Make your own free website on

Early Virginia Huffakers

James E. Huffaker
1117 Radcliffe Avenue
Kingsport, Tennessee
37664 2025

Dixie Rosier
2644 Toni Lee Street
West Jordan, Utah
84088 8518

The Huffaker – Halfacre Confusion  in  Washington County, VA

In 1904 Reverend R. N. Price wrote “Holston Methodism, from its Origins to the Present Time”  which is rich in its  use of Bishop Asbury’s Journal notes. Bishop Asbury when he rode circuit in the Holston country in late 1700s recorded where he had been, when and whom he had seen in his visits. When in Washington County on more that one occasion he wrote Huffaker and Halfacre. Reverend Price noted this slip on page 113 as a ”not so unusual blunder” in spelling.  This “blunder” is one of several that Reverend Price complained about relative to Bishop Asbury’s carelessness with details and he explained that Bishop Asbury wrote from memory sometimes days after the event. We know now that Huffakers and Halfacres were two families living there then and the blunder is Reverend Price’s for being unaware of that fact.  Bishop Asbury may have visited either or both and in any case might not have “blundered”, although it would certainly be understandable if he got the two families confused.

Reverend Price’s position that Halfacre was Huffaker by a careless spelling error was accepted by Hugh Dayton Huffaker a family historian who published the “History and Genealogy of Michael Huffaker and his Descendants in America”.
There is no doubt Hugh Dayton Huffaker had access to Reverend Price’s Holston Methodism for he quoted whole paragraphs at length.  Hugh Dayton Huffaker does not mention Halfacre in his history, but then the author was narrowly directed by his title and the Halfacres, whoever they were, were not Michael Huffaker’s descendants. It is worth noting, however, that Dr. Robert Olin Huffaker embedded the clue to the Halfacres in the Foreword. R.O. Huffaker was a distant cousin to Hugh Dayton Huffaker. “We know that this Michael   (here he is speaking of the immigrant) had three sons, John, Henry and Michael, and the one bearing the family name married Catherine Kitsby, who was born in Germany in 1736”. It is unfortunate that we do not find out “how we know” about Michael’s brothers, nor about Catherine’s family name or birthplace. Of those assertions only Catherine’s family name, birth date and place persist in dozens of family genealogies.

Mrs. Ione Nolan, another family historian, published  “THE HUFFAKER FAMILY, a Collection of Genealogical Records on Descendants of Michael and Catherine Huffaker, and allied families”. The organization of her book is like Hugh Dayton Huffaker’s book in that after introductory material, the Chapters are details around each of Michael’s offspring in birth order. In the introduction Mrs. Nolan writes regards spelling of the family name “These forms have been observed: (There may be others.)”  After which she lists 20 variations of spelling attributable to difficulty of reading and writing proper German names. Halfacre and Huffaker make the list and contribute continuity that those in Washington County were the same family with alternate spelling. In fact Mrs. Nolan cites an example where Michael Huffaker is referred to as Michael Halfacre in the same document.  In Mrs. Nolan’s Chapter on Jacob Huffaker (page 252) are paragraphs illustrative of the extent of confusion as she seems determined to explain relationships within the basic premise that Huffaker and Halfacre is the same family. She does note emphatically that   “ . . .  there were at least two other Jacob Halfacres (Huffakers) and possibly more, in  Washington County, Virginia at the same time who were not related to Jacob Huffaker Sr. . . . ”  Mrs. Nolan does not let us know how she concludes emphatically these other two Jacobs are unrelated to Jacob Huffaker Sr., especially in light of  “allied families” being included in the book’s title.

Gordon Aronhime was a Washington County historian and wrote many interesting articles on the history of the region. He kept data on 4 by 6 cards that have been photomicrographed and cataloged by the Washington County Historical Society. On perhaps a dozen cards, he had notes about the Huffaker – Halfacre families but just notations, no analysis. When he ran into the three Jacobs that coexisted then, he simply noted them Jacob I, Jacob II and Jacob III and substantiated Mrs. Nolan’s count, but he did not sort them into family relationships either.

Finally as background, Ellis DeBusk wrote: “History of Mahanaim United Methodist Church” the publisher is not given nor is the date of publication but in the Foreword Mr. DeBusk states he began the history in 1934 and finished it in 1975. This is the Church that was the beneficiary of Michael and Catherine’s generosity. On his page 1 Mr. DeBusk asserts “Michael Huffaker was the youngest of three sons…” He doesn’t name the brothers but the father is named as the immigrant of 1732.

Robert Olin and Hugh Dayton Huffaker were about a generation older that Mr. DeBusk and they lived quite a distance from Saltville. It just doesn’t seem likely these two Huffaker cousins would have been talking serious history with an adolescent and driving that long distance to do it on poor roads that were the standard then. What seems as likely is that Mr. DeBusk had separate knowledge of Michael’s brothers and was closer to the source, unfortunately he doesn’t let us know the source for his assertion. However, whether DeBusk and the Huffaker cousins were aware of each other does not effect the argument or the outcome.

Toward a Resolution

Perhaps the solution is already apparent, that there was a family of Huffakers and another family of Halfacres. The heads of the families were brothers. This assertion has never before been made and in fact Mrs. Nolan dismissed previous assertions of brothers on lack of “proof” but data will be presented here in evidence.

 It will help if we change nomenclature for one Jacob to be the son of Michael. Another Jacob to be Jacob Sr. and his son Jacob Jr. to be the last Jacob.  Jacob Sr. was Michael’s brother.  This nomenclature is just as artificial as Mrs. Nolan or Gordon Aronhime’s notations because the Courthouse records do not distinguish the Jacobs by any notation. It will become apparent why it is logical to make these family divisions.

Without detailing Michael’s migration to Washington County, VA in 1768 (the history of which is well recorded), he was one of the firsts if not the first permanent settler in the area, according to Aronhime. He brought children with him from Pennsylvania and raised about as many more born in Virginia and he was the only Huffaker or Halfacre in the County until 1782.

In 1782 the first of a Halfacre family member appears in Washington County Surveyors Records 1781 – 1797, when John Murdach(Murdoch) had 300 acres surveyed and recorded. As will be seen later John Murdoch was son-in-law to Jacob Halfacre Sr. When Personal Property Taxes were collected in 1782 John Murdoch is listed along with Michael and George Halfaire (sic). In Jun 3, 1782 Jacob Halfacre Sr. had 35 acres surveyed and recorded. Since migrant families usually traveled together, it is likely Jacob Halfacre Sr. and John Murdoch traveled together and with other family members. Perhaps Jacob Sr. lived temporarily with brother Michael after arrival and that accounts for his missing the Personal Property Tax that year.

The Halfacre children who were not married in Washington County, VA were:
Catherine Halfacre who married Daniel Troxell
Elizabeth Halfacre who married John Murdoch.

The coincidence of time and place and argues for the Murdoch and Troxell marriages to have occurred perhaps in northern Virginia or around Frederick, Maryland and prior to 1782, but no records have been found. The coincidence of the names, Jacob, Catherine and Elizabeth occur in 1770 in Frederick County, MD associated with the surname Hubacher at the baptism of their daughter Cath Elizabeth (b Aug 25, 1770) baptized 1773 in Reformed Church of Hagerstown. Another coincidence is that a Troxell family was also associated with that Church and at that time. It is possible that Jacob Hubacher is the same as Jacob Halfacre (Sr.)  and also that this Jacob Hubacher is the immigrant aboard the Ship Sally who arrived on Oct 29, 1770 with wife Elizabeth and son Joh Jacob Hubacher. If this is the same family, then Cath Elizabeth baptized in 1773 was born aboard ship. These coincidences of names, places and dates are tempting (despite some anomalies) but hard data is still being sought for where Jacob Halfacre Sr. lived prior to his appearance in Washington Co., VA in 1782.

Jacob Halfacre Jr. and brothers Frederick and Henry were all married in Washington Co., VA and their marriages are recorded in the Washington County Marriage Register. Jacob Halfacre’s marriage to Elizabeth Riche occurred in very close proximity to Michael’s Greenfield, but probably in a Church that preceded and was replaced by Mahanaim after 1800.  Frederick and Eleanor Calliham were married in a Presbyterian Church in what seems today to be in the town of Glade Springs and if so it is now in an abandoned state of disrepair. Henry Halfacre and Mollie were married in where would now be just over the County line into Smyth Co., VA. The exact placement for this Church has not been located, but Bishop Asbury remarked on the progress the area had made as measured by the presence three churches within walking distance.

The Susanna and Elizabeth Halfacre marriages are recorded in Washington Co., VA as well as Rebecca Huffaker’s marriage. Rebecca was Michael Huffaker’s granddaughter and Susanna and Elizabeth were Jacob Halfacre Sr.’s granddaughters. Rebecca’s father was George Huffaker and Susanna and Elizabeth’s father was Jacob Halfacre Jr. These relationships set three generations of Huffakers/Halfacres contemporaneous in Washington County, VA.

The 1810 Census for Washington County, VA is best interpreted in light of above marriage data and with respect to data in Deed Book 10 pages 29 – 30. The Deed (1829) reference 21, divides 162 acres into equal shares as follows: Daniel Troxell, Henry Halfacre and wife Polly (sic), Frederick Halfacre and  Nelly (wife), John Murdoch and wife Elizabeth, Sampson Halfacre, and Jacob Halfacre Jr. All the principal beneficiaries are siblings whose father was Jacob Halfacre Sr. except Sampson who was a grandson. Susanna and Elizabeth were already married and might account for the distribution, but the distribution appears to have been a settlement of Jacob Halfacre’s (Sr.) estate.

The 1810 Census found in print is, of course, a transcription and is reproduced in reference 16 with spelling errors intact. Below the record is the author’s transcription, interpretation and distribution. The distribution best satisfies marriage data and the land distribution data.

Henry Halfacre who married Mollie Barrack was also known as John on at least one occasion, see reference 14, Deed Book 4. This leads to the speculation that his full Germanic birth name was Johann(es) Henrich “Halfacre” and he was named for Johann(es) Henrich Hoffecker an Uncle who resided in Pennsylvania and if true the relationship satisfies R. O. Huffaker and Ellis DeBusk claims that Michael had two brothers. There is nothing but circumstantial evidence for support and additional research is indicated.

It needs settling that the Henry Halfacre who married Molly Barrack is Jacob Halfacre Sr.’s son, not Michael Huffaker’s son. Michael’s son Henry never married, he lived with Michael at the 1810 Census. He died at his friend John Logan’s house and left his estate to John Logan and nephew Jacob Smith, amongst others, but no wife or children are mentioned in his Will.

The family’s dispersion from Washington Co., Va started with George Huffaker and brothers Michael and Justus and soon after the Revolutionary War ended and before Tennessee became a state separate from North Carolina. It is likely that George saw choice land along the French Broad River during his service and laid claim to it. North Carolina resurveyed the lands claimed by George and brother Michael, but apparently Justus and Michael went on to Wayne County, KY. It is speculative why George’s daughter Rebecca does not appear to have joined her family in Knox County, but she married Henry Hays in 1805. Also mysterious is why Rebecca appears in her grandfather’s household for the 1810 Census. Perhaps she was taking care of Michael or her Uncle Henry and husband Henry was temporarily elsewhere.

George’s brothers John, Christopher, Isaac, and Jacob migrated to Kentucky around 1797.
Jacob Huffaker appears in the Knox County, Tennessee Marriage Records as follows:
Huffaker, (Halfacre), Jacob to Peggy Bodkin: W: Feb 4, 1797
Obviously Jacob was in Knox County, TN at least briefly. Tennessee became a state separate from North Carolina in 1796.

George’s brother Peter went to Claiborne County, TN and his sisters Mary, Sarah and Ann married in Washington Co., VA but Sarah likely lived in Smyth County after it was formed in 1832. Sarah married George Smith of the Smith/Smyth family and her son Jacob was the beneficiary of his Uncle Henry’s Will and his ancestors and successors were important benefactors to Emory and Henry College. When Henry Huffaker died in 1837 the records with “Huffaker” were concluded with Henry’s Will. Records with “Halfacre” in Washington County ended in 1832 when Smyth County was formed. There may be more Halfacre records to be found in Smyth County. In those early years of 1800 the way to wealth was unchanged. A person sold land he owned at high price, moved on and bought more land in a more remote area and this strategy was repeated until old age required a permanent location. The first stopping points after Washington County, VA were Knox County, TN and Wayne County, KY.

Future research into early Huffaker/Halfacre families will concentrate on identifying the principals prior to 1782, but this Washington County, VA effort is illustrative of the difficulties. When changes in spelling occur for whim or reason, it takes a lot of data to sort relations.

Early Virginia Huffaker/Halfacre Families
      Huffaker Birth and Location
       if  known  Wedding
Michael Huffaker m Catherine   1730 - 1735 Unknown ~1756
 George Huffaker m  Agatha Lee  7-Aug-1757 York Co., PA 18-Jun-1780
  John Huffaker   19-Apr-1781 Wash. Co., VA
  Rebecca Huffaker m Henry Hays 18-Oct-1782 Wash. Co., VA 5-Nov-1805
 Anna Barbara Huffaker   18-Aug- 1759 York Co., PA
 Michael Huffaker   19-May-1761 York Co., PA
 John Peter Huffaker   22-Mar-1763 York Co., PA
 Justus Huffaker    23-Feb-1765 York Co., PA
 Henry Huffaker    1767  York Co., PA
 Christopher Huffaker m Sarah Smith 11-Dec-1769 Wash. Co., VA 12-Mar-1796
 Jacob Huffaker m Peggy Bodkin  5-Nov-1771 Wash. Co., VA 4-Feb-1797
 Isaac Halfaker m Elizabeth Hutchison 3-Sep-1776 Wash. Co., VA 27-Jan-1803
 Mary Huffaker m Aram Hoonk  1778  Wash. Co., VA 22-Dec-1796
 Sarah Halfacre m George Smith  1780  Wash. Co., VA 3-Jan-1796
 Ann Huffaker m Walter Hill  1782  Wash. Co., VA 15-Nov-1804
Jacob Halfacre Sr. m Margaret Elizabetha
 Jacob Huffacre Jr.  m Elizabeth Riche     12-Mar-1795
  Susanna m Paskel Miles      23-Mar-1819
  Elizabeth m Thomas Palmer     8-Aug-1829
  Sampson Halfacre
 Frederick Halfaker m Eleanor Calliham     12-Dec-1826
 Henry (John) Huffacre m Molly Barrack     3-Jul-1800
 Catherine Halfacre m Daniel Troxell
 Elizabeth Halfacre m John Murdoch

The full details of Michael’s family during this period are available but do not add to or detract from the argument. It is reasonable to believe all the family members knew the others since their homes were within a few miles and they worshipped at (some of) the same Churches. The names of Daniel Troxell’s and John Murdoch’s wives are interchanged in records on occasion and certainty is not assured, but the men married sisters and as heads of household, the useful records are in the men’s names.

There are no records to indicate birth order for any of the Halfacre family.
Annotated Bibliography

In these and all records abstracted the original record’s spelling and notations are left intact even when found in error, with exceptions already mentioned for the notations about the three Jacobs. Annotations are in bold Italics. Records that are transcriptions from original long hand recordings are indicated by “Transcribed”.

1 Price, Reverend R. N. Holston Methodism, from its Origins to the Present Time  :1904 Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South, Nashville, Tennessee.

2 Huffaker, Hugh Dayton History and Genealogy of Michael Huffaker and his Descendants in America  :1927 Chattanooga, Tennessee

3 Nolan, Ione THE HUFFAKER FAMILY, a Collection of Genealogical Records on Descendants of Michael and Catherine Huffaker, and allied families  :1966 Branch-Smith, Inc 120 St. Louis, Fort Worth, Texas.

4 DeBusk, Ellis History of Mahanaim United Methodist Church, :~1975

5 Washington County Surveyors Record 1781 - 1797
Survey For: John Murdack 300 acres on North Fork of Holstein. Treasury Warrant #10598 dated 1/3/1782. {Transcribed: John Murdack became John Murdoch in Washington County and was married to Elizabeth Halfacre, and probably married in northern Virginia or Maryland.}

6 Washington County Personal Property Tax for 1782:                                                                       Halfaire, Michael;   Halfaire, Gorge;   Murdoch, John. { Transcribed: These records indicate the Personal Property Tax was collected before Jun 1782 because Jacob Halfacre Sr. is not included. Michael and son George are included to assure that Halfaire is another spelling else the transcriber mistook c for an i. A Jacob Halfacre is listed in the 1782 Montgomery County, Virginia, Personal Tax List and this may be Jacob Halfacre Sr. and his residence prior to Washington County, Virginia. In Maryland Jacob Halfacre might have been known as Jacob Hubacher.}

7 Washington County Surveyors Record 1781 - 1797
Survey For Jacob Halfacre assignee James Thompson 35 acres on Warrant 12173 dated 6/4/1782 { Transcribed: This Jacob was possibly Jacob Hubacher in northern Virginia or MD during the Revolutionary War and is an Hypothesis under test. See also reference 6  }

8 Gordon Aronhime Microfilm 150.2- 700
Halfacre, Jacob Sr. 1790 m Margaret DB4:106,  Dau. Catherine m Daniel Troxell :q.v.  d Apr 10 1858.    {Aronhime numbered the Jacobs I, II, III. His (q.v.)  notation was not defined. This marriage is not in the Marriage Register.  Aronhime’s note cards require careful scrutiny before acceptance as fact.}
9 Gordon Aronhime Microfilm 150.2- 699
Halfacre, Israel w/o Jacob Halfacre  WB2:2 9/18/1792 {No additional information was found on Israel Halfacre, but either the entry is in error or this is Jacob Jr. and Israel and Elizabeth are the same person}

10 Gordon Aronhime Microfilm 150.2- 701
Halfacre, Jacob Jr. m 1795 m Elizabeth Riche  {Jacob Jr. is s/o Jacob Sr. and f/o Susanna Halfaker m Paskell Miles}

11 Marriage Register page 192 also D. E. Brown
Jacob Halfacre Jr. m Elizabeth Riche  Mar 12 1795 {The Minister was Nicholas Reagan (Methodist) and the location of the Church was near the North Fork of the Holston River and close to Michael's Greenfield. D. E. Brown transcribed the Washington County Marriage Register and added the presiding Minister. }

12 Marriage Register page  193 and D. E. Brown
Jul 3 1800 Henry Huffaker m  Molly Barrack {In the handwritten record Henry is entered as Huffacur and Mollie could have been Mallie. The Minister was Charles Hardy  (Methodist) and the Church was located close to the Middle Fork of the Holston River. Henry is also named John in some documents see also Reference 14. His Germanic name might have been Johann(es) Henrich Hoffecker and he may have been named after an Uncle of the same name who lived in Pennsylvania. This is another hypothesis under test. }

13 Marriage Register page  194 and D. E. Brown
Nov 5 1805 Henry Hays m Rebecca Huffaker {Rebecca is George Huffaker's daughter and Michael's granddaughter. The Minister was Charles Hardy (Methodist) and the Church was located close to the Middle Fork of the Holston River}

14 Deed Book 4
Aug 31 1808 Jacob Sr. and Margaret Halfaker sold parcel on middle fork to Jacob Jr., Frederick, John, Samson Halfaker, Daniel Troxel, Elizabeth and Susanna Halfaker.  Recorded Sep 21 1808 {John is also Henry. His full Germanic birth name might have been Johann(es) Henrich Hoffecker}

15 Gordon Aronhime
Halfacre, Sampson s/o Jacob and Margaret Halfacre  DB4:104, DB4:106 {Gordon Aronhime made several errors in this family, this is another.   Sampson was s/o Jacob Jr. and Elizabeth}

16  Census 1810 Washington Co., VA {Transcribed: Spelling difficulties during transcription are
obvious in this record.}

Head  <10 [10-16] [16-26] [26-45]  >45  Count
 Hafa_re, Jacob   1m 2f  1m1f  5
Half_, Fr_ck  2f   1f 1m  4
Halfa_e, Michael    1f 1m 1m1f 4
Halfa_re, Henry  2m2f   1m1f  6
Murdoch, John   2m 4m1f 1f 1m1f 10
Trostell, Daniel  2m3f   1m1f  7
 Count 11  3  8  7  7
Annotated Version of 1810 Census
Author's Transcription and Interpretation
    Head of House  <10 [10-16] [16-26] [26-45]  >45  Count
Halfacre Jr., Jacob   1m 2f  1m1f  5
   Sampson Susanna   Jacob Jr.
    Elizabeth  Elizabeth
Halfacre, Frederick  2f   1f 1m 4
     Eleanor Frederick
Huffaker, Michael    1f 1m 1m1f  4
    Rebecca Henry* Michael
Halfacre, Henry  2m2f   1m1f   6
Murdoch, John   2m 4m1f 1f 1m1f 10
Troxell, Daniel  2m3f   1m1f  7
 Count 11  3  8  7  7

*This Henry is Michael’s Bachelor son. Annotations reflect spelling changes and distribution of children and siblings.

17 Marriage Book Page  314 also D. E. Brown
Mar 23 1819  Paskel Miles m Susanna Halfacre {The Minister was John Jones Jr (Baptist) and the location of the Church was close to the South Fork of the Holston River. This Church location is the only one remote by about 8 – 10 miles from the others}

18 Deed Book 8 page 149
May 22 1823 John Murdoch sold to Henry Halfaker for $300:  2 mares, 4 head of cattle, 50 hogs, 18 sheep 3 beds and bed steads, all kitchen and house hold furniture and current crop and his wife's interest in land given to her by Jacob Halfaker, less that due to Sampson Huffaker. Witnesses Lewis Smith, Frederick Halfaker, David Buchanan {. Marriage of John Murdoch and Elizabeth Huffaker was not found in Washington Co. ,VA. Likely they were married prior to migration possibly in northern Virginia or Maryland. This transaction appears to prepare Henry Halfaker for leaving Washington County, VA. }

19 Marriage Book Page 199 also D. E. Brown
Dec 12 1826 Frederick Halfaker m Eleanor Calliham {Eleanor was also Nellie. The Minister was Alexander McEwen (Presbyterian) and the location of the Church is close to the Middle Fork of the Holston River and possibly the abandoned Church in Glade Springs, VA}

20 Marriage Register page 361 also D. E. Brown
Aug 8 1829 Thomas Palmer m Elizabeth Halfaker {The Minister was Alexander McEwen (Presbyterian) and the location of the Church is close to the Middle Fork of the Holston River}

21 Deed Book 10 page 29-30
Apr 25 1829 Part One Daniel Troxel, Henry Halfaker and wife Polly (sic), another, Frederick Halfaker and Nelly (wife) another, John Murdoch and Wife Elizabeth, Sampson Halfaker, Jacob Halfaker all own equal shares of 162 acres on middle fork.  {Frederick, Henry, Catherine, Elizabeth, Sampson and Jacob. The 1810 Census supports this as follows: Jacob Jr. house had 3 occupants besides his self and wife. By 1810 Frederick, Henry and Catherine lived in separate houses. Add this back to the Jacob Jr. house and Jacob Jr. had six children.}

22 Deed Book 10 page 315
Oct 20 1830 Thomas Palmer and Nancy Halfaker gave $100 for parcel that Daniel Troxel lived on (10 acres for $100)..on  the south side of middle fork between 2 lots Frederick Halfaker + Jan. 8 piece owned by Zachariah Shugarts. Signed by Henry and Mary (or Eleanor). Halfaker. Witnesses Lewis Smith and James Meek. "Near the house Henry Halfaker now lives in"  {Probably Henry and Molly Halfaker. Within the body of the transaction, Henry's spouse is identified as Eleanor, but the signature is Mary. Nancy marriage was not found, but likely the wife of Sampson Halfaker}
23 Gordon Aronhime Microfilm 150.2- 695
Halfacre, Frederick (d 1830) WB6:221 m Nelly DB10:29  s/o Jacob Huffaker  brother-in-law Troxell
24 Deed Book 10 page 504-5
Mar 1 1831 Nelly Halfaker, Elizabeth Palmer (formerly Elizabeth Halfaker) and Nancy Halfaker gave $1350 to James Jones Pickle and wife Elizabeth for 150 acres for land conveyed to James Pickle by Evan L. Thompson on Oct 21 1812 on south side of middle fork. {Frederick Halfaker, Nelly's husband,  died in 1830.   Nancy was likely the wife of Sampson Halfacre whose marriage is not in the Washington County, CA  Marriage Register. Smyth County, VA was created in 1832 and more Halfacre data might be found there, if after 1832}

25 Gordon Aronhime Microfilm 150.2- 697
Huffaker Henry (d 1837) m 1800 Molly  DB10: 109, WB7 108, 10:29 {Aronheim's notation is incorrect, this Henry was not married. This Henry is Michael's son who died a bachelor at friend Logan's house and left his estate to Logan and Henry's nephew. It has become a persistent error to confuse him with the Henry Halfacre who married Molly Barrack .}

26  Reformed Church of Hagerstown p.72 Transcribed:
Jacob Hubacher and wife Elisabetha Child Cath. Elisabeth b Aug 25, 1770 and baptized Jun 5, 1773.  {An Elizabeth married John Murdock probably in MD. The hypothesis that Jacob Hubacher became Jacob Halfaker (Sr.) of Washington Co., VA and Michael’s brother is still under test. A Jacob Hubacher immigrated Oct. 29, 1770 on Ship Sally with wife Elizabeth and son Joh Jacob (Private communication Ms. Anne Cissel, E-Mail If this is the same family, Catherine Elizabeth was born aboard ship and baptized at age of about three and son Joh Jacob became Jacob (Jr.) in Washington County., VA}

27 Reformed Church of Hagerstown p.77 Transcribed:
Georg Troxel w Elisabetha: Johann Daniel Troxell born Feb 11, 1776. {A Daniel Troxell married Catherine Halfacre probably in northern Virginia or MD and she was known as Catherine in Washington County, VA. This Daniel Troxell is an unlikely candidate for Catherine’s husband, but the family connection is likely.}


An hypothesis is a statement that gives sharp focus to research and in this essay breaks the overall research into small, distinct elements to give contrast and clarity.
While it has the appearance of fact, its form is designed to elicit  an “agree” or “disagree” response. When test results fall into both agree and disagree categories, some expression of probability is appropriate.
Hypothesis I: Jacob Hubacher  = Jacob Halfaker (Sr.)
 After the elimination of known mistakes of fact and spelling errors, the references cited do not conflict with the hypothesis as stated and that includes the 1770 immigration date and the Montgomery County, VA 1782 Personal Property Tax List. The names Jacob, Catherine, Elisabeth and Daniel that appear in Maryland:1773, 1776 associated with Hubacher also appear after 1781 in Washington Co., VA but associated with last name spelled Halfacre.
 The hypothesis is still under test but coincidences are strong.

Hypothesis II: Jacob Halfaker (Sr.) = Michael Huffaker’s brother
 Statements by previous researchers that Michael had brothers are considered supportive but not definitive, lacking proof or even evidence.
 The coincidences of  last name (pronunciation) , if not spelling, the County, the neighborhood as defined by Church attendance and over-lapping dates, support Jacob Halfaker (Sr.) and Michael Huffaker were close relatives as e.g. brothers or cousins; however in 1999 neither Michael’s nor Jacob’s father can be proven with certainty and the proof of a grandfather common to both Michael and Jacob is even more remote.
 Overall there is better support they were brothers and there are no direct contradictions to the hypothesis.
 They were probably brothers.

Hypothesis III:  Johann(es) Henrich Hoffecker  = Michael Huffaker’s  brother
 In 1998 there was only the coincidence of familiar family names  and logical dates that support the hypothesis and assertions previously mentioned that Michael had two brothers. This testing has not been pursued with rigor yet.
A summary of these conclusions has been photomicrographed and given the following identification:

Date Filmed/Fiched
April 7, 1999
Item number 11

Project and G. S.
Roll/Fiche Call No.
2440   2056085