John Halley was a very interesting man.  He spent 4 years as a captive of the Shawnee Indians after being captured at Boonesborough. He was born about 1732 in Prince William County, Kentucky.  He married Judith Goad in 1760 and moved to Bedford County about 1764.  He and Judith had Had nine children:  Susanna, William, Benjamin, Mary, Joshua, John, Sarah, Fanny, and Ann.

John Halley of Bedford County, Virginia was at Braddocks Defeat and later came to Boonesborough. In 1778 when he was about 46 while out with Daniel Boone’s salt makers at the Lower Blue Licks, he was one of the men kidnapped by the Shawnee and taken to Ohio. He was rescued in 1782 and returned to Bedford County. He claimed 400 acres of Kentucky land on a settlement certificate. His tract on Glenn Creek in Woodford County was surveyed in 1791 and patented in 1795. the fact that he was in his late 40’s when captured by Indians and survived is remarkable.

When he was a young man he was allowed to charge on his brother Francis Halley’s Glassford Store Account in Prince William County. Also when he was in Prince William County at the age of 25 he got in some trouble for stealing a mare.

Prince William County Order Book Abstracts 1753-1757. P. 95 – Page 67 (Order Book 1755-1757) (26 April 1756). John Hailey was committed to the goal of this County by a Precept from under the hand of William Tebbs gent one of the Justices of the Peace for the said County dated the 3d day of May. Instant on Suspicion of Stealing a Mare belonging to Conard Pott being this day Examined by the Court & the witnesses against him and all circumstances relating to the said fact being considered this Court are the opinion that he is not Guilty of the Felony and that he be hence discharged


Page 130 – Page 276 (Order Book 1755-1757) (23 May 1757). Ordered that the Sherif take into Custody John Hailey and him safely keep till he Enter into Bond with good and Sufficient Security in the sum of twenty pounds and his Securities in the sum of ten pounds each for the said John Hailey’s good behavious to all his Majesties Liege Subjects a year and a day.

On October 4, 1796 his will was written and proved in Bedford Co., Virginia. 27 Dec 1802, Book2, pg 396 by George Lambert

John left a will probated in Dec,1802 Bedford County, Virginia in which he named his wife “Judah”. Children named were Benjamin, Mary, William, Sarah, John, Joshua and Susanna.


1754-58: John Halley/Hawley on the pay rolls of Capt Thomas Waggoner during the French and Indian War, and on size roll in

1756, described as age 24, 5 ft 3 1/2 in tall.

1756, 9 Jun: John Halley served under Capt Waggoner at the Engagement of Monongahela, also known as “Braddock’s Defeat”.

1778, Jan – Nov 82: John Halley captured along with Daniel Boone and others at Blue Licks, Ky and held captive by the Shawnee Indians.

1791 Woodford Co, Ky: John Halley had 400 acres surveyed. This was land allotted to veterans of the French and Indian War.

John gave his son Benjamin power of atty to sell this land in 1797.

1802, 27 Dec: Bedford Co (dated 4 Oct 1796): will of John Halley proven, mentioning wife Judah and children Benjamin, Mary

Williams (wife of Reason Williams), Sarah Halley (wife of Giles Halley), John, Joshua, Susanna, Fanny, Ann, and Jacob.  Source: Michael D. Nestor