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Granville County, North Carolina Hardins

Granville County in General

Recent changes: Samuel Hardin (Jr.) items have been moved to his page. Likewise for Thomas Hardin and John Hardin.
This page is about the Hardin families who did not go farther south -- families who stayed in Granville or migrated to Virginia or Kentucky. It is also about Granville County in general.

A family of Hardins beginning with Sterling Hardin, born about 1750, did not migrate south, but lived a generation in Granville County, after which Sterling Hardin, Jr. (1798) and his son John migrated to Wytheville, Virginia. A DNA test of a descendant of Sterling Hardin reveals they are identical to James Oran Hardin, the "standard" I-M253 Hardin in my mind. When all is known, Sterling will turn out to be a son of Samuel Hardin, Jr. or Thomas Hardin, one of the brothers who died in Granville County before 1753. Futhermore, it's possible that the Gabriel Hardin, b. bef. 1750, whom I attributed to John Hardin (1733), should be attributed to Samuel or Thomas. John was too young to father a son by 1750.

When Samuel Hardin died in Brunswick County, Virginia in 1732, his left his unnamed three eldest sons 640 acres in North Carolina to divide equally among themselves. Thus they were drawn across the state line to Granville County. I find no hint of the sons ever occupying it or selling it. Samuel in particular, and William, one of the youngest sons, bought and sold land in Brunswick County for a few years.

This page includes speculation for discussion among reseasrchers of this family. It is not finished genealogy tied up in a ribbon for harvesting. Corrections and better explanations are requested by the author, Travis Hardin at ke3y at comcast dot net.

In 1754 Samuel Harding property in Granville County was sold for debt. That would be property abandoned by Samuel Hardin, Jr. when he was jailed. If the latter, then Samuel Hardin, Jr. was dead in 1754 since it was his estate that was sued. It is likely, then, he was put to death for theft.

December term of the court, 1754: "William Eaton vrs. the estate of Samuel Harding, attachment suit. Jury decides for plaintiff. Property ordered sold to pay debt due Eaton."
-Court Minutes of Granville County, North Carolina 1746-1820, by Zae Hargett Gwynn, printed 1977, Rocky Mount, NC. Chapter "Minutes 1754-1770" Author page 7, record book page 44.

In 1754 Granville County included that eastern half that became Bute County in 1764. I don't know what region of the county the land of Samuel Hardin, Jr. was in or where was the 640 acres left by Samuel Hardin, Senior to his three eldest sons. I have not found the location of that land.

The three eldest were slow to find their way into the records. This writer is unaware of their activities between 1732 and 1753. In the late 1740s Gabriel and Samuel -- already in their mid-thirties, it is believed -- married and began families, probably in Granville County. Samuel Hardin, and probably Gabriel, were employed as laborers in Granville County in the 1750s. One day in the early 1750s, Samuel and Gabriel, and possibly William, were refreshing themselves in a Granville County ordinary or lodging house when a traveler came in. They all talked and drank. When the traveler was drunk, Samuel Hardin took some of the gold coins he had, it was claimed in Samuel's trial in 1753. He was sent to Edgecombe County for trial and I find no record of his conviction. However I am unable to find him in any records after his hearing, except for the December1754 suit of his estate, quoted above.

John Hardin also married and began a family and was granted land in 1761 in what became Bute County near Louisburg. From 1761 to 1764 Gabriel Hardin owned land in Lunenberg County, Virginia. He received a grant of land in Moore County (then Cumberland), NC in 1764 and moved there in 1767, where he lived most of his life.

John Hardin was granted land 1761-1768 in Bute County, in what was once eastern Granville County. He left Bute County sometime after 17 Nov 1769. He is found in the early 1770s in southern Chatham County, NC, in a location about 23 miles east of Gabriel Hardin.  He sold out to his son Nicholas on 8 Nov 1786 and remained in Chatham County.

Hardin/Hardy Marriages in Granville County

Marriages of Granville County, North Carolina, 1753-1868
Author: Holcomb, Brent H Date of Publication: 2003
Those marked in italics by TLH may be related.
1768 Oct 27 Bruce, Charles and Betty Benton. Hardy, Ben.  bondsman, Saml. Benton, witness. p.76
1777 Nov 14: Hines, Thomas, of Wake County, & Mary Hardy, of Granville County, James Alston, bm; Saml. Henderson Jur., wit.
1786 Sep 16: Crowder, Hilkiah & Lydda Harding, William Cook, bm; Bennet Searcy, wit.
1789 June 3: Crowder, Uel & Molley Harding, Wm. Cook, bm; A. Henderson, wit.
1796 Dec 15: Moreland, Gabriel & Salley Harding, William Miner, bm; Richard Taylor, wit.
1798 Shemwell, Samuel and Jenney Dickerson. Thornton Harden, bondsman. Wm. Robards, witness.
1800 Dec 7: Mitchell, Wm. & Rachel Harden, Mathew Allin, bm.
1801 Feb 18: Harden, Thornton & Elizabeth Harrison, Uel Crowder, bm; Wm. Walker, wit.

1816 Jan 3: Hardy, Sterling & Lotty Inscore, A. D. Parrish, bm; Horace A. Hester, wit.
1816 Jan 19: Brown, Dempsey & Phereba Harden, Larken White, bm; H. Young, wit.
1816 July 6: Dement, Robert & Priscilla Harden, Garland Allen, bm; W.M. Sneed, wit.
1816 Aug 7: Harden, Starling & Sally Worls, John Bruramett, bm; Rhodes Herndon, wit.
1816 Nov 12: Wiles, William & Rhodey Harding, Absalom D. Parish, bm; W.M. Sneed, wit.
1816 Nov 15: Brookhanks (possible misspelling of Brookbanks, name above that listing), William & Rhodey Harding, Absolam Parrish, bm; W.M. Sneed, wit.

1820 July 19: Chavis, John & Nancy Harding, Jesse Bass, bm; Step. K. Sneed, wit.
1833 Nov 1: Harding, Solomon & Louisa Merrit, Iverson Mitchell, bm; Benja. Kittrell, wit.
1840 Jan 5: Hardin, John & Mariah Haley, ; Danl. Fowler, _____
Watson, bm.
1842 Oct 14: Hardin, James & Betsey Fowler, Charles Allen, bm; Wm. H. Whitfield, wit.
1867 Nov 24: Harden, Jesse, of color, parents unknown, & Agnes Burwell, parents unknown, m by J. D, C. Pool, J. P. :
Harden, Phereba     Brown, Demsey     19 Jan 1811
Harden, Pricilla     Dement, Robert     06 Jul 1816
Harden, Rachel     Mitchell, William     07 Dec 1800
Harding, Nancy     Chavis, John     19 Jul 1820
Harding, Rhody     Brookbanks, William     05 Nov 1816
Harding, Rhody     Wiles, William     12 Nov 1816
Harding, Sally     Moreland, Gabriel     15 Dec 1796
Hardy, Mary     Hines, Thomas     14 Nov 1777

And from the real estate record, deed book Y p.51: "Sterling Harden deed of gift to UEL CROWDER, March 11, 1818." -Granville County Kinfolks 1765-1826

"My G-G Grandfather married Mary(Molly) Harding in Granville County, NC and he was given as a gift 50 acres of land from Sterling Harding. I feel this person and I are related through this Harding line. My G-G Grandfather was Uel Crowder from Mecklenburg county, Va and he moved to Granville County and married Mary Harding. His brother Hilliker (Hill) Crowder married Lydia Harding. I beleive this women to be sisters and Sterling their father."
-Idalia Crowder Hicks in a March 1998 archived query.

William Brookbank married Rhody Hardin in Granville Co. November 5, 1816. Rhody died in Granville Co. 1839.
From an archived query 2003-05-31 by

Marriages from Hicks.

1816 Jan 3. Bond #3339. Inscore, Lottle to Hardy, Sterling. Absolem D. Parish, bondsman. p.98

1816 Aug 7. #6632. Worls, Sally to Harden, Sterling. John Brummitt, bondsman. p. 205.

1833 Nov 1. #7686. Merritt, Laura to Harding, Solomon. Iverson Mitchell, bondsman. p. 130.

Some marriages from "Hicks History of Granville County NC Vol 1," by Elizabeth Hicks Humme. Oxford NC 1965

Raw Transcriptions from Granville County for Later Placement

1746. Joseph Harding was on Thomas McAdory Owen's list of early settlers , seems to be owing 8 tax. Old-G. page 209.*

About Chavers families, free people of color in Granville County (possibly useful in future research)

from Tax Lists - Free People of Color from 1780 to 1860. contributed by Jahrod Pender
Courtesy Deloris Williams and contributors at the Granville County US Genweb site.

1782 -- Fishing Creek / Acres -- Ann Chavis 400
1786 Tax -- Fishing Creek -- William Chavis
1796 -- Tar River -- note by compiler: Charles Chavis married Nancy Taborn 4 Nov, bondsman Benjamin Bass.
1797 -- Abrams Plains -- Charles Chavors
1797 --- Abrams Plains -- James Chavors Sr., Charles Chavors
1797 -- Oxford -- Isaac Chavers
1798 -- Oxford -- Isaac Chavers
1798 -- Tar River -- Isaac Chavis
1798 -- County Line -- Evins Chavis (Free Negro)
1799 -- Ragland -- Peter Chavis
1799 -- Abrams Plains -- Evin Chavis, Isaac Chavis 150A. 1 fp
1800 -- Oxford -- Evins Chavers 1 poll
1800 -- Ragland -- Peter Chavis
1801 -- Ragland -- James Chavers
1801 -- Ragland -- Peter Chavers
1803 -- Ragland -- Peter Chavis 100 ac.
1803 -- Country Line -- Charles Chavis
1804 -- Ragland -- Peter Chavis, 100 A.
1804 -- County Line -- Charles Chavis
1804 -- Abrams Plains -- Isaac Chavis, 150 acres
1805 -- Oxford -- Peter Chavis, 100 acres
1805 -- Abrams Plains -- Isaac Chavis 150
1805 -- County Line -- Charles Chavis
1805 -- Island Creek -- Anthony Chavis
1831 -- Beaver Dam -- William Chavers

Muster Roll of the Regiment in Granville County under the Comand of Col. William Eaton as taken at a General Muster of the said Regiment 8th October 1754 (showing Chavers)

Courtesy Deloris Williams and contributors at the Granville County US Genweb site.

Capt. John Glover's Company

William Chavers, Negro
William Chavers, Mullato
Gilbert Chavers, Mulatto

17 Oct 1761 Hardy, Benj. Witness to will of Isaac Winston

19 Apr 1762 John and Ann Hunnicutt exec. of will of Joseph Wright. Probably May court 1762. *OldG p.73

1763 Mark Hardin witness to a sale.
79. David Green, of Or. Co. to John Gun. Sale, Feby 7, 1763. Cons: 15. 8s. 3d. proc. Conveys: stock and goods. Wit: Jno. Burt, Mark Hardin. p. 35.*OldG p.96

*Old G="History and Genealogies of Old Granville County, North Carolina 1746-1800," by Thomas McAdory Owen, pub. by Southern Historical Press.

Sterling Hardin, Sr. ~ 1750, d. about 1804.

Sterling Hardin was born 1750 and lived his life in Granville County, North Carolina. He married Rachel Thornton. They had children who included Thornton Hardin and Sterling J. Hardin. A descendant of Sterling Hardin has tested for DNA and is an i1a Hardin -- my family. Please see kit #130976, William Hardin, at

It seems likely that Sterling Hardin was a son of Samuel, Thomas, or William Hardin, though I am unaware which of them is the father. 

The marriage record above prove that Thornton Hardin married on 18 Feb 1801. (He is said to have died later in the year.) Sterling Hardin, Jr. married Charlotte Inscore 3 Jan 1816.

The marriage records suggest several ties. Uel Crowder was the bondsman for Thornton Hardin. Uel Crowder had married Molley Harding 3 June 1789, and Hilkiah Crowder married Lydda Harding 16 Sep 1786. The suggestion is that Molly and Lydia Hardin were daughters of the elder Sterling Hardin. Also note on 11 March 1818 (the elder?) Sterling gave a gift of land to Uel Crowder, who was his son-in-law. It is believable that the other Hardins who married in the county are kin.

TAX PAYERS IN GRANVILLE COUNTY, 1788, EPPING FOREST DISTRICT included Sterling Harding with 100 acres, situation of land "D", one free poll. The list was taken by Charles R. Eaton. The copyist for USGenWeb Archives was Rosie H. Guthrie.

Granville County Notes by Researcher Susan Austin

Hardin researcher Susan Hardin Austin of Joplin, Missouri has been active in finding a descendant of Sterling Hardin. She encouraged the descendant toward a DNA test. He shows to be an i1a Hardin. She researched and posted the line from Sterling Hardin to the descendent. That line and the DNA result is found on the web site. Sue has written me:

"Thornton Hardin is a son of Sterling Hardin and Rachel Thornton. Thornton Hardin died shortly after he married Elizabeth Harrison. Rachel Thornton is the only child (according to court records) of Henry Thornton and Catherine Bledsoe. Sterling Hardin, son of Sterling and Rachel Thornton Hardin, married Charlotte Inscore. I can not find anything on the Sterling Hardin who married Sarah Worls. Sterling and Charlotte Hardin went to Wythe Co Va." (the part that became Bland County in 1861) with their son John sometime after 1840.

"[The elder] Sterling did not die the same year as Thornton according to court records. I researched this back when I did the dna kit.
"In Granville Co. NC along with Sterling there is a Thomas & Rebecca Hardin. Thomas died 1750 and Rebecca in 1755 bound their son Mark to Robert Jones Jr. There is also a John Hardin in Granville Co during this time period. I have searched Granville Co and I have not found any more info."

November Term 1804. Rebecca Moore and Charlotte Harrison to appear as witnesses at suit of THORNTON HARDEN, administrator of STERLING HARDIN.
"Court Minutes of Granville County North Carolina 1746-1820" by Zae Hargrett Gwinn, p. 209. Court Minites 1803-1806

More on Thornton Hardin
from the  Revolutionary War Pension Application of James Harrison of Overton County, Tennessee, application dated 1854 June 21. transcription:

The declarant was Eli Harrison, age 85, [b. 1769]  of Overton County, Tennessee, the son of James Harrison. Elizabeth Harrison, the sister of Eli, married Thornton Hardin and they both died in  Granville County, N.C. "upwards of 50 years ago" (about 1804)."My parents [James Harrison and Winney Reddin] ... as I always heard and believed were lawfully married in the State of Virginia and I think it was in Amelia County and I expect it has been at least 96 years ago [1758] for their 3rd child was 7 years older than I was –
My father moved to Halifax County North Carolina before I was born and settled on
Roanoke River where he lived until after the Revolutionary War."

Comment: Elizabeth Harrison was just above Eli in Eli's list of 7 children, so possibly born 1767. Elizabeth might have married about 1785, but records show 1801 Feb 18 in Granville County. Elizabeth was born in Amelia County, Va. or more likely in Halifax County, North Carolina. Where would she have met Thornton Hardin? James Harrison lived in Warren County, Capt. Wm. St. John's District, in the North Carolina census of 1784-1787 with 2 females.

In November Term 1804 Rebecca Moore and Charlotte Harrison, who were sisters of Thornton's wife Elizabeth Harrison, appeared as witnesses at suit of THORNTON HARDEN, administrator of STERLING HARDIN. I presume those Harrison sisters lived near Granville County. Benjamin Moore lived in the Dutch District of Granville County; Charlotte perhaps with her father.

Starkey Hardin

February term 1808: John Stroud of Orange County asks administration on estate of Catherine Thornton, deceased, and produced the written relinquishment of STARKEY HARDEN, who married the only child and daughter of said Catherine; granted.
"Court Minutes of Granville County North Carolina 1746-1820" by Zae Hargrett Gwinn, p. 225. Court Minites 1806-1810, Feb. term 1808.

Sterling Hardin Jr. 1798

In the 1860 U.S. Census in district 68 of Wythe County Virginia is found Starling Hardin, age 62, laborer, born North Carolina, living with three grown women, the oldest being Margaret, 36, born North Carolina in 1824. This established his general age and that he was a widower. His entry had the last name first, unlike every other entry on the page. So it is often indexed as surname "Starling."

Thornton Hardin 17xx

1801 Nov 2: Administration on estate of THORNTON HARDEN granted to John B. Pulliam, with bond secured by William Pannell and James M. Burton.
"Court Minites of Granville County, North Carolina 1746-1820" by Zae Hargret Gwynn
Minutes of 1800-1802 p. 190.
Note: This entry disagrees with the account of Thornton Hardin being in court to defend his father's estate in November 1804. See Sterling Hardin section above.

John Hardin, son of Sterling Hardin, Jr. in Wythe County, Va.

Summary-of-John-G-Hardin.pdf  New, July 16, 2020

The marriage license obtained by John Hardin and his second wife is a gold mine of information and confirmation about him and his parents. It is reproduced at the end of the pdf document just above.

Marriage License


John Harden and Louisa E. Shewy

issued 15 Dec 1863

Time of Marriage, 24th December 1863

Place of Marriage, Wythe County

Full Names of Parties married, John Harden & Louisa Evaline Shewy

Age of Husband, 47 years

Age of Wife 23 years 9 months

Condition of Husband, widowed

Condition of Wife, single

Place of husband's birth, Granville N. Carolina

Place of Wife's Birth, Bland Co formerly Wythe Co. Va.

Place of Husband's Residence, Wythe Co Va

Place of Wife's Residence, Wythe Co Va

Names of Husband's Parents, Sterling Harden Charlotte Harden

Names of Wife's Parents, Washington W. Shewey & Anna Kinsler

Occupation of Husband,  sharpener(?)

Given under my hand this 15th day of December 1863

J. H. Fellots, Clerk.


I certify that on the 24th day of Dec 1863 at the House of Tabitha Harden Wythe Co. I united in marriage the above named and described parties, under authority of the annexed License.

Levi Hubble, Minister

For the marrriage license, thanks to
ienesmyles at Engle/Harden/Weidow/shelhammer Family Tree

Deed Book 1, Bland County p. 294-296, January 5, 1867 - Francis M. Waddle & Martha A. Waddle, his wife, Uphemia E. Waddle, Wythe County, to John G. Hardin of Bland County, for the sum of $50.00 in specie, all their rights, title and interest in 19 acres, on Walkers Creek, it being the same land deeded by Solomon Purkey & wife to the Waddles and Malinda Cooley, by deed dated May 3, 1848 and recorded in Wythe County. Signed, witnessed and Martha examined privately, Janyary 5, 1867. Recorded in Bland County, January 3, 1868.

The 21 March 1895 marriage license of Water T. Harmon (b. 1869 in Wythe County) and Nancy A. Farley states his father's name as Jno.  G. Harden and mother  Louisa E. Shewey. (Perhaps Harmon was a foster son of the Hardins.)

The following, found by Barbara Rivas at, might apply to this family.
Richmond Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia
24 Mar 1901 Sunday page 15
Wytheville and Vicinity
Wytheville, VA., March 22 -
Young James Hardin, who left here many years since for the West, and who
spent the past two years as a soldier of the United States army in the
Philippines, has returned home.