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The Journey to Missouri
The Hunt and Frost Family
Contributed by David Church
Oak Gove, Missouri
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About the time that Christopher Columbus was making his famous voyage of discovery, which eventually resulted in the discovery of the New World in America, a group of Saxon people left northern Germany and settled in England. Among these immigrants was a clan of people who called themselves the Hunti. In the Old Saxon language, this is the same word for wolf. Later, the clan dropped the "i" and called themselves Hunt.
In 1588, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Thomas Hunt was born in England. He became a soldier and rose to the rank of Colonel. In 1645, he served in the army of Oliver Cromwell. He must have been an exceptionally find soldier to have been chosen by Cromwell.
"Cromwell...... trained his cavalry until he had the best-drilled regiments in England. He picked his men for their religious enthusiasm as well as for their military forcefulness and they never lost a battle."
World Book Encyclopedia
Ralph Hunt was born in England in 1613, and was the son of Colonel Thomas Hunt. He was called "London Ralph". Ralph became dissatisfied with life in England and brought his family to America in 1652. His family was among the first settlers of Newton, Long Island in that same year. Newtown, Long Island was located in what is now Queens, New York, and the town itself seems to have stood in the middle of what is now La Guardia Air Field.
On June 9, 1653, Ralph Hunt was one of the seven "citizens of trust" appointed to conduct the affairs of the town for the ensuing year. His name also appears on the Indian rate of 1658. Ralph Hunt seems to have been a leader in all of the public affairs of the town, and was foremost among his neighbors in defying the authority of the Dutch governor Stuyvssand on Manhattan Island. He was one of the seven men who went across Long Island Sound by night to Westchester, and brought Panton with a company of men over to bear arms against the Dutch. When the English acquired New Netherlands and drove the Dutch away, Ralph Hunt was one of the first two magistrates appointed under English rule. On April 21, 1665, he was commissioned Lieutenant by the English Governor Nicoll.
Ralph was one of the surveyors appointed to lay out the lots of the new settlers in Newtown, and was named as one of the patentess when the charter of the town was confirmed by the governor. It was said of him that, "He enjoyed the confidence of the people and was their guide and counselor in all matters of importance in the community."
Ralph Hunt died in 1677, leaving at least six children.
Samuel Hunt was the youngest child of Ralph Hunt. He was born in Newtown, Long Island, New York in 1660. Samuel was a yeoman, a petty naval officer, who was assigned to clerical duties.
No record is found of his wife except that her name was Mary. Samuel and Mary were the parents of nine children, and moved their family to the "Town of Maidenhead in the County of Hunterdon, Province of New Jersie". Samuel owned a plantation there and his will designated that his "beloved sons Ralph and John be given all that tract of land on Stoney Brooke parte whereof is in Hopewell and part in Maindenhead and be equally divided between them both:. Samuel Hunt died in 1720. (26?)
John Hunt was the third child of Samuel and Mary Hunt. He was born in 1688, probably in Long Island before his family moved to New Jersey. On February 8, 1714, he married Margaret Moore, and to this union nine children were born. John lived on the land bequeathed to him by his father, and died in 1747, in Hopewell, New Jersey.
Slavery was not limited to the southern colonies at this time, for in his will dated 1740, John Hunt leaves to his eldest son Willson, "a negro slave commonly called Peet", and to his beloved wife Margaret, "a negro wench named Dinah."
Jonathan Hunt was born in 1716, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He was the second child of John and Margaret Hunt. Jonathan Hunt was married three times and fathered TWENTY children. He was first married in about 1737, to Isabella Henderson, but no record has been found. Of his second wife Isabella Hampton, even less is known. It was in about 1760 that Jonathan Hunt married his third wife, Margaret Lawrence, our ancestor.
Jonathan was bequeathed the plantation on which he was dwelling by the terms of his father's will. He was still living in New Jersey in 1742, when his son Charles was born, but by 1751, he had moved his family to Rowan County, North Carolina.
In 1753, Jonathan Hunt was appointed one the original Justices when Rowan County was formed. He was a colonel in the British Army in the French War, and was one of the few to remain in the Yadkin River area after General Braddock's defeat in 1755.
In 1762, he bought 700 acres of land "lying in Rowan County on the waters of Swearing Creek for ten shillings and three shillings per hundred acres annually." A map shows Jonathan Hunt's Mill on Swearing Creek in 1808. This is the first of a long succession of mills owned and operated by the Hunts. Milling became the traditional family vocation.
On October 17th, 1775, Colonial Jonathan Hunt was elected a member of the Safety Committee of Rowan County, North Carolina.
Enoch Hunt was born July 19, 1768, in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was the fifth of nine children born to Jonathan and Margaret Hunt. Enoch and his brothers, Daniel, Gershom and Noah, inherited their father's plantation when Jonathan Hunt died in 1782. Jonathan's will also specified that Enoch was to receive "a certain mare called Poll."
On the 2nd of June 1794, Enoch Hunt married Elizabeth Chaffin, also of Rowan County. Elizabeth was born January 8, 1778. Enoch and Elizabeth were the parents of at least five children.
Enoch Hunt continued the family tradition of owning and operating a mill. Enoch's mill may have been the one on Swearing Creek that was bequeathed to him by his father. Enoch Hunt's mill, and the proceeds thereof, figures prominently in his own will of 1814.
Enoch Hunt died in Rowan County in 1823. Enoch's widow, Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt, later married Captain John Frost. Elizabeth and Captain John Frost had one son named Chaffin Frost, who is mentioned in the old family papers.
In about 1834, Captain John, Elizabeth, and sons Benjamin and Chaffin, moved to Gainesville, Sumpter County, Alabama, where Elizabeth's son, Noah E. Hunt, was moving.
Early in 1839, Captain John Frost died. On march 29th, 1839, Elizabeth waived her right to be administrator of Captain John's estate, in favor of Benjamin and Chaffin.
On May 17th , 1839, Elizabeth wrote a charming letter to her son, Nathan C Hunt, who was still living in North Carolina. Elizabeth was at that time living in Gainesville, Alabama, but in 1842, she was staying with her daughter and son-in-law, Marcy and Nathan Moffitt, near Knoxville, Tennessee, when her son, Nathan C. Hunt, came by what was probably his second trip to Missouri, and took her with him.
Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt Frost died in Jackson County, Missouri, on March 19, 1844. Her grave has been found in an old unkempt, unnamed cemetery located on the Harold Reed farm in the southeast corner of Jackson County, near Lake Paradise Resort. Below is the inscription on her tombstone.
To the Memory of
Who Departed this Life
Age, 66 yrs. 3 Mos. 11 Days
She Joined the Baptist
Church at 17 Years
Lived and Died in Assurance of Eternal Life
Born January 8, 1778
Enoch Hunt and Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt were the parents of the following five children;
1. Nathan Chaffin Hunt, He married Mary Polly Frost, and came to Missouri in 1842.
2. Noah E Hunt, He went to the Republic of Texas in 1840, and settled near "Nachitoches". In 1860, he was living near Centerville, Texas, and had just been re-elected.
3. Margaret Hunt, She married John J. Miller, and in 1842, they were living near Galena, Illinois, and had a son named William.
4. Mary Hunt, She married Nathan Moffitt and they were living near Knoxville, Tennessee, when Nathan C Hunt cam by to collect his mother in 1842.
5. Agnes Hunt, She married Samuel Cooper.
Nathan C. Hunt was born on May 17, 1802, in Rowan County, North Carolina, and was the eldest child of Enoch Hunt an Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt. On January 12, 1822, Nathan C. Hunt married Mary Polly Frost. Mary Polly Frost was born on October 4, 1799, in Rowan County, North Carolina, to Captain John Frost and Rebecca Boone Frost.
When his father, Enoch Hunt, died in 1823, Nathan C Hunt was the only child of legal age, so he became the guardian of his brothers and sisters, and was responsible for the legal and financial interests of his family. We are indeed blessed that many of Nathan C Hunt's papers and documents have been cherished and preserved by Willa Ma Hunt Terry, and survive today. One of these documents records the account of his sister, Miss Margaret Hunt, with a Peter Clingman, for the years of 1823 and 1824, and is a delightful sampling of a ladies requisites of that time.
On June 14, 1833, Noah E Hunt come of full age, and was capable of acting for himself. He received from his brother and guardian, Nathan C Hunt, the slaves and lands bequeathed to him under the terms of his father's will. On the 21st of November 1834, Noah E. Hunt sold to his brother, Nathan C Hunt, the land that was bequeathed to him by his father, and moved to Gainesville, Sumpter County, Alabama.
After Nathan C. Hunt's father, Enoch Hunt, died in 1823, and sometime before November 21, 1834, his mother, Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt, married his father-in-law, Captain John Frost. In 1834, Captain John and Elizabeth, John's son Benjamin, and John's and Elizabeth's son, Chaffin, moved to Gainesville, Sumpter County, Alabama, with Noah E. Hunt. Evidently, the Hunt and Frost families were friends or possibly neighbors even before Nathan C Hunt married Mary Polly Frost, for in 1782 the will of Jonathan Hunt, Nathan C Hunt's grandfather, was witnessed by Ebenezer Frost.
Sometime before November of 1842, Nathan C Hunt came to Missouri, then returned to Davie County, North Carolina, to collect his family. Nathan C Hunt and Mary Polly Frost Hunt made the trip to Missouri in 10 (?) covered wagons and brought with them the eleven youngest of their children, and eight slaves. A cow also made the journey with them and provided milk and butter along the way. The travelers stopped at the home of Nathan C Hunt's sister and her husband, Mary and Nathan Moffitt, near Knoxville, Tennessee, so that they could bring Elizabeth Chaffin Hunt Frost, Nathan C Hunt's mother, with them to Missouri. They reached their destination in November of 1842, and first settled at Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri.
About one year later, Nathan C Hunt purchased the Jackson Jennings farm, which was located where the village of Sni Mills is not situated. It consisted of 600 acres of land on Sni Creek in Jackson County, Missouri. Nathan C Hunt and his family moved to this farm in December of 1843.
In about 1846, Nathan C Hunt build a "new" house on his farm that remains there to this day, though extensively remodeled. The frame of the two story house was made of walnut logs and were hewn from trees growing on the property. The last remodeling of this house revealed Nathan C. Hunt's initials carved into one of the timbers.