Thursday, December 15, 2016

How the Hubbards came to North Carolina.

I grew up hearing whispered tales about how, "the first Hubbard in North Carolina was a sailor, forced to jump ship after killing a black man in a card game."  There may be a few kernels of truth buried somewhere in that myth, or not, but so far the facts tell a very different story.  

Our branch of the Hubbard family migrated from England and settled in New England sometime during the early colonial period.  The first Hubbard in our line to settle in North Carolina was a man named John Horace Hubbard, born on Christmas day, 1834, in the vicinity of Portland, Maine.  John Horace, or "Harry" as he was called, appears to have been the only son of John and Harriet Hubbard.

John Hubbard was Harriet LeFavour Fogg's second husband, and little is known today of his life or death. He is believed to have been born in what is now York County, Maine, soon after the turn of the nineteenth century.  Seamanship and other maritime activities were common occupations for men living in coastal New England at that time, and many who left to work at sea never returned.  Such is believed to have been the fate of Harry's father, John, sometime prior to 1837.  

The 1850 census finds seventeen year old Harry living with his mother and an older half brother, James Fogg, in the home of a Portland wood dealer named Joseph White.  It is believed that Mr. White's wife was Harriet's daughter, Susan.  The same census lists both Harry and his brother as mariners.

Sometime between July, 1850 and December, 1852, Harry Hubbard moved to North Carolina.  Some researchers have theorized that Harry was shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina and made his way up the Cape Fear River to Fayetteville, though I have seen no evidence to support or deny that possibility.

This is the point at which Harry is supposed to have committed a murder, possibly in Boston, Massachusetts, and found it necessary to "disappear," though no proof has ever been discovered to verify or deny this legend.

According to extensive research done by Beverly Hubbard Godfrey, Harry Hubbard married a woman named Jane Russell on December 15, 1852, in Cumberland County, NC, placing him squarely in North Carolina no later than that date.

We may never know exactly when or why Harry Hubbard gave up the mariner's way of life, or if there is any veracity to the homicide tale.  It's entirely possible that Harry's brother's death, in October of 1853, near Valpara√≠so, Chile, far from home and away at sea - his body never to return, just like Harry's father - had an impact on his decision to give up the seafaring life, although the date, several months after Harry's marriage in late 1852, would seem a bit late.

There appear to have been no children born to the marriage of Jane Russell and Harry Hubbard, and Jane must've met an untimely demise, because Cumberland County marriage records indicate that on June 17, 1860, Harry got married a second time; this time to a woman named Mary A. Winn.

Unfortunately, Mary died too.

Poor Harry, barely twenty-six years old, two dead wives in the ground; at least he still had no children.  According to 1860 federal census records, Harry was single again, and living in Fayetteville with a young black boy.  Harry Hubbard never owned any slaves, so his pre-emancipation relationship to this young man is not understood.  What is known is that on June 18, 1861, barely two months after first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, igniting the American Civil War, Private John H. Hubbard enlisted to fight for the Confederate States of America.

During the war, Harry served in the 19th Regiment of N. C. Troops, also known as the 2nd Regiment NC Cavalry, Company D of the Army of Northern Virginia.  He was captured somewhere in North Carolina on August 6, 1862, but was released at Aiken's Landing, James River, Virginia, about sixty days later.

On June 30th, 1863, Harry, now Corporal Hubbard, was captured again during battle near Hanover, Pennsylvania.  Again a prisoner of war, Harry eventually found himself inside the now infamous prison at Elmira, New York.  "Hellmira" operated for 370 days, from July 6, 1864 to July 11, 1865 and it had the highest death rate of any Union Army prison camp.

Documents indicate that Harry made his captors aware of his family connections in Maine, and expressed a desire to be sent there, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Harry remained at Elmira until March 10, 1865, when he was transferred, again to James River, Virginia, and exchanged for Union prisoners of war.

On August 30, 1865, Harry married for a third and final time, to another Mary; Mary Ellen Talbot.  Ellen, as she was called, gave Harry nine children, five sons and four daughters, and it is from these roots in Cumberland County, North Carolina that the Hubbard family has grown.

By 1870, Harry and Ellen were living near Ellen's family, the Talbots, in Flea Hill township with their first three children. Harry's occupation is listed as farmer in the 1870 census, though they owned no property.  On November 17, 1880, Harry and Ellen purchased 308 acres from Henry Lily on the east side of the Cape Fear River, though it is suspected that the land was lost a few years later in what we would now call foreclosure.

Ellen died on November 8, 1882, having given birth to nine children, at the age of thirty-two.  Harry shows up again in the 1900 census, living with his daughter, Harriet, and his youngest son, Peter, in Carver's Creek Township. Harry died July 7, 1900 and was buried in Parker's Grove UMC cemetery, in Linden, NC.

The children of Harry and Ellen Hubbard were:

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