Hedrick of Kanawha & Putnam Counties

Talk about a rabbit hole! Once I discovered that Martha A. McGraw, wife of John Hedrick, was the daughter of Thomas McGraw, I set about trying to determine the Hedrick line. You see, I’m related by marriage to the Hedrick family through both my mother AND my father. But here’s the catch:

There are two individuals surnamed Hedrick in the 1820 Census of Kanawha County: Henry and John. Turns out both men were listed as 45+ in this census possibly placing their birth years around the 1775-1778 time frame.

1820 Kanawha Census, Hedrick

And in a spreadsheet:

1820 Kanawha Census Template - Hedrick

It is likely that Henry and John came to the area from Pennsylvania; it make sense since Henry’s wife “Maria Weyerbacher” died 11 Sept 1855 in Putnam County. Someone else did the research; it looks sound so I think I’m good to accept the results.

But in the 1830 Census, we find a Philip Hedrick who was born about 1800 and was either the son of Henry & Mary Hedrick or the son of John Hedrick. This is the Philip Hedrick – whose wife was named Mary who was the father of Mary Annie E. Hedrick (b. about 1838) who married William Aston Foster in Putnam County in 1866 (on file at wvculture.org). In the 1870 Putnam Census, 70-year-old Philip Hedrick is living with daughter Mary Annie and son-in-law William A. Foster. This is is my maternal side of the family: William A. Foster is either the uncle or much older brother of Mary Jane Kimbleton who married Andrew Jackson Phalen in Putnam County in 1868.

Then there is Philip Hedrick, born about 1782, who apparently came to the area from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, so I don’t think that ALL of the Hedrick’s in Putnam/Kanawha County were directly related. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me and please cite your sources and reasons, but Pittsylvania County is southeast of Greenbrier County; currently its just across the state line of Virginia with North Carolina – that’s how far south it is. Philip Hedrick “Jr” is listed in the Pittsylvania County Tax List in 1816 with other Hedrick’s, notably Philip Hedrick, “Sr.” So there may be mention of that Philip Hedrick, husband of Catherine Debo, in Greenbrier or Monroe Counties: That’s research I’ll need to conduct. As I stated in another post, our ancestors could only travel about 25 miles per day, either on foot or by horse and wagon. It appears that they’d go 100 miles, stop for a few years, then pick back up and start again until they reached their destination. Therefore, I need to check the tax lists of the counties through which the James River – Kanawha Turnpike ran (you and I know it as US. Rt. 60) for further signs of this specific Philip Hedrick. Why did they stop for so long? My best guess is the wife had a baby; a horse or two was maimed; and other damages and bad weather experienced along the trail.

This is the Philip Hedrick to which other researchers have attributed many of the Hedrick children that intermarried with the McGraws. I’m inclined to agree since the bellwether, John Hedrick, husband of Martha A. McGraw, was born about 1818, meaning Philip Hedrick born 1782 was about 36 years old when John was born, whereas Philip Hedrick (son of Henry or John) born 1800 would have only been 18 years old when John was born. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. I’m only saying that until I can trace him from Kanawha/Putnam back to Pittsylvania County through the tax lists, I’m not going to feel positive. So: To the tax lists!

My biggest conundrum: All of these people gave their children the same or similar names and, without names on the earlier censuses, my pain is increased. It’s like looking for a needle in a stack of needles.

I welcome anyone with suggestions or other information they want to share to write to me. Please.