Hairston Family Genealogy - Scotland Ireland America HAIRSTON - HAIRSTON


Welcome to the website for and about the descendants of Peter Hairston, who arrived in America about 1728.

On the following pages you will find photos and information on the history of the Hairston family.  Hairston Family Beaver Creek PlantationSome of the old homes are still standing, including the Cooleemee Plantation home which has been designated a National Historic Landmark. 

The Hairston family is said to be from the Dumfries area of Scotland. Handwriting from 17th century Scotland is often difficult to read, but there are Hairstanes, Hairstains, Hairstones, Harestons, Herstaines, Hairstens, Harston, Hairsteins, Hairstons, etc. listed in old records.  Dumfries Customs & Excise documents indicate a William Hairstanes was in the Tobacco trade with the American Colonies in 1721.

However, I have only found one Peter Hairstaines in Scotland and he was listed in 1630 as being a servant to John Young of Dalgarnok near Dumfries.  This could not be our "Peter the Immigrant" since he would have been well over 100 years old when arriving in America.

While in Ireland, I found a 1726 farm lease between Peter Hairstons and Sir Robert Adair in Antrim County, Ireland.  Peter was living in Straidnahanna, Bellyclair near the city Carrikfergus (a few miles North of Belfast).  Peter probably came to America during the 1727/1728 Irish drought.  Documents found in Ireland.  

Peter Hairston was living in East Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania about 1730 and requested a survey of his land in 1736.  However, he sold his land to Lazuraus Lowry in 1736. Peter Hairstons and Andrew Hairstons received "Blunston Licenses" for two pieces of land west of the Susquehanna River in 1737.  I have not found any documents pertaining to their stay in the Colonies prior to 1741.  Peter then appears in a request for a road in Goochland County, Virginia in 1741.

Many stories have been handed down through the years, but there are no written records.  As an example, these stories mention that Peter Hairston's wife was an "Irish Lady Of Rank".  What does this term mean?  Did she arrive in America or die at sea?  How many children did they have?  Is the travel trunk at Cooleemee the trunk that Peter used coming to America? 

Many family members and friends have been very kind over the past twenty years by providing me with letters, old bibles, birth certificates, pictures of cemetery markers, and very extensive computer generated genealogies.  The problem is that they do not agree regarding the first Peter Hairston, his wife and their children.  I am not even sure how many children they had.  The wills of Peter Hairston's children led us to believe that there were at least five children, others may not have been mentioned or were not living.  If you have knowledge of any information or documents pertaining to the Hairston family before 1741, it would greatly help us to complete our family tree. 


A new set of books about the Washington Family have been published by Justin Glenn - "The Washingtons: A Family History".  

"... a comprehensive history that traces the “Presidential line” of the Washingtons. Volume one begins with the immigrant John Washington who settled in Westmoreland Co., Va., in 1657, married Anne Pope, and was the great-grandfather of President George Washington. This volume continues the story of John and Anne’s family for a total of seven generations, collecting over 5,000 direct descendants. Future volumes will trace eight more generations with a total of over 63,000 descendants. Although structured in a genealogical format for the sake of clarity, this is no bare bones genealogy but a true family history with over 1,200 detailed biographical narratives. These in turn strive to convey the greatness of the family that produced not only The Father of His Country but many others, great and humble, who struggled to build that country."

Volumes 1-5 are available on