Our Hughes Family History

From all that I have read about the surname Hughes, it seems to originate in Wales.  There were several brothers that left Wales.  One went to America, one went to England and another went to Ireland.  I believe we can trace our Hughes line to Thomas Hughes who was born in England about 1640.  He married Elizabeth about 1662 and had four sons: Thomas, Ralph, George and John.  At some point Thomas and Elizabeth migrated to the Colonies.  He died in 1677 in Northumberland, PA.  Our line continues through the first son, Thomas.

Thomas married Rachel Sudna before 1699.  They had five sons:  William, Thomas, Ralph, Robert and Ellis.  Our line continues through William.  (For those researching the other lines, I do have some information on them...so please contact me.)

William was born in Hampshire Co., VA,  about 1699.  He married Mary Withers before 1721 and died in 1767 in Hampshire Co., VA. They had eight children.  Our line continues through the fourth child, Hugh.

Hugh was born in 1725 in Hampshire Co., VA, and died there in 1763.  He married Susannah Baker about 1743.  They had seven children.  Our line continues through the first son, James.

James was born in 1745 in Augusta Co., VA, so Hugh and Susannah must have moved there for a while.  James married Mary Kirk in 1768.  James died July 14, 1802 in Hardy Co., WV.  They had twelve children: Aaron, Rebecca, John, Levi, Jonathan, William, Isaac, Rachel, Susanna, Mary, Elizabeth and Leah.  Our line continues through their first son, Aaron.

Aaron was born in 1769 in Hardy Co., WV.  He used the spelling Hughs.  The rest of the children seemed to use the spelling Hughes.  Aaron married Lucy Steward on February 8, 1794 in Frederick Co., VA.  They had twelve children:  Phebe, James, Drucilla "Josie", Gabriel "Gabe", Amos, Mary "Polly", William, Lucy, Rebecca, Jonathan, John and Aaron.  Aaron died in Jackson Township, Noble County, OH, on March 27, 1844.  He is buried in the Hughes Cemetery there.  I haven't been to the cemetery but I have a copy of the roster of all who are buried there.  I was told it was very difficult to get to because of overgrown bushes on the road.  Our line continues through the eleventh child, John. 

John Hughs was born October 24, 1818 in Noble Co., OH.  He married Plezza Morris in Morgan County, OH, on January 9, 1845.  They had three children in Ohio and then moved to Des Moines, Iowa.  From there they moved to Spring Hill, Warren County, Iowa about ten miles south of Des Moines.  John was a farmer and General Store owner.  John died August 27, 1901, and is buried in the Webb Cemetery in Spring Hill.  Plezza died March 3, 1906, and is also buried in the same cemetery.  They had a total of seven children: Mahalla (Hallie), Harriette, Lucille (Lucy), Albert,  Emily, Davis and Eva.  Our line continues through Davis.

D. Davis Hughes was born February 2, 1860 in Spring Hill, Warren Co., IA.  He died in West Des Moines, IA, on April 7, 1947.  He married Clara Romine in Spring Hill on January 13, 1881.  They had seven children: Elmer, Edith, John, Maude, Rena, Pearl and Howard.  Only the first four lived to adulthood.  Rena, Pearl and Howard all died before they were three years old.  Davis was a farmer and I believe he worked in the General Store with his father, also.  They moved to Norwalk where he did truck gardening for many years.  From there they moved to West Des Moines where they bought a house just a couple of doors down from their daughter, Edith and her husband, Guy Higens.  When Davis got ill they moved into Edith's house.  After he died, they sold their home.  Clara lived with her daughter, Maude during the summer and with Edith during the winter.  I remember visiting them there several times.  Davis Hughes was very tall and thin.  He had sugar diabetes and had to weigh his food.  I have been told that I have his height and features.

Our line continues through their daughter, Maude (my grandmother).  Maude was born April 12, 1889 in Spring Hill.  She married Morton Mortenson on February 2, 1910.  My father was born ten months to the day after they were married.  They had five children:  Arnold (my father), Ellis, Harold, Bernard and Eileen.  Maude died July 1, 1982 in Independence, IA.  She and Grandpa moved to Galva, Illinois soon after they were married.  Grandpa was born in Galva.  My dad was born while they were living there but they had moved to Hayfield, Minnesota before their second son was born. They had their third son there also and then moved back to Iowa.  They lived in the Rossie/Spencer area and farmed for many years. Their last two children were born in Rossie.  

Click here to see Mort and Maude's 50th anniversary picture.

My first memory of visiting them was in Manson.  They were living in town.  Then they bought a farm in Twin Lakes.  Those were some great years for me...visiting on the farm and having all the aunts, uncles and cousins visiting for Sunday dinner.  Grandma always had two or three kinds of meat for Sunday dinner.  If it included chicken, she went out to the chicken pen and picked one and chopped off its neck and dipped it in boiling water so she could pull out the feathers easily.  I watched her do that many times.  Grandpa had a few milk cows and I tried to help him but could never make the milk come out!  I did help Grandma with the separator.  My Dad built a little cabin on the lake just down the driveway from the farm.  I learned to swim in the lake.  Recently Bert and I visited the farm.  It is now a summer camp.  There are cabins all over the farm.  Our little cabin is part of the camp now but there are also very lovely homes on that lake.  I went into the farm house and was very disappointed.  I have such wonderful memories of my childhood there but now it is full of boxes and seems just to be a storage place.  Very sad. No evidence of the wonderful family gatherings within those walls!

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