David Hatcher, Half Indian

The Revolutionary War records of David Hatcher tell us that he was half Indian.  From the Hatcher family website, we find the following information:

1778  Granville Co, NC  

NC State Records, Clark, Vol XVI, 1782-1783, p 136. Name and Rank: Hatcher, David, Pt.

Dates of Enlistment and Commission: 1779

Occurrences: Mustd, Dead Sep 1779

Pierce’s Register, Vol X, p 266

To whom granted and rank: The heirs of David Hatcher, Privt

No acres: 640

Service in months: 84

Location and to whom deeded and date of warrant. Within the limits of the lands allotted the officers and soldiers of the Continental Line, by Law, 1783, Oct 14.

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Another reference to David Hatcher from “A Descriptive List of Men Raised Under the Present Act of Assembly, 25 May 1778, Granville County, NC”, abstracted from the original in NC Archives.

“David HATCHER, age 16, half indian, 5 ft 7 in. high, well made, planter”

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Samuel Walker served in the American Revolution from North Carolina. On August 22, 1771 he officially was commissioned a Lieutenent and on May 7, 1778 he was commissioned as Captain. In a Roster of North Carolina Soldiers in the American Revolution was a list of men raised under the present Act of Assembly, in Companies 1-15 Inclusive. Signed by Capt. Ralph Williams, 9-N.B. This was dated May 25, 1778 and listed Capt. Samuel Walker’s Company, George Woodlift, planter, David Hunt, planter, Gibson Harris, planter, David Hatcher, planter, Tolbert Tucker (several trades), and John Kennedy, trader.

This information tells us that David Hatcher was born about 1762.  We know from tax lists that his father, John Hatcher, and his mother, Mary were living in Granville County by 1760.  His father is taxed normally, owns land and in 1784, dies with a will. 

The family website says there is no reason to believe that John Hatcher is anything but European, so they have therefore surmised that David’s mother, Mary, was therefore full blooded Indian. 

You can visit the Hatcher family website here:  http://hatcherfamilyassn.com/getperson.php?personID=I41027&tree=WmTheIm

Generally, that would be a logical assumption, except we do have some evidence that there was a Native Hatcher family in North Caroline at that time.  From Paul Heinegg’s work, we find the following:

Jack Hatcher, born about 1729, “alias Indian Jack,” petitioned John Parish, Sr., in Goochland County, Virginia court on 19 September 1750. Parish died before November court 1751, and Jack sued his widow and administrator Judith Parish for trespass in May 1752. The deposition of Robert Napier, Sr., an “aged and infirm person” of Albemarle County was taken on Jack’s behalf. In July 1764 the court found in Jack’s favor for 40 shillings damages. In July 1759 Bouth Napier sued him for debt, but Jack delayed the case until September 1762 when judgment was entered against him [Orders 1750-57, 36, 47, 94, 128, 204, 409, 594; 1757-61, 227, 252; 1761-5, 99]. He was taxable in Goochland County in 1757 and 1760, his tax charged to William Rutherford in 1757 [List of Tithables 1756-1766, frames 121].

Indeed, the timeframes for John in Granville County and Jack in Goochland County do overlap, but John could potentially be related to Jack in some capacity.

Furthermore, we also have other Hatcher families in North Carolina that may also be Native.  Dr. Morris Britt’s work tells us the following:

Isam Hatcher obtained 140 ac on a 640 ac tract south of Drounding Ck on Cubbages Swamp Dec. ,17 1772 (Bladen Co. deeds, 1738-1779, 387-88).  Hatcher is listed in Bladen in 1773 and 1778 on Drowning Ck.  Robert and Timothy Hatcher each had a tract in current Bladen on Gap Way Swamp in 1778-1779.  Named in Columbus Co. NC in 1779.

Hatcher’s in Robeson County later identified themselves as Indian.

David Hatcher, the man who was half Indian, according to the Hatcher website, had brothers John, Thomas, Joshua and another brother whose name was unknown.  Daughters are also unknown, although the fact that John Hatcher, David’s father, in his will names his wife and a James Claxton as his executors suggests a close relationship with James Claxton.  Generally family members are named as executors and James Claxton could have been a son-in-law.  If anyone has any information about the relationship between James Claxton and John Hatcher, please contact me.

Granville County, North Carolina Will Book 2, Page 15 & 16 LDS Film 18971

In the name of God amen. I John Hatcher of Granville County & State of No Carolina being in perfect health mind & memory but Calling to mind the mortality of the body do make & ordain this my last will & Testament in the first place I Give my Soul to that God, who Gave my Soul & Body to be Commited to the aurel(?) from where(?) it Came. Item I lend to my beloved wife Mary Hatcher all my estate both real & personal after my lawful Debt is paid during her natural or widowhood but in Case She Should intermarry I put in the power of my Executor to take Security in order to Secure the estate for the use of my legees(?). Item my will is that there be an Equal Division of my lands by my three Sons as they come of age namely Thomas I Give his part in the lower end including the lower _ato(?). John I Give his part in the place Called the Sandy Ground Clearing & Joshua to have his part on the land & plantation whereon I now live including the plantation. Item; I leave James Claxton & my wife Mary Hatcher Executors to this my last will & Testament. Given under my hand & Seal this 26 day of May 1784. John (his HH mark) Hatcher, Teste, Bennett Phillip, James ?enningham Jun Granville County SS. May Court A.D. 1787. This will was duly proved by the Oath of Bennett Phillip which was proved to be _____(?). Then Mary Hatcher qualified as Executrix & James Claxton as Executor to the Said Will. Teste: Rueben Searcy

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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