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. Some 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.
There is 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 and his family 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 Hairston's sons, Peter and Andrew, received "Blunston Licenses" for two pieces of land west of the Susquehanna River in 1737. A 1739 survey shows a Peter Harstons still having property next to James Mitchell in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is betwteen 1739 and 1741 that I believe Peter and his family moved to Goochland County, Virginia with the Michael Woods group. A Peter Hairston then appears in a 1741 road request in Goochland County, Virginia.
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?
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.