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.
While in Ireland in July of 2012, I found a contract dated 16 August 1726 signed by Peter Hairstons for the lease of farm land from Sir Robert Adair in Antrim County, Ireland. At the time Peter was living in Straidnahanna, Bellyclair near to Carrikfergus. This area is a few miles North of Belfast. This would indicate that Peter probably came to America during the Irish drought that occurred during 1727 and 1728. The family story is that Peter was originally from the Dumfries area of Scotland were the family name was spelled Hairstanes or Hairstones. Documents found in Ireland.
Recently I found two documents regarding William Hairstanes of Dumfries indicating that he was involved in Tobacco trade with the American Colonies as early as 1721 and as late as 1744.
Early colonial records show that Peter Hairston lived in East Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania about 1730 and he requested a survey of his land in 1736. However, it appears that he sold his land to a neighbor Lazuraus Lowry in 1736. Peter and Andrew requested and received "Blunston Licenses" for two pieces of land west of the Susquehanna River in 1737. Other than these two references, I am not aware of any other 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.
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.