HUFF (or Hufft), Philip, of Wayne Co KY

Philip Huff was born about 1785, probably in Tennessee,[1] although Virginia or Kentucky is possible.[2] He died 1 Mar 1857 in Wayne Co KY at the home of his youngest daughter Minerva and her husband, Samuel Hensley.

About 1810, Philip married Hannah Spencer,[3] probably in Wayne Co KY, assuming she was his only wife. Hannah was born in 1785 in Virginia or in Tennessee.

Most of the following discussion has been made invalid by DNA studies which show Philip was not descended in the male line from the other known Huffs. Autosomal DNA tests suggest he may have been descended from a daughter. I apologize for not being able to supply more details; I have results at and other DNA testing sites to Huffs but have been asked not to give details on yDNA results.

  • A generation earlier Philip Huff was married to Rachel Jackson or Rachel Harmon and left an 1823 will in Montgomery Co VA; among his children was his son Philip. Many family researchers have tried to connect our Philip to this family; others have been emphatic he is not the same Philip Jr. At this writing, I believe the son of Philip and Rachel was the Philip Huff, born ca 1775, who married Jemima Thurman and died ca 1820 in Cumberland Co KY.[4] As stated above, no yDNA has ever linked our Huffs to other Huff/Hoff/Hough families.
  • Granville W Hough stated in print that the Wayne Co KY Philip was born 1765, but later retracted and agreed that 1785 was the correct date.[5]
  • It was an acknowledged mistake when Granville W Hough wrote me on 18 Jul 1988 that “It is my present belief that Phillip Huff was son of Phillip and Rachel (Miller) Huff of VA or possibly a grandson. Circumstantially, this fits better than anything I know.”[6] He also gives many of Philip’s children’s marriages, plus other data. In a later letter, he clarified that Phillip Huff and Rachel Jackson had two children who married Millers and “I got confused in my letter to you.” Philip and Rachel had a son Philip, b ca 1785, who moved to Indiana, and Granville was “willing to consider the possibility that we have the two Phillips reversed in some way.”[7]
  • In summary, the connection, if it exists, between our Philip Huff and the Philip Huff who left an 1823 will in Montgomery Co VA naming his son Philip, is unclear and confusing.

Another time, Granville Hough wrote: “These were in Wayne County before 1822: Phillip Huff and Hannah family; Isaac Huff family; John [Huff] & Sarah (Kelsey) family (to Pulaski Co MO); Samuel Huff family (to Jackson Co AL); Wiley Hoff; Daniel Huff and Polly [Huff’s] family (Polly married [2] John Stinson. Or maybe it was Polly Stinson married [2] Daniel Huff by 1834.) “It seems quite probable that some of the above are descended from Phillip and Rachel, but not all. There must have been another early Huff or Hoff family passing through [Wayne Co KY]. Some of these used Dutch given names: Delemaris; Cemecus; Deadamica; Tunulia; Tilemaus. I suspect this was a Hoff family of PA or NJ origin who wound up in the area. Also, some of the later records show Hufft, and that name must be considered.”

What does appear from the records is that Philip was a poor man at least at the end of his life. The Wayne County Court authorized medical attention for his last illness.[8]

His census record follows:

1820, Wayne Co KY p 85: 310010/31010.

1830, Wayne Co KY, p 227: 1021001…/121011001… [2 females 30-40 & 40-50 were erased] (no slaves).

1840, Wayne Co KY, p 167, Philip Huff: 00101001…/01021001…

1850, Wayne Co KY, p 303. Phillip Huff 65 m farmer $50 VA, Hannah Huff 65 f VA.


Census and other records suggest the following children for Philip and Hannah[9]:

1. William R HUFF was born about 1810 or 1812 in KY. On 31 Dec 1845 in Wayne Co KY William married Esther CALHOUN, the sister of Jeremiah Calhoun, who married Nancy Ann Huff, and the widow of Joel Wright.[10] Born ca 1815 in KY. Esther died possibly in Oct 1883. The 1880 census ties William to a grandson of Philip Huff: William Hough, born 1810 KY, resided with James, 34, and Elizabeth Denton, 31, and their four children. The household also included Jane Morris, 72, grandmother; William’s relationship was not stated. The census taker checked KY for all birthplaces, using ditto marks, except Elizabeth’s father, who was born in NC. has James Denton, born ca 1846, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Huff) Denton, and Elizabeth, born ca 1849, daughter of Thomas J & Jane Morris, and their 4 children, residents of Wayne Co KY. William and Hetty had the following children:

i. Sarah J (ca1848-)

ii. James R (ca1850-)

2. Elizabeth HUFF was born on 29 Dec 1812 in KY and died on 10 Apr 1876. On 3 Nov 1831, with Philip Huff as surety, Elizabeth married Benjamin DENTON, son of Isaac DENTON & Mary S –?–, in Wayne Co KY. Born in 1802 in NC, Benjamin probably died in the 1850s. One of their descendants was named Spencer Denton, possibly for Elizabeth’s mother’s family. They had the following children:

i.Martha A (ca1832-)

ii. Marion (1834-)

iii.Isaac Newton (1837-)

iv. Phillip (1840-1914)

v. Mary S (ca1844-1886)

vi.John W (1845-1924)

vii.James W (1845-1935) [above]

viii. William M (1847-)

3. George Washington HUFF[11] was born on 28 Feb 1816 in KY and died in Hart Co KY, on 22 Jul 1902. About 1834 George Washington married Malinda DENTON, daughter of Isaac DENTON & Mary S –?–, in Wayne Co KY. Born on 10 Jan 1812 probably in Stokes Co NC, Malinda died in Hart Co KY, on 30 Dec 1901. They had the following children:

i. Clayton M (1836-1928)

ii. Lorenzo Dow (1839-1912)

iii.        William A (1842-1919)

iv. Isaac Newton (1845-1925)

v. Hannah Cathern (1847-1891)

vi. John W (~1850-)

vii. Hardin Thomas (1855-1943)

4. Philip Newton HUFF was born about 1819. Philip died in Placerville, El Dorado Co CA, on 7 Feb 1878. On 24 Dec 1840, he married Catherine SHEARER in Wayne Co KY. Born ca 1816 in Ashe Co NC, the daughter of William Christian and Sallie Walter Shearer, Catherine probably also died in CA. They had the following children, according to their 1870 census in El Dorado Co CA, all born in California:

i. George W (1842-)

ii. Margaret Angeline (1846-)

iii. J W (1849-)

iv. William N (1851-)

v. Hattie L (1853-)

vi. Joseph Benson (1854-)

vii.  Isaac N (1856-)

viii. B F (1859-)

ix. Charles E (1862-)

x. Thomas J (1864-)

5. Mary Ann HUFF was born about 1820. On 4 Oct 1843, she married John W SPANN in Wayne Co KY. Born in 1818 in Rutherford Co TN, John W died in Poplar Springs, Monroe Co KY. They had the following children:

i. Verlinder (1844-)

ii. George A C (1846-)

iii. William A (1848-)

iv. James (1850-)

v. Sarah (1854-)

vi. John W (1856-)

vii. Shelby N (1859-)

6. Sarah Catherine HUFF was born on 1 Oct 1822 in KY. Sarah Catherine died in 1880. On 29 Jul 1849, with Philip “Hufft” and John B Waddle as sureties, Sarah Catherine married as his second wife William Wallace WADDLE in Wayne Co KY. Born on 30 Aug 1821 in Tellico or Grainger Co TN, William died in Waynesborough, Lincoln Co KY, on 28 Jul 1893. They had the following children:

i. Sarah Jane (1849-)

ii. Isaac Newton (1850-)

iii. Thursa Caroline (1852-)

iv. Gaelon William T (1853-1836)

v. Martha Arzelle Belle (1855-1939)

vi. Mary A (Died as Child) (1856-1856)

vii. John Alexander Campbell Samuel (1858-1933)

viii. James Robert (Died as Infant) (1860-1860)

ix. Minerva Catherine (1860-)

x, xi. 2 children (1864-)

xii.  Angeline (1868-1939)

7. Nancy Ann HUFF was born in Apr 1825 in Wayne Co KY. She died in Pulaski Co KY in 1913. In Nov 1845, she married Jeremiah CALHOUN in Wayne Co KY. Born in 1819 in KY, Jeremiah was living in 1880 in Pulaski Co KY. They had the following children:

i. Philip Ephraim (1852-)

ii. Hannah C (1854-)

8. Robert M HUFF was born in say 1827. On 2 Sep 1847, he married Margaret SHEARER in Wayne Co KY. Born in 1815 in NC, Margaret died in Dec 1867. Neither Robert nor his wife was found in the 1850 or 1860 census.

9. Minerva Jane HUFF was born on 13 Sep 1831 in Wayne Co KY and died in Hart Co KY on 30 Jan 1916. Minerva Jane married as his second wife Samuel Monroe HENSLEY. He was born about 1825 in VA and died before 1900. Children of his first marriage, according to the 1860 census were John W, Marshall E, Harriet L, Mary Jane. Minerva’s 1900 census says she had not children; nonetheless, it is likely she and Samuel had the following children:

i. Samuel Thomas (1859-1935)

ii. Frank W (1861-)

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] In 1880 and 1900 George W Huff said his father had been born in TN. Nancy Ann (Huff) Calhoun said her parents both born in KY. Minerva Jane (Huff) Hensley said TN and VA in 1880, KY and TN in 1900. Many researchers at have Samuel and Sarah (Hix) Huff as Phlip’s parents; this has no known evidence.

[2] Early letters to us from Luther Huff said the family went first to Clinton Co in KY before setttling permanently in Wayne Co.

This Huff family might be related in some way to Philip Newton of Harlan Co KY, 1830.

[3] The 1916 death certificate of Minerva Jane (Huff) Hensley gives her mother’s maiden name as Hannah Spenser. Several gedcoms at say she was a grandaughter of Nathan and Hannah (Loofborough) Spencer, of Loudon co VA and Belmont Co OH, a daughter of either Nathan and Ann (Smith) Spencer or of John and Lydia (Phillips) Spencer, but both of these Hannahs are known along with their husbands. It would be better to look for Hannah in a family near Wayne County.

There was a John Spencer in 1820 Wayne Co KY, p 94, 000001/33110. That’s a lot of daughters. He was on the same page as Phillip Huff in 1830: 00110001/0001001. He was born in the 1770s, before ca 1775, and was probably too young to have been our Hannah’s father.

[4] Ferhuson, Jack. “Early Times in Clinton Co KY,” Vol I, p 124, reads: “The Huff brothers—Daniel, Philip and William—were early settlers in this territory. According to the 1799 list Daniel had 200 acres and William 100 acres, both on ‘Spring Creek.” The Huff brothers were sons of Philip Hoff  who came to Philadelphia from Rotterdam, arriving December 30, 1768. He died in Montgomery Co VA ca 1823. William Huff purchased the 200 acre tract of Stephen Robinson, for which he received a patent form the state in 1809. He also patented John Robinson’s farm when the latter moved to TN. In 1814 he sold 112 acres to Robert Cross and 87 1/2 acres to Gibbons Cross, apparently keeping 1/2 acre. He bought 100 acres from Preston Back on Smith Creek the next year.” Note reads: “Phillip Hoff of Cumberland Co KY”—Robert Allen Huff, 1972. Daniel Huff was commissioned a lieutenant May 20, 1800 in the ‘Cornstalk’ militia, assigned to the First Battalion, 46th Regt, Cumberland Co, and was promoted to Captain Sep 5 1802. The regiment was organized 24 Dec 1799.”

[5] Granville W Hough, Hough and Huff Families of the US: 1620-1820 Southeastern States, Vol III, 1974, p 72.

[6] Hough, op cit., Vol III, p 61. In 1992, Granville Hough wrote that he had discarded the theory that this Philip was part of the family of Philip and Rachel (Jackson) Huff. “Another negative factor is the tradition of having come through Harlan Co. None of Phillips’s children are known to have done that. “Phillip was in Wayne Co [as were] Isaac and John in the 1810-1830 era. Neither Isaac nor John can be traced. All may have a common origin.”

[7] I believe this states he had at present in mind two couples who could have fit Philip as parents: Philip and Rachel (Miller) Huff  or Philip and Rachel (Jackson) Huff.

[8] Wayne Co KY Vital Records, Vol. 5, 1978, p. 171: “County Court Claims. 1857 January 29th. It appears to the undersigned that Phillip Huff is laboring under serious indisposition and that he wholly is unable to pay a Physician for waiting upon him, therefore John B. S. Frisbie is hereby authorized and directed to administer and attend him during his sickness at the charge of the Court to the amount of $20 if he needs it. M. P. Buster.”

[9] “Huff Family Tree” at lists a son Jesse, b 1830 TN. But there was no son born ca 1830 in this family’s 1840 census. I have not found Jesse in 1850.

He did have a possible oldest son John P Huff, who married Sarah Woolbridge in Wayne Co KY ca 1834.

[10] From Wilburn Dennis Wright ( 12 Sep 2007: Jesse Emerson Wright was the first child born to Joel Wright & Esther “Hetty” Calhoon ca.1835 in Wayne County. Jesse E(merson) Wright birth was followed by a sister Elizabeth J(ane) Wright b-1838 then a brother, Joel S. Wright born Dec. 5, 1840. Their father Joel Wright died in 1842/3 and their mother Esther “Hetty” (Calhoon) Wright married 2nd William R. Huff December 31, 1845 in Wayne County. While his siblings are shown in the 1850 census in the household of their step father William Huff & mother “Hetty” (Wright) Huff, Jesse E. Wright is shown living in Union County and working as a laborer. Jesse Emerson Wright married Margaret Elizabeth Wright (2nd cousin) May 25, 1858, at the home of William Huff (step father) & mother “Hetty” (Wright) Huff.

Mr. Wright may be the origin of my previous posting:

Joel Wright & “Hetty” had four children: 1st Jesse Emerson Wright born 1835, Elizabeth J. born 1837, Mary Jane born 1839 and Joel S. Wright born 6 Dec 1840, before Joel Wright (Sr) died in 1843. Joel’s son Joel died 25 Dec 1858, Wayne Co KY. Jesse Emerson Wright married Margaret Elizabeth Wright, a second cousin, at William’s Huff’s house in 1858, with Jesse “Right,” who may have been her father, as witness. Joel and Hetty also had daughter Mary Jane, probably dead by 1850. [This statement has been edited Jan. 2016, due to uncertainty as to my sources and questions about the people involved. KP]

[11] Malinda Denton’s parents were living with their family in 1850 and with son Lorenzo in 1870. The proximity of father-in-law Isaac Denton to Philip Huff in various census years is the only evidence of his father. Apparently George’s sister Elizabeth married Malinda’s brother Benjamin; their granddaughter wrote that her mother was a cousin of my family.

Published on October 31, 2008 at 2:09 am  Comments (24)  

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  1. My gr grandmother was Lottie Huff. I believe her to be the daughter of Alanson/Elenson Hough and Elizabeth E. Huff. (Census 1870 Printess CO Mississippi. I think Samuel might have been the father of Alanson. Lottie married James M Jones and had a child Eugenia Francis who died as an infant. Had my grandmother, James Alice Jones born December 10, 1872 and Watt Jones before leaving/or being taken from home.

    I have searched for years for some trace of her. Seems a hopeless task.

    Thanks for any comments.


    • Please send me as much data as you can about James Alice Jones, including death date and place, marriage and such. I can’t find her in 1880, so I’ll see if I can find her any time or place and work backwards.

      • In 1880, Dickson Township, Colbert Co AL, James Jones, 29, is found with children, James, indexed as Janus because she’s a girl, 7, and Hugh W, 3. The father was born in MS and his parents in GA; the children were born in Alabama, as was their mother. So that’s good so far. Lottie must have been born in Alabama.

  2. Thank you Kathy. Just found this,
    The family you found is my family. Hugh is Hugh Watson. Grandma was born in Cherokee, AL. All we knew about Lottie was her name. She disappeared sometime between when Hugh was born and the census that you quoted.
    Do you think she could be the Elizabeth C. I believe it was on the 1860 Census and also on 1870 census with her mother after her father died? 1860 was Tishmingo Co Mississippi, 1870 Printiss CO Mississippi. She was 19 and keeping house. Could she have married, had the baby that died then my grandma who was born Dec. 10, 1872? Tight span of time.
    I would be so thrilled if I could verify that she was daughter of Alanston Hough and E E. Huff. EE went to TX later and died in Coryell Co TX. Think she was with her daughter Minerva and her husband. Will find his name later. She also had a son living there.
    Email me if that is allowed on the website. Jo Saille

    • Kathy and Jo, I have information on the family of “Alanston Hough and E E. Huff.” This is Arthur Alanson Huff and Eliza E. Hamilton. Eliza comes from death certs of her children. The children I have are Minerva J. “Mattie” Huff (1839-1920)(m. Jonathan Hale 18 Mar 1855 Tishomingo, MS), James Burney Huff (1843- )(m. Sarah H Adair 15 Nov 1865 in Alcorn, MS), Martha Ann Huff (1844-1927)(m. Joseph Lafayette Price 29 Dec 1866 Alcorn, MS), Russell Bean Huff (1849-1927)(m. Frances “Fannie” Mildred Winters abt 1872), William Alexander Huff (1855-1894)(m. Nancy Leona Reavis 1880 in Coryell, TX), Mary Huff (1856- ), Elizabeth C. Huff (1851- ), and Nancy “Netsie” Huff (1859-1936)(m. James William Inches 26 Dec 1881 Coryell, TX).

      Russell Bean Huff is my 2nd great grandfather. You can email me at lcornell “six” at austin dot rr dot com.

  3. Re: Phillip Newton Hufft & Catherine Shearer.
    Phillip and Catherine were “49ers,” traveling by ox train from Camden, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. They arrived after a six-month trip in September 1849 with their two children, George Washington Hufft and Margaret Angeline Hufft. Margaret Angeline Hufft is my great-grandmother. Phillip and Catherine eventually settled in Diamond Springs, El Dorado County in 1855 and lived there until their deaths.
    Glad to share any info I have on Phillip, Catherine and their children.

    • Dear Su Black,

      My husband is a descendant of Phillip Hufft through his son Joseph Benson Hufft; my sister-in-law and I have been working on the line for years. I would love to exchange information, particularly about Phillip.

      Jane Hufft

  4. William N Huff (1851) may be burried at Caintown Kentucky.

  5. Be glad to exchange stuff!!! Love to share and get new info. I live in California and the Kentucky and Missouri information is difficult for me to find.

    Su Black

  6. I am looking for any information on My Great Great Grandmother Dicey Daisy Huff who married Eli Reed in Jackson co Ky.Thanks

    • Tammy, please send some dates for Dicey (Huff) Reed.

      • I have recently found more information about my Huff family. and my great great grandmother’s name is Diannah Dicey Huff she desends from Dr. James I. Huff and Obedience Koger. Thanks

  7. Tammy,
    I am excited for your find. Please let me know what you found.

    • James Huff Jr fought in the war of 1812 and James Huff Sr was only survivor of indian fight with Half Breed Benge. If he did not survive I would not be here today.

  8. Also James Huff Jr. married Anna Pennington I desend from their son Allen Huff.

  9. I have seen several references to your research on ancestry so I looked up your page, may I say I am impressed with your extensive research. The reason for my interest is I am a descendant of Jesse Huff br 1828 and have been trying to connect him with Phillip Huff. I have no documentation just clues that they are related. I did see your comment that Jesse wasn’t related because of the 1840 census for Phillip but the 1840 census record I have for Phillip has a male age over 10 and under 15 listed. This would agree with Jesse’s age. I haven’t found Jesse in 1850 but in 1860 it has place of birth in Tennessee but still possible since Wayne County Kentucky connects with Tennessee. I would be very interested if you come up with any documents concerning Jesse Huff relationships with Phillip.
    Really enjoyed reading some of your research

    • Angie,
      Are there any males in your family who might be DNA tested? Philip’s sons have a distinct yDNA from other Huffs, and this would help determine where Jesse fits among the Huffs. Kathy

      • Yes I do have several male Huff cousin, by coincidence one built a home in the area where Jesse Huff lived in Wayne/Pulaski County area. I will have to contact him and see if he would be willing to do a DNA test, he also recently got interested in the family tree. How would he go about doing this? Angie

  10. Try the $99.00 test at I’ll look up the Huff family DNA coordinator’s email address once you get a test or two sent in. He should be able to tell immediately which Huff family Jesse is related to.
    If you have two men who are second or third cousins to each other, that would be best for testing.

    • Thank you so much for the information, I hope my cousin will do the DNA test. I would really like to know one way or the other so that if we aren’t of Phillip’s descendants I can start looking for other connections for Jesse. And on a side note, the William Huff buried in Caintown Cemetery, Pulaski County Ky. that I saw mentioned in an above post is a son of Jesse Huff, that William is my great grandfather. I do have a copy of William’s death certificate that has Jesse Huff listed as his father.

  11. Would you email me a scanned copy of that death certificate, please?

    • I sure will.

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