***** Hastings

Spouse: *****

Child-1: John, Sr.
          2: James - b: 4/Sep/1772
                           d: 4/Jun/1830 - Jefferson Co., OH - bur: Holmes Church Cem., Harrison Co.
                          m: Eliza *****
          3: Thomas - b: 1774/1775 - Ireland - d: ~1855 - Washington Co., PA
                             m: Mary *****

Biographical Details:

It would seem obvious that the common surname "Hastings" derives from the municipality that bears this same name, which is located on the Channel coast in the English county of Sussex.1  Of course, this town is famous as the site of the Battle of Hastings, which occurred on October 14, 1066, and in which William, Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold Godwinson to take the English throne and become known forever afterward as William I, the Conqueror.  Even so, the town of Hastings began centuries earlier as a Saxon settlement and the name seems to descend from that of an early chieftain.2  A castle in the Norman style was built at Hastings after the Conquest, which hence introduced the name Hastings into the nobility.3  Subsequently, the name also became common in Scotland.  Of course, it should not be supposed that all individuals bearing the Hastings surname descend from nobility or are even related.  Nevertheless, the name is only moderately common in the British Isles and North America.

According to published accounts, the three brothers, John, James, and Thomas Hastings, immigrated to the United States, apparently from County Fermanagh in northern Ireland about the year 1822 (although one source gives the year as 1819).4  In addition, these sources state that John settled in Harrison County, Ohio; Thomas in Washington County, Pennsylvania; and James in Jefferson County, Ohio.  Although by no means conclusive, the earlier date is supported by the appearance of the households of James and Thomas Hastings in the population schedules of the 1820 US Census for Jefferson County, Ohio, and Washington County, Pennyslvania, respectively.  However, the household of John Hastings cannot be found in corresponding census records although he and his family were evidently resident in Harrison County by 1830.  Within this context, the household of Thomas Hastings appears in subsequent population schedules and in 1850 was resident in Somersett Township and included three individuals, viz., Thomas Hastings, age seventy-five born in Ireland; Mary age seventy-four born in Pennsylvania; and Asa D., age thirty-six born in Pennsylvania.  Likewise, the household of James Hastings was present in Jefferson County in 1830 and included an older couple of between fifty and sixty years of age.  However, James died in 1830, although it seems that his descendants continued to reside in Smithfield Township of Jefferson County in the later nineteenth century.  Similarly, census records indicate that Thomas Hastings probably died in the 1850's.  Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that, perhaps, the two brothers, James and Thomas, arrived in America earlier, either together or separately, and were followed by their brother John and his family in the early 1820's.  Alternatively, the households identified in census records may not correspond to those of the brothers, James and Thomas, at all, but if this is the case then one is at a loss to determine their whereabouts.  It imay be further noted that although the three Hastings brothers may have come from Ireland, the Hastings family was said to be of English origin.  This is typical of the ethnicity that has been known to history as "Scotch-Irish" and arose out of the occupation and subjugation of Ireland by the English beginning in the seventeenth century and continuing well into the twentieth.  At that time settlers, mainly from Scotland and to a lesser degree from England, were encouraged to emigrate to Ireland, particularly to Ulster (or Northern Ireland), to strengthen the rule of the joint English-Scottish monarch, James I, and his successors on the country.  They were favored over the native Irish who were accordingly dispossessed.  As in any situation of this kind, there was much injustice and abuse, which has unfortunately estranged the native Irish and the Scotch-Irish (or Ulster unionists as they are now known) down to the present day.  This divide remains sharply defined by religious identification, which tends to enhance its bitterness.  Of course, the native Irish are Celtic in origin and have been and still remain Roman Catholic.  In contrast, the unionists are Protestant (Anglican, Presbyterian, etc.).  In any case, these divisions are no longer (if they ever were) motivated by religious conviction and are strictly sociopolitical in nature.  Perhaps, it was as much to escape the rancor of the old country as it was to grasp the opportunity of the new, that the Hastings brothers came to the United States.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. Patrick Hanks (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, periodically updated.
     "1. English and Scottish: habitational name from Hastings, a place in Sussex, on the south coast of England, near which the English army was defeated by the Normans in 1066.  It is named from Old English H?stingas 'people of H?sta'.  The surname was taken to Scotland under William the Lion in the latter part of the 12th century.  It also assimilated some instances of the native Scottish surname Harestane (see Hairston).
     2. English: variant of Hasting.
     3. Irish (Connacht): shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hOistín 'descendant of Oistín', the Gaelic form of Augustine (see Austin). "
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2. "Hastings began as a Saxon settlement.  It was called Haesats ingas, which means Haesta's people.  By the 10th century Hastings had grown into a little market town.  It even had its own mint.  However Hastings was very small with a population of only several hundred.  In 1011 Hastings was sacked by the Danes but it soon recovered.  From the 11th century Hastings was one of the Cinque ports, a group of 5 ports who were supposed to provide ships for the king in time of war in return for certain privileges.  However this custom died out in the 15th century and a more modern navy was formed."
     "After the Norman Conquest in 1066 a castle was built at Hastings.  At first it was built of wood but it was soon rebuilt in stone.  However by the 15th century Hastings castle had fallen into a state of disrepair.  St Clements church was built in the late 14th century.  All Saints was built in the 15th century.  From the end of the 12th century Hastings had a priory (a small abbey).  In the Middle Ages Hastings flourished as a fishing village and a small market town.  Fishermen from Hastings fished in the North Sea off East Anglia and they sold much of their catch in Great Yarmouth.  However Hastings failed to develop into a major port because the harbour silted up.  It also suffered from floods.  In 1339 and 1377 Hastings suffered disaster when it was attacked by the French and burned.  That was an easy task as most of the buildings were of wood with thatched roofs.  However they could be easily built.  A stone wall was built south of Hastings, probably in the late 14th century to protect the town from attack from the sea.  However by the 18th century this wall had fallen into ruins."
     "In the 16th century and 17th century Hastings slowly grew.  In 1589 Queen Elizabeth granted Hastings a a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights).  Hastings gained a corporation and a mayor.  Like all towns in those days Hastings suffered from outbreaks of the plague.  It struck in 1563, 1590 and 1597.  However each time the population of the little town recovered.  Hastings Grammar School was founded in 1619.  In the early 18th century Hastings was a small market town with a population of about 1,500.  Apart from fishing ... in the 18th century Hastings was famous (or infamous) for smuggling.  Other industries in Hastings were shipbuilding and rope making."  (Tim Lambert, "A Short History of Hastings", www.localhistories.org/hastings.html, 2004.)
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3. "HASTINGS, a famous English family.  JOHN, BARON HASTINGS (c. 1262-c. 1313), was a son of Sir Henry de Hastings (d. 1268), who was summoned to parliament as a baron by Simon de Montfort in 1264.  Having joined Montfort's party Sir Henry led the Londoners at the battle of Lewes and was taken prisoner at Evesham.  After his release he continued his opposition to Henry III; he was among those who resisted the king at Kenilworth, and after the issue of the Dictum de Kenilworth he commanded the remnants of the baronial party when they made their last stand in the isle of Ely, submitting to Henry in July 1267.  His younger son, Edmund, was specially noted for his military services in Scotland during the reign of Edward I.  John Hastings married Isabella (d. 1305), daughter of William de Valence, earl of Pembroke, a half-brother of Henry III, and fought in Scotland and in Wales.  Through his mother, Joanna de Cantilupe, he inherited the extensive lordship of Abergavenny, hence he is sometimes referred to as lord of Bergavenny, and in 1295 he was surnmoued to parliament as a baron.  Before this date, however, he had come somewhat prominently to the front.  His paternal grandmother, Ada, was a younger daughter of David, earl of Huntingdon, and a niece of the Scottish king, William the Lion; and in 1290 when Margaret, the maid of Norway, died, Hastings came forward as a claimant for the vacant throne.  Although unsuccessful in the matter he did not swerve from his loyalty to Edward I.  He fought constantly either in France or in Scotland; he led the bishop of Durham's men at the celebrated siege of Carlaverock castle in 1300; and with his brother Edmund he signed the letter which in 1301 the English barons sent to Pope Boniface VIII repudiating papal interference in the affairs of Scotland; on two occasions he represented the king in Aquitaine. Hastings died in 1312 or 1313.  His second wife was Isabella, daughter af the elder Hugh le Despenser.  Hastings, who was one of the most wealthy and powerful nobles of his time, stood high in the regard of the king and is lauded by the chroniclers.
     His eldest son JOHN (d. 1325), who succeeded to the barony, was the father of Laurence Hastings, who was created earl of Pembroke in 1339, the earls of Pembroke retaining the barony of Hastings until 1389.  A younger son by a second marriage, Sir Hugh Hastings (c. 1307-1347), saw a good deal of military service in France; his portrait and also that of his wife may still be seen on the east window of Elsing church, which contains a beautiful brass to his memory.
     On the death of John, the third and last earl of Pembroke of the Hastings family, in 1389, Sir Hugh's son JOHN had, according to a decision of the House of Lords in 1340, a title to the barony of Hastings, but he did not prosecute his claim and he died without sons in 1393.  However his grand-nephew and heir, Hugh (d. 1396), claimed the barony, which was also claimed by Reginald, Lord Grey of Ruthyn.  Like the earls of Pembroke, Grey was descended through his grandmother, Elizabeth Hastings, from John, Lord Hastings, by his first wife; Hugh, on the other hand, was descended from John's second wife. After Hugh's death his brother, Sir Edward Hastings (c. 1382-1438), claimed the barony, and the case as to who should bear the arms of the Hastings family came before the court of chivalry.  In 1410 it was decided in favor of Grey, who thereupon assumed the arms.  Both disputants still claimed the barony, but the view seems to have prevailed that it had fallen into abeyance after 1389.  Sir Edward was imprisoned for refusing to pay his rival's costs, and he was probably still in prison when he died in January 1438.  After his death the Hastings family, which became extinct during the 16th century, tacitly abandoned the claim to the barony.  Then in 1840 the title was revived in favor of Sir Jacob Astley, Bart. (1797-1859), who derived his claim from a daughter of Sir Hugh Hastings who died in 1540.  Sir Jacob's descendant, Albert Edward (b. 1882), became 21st Baron Hastings in 1904.
     A distant relative of the same family was William, Baron Hastings (c. 1430-1483), a son of Sir Leonard Hastings (d. 1455). He became attached to Edward IV, whom he served before his accession to the throne, and after this event he became master of the mint, chamberlain of the royal household and one of the kings most trusted advisers.  Having been made a baron in 1461, he married Catherine, daughter of Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and was frequently sent on diplomatic errands to Burgundy and elsewhere.  He was faithful to Edward IV during the kings exile in the winter of 1470-1471, and after his return he fought for him at Barnet and at Tewkesbury; he has been accused of taking part in the murder of Henry V's son, prince Edward, after the latter battle.  Hastings succeeded his sovereign in the favor of Jane Shore.  He was made captain of Calais in 1471, and was with Edward IV when he met Louis XI of France at Picquigny in 1475, on which occasion he received gifts from Louis and from Charles the Bold of Burgundy.  After Edward IV's death Hastings behaved in a somewhat undecided manner.  He disliked the queen, Elizabeth Woodville, but he refused to ally himself with Richard, duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III.  Suddenly Richard decided to get rid of him, and during a meeting of the council on the 13th of June 1483 he was seized and at once put to death.  This dramatic incident is related by Sir Thomas More in his History of Richard III, and has been worked by Shakespeare into his play Richard III.  Hastings is highly praised by his friend Philippe de Commines, and also by More.  He left a son, Edward (d. 1508), the father of George, Baron Hastings (c. 1488-1545), who was created earl of Huntingdon (q.v.) in 1529.
     When Francis, 10th earl of Huntingdon, died in October 1789, the barony of Hastings passed to his sister Elizabeth (1731-1808), wife of John Rawdon, earl of Moira, and from her it came to her son Francis Rawdon-Hastings, who was created marquess of Hastings in 1817."  (Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, 1911, available online from LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia, www.1911encyclopedia.org, 2004.)
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4. U. J. Hoffman, History of La Salle County, Illinois, The S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., Chicago, IL, 1906: pg. 979;  Anonymous, Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County Illinois, The Lewis Pub. Co., Chicago, IL, 1900: pg. 472; & Anonymous, History of La Salle County, Illinois, Inter-State Pub. Co., Chicago, IL, 1886: pg. 707.
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Additional Citations:

5. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Washington County, Pennsylvania, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 170, (microfilm: roll M33_113; img. 201).

6. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Jefferson County, Ohio, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 217, (microfilm: roll M33_91; img. 225).

7. 1830 US Census Population Schedule for Jefferson County, Ohio, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 140, (microfilm: roll M19_134; img. 206).

8. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Washington County, Pennsylvania, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 212A, (microfilm: roll M432_833; img. 423).

9. Charles Augustus Hanna, Historical Collection of Harrison County, in the State of Ohio, privately published, New York, NY, 1900: pg. 379.  (Reprint available from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD, 21202-3897)  (Saundra Gibb; database - :993466; worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com, 2001.)

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