‘Tis a long way from Londonderry, Ireland, and a lengthy time span, beginning in 1725.
This is the tale of an English soldier who left the Redcoats in Ireland when assigned to aid in the execution of a fellow soldier, listened intently to his conscience and made the decision to leave Europe.
But not without consultation with his young lady friend, a member of the nobility in Ireland who agreed to his decision and at the same time agreed to become his wife without benefit of getting permission from her parents, members of the Irish Landed Gentry.
John Hanson I first landed with his bride in Baltimore, and shortly thereafter took off for the interior where they settled on the Greenbrier, which was a vast area and included the Greenbrier river valley. This was in the 1750’s. Between those years and the period about 1754 they migrated down the Valleys of Virginia, settling finally at Fincastle, Virginia, in Botetourt county. There they farmed and became the parents of seven sons, each of whom served during the Revolutionary War in the cause of freedom. They were William, James, Samuel, Joseph and John II (my patriot ancestor), the youngest born in 1760. Two names are not known.
Young John Hanson II married on April 13, 1785 to Mary Magdalena Wall of Pulaski County, Virginia. He had earlier been in the service of a unit commanded by Gen. Anthony Wayne and had shared in the proceeds of the loot collected during their assault on White Plains, NY. This record is in the Day Books of Capt. Robert Gamble, their commanding officer, and was authorized by Gen. Washington and the Congress of the United States. In 1779 John II was discharged at the age of 19 after serving three years. He returned home, married, and the couple migrated to Ashe County, NC, where they homesteaded on 150 acres at the confluence of Buffalo Creek and the North Fork of New River in the extreme northwestern corner of North Carolina, near today’s Warrensville and Lansing. The children born in Ash County were Elizabeth, Mary, Conrad, John Wesley, Rebecca, Sarah and Polly.
By 1799 they were again on the move, this time over the ridge into Carter County. From Carter during the War of 1812, John II with his siblings, and his children and parents removed into Clay County, Tenn. From Irvine in Estill County, Kentucky, the entire family loaded onto flat boats and rafts and “floated down the Kentucky” to Indiana.
At Vincennes, Indiana, they purchased land near Bloomington from the land office at the going rate of $1 per acre. The Hansons are found in Monroe County, Ind. holding in excess of 2000 acres in 1854. Old John died earlier, “somewhere in Kentucky” and probably in Clay County. In March, 1818 his son John II died and Mary Magdalena Wall Hanson, his widow, and her son Conrad removed to better farming land, which they purchased with Conrad’s son James, in Tower Hill, Ill.
Written by Raymond Hanson