201, in Old Lycoming Township; and (2) Edmund Hoff 10301-20010 in Dunstable Township. It has not been established which of these is the older Edmund, although logic would indicate he is the one in Old Lycoming Township, as he lived in that general area in 1800. Old Edmund had a son or grandson named Edmund, who was born in 1797 and he later became a pioneer settler of Potter and Cameron Counties. His age does not fit either of the 1810 census persons. It is possible that there was another generation between the "old" Edmund and the one born in 1797. This generation may be the son John, to whom old Edmund gave Longscot in 1799. Indeed, there was a John Huff in 1820 in the area that would later become Cameron County. The Edmund born in 1797 named two of his children "William Jones" Huff and "Nancy Jones" Huff, in honor of his mother (or grandmother) Nancy Jones.