Title: The Halley family in England and America : with incidental references to the family of Hawley

Authors: McPike, Eugene Fairfield,

City of Publication: Chicago,

Publisher: unknown

Date: 1933

Page Count: 30




Among some of the Halleys in Virginia, there is a tradition that from England came “three brothers,” one of whom settled in Massachusetts, one in Maryland and the other in

Virginia or further south, (2) We have not been able to confirm this tradition by documentary evidence. We have already shown that the surnames “Halley” and “Hawley” were often interchangeable and, sometimes, pronounced alike. The spelling of surnames even so late as the seventeenth or eighteenth century was far from uniform.

Of the Halleys or Hawleys in Maryland, we find very little information. Jerome Hawley, one of the gentlemen in attendance upon Queen Henrietta Maria, was a Councillor of Maryland, circa 1630.1637. (3) He was a brother of Henry Holley, who, for many years, was Governor of Barbados, and of William Hawley, a, squire in 1650, of the Protestant Declaration Of Maryland, He was also, a brother of James Hawley, of Branford (Brantford) County Middlesex, England. He may have been identical with the Jerome Hawley, in Northumberland County, Virginia, in 1655; (Westmoreland County, Virginia, not having then, as yet, been created). Jerome Halley was one of the first settlers at Port Tobacco, Maryland. This is on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, opposite the place, in Virginia, where, as shall be seen directly, James, Henry and Edward Halley settled, at about the same time (? circa 1630 – 1637).

This Jerome Halley was, no doubt, identical with the Mr. Halley of Maryland,” mentioned in the ‘State Papers -Domestic,’ edited by Bruce, as shown in our Part VII, Jerome Halley (or Hawley) probably married and had issue. Some of his possible descendants may be among the unidentified Baileys (Hamleys) mentioned in the miscellaneous notes collected by Mr. Henry I, Hutton, of Warrenton, Virginia, but not accessible to us now.

We came next to the Halleys in Virginia, who, invariably, pronounce the name like “Hawley,” There were three Hawley brothers, Edward, Henry and James, at Nomony, Westmoreland County, Virginia, in 1665, Nomony is only a short distance from that section of Westmoreland County where Thomas Halley settled, The latter may have been related to the three Hawley brothers at Nomony, who bore the Christian names that have been used by the Virginia Baileys for several generations. James• Henry and Edward Halley ( their surname sometimes takes this form), had several grants of land in Westmoreland County, Virginia, from Governor William Berkley, at various times, from 1665 to 1710, for transporting settlers from England to Virginia, We regret the absence of any information concerning their descendants, (3)

We must, therefore, commence our formal tabulation of the genealogy of the Halleys in Virginia, with;

(1) Thomas Halley, who was born in England, circa 1662, and was the progenitor of a large and representative branch of that family in Virginia. In the ‘Diary’ (4) of Henry Simpson Halley (1789-1872), a great-.grandson of the above named Thomas, it is recorded that the latter was born in Wales, but we have no other authority for this statement, (1) Thomas Halley emigrated from England, circa 1670 or before, for his name appears in the Parish Register, in 1679, of the place now known as Truro parish. He settled on Dogue Run, a small stream which empties into the Potomac River, just below Mount Vernon, then in Westmoreland County. Here he built a log cabin wherein he and his good wife reared their family. At that time, circa 1679, Alexandria was an Indian village, While Thomas Halley was living on Dogue Run, he was captured by some of the neighboring Indiana, tied, and carried up the Potomac River to the place which is now Harper’s Ferry, One night, after he had been securely tied and placed for the night, between two Indians, they all fell asleep. As the Indians slept, he picked up a mussel shell, cut the rope with which he was bound, slipped from between his two companions, and taking the trail homeward arrived in safety before he was overtaken. The Indians reached his log cabin a few hours after his arrival. They looked in and said: “Tom, that you?” Strange to relate, they did not try to harm him, but each and all filed away quietly to their own haunts. This incident is recorded in the ‘diary’ of Henry Simpson Halley (1789-1872)

(1) Thomas Halley married, but the name of-his wife has not been found. We do not know whether he was married in England or America, If in England, he must have returned there after settling in Virginia, because he was, presumably quite young when he emigrated from England, circa 1679. If his son, James, was born in England, as shown elsewhere, (5) it would prove that he (Thomas) did return to England, for James Halley was born in 1707, twenty-eight years after his father, Thomas, first came to Virginia. Of Thomas Halley’s family, we have no authentic record, save of the one child, James.

(2) James Halley, the son of Thomas Halley just mentioned, was born June 14, 1707, possibly in England, James Halley was a prosperous planter. At the time of his death, in 1792, he owned several plantations, and quite a number of slaves.

James Halley died at his home “Pleasant Green, near Fairfax Court House, July 6, 1792. He married Elizabeth Simpson (daughter of Richard Withers Simpson) who was born November 8, 1717, and died July 22, 1785. James Halley and Elizabeth, his wife, had issue;

(3) i, William, died in 1806, in the 85th year of his age,

(4) ii, James II., died in his 92nd year,

(5) iii. John,

(6) iv, Richard,

(7) v, Francis,

(8) vi. Henry Simpson.

(9) vii, Mary Mountjoy,

(10)viii, Susan

(11) ix, Sallie (or Sarah)

(12) x, Sybil, who married Jesse Peake. (6)

(13) xi, an infant, died,

(14) xii, an infant, died,

We deeply regret that the valuable and extensive collections made by Mr. Henry I. Hutton, of Warrenton, Virginia, relative to later generations, are no longer available. One can only hope that they have not been destroyed, Some other particulars, however, have appeared, in type, elsewhere. (7)

(1) Based, largely, upon data supplied, circa 1927, by Mr. Henry I. Hutton, of Warrenton, Virginia who had long been collecting material, relating to the early history of the Halley families in Virginia. See Notes and Queries_, (London, 1915), 11th series, vol. xii., p. 339; ibid. (1916), 12th series, vol. pp. 9, 187.

(2) Ibid., (1916), 12th series, vol. i., p. 9,

(3) Virginia Historical Magazine, vol. ix., pp. 170-171.

(4) The ‘Diary’ was, in 1927, in the possession of Mr. Henry I. Hutton, of Warrenton, Virginia

(5) ‘Colonial Families of the United States,’ vol. page 302; Baltimore, 1911,

(6) Notes and Queries, (London, 1916), 12th series, vol. i., pp. 9, 187,

(7) ‘Colonial Families of the United States, vol.