Peter HAIRSTON

HAIRSTON.org ID#1969, b. about 1745, d. before 27 March 1780
Father*Andrew HAIRSTON1 b. a 1716, d. b 6 Jun 1782
Mother*Elizabeth (surname unknown) b. a 1720, d. a 1784
Birth*Peter HAIRSTON was born about 1745 in Virginia. Peter wrote his will in 1779 and included his land. In Virginia law, only males over 21 could bequeath land in a will. Therefore it can be assumed that he was born before 1758. 
He was the son of Andrew HAIRSTON and Elizabeth (surname unknown).1 
Oath to Virginia*Peter HAIRSTON on 1777, in Henry County, Virginia, took Oath Of Allegiance to Commonwealth of Virginia and renounced allegiance to Great Britian.2 
Will*14 June 1779 Bedford County, Virginia, Peter HAIRSTON left a will in which he mentions his uncle Samuel Hairston, John Rosser and Daniel Forbes (under 17). The will lists Charles Caffery Sr., Sarah Caffery and Samuel Hairston as witnesses. Peter signs document. In Virginia a male aged 14 or more could make a will, but had to be over 21 for the will to include land.

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The following is a transcript of a letter by Carl Greenway 3 April 1966 (transcribed by Ed. Bregenzer, 1997)

"Now to the 1779 will of Peter Hairston [Bedford County Will Book #1 , page 362] :

June 1779, Left with Saml. Hairston 150 dolers and 77 dolers in the hands of John Rosser in all 227 dolers , and if I never return I allow after my Debts is paid , the remainder to be paid to Daniel Forbes as also one Rifel Gun or the Price of it which he chuses, the Money to be paid when he arrives to the Age of seventeen Years as also all my land Given under my hand this fourteenth day of Jun 1779
                                   s/s Peter Hairston
Witness Present     Charles (by X) Caffery (Senr.)          Sarah (by X) Caffery
I acknowledge I received the money and Gun Agreeable to the above Writing I say recved Pr me
                                   s/s Saml Hairston

This would surely strike me as the will of a young man as he headed off to the Revolution , not knowing whether he would return, and seemingly he did not, poor fellow. The inventory of his personal property filed with the Court on 5 February 1781 by Stephen Perron, Samuel Fleming and Daniel B. Perron, showed only a rifle gun, shot bag and bullet molds, with total estate value 475 shillings [Bedford County Will Book #1 , page 389].

The will was proved in Court on 27 March 1780. There not having been an executor named, the Court appointed Samuel Hairston Gent. as administrator, with James Callaway and William Leftwich his securities.

Two things here suggest a definite tie of this Peter with Andrew. He mentions the $77 dolers left in the hands of John Rosser. One of the inventory takers of Hugh Hairston (whom I believe son of Andrew) was Jonathan Rosser, and another Joseph Rosser. Also, Peter’s sole legatee was Daniel Forbes, then under age 17. I believe this would have been his nephew, since Andrew’s daughter Jane/Janet “Jenny” Hairston married Alexander Forbes. I was puzzled as to why Samuel Hairston, who I believe was this Peter’s uncle, applied for letters of administration instead of Andrew , until I found that Andrew could not write. Since there are no further deed etc records of this Peter, I assume he died unmarried and without issue. In that instance, then there were no known sons of Andrew’s or their issue who could have “gone South”. Since even if Andrew’s daughters might have gone down they would not have carried the male name, I then assume that this tradition would apply to some other member of the family, and I believe him to have been the brother Peter, heretofore thought to have died unmarried and without issue."


Carl Forrest GREENWAY (1917-1974) was a genealogist and wrote many letters regarding the Hairston family history. His great grandmother was Mary Josephine Hairston (1848-1904).

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Death*He died before 27 March 1780. 
Probate*His estate was probated on 27 March 1780 in Bedford County, Virginia,


Bedford County, Virginia Will Book 1, page 362..3 
ProbateHis estate was probated on 5 February 1781; his personal property list was filed with the court by Stephen Perron, Samuel Fleming and Daniel B. Perron - Bedford County, Virginia - Will Book 1, page 389.3 
ProbateHe was listed as a beneficiary in Andrew HAIRSTON's will on 6 June 1782 in Campbell County, Virginia. Peter Hairston died before his father Andrew died and Andrew had not updated his will; Andrew Hairston's will dated 08 Aug 1777 was proved.1
ChartsDescendant Chart
Descendant Chart Box

Sources (www.HAIRSTON.org)

  1. [S122] Will Andrew Hairston dated 8 Aug 1777, was proved in Campbell County Will Book #1, page 4-6, 6 June 1782. Inventory & Apprasiel recorded 6 Mar. 1783, Will Book 1, pages 23-24 (Reel 19), Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
  2. [S3046] Virginia Historical Society. The Virginia Magazine of History And Biography. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, June 1902, Volume IX., Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  3. [S3063] Will of Peter Hairston - 14 June 1779, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book 1, page 362, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
  4. [S247] Carl Greenway letters relating to Hairston genealogy dated 1965-1966 to various people - Carl Greenway (1917-1974) was a Hairston relative and family genealogist, more information about Carl Greenway can be found here: https://www.hairston.org/p4445.htm
  5. [S27] Early, R H. Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches: Embracing the History of Campbell County, Virginia, 1782-1926. Lynchburg, Va: J.P. Bell Co, 1927. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3624083, Personal Collection - printed book.
Last Edited25 Mar 2018