Father: John Hastings, Sr.
Mother: Jane *****
Biographical details for William Hastings are largely circumstantial; however, it seems reasonably certain from later census records that he was born in Ireland about 1790. Moreover, if he is identified as the son of John, Sr., and Jane Hastings, then the location of his birth was probably County Fermanagh. Furthermore, this chronology implies that William was older than the other four known children of John Hastings, Sr., and, as such, he was likely the oldest son. In addition, it is known that William's son, James, was born in Ireland, which would further imply that William had married prior to immigration of the extended Hastings family to the United States. However, it does not appear that he was accompanied to America by a wife and, therefore, it is plausible to presume that she had died previously in Ireland. Indeed, it seems that William never remarried and established an independent household after the family settled in Harrison County, Ohio, and further that he and his son lived in the household of John Hastings, Sr., William's father. This is the most plausible interpretation of Harrison County population schedules for both the censuses of 1830 and 1840. Moreover, the terms of the will of John Hastings, Sr., directed that his wife, Jane; his son, William; and his grandson, James, each received a bequest of one third of his personal property, i.e., the three divided all of it. This further suggests that they were part of the same household, which, thus, would not be broken up upon his death. In addition, it was stipulated that Jane Hastings should during her natural lifetime, with liberty peacably to remain in her own house where she now resides. This arrangement is further supported by the population schedule of the 1850 US Census for Harrison County, which identifies James Hastings, who had married Elizabeth Cope in 1840, as the head of the household, but which included in addition to his wife and children, his father, William, and his grandmother, Jane. In all probability, they were living in the original homestead in Athens Township. Nevertheless, when John Hastings, Jr., and his family relocated to La Salle County, Illinois, in 1854, it appears that William, James, and Jane Hastings also went with them. It is not known if they moved together or separately, but it seems that it must have been at about the same time. This is supported by the population schedule of the 1860 US Census for La Salle County, Illinois, in which William Hastings, age seventy, was listed as resident in the household of his sister-in-law Eliza (Elizabeth) Hastings, widow of his brother, John Hastings, Jr. Subsequently, in the 1870 population schedule, William Hastings, age eighty-one, was, again, living in the household of his son, James. It is probable that William Hastings died in La Salle County in the 1870's; however, an exact date for his death is not known.
1. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Harrison County, Ohio, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 219A, (microfilm: roll M432_693; img. 14).
2. 1860 US Census Population Schedule for La Salle County, Illinois, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 915-6, (microfilm: roll M653_197; imgs. 261-2).
3. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for La Salle County, Illinois, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 391A, (microfilm: roll M593_244; img. 53).
4. Melba Hastings, "Hastings Family Genealogical Charts and Family Group Sheets", 1970, unpublished.
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