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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Archibald Hood


Introduction

Archibald Hood was a Scots-Irish immigrant who came to America around 1790 and who left many descendants in Greene County, Pennsylvania, and in Monongalia, Marion and Harrison Counties in West Virginia. This report has been written, first, to document what is known to date about Archibald Hood and what questions remain about him, and, secondly, to make suggestions for the direction of future research.

In this report, there will be shorthand references made to published narratives on the Hood family. These resources are:

* History of Monongalia County, by Samuel T. Wiley, Kingwood, 1883
* Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Monongalia, Marion and Taylor Counties, published by Rush, West and Company, Philadelphia, 1895 (Although this is a "vanity" history book, Alfred Hood [1825-1899] of Marion County wrote, by far, one of the better histories of the Hood family)
* The Smith Hood narrative, written by Smith Hood (1861-19??) using,
"..his personal memory and facts gained from others, and from records in the Bibles of John Smith Hood and wife Maria Smythe Hood on Feb. 20th 1948"

Birth of Archibald Hood

To date, the only source that we have for the birth date of Archibald Hood comes from the 1830 Federal census of Greene County, PA. In that census record, Archibald Hood states that he is at least 60 years old but not yet 70 years old, which yields a birth year range of 1760 to 1770. Given that Archibald Hood's daughter, Eleanor, was born in 1786 (and the date appears to be a good one), it would make it seem that Archibald Hood was born closer to 1760 than to 1770 (that is to say, Archibald Hood was probably closer to being 26 years old rather than 16 years old when his daughter was born).

Although there is some certainty of when Archibald Hood was born, the question of where he was born is not as clear. In his 1798 naturalization document, Archibald Hood is recorded as being a, "...native of Ireland...". "Native", in the strictest sense of the word, would imply "nativity", meaning one's place of birth. In a more liberal sense of the word "native", it could simply mean "prior residence". Unfortunately, we do not know (at this time) how strict the courts were in using the word "native". In the Federal census of 1880, respondents were asked to state where they were born and where their father and mother were born. It is not known if any of Archibald Hood's children lived long enough to be enumerated in the 1880 census, but research is underway to track down Archibald Hood's children through their lifetime and locate them (if possible) in the 1880 census. This may provide another clue in the search to discover the birthplace of Archibald Hood.

The next reference that is found regarding the origins of Archibald Hood (and published decades after his death) is Wiley's history of Monongalia County, WV (1883). Wiley identifies him as "Archie Hood" and states that he, "...came from White Thorn, Scotland." The author has been unable to locate a town called "White Thorn" on any maps of Scotland, but he has found a town called "Whithorn" in Dumfriesshire, and it may be that the name "Whithorn" evolved into "White Thorn" as the story was re-told over time.

The Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Monongalia County (1895) is the next source that provides information regarding the origins of Archibald Hood. This work is a "vanity history" in which "subscribers" would pay to have a historical narrative of 500 words or less published about himself and his family. In this book, Alfred Hood (1825-1899), a grandson of Archibald Hood, wrote the lengthiest narrative regarding Archibald Hood found to date. In this piece, he states that Archibald Hood, "...came from Dumfries [Scotland]."

Lastly, from the Smith Hood narrative (1948), it is stated that the "ancestral home" of the Hoods is "Dumfries or Dunfermline" and that it was from this city that Archibald Hood, "...with his wife and two brothers (names unknown) left about the year 1790 for America."

In recent years, the Mormon Church has published a compact disc (for personal computers) of baptismal, marriage and burial records of the Church of Scotland. Querying this database for all baptismal records from 1760 to 1770 returned only one record for an Archibald Hood which occurred in the Tarbolton parish of Ayrshire in 1762. Since Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire share a common border, this appeared to be a "match". In an attempt to verify the identity of this Archibald Hood, the author has recently corresponded with Mr. John S. Hood of Kilmarnock who is very knowledgeable about the Hoods of Ayrshire. The Archibald Hood in the 1762 baptismal record married an Ann Connel in 1799, worked as a "coal grieve" (coal foreman) in Kilmarnock and died there in 1834. Thus, this 1762 baptismal record is not for our Archibald Hood.

Early Years of Archibald Hood (in the Old World)

According to the Smith Hood narrative, the Hoods of Scotland were, "...master weavers by trade." Most families living in Northern Ireland and the lowlands of Scotland in the latter half of the 18th century were engaged in farming, and many had added home-based, linen weaving as a business sideline. Hence, we have good reason to believe that Archibald Hood grew up on a farm in either Northern Ireland or the lowlands of Scotland and learned the weaving trade. He most likely also saw how the modest wealth that the Scots-Irish had made from weaving was confiscated by higher rents demanded by British landlords and higher taxes demanded by the British government.

There can be little doubt that Archibald Hood received an education while he was young. When he applied for his American citizenship in 1798, he was required to sign his naturalization record in three different places. Each signature on this document is very neat and uniform, suggesting that he not only did he learn to read and write, but he also had ample opportunity (through his work perhaps?) to practice his penmanship.

Most sources agree that Archibald Hood was married twice, yet none of the published sources (i.e., Wiley, Alfred and Smith Hood) ever gives the names of his wives. In the Seals family (Archibald's daughter, Nellie, married William Seals), there has been a tale handed down over the generations regarding Archibald Hood's first wife. Mary Elizabeth Turney Tukesbrey of Waynesburg, PA, prior to her death in 1995, stated that the first wife of Archibald Hood was Sarah Newcomer. This first marriage apparently occurred in the Old World, as there is a teapot (or coffee pot) that has been handed down through the Seals/Tukesbrey family, and it is said that this teapot was brought from Scotland by Sarah Newcomer Hood. xt reference that is found regarding the origins of Archibald Hood (and published decades after his death) is Wiley's history of Monongalia County, WV (1883). Wiley identifies him as "Archie Hood" and states that he, "...came from White Thorn, Scotland." The author has been unable to locate a town called "Whably made of nickel and/or pewter and not silver (as it has never needed polishing). Since pewter was not the prized material that silver was for that time period, this suggests that Archibald and Sarah Hood were common folk.

One of Archibald Hood's first children was his daughter Eleanor. From the DAR application of Hildred Maye Tukesbrey McKenna, it states that Eleanor (also known as "Nellie" or "Ellie") was born in County Donegal, Ireland on April 24, 1786. Although this is an intriguing piece of information, there is (unfortunately) no reference as to the original source (e.g., family Bible record, death record, etc.). In the 1850 census of Marion Township, Greene County, PA, we find Eleanor Seals listed as being 68 years old (yielding a birth year of 1781-82) and her place of birth being Pennsylvania. Since neither source is infallible, it will require more research to determine the date and place of birth of Eleanor Hood.

Another of Archibald's first children is said to be William Hood. The only source that mentions a William Hood is the Biographical & Portrait Cyclopedia (1895). In that work it claims that William Hood, "...was born in Scotland, where he remained;" There is no indication if he was older or younger than his sister, Nellie. If there is truth to this story, then why would Archibald and his wife have left a child in the Old World? He (William) may have been a sickly child and his chances of surviving a voyage across the Atlantic may have been questionable. Although it would be a tough decision, a loving parent would still prefer to have a child alive in the old world rather than to risk watching that child perish aboard a ship and be buried at sea. Dr. Hood has, thus far, been unable to find any trace of this William Hood or his descendants in Scotland.

After the birth of these two children, it appears as though Archibald Hood, his wife and daughter Nellie sailed for the New World sometime between 1790 and 1793. Locating the name of the ship on which they sailed may be extremely difficult to discover (if not impossible) as passenger ships' lists were not kept by the nascent American government at that time, and the passenger ships' lists that were kept by the British government have long since been destroyed.

Archibald Hood in the New World

Once in America, it looks as if Archibald took advantage of the Land Act of 1792 (passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature) which opened up a great deal of land in western PA for sale. It would not have been without risk, though, as this was still the frontier and isolated Indian raids still posed a threat to settlers. Although the Revolutionary War had concluded ten years earlier, the Indians still clung to the dream (with support from British agents at Fort Dearborn) of driving the white settlers in this region back across the Allegheny mountains.

The first recorded appearance of Archibald Hood in the new world is in the tax lists of 1793 for the East Bethlehem Township of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Presumably, he would have been clearing the land and living as a farmer. As we will see, this tax record will coincide with other sources that cite Archibald Hood as living in the area of Fredericktown in East Bethlehem Township of Washington County.

The year of 1794 was most likely a tumultuous year for Archibald Hood and his family. In the summer of 1794, residents of western Pennsylvania banded together to violently oppose the excise tax that the Federal government had passed on whiskey. This is what became known as the "Whiskey Rebellion". It would be doubtful if Archibald Hood was an active participant in this rebellion since it would be patently unwise for a recently-arrived immigrant to engage in a rebellion against the general government of his new home. Although he most likely did not participate in the rebellion, he may have felt pressure to join from his neighbors as history records that the radicals who initiated the Whiskey Rebellion were not hesitant about coercing others into opposing the tax.

Another seminal event in 1794 that would have affected Archibald Hood and his family was the victory of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne against the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near present-day Toledo, Ohio on August 4, 1794. This ended the threat of Indian raids into western Pennsylvania.

After the Indian menace was eradicated in 1794, southwestern PA began to grow rapidly. Archibald must have been able to stay busy, selling saddles and harnesses to all the new settlers as the frontier gave way to civilization.

Archibald Hood the Businessman

With the frontier region now safe from Indian attack, more and more people began to settle in southwestern Pennsylvania. From 1790 to 1800, the population of southwestern PA grew by 85%. Archibald Hood appears to have been able to capitalize on this growth in population by starting a tannery and a shop for making saddles and harnesses. On November 28, 1796, Archibald Hood advertised in a local newspaper that he would be opening a tannery in Fredericktown. But there was more than just a tannery, as Smith Hood (1948) tells us that Archibald Hood conducted what was called a harness shop and was an expert saddler and harness maker. He taught his son, John, the trade beginning at the age of ten years (which would have been 1809). Father and son would work in the shop all winter and in the early spring travel throughout Greene and adjoining counties selling their saddles and harness

Alfred Hood (1895) described Archibald Hood's business activities in more general terms. Of Archibald Hood he says: "He was an energetic and industrious man and followed peddling on a large scale, handling heavy lots of goods and doing a good business." One would have needed to have been industrious and energetic to engage in business that required travel at that time. Although western Pennsylvania was covered by a network of roads by the time of the War of 1812, most of them were bad and dangerous, providing inadequate avenues of travel and transportation.

Records concerning Archibald Hood found in the U.S. Direct Tax for Pennsylvania of 1798 give us an idea of what the Hood homestead was like. Archibald Hood is listed as the occupant and the owner of a home in East Bethlehem Township of Washington County (as of October 1, 1798). The house where the Hoods lived was made of logs, measured 15 feet by 16 feet and was 1* stories tall. It had three windows in it and five "lights" (oil lamps?). A kitchen measuring 13 feet by 11 feet was connected to the house and had a separate entrance. The house also had a stable (dimensions unknown) that was connected to the house. Presumably, this stable also served as the tannery and shop. This home was situated on a lot measuring 21,000 square feet and, although the document does not say so, we may safely assume that this was a lot in Fredericktown.

The Federal Direct Tax records also show that Archibald Hood owned a vacant lot in the town of Waynesburg in Greene County. No corresponding records have been located thus far in the Greene County courthouse regarding this lot.

Archibald Hood the American

Archibald appears to have been initially unconcerned with his citizenship status, as he could have applied for citizenship as early as 1795 under the 1790 citizenship statues which only required two years residency in the country. It wasn't until the harsh measures of President John Adams's Alien Act (of 1798) became law that Archibald sprung into action to get his citizenship (perhaps he was too busy and/or too content with his tannery business to apply for his citizenship earlier). The Alien Act of 1798 was enacted with that recently-arrived immigrant to engage in a rebellion against the general government of his new home. Although he most likely did not participate in the rebellion, he may have felt pressure to join from his neighbors as history records that the radicals who initiated the Whiskey Rebellion were not hesitant abng Nisi Orins in Washington County, Pennsylvania. On May 15, 1798, Archibald Hood was granted his American citizenship from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania using the residency criteria of the 1790 law. He was now safe from the threat of deportation.

In the oath that Archibald Hood took to be a citizen, it stated that he renounced any and all claims that he may have had to any hereditary titles. Further proof that he was "common".

Although he was common, this was not to say that he was without character. Isaac Jenkinson served as Archibald Hood's character witness in the naturalization proceedings, and Archibald Hood would have been hard pressed to have found a better man than Isaac Jenkinson. Isaac Jenkinson had built the first house in Fredericktown when it was founded in 1790, so he presumably knew Archibald Hood from the time that he first arrived in the area. More than that, Isaac Jenkinson was a qualified draftsman and surveyor, a former soldier in the Revolutionary War and had been named by Governor Mifflin to serve as one of five commissioners for Greene County when it was formed out of Washington County in 1796. He was a man held in high esteem by those in his community, and he informed the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (under oath) that Archibald Hood, "...behaved as a man of good moral character, [is] attached to the Constitution of the United States, and [is] well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same."

Archibald Hood in Later Years: His Moves are Mysterious

Archibald Hood's 1798 naturalization record stated that he was a resident of Washington County, Pennsylvania. The 1798 Direct Tax for Pennsylvania lists him as being in East Bethlehem Township as of October 1, 1798. From this point onward, he becomes a difficult man to track.

There is no Archibald Hood listed in the index for the 1800 census of Pennsylvania. An entry-by-entry search of the original 1800 census may have to be done to assure that the indexers did not make a mistake. In the "Hood" vertical file of the Cornerstone Genealogical Society, there is a letter written by Marjorie Hood Jones dated May 6, 1975. In this letter, she states that Archibald Hood is found on an 1801 tax list for the "Bethlehem" township (presumably, this was the East Bethlehem Township in Washington County). After this, Archibald Hood seems to disappear (confounding his descendants who search for him).

Archibald Hood's eldest daughter, Eleanor, married William Seals on July 3, 1806. William Seals was born and raised in Greene County, but it is uncertain where Archibald Hood was living at that time.

For the Federal census of Pennsylvania for 1810, Archibald Hood once again eludes the enumerator. His daughter, Eleanor Seals, and her young family are living in Franklin Township of Greene County, PA. There is also a family headed by a Margaret Hood in the Franklin Township as well. This record shows that this Margaret Hood was born between 1765 and 1784, and that there are two young females and one young male in the home. This looks like it could be the household of Archibald Hood. Alfred Hood (1895) named five children for Archibald Hood: Nellie (Eleanor), William, Anne, Isabelle and John. With William supposedly in Scotland and Nellie now married, this would leave two daughters and a son left at home (which is what we see in the census record). However, the problem with this record is that it shows no older male (Archibald) as living in this home. Did the enumerator make an error? Did Margaret (assuming she was Archibald's wife) get made at him and throw him out of the house for an indefinite period? What makes this record even more puzzling is that this Margaret Hood never shows up again in census records. More than that, the Greene County tax records for Franklin Township for the years 1809 through 1815 show no Hoods by any name living in Franklin Township.

The first appearance of Archibald Hood in Greene County records is in the 1820 tax records for Franklin Township. Although he appears on the tax record, he again was missed by the enumerator and was not listed in the 1820 census for Greene County. His son, John, also appears in Greene County records for the first time, being on the tax lists for Jefferson Township. It appears that Archibald Hood may have handed his saddlery business over to his son as John is taxed on his occupation (as a saddler) and Archibald is never taxed for an occupation of any kind. In fact, he typically is taxed for only one horse and one cow (and some years he shows nothing).

Archibald Hood appears once again in the 1821 tax list for Franklin Township. However, he cannot be found on a document entitled "Numeration of the Inhabitants of Greene County" which was filed at the courthouse in December 21, 1821. He then disappears in 1822. He appears in the 1823 tax list for Jefferson Township and then disappears again. He re-appears in the 1826 tax list for Center Township and is found on Center Township tax records until 1833. During this period, the enumerator working on the 1830 census found Archibald at home (in Center Township).

After 1833, Archibald Hood disappears once again. According to Marjorie Hood Jones' letter (1975), Archibald Hood is found on the 1836 tax list for the Marion Township of Greene County. This is the last appearance of Archibald Hood found thus far. He is not found in the 1840 Federal census for Pennsylvania, neither is he found in the 1840 census records for Ohio or Virginia (these neighboring states were checked as a precaution). Given that he had so little personal property, there are no probate records to be found on Archibald Hood in Greene County. It can be surmised that he died between 1836 and 1840 in Greene County. A search of published cemetery records for both Washington and Greene Counties showed no gravestone for Archibald Hood. No search has yet been made for an obituary in the local newspaper.

The Children of Archibald Hood

Although it has been said that Archibald Hood was married twice, it is unknown when his first wife died and when he married his second wife. Hence, there is no way of knowing (at this time) who the mother of these children are. In addition to that , there is no definitive, unquestionable list of his children. Wiley (1883) only mentions Archibald's son John. Alfred Hood (1895) names his children as being William, Nellie, Isabella, Anne and John. Smith Hood (1948) names son John and two unnamed daughters. The following constitutes the "best guess" so far as to who Archibald Hood's children are.

1.) ELEANOR ("Nellie", "Ellie"): Birthdates and places vary for Eleanor. On the DAR record of Hildred Maye Tukesbrey McKenna, it states that Eleanor was born April 24, 1786 in County Donegal, Ireland. The 1850 census record for Eleanor indicates that she was born in 1781-82 in Pennsylvania. The census records from 1820 to 1840 suggest that she was born between 1784 and 1790.

Eleanor married William Seals (1785-1846) on July 3, 1806 and apparently lived in Franklin Township for the rest of her life. Their known children are: James; Margaret (who married, first, Ephraim McClelland, and, second, William Baltzell); Eliza Ann (who married William Zimmerman); Eleanor (who married Henry Zimmerman); Sarah (who married Abraham Baltzell).

Apparently, Eleanor Hood Seals died around 1859 or 1860. On December 18, 1860, the county court gave Abraham Baltzell permission to sell * of a lot in Waynesburg belonging to Eleanor Seals (deceased) at public auction to satisfy debts that she owed.

2.) WILLIAM: This is the son that was supposedly born in Scotland and remained there (mentioned earlier).

3.) ISaret Hood never shows up again in census records. More than that, the Greene County tax records for Franklin Township for the years 1809 through 1815 show no Hoods by any name living in Franklin Township.

The first appearance of Archibald Hood in Greene County records is in the 1820 tax records for Franklir daughter, Ann, as she is listed in the household of Joseph and Ann Wiley (Ann is 31 years old) in Marion Township, Waynesburgh Borough of Greene County in the 1850 census. To date, nothing has been found on Isabella past 1850. 

4.) ANNE: Born about 1797 presumably in Fredericktown. She married Jesse Dollison about 1820. They began raising their family in Greene County, but later moved to Wood County, West Virginia in 1849 and changed their name from Dollison to Dallison. Apparently, their older children remained in Greene County and their younger children accompanied them to West Virginia where they were enumerated in the 1850 census for Wood County. They cannot be found in the 1860 census of Virginia, but a James Dallison appears in Wood County in 1870 and an Alex Dallison appears in Marshall County in 1870. Known children of Jesse and Anne Dollison/Dallison are: Margaret, James, Isabel, Rebecca and Amos.

5.) JOHN: Born in 1799 in Fredericktown. He married Letitia Smith about 1820. They began raising their family in Jefferson, Greene County. In or about 1832, John Hood and family moved to West Virginia. He died at Lowesville, West Virginia on March 21, 1843. John and Letitia's children were: John Smith, William, Maria, Alfred, James, Margaret, Caroline, Letitia, Mary Ellen and Joseph A.. The children of John and Letitia Hood raised their families in the upper Monongahela Valley of West Virginia from Morgantown to Clarksburg.

6.) OTHERS?: Smith Hood (1948) states that Archibald Hood had two daughters, but he did not know their names. He did state that one daughter married an Adamson and the other married a Bell. In the 1830 census record of the Archibald Hood household in Greene County, there is a female listed as being at 30 to 39 years old, and another female five to nine years old. These may be the daughters to which Smith Hood made reference, but there is no way to tell at this time.

John J. Hood, PO Box 248, McDonald, TN 37353
e-mail: 73552.1552@compuserve.com


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