Peter HAIRSTON

HAIRSTON.org ID#1969, b. about 1745, d. before 27 March 1780
Father*Andrew HAIRSTON1 b. b 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 
PropertyPeter has 400 acres surveyed in Bedford County on The north branches of the south fork of Seneca Creek on 9 Nov 1768. Bedford County Survey Book Vol. 2,3 Page 109.2 
Court Record*Peter Hairston, David Roser and William Gibson witnessed the will of Geaorge Rust as recorded in the Bedford County Will Book 1, page 238.3
WillIn Andrew HAIRSTON's will dated 8 August 1771 in Bedford County, Virginia, Peter HAIRSTON was named as an heir; Andrew Hairston signed his will on 8 August 1771 and mentions his wife Elizabeth, sons; Peter and Hugh, daughters; Teney, Kitteran, Elizabeth, Precila, Ellenar, Margaret and Susana. He appoints his brother Samuel as his executor. However, Andrew Hairston did not die until 1782 and his sons Peter and Hugh had already died.1 
Oath to Virginia*He on 1777, in Henry County, Virginia, took Oath Of Allegiance to Commonwealth of Virginia and renounced allegiance to Great Britian.4 
Property*Peter Hairston had 75 acres in Bedford County surveyed. It appears to be adjoining property of his father Andrew Hairston. The next property listed in the surveyed book is for 400 acres surveyed for Andrew Hairston on the same day.5

Will*On 14 Jun 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.

Daniel Forbes is the son of Alexander Forbes and Jane "Janet" Hairston Forbes. Jane "Janet" Hairston Forbes is Peter's sister and Daniel is his nephew.

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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 1780.6 
Probate*His estate was probated on 27 March 1780 in Bedford County, Virginia, Bedford County, Virginia Will Book 1, page 362.

.6
ProbateHis estate was probated on 5 February 1781 in Bedford County, Virginia. 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
.9

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 & Apprasial recorded 6 Mar. 1783, Will Book 1, pages 23-24 (Reel 19), Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
  2. [S3589] Bedford County, Virginia Surveyor Records 1754-1881, copies of original records
    https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/368015, Family Search, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  3. [S3664] Will Probate of George Rust - 21 Jan 1771, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book 1, page 238. Family History Library, Film #007645309, image 163., Family Search, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  4. [S3046] Virginia Historical Society. The Virginia Magazine of History And Biography. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, June 1902, Volume IX., Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  5. [S3665] Bedford County, Virginia Surveyor Records v1 1754-1881, page 217. Family History Library, Film #008141114, image 140., Family Search, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  6. [S3063] Will of Peter Hairston - 14 June 1779, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book 1, page 362. Family History Library, Film #007645309, image 234., Family Search, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  7. [S247] Greenway, Carl Forrest - 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, Personal Collection - copy.
  8. [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.
  9. [S3663] Will Probate of Peter Hairston - 5 Feb 1781, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book 1, page 389. Family History Library, Film #007645309, image 250., Family Search, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Last Edited21 Dec 2021