Pharosima Hastings Smith: Part 2

Pharo Smith

Update 12/21/14 to add graph of family tree and members living in Choctaw/Sumner/Webster County MS with Pharosima

In the previous post I covered where I began my investigation of “Pharo” Smith. In this post I will review how I connected her to the Hastin/Hasting family of Mecklenberg County, VA and later Spartanburg, SC.

It has been many years since I tripped over the revolutionary war pension filings related to one Absalom Hastings. The first time was before the genealogy site Fold3 really took off. I know this because the first time I read the scanned images of this incredible source (70 pages of written records from the early 1800s) I found them on It was completely from curiosity that I began to peruse the images. They are a really interesting historical artifact of that time.

By the time I realized there could be a connection to the Hasting pension filings, the records were moved to Fold3 (and thus the impetus behind my Fold3 account). What is so wonderful about the Hasting pension filings is the detailed record of his life, marriage and children.

Part 2: Pharo’s Family In South Carolina

Absalom Hasting was born in 1761 in Amelia County Virginia. He fought in the Revolutionary War and applied for a pension in 1833 from Spartanburg, SC (where he had moved by 1820 where he shows up in the US census of that year). He married Martha “Patsy” Wade in 1789 in Mecklenberg County, VA. In the first census of the nation for 1790 he was living in 1782 in Mecklenberg County, VA.

Absalom and Patsy had 11 children:

  • William Wade Hastin (1789-1869)
  • Burnell Hastin (1791-1849)
  • Charles Washington Hastin (1793- )
  • Margaret Twitty “Peggy” Hastin (1795-1870)
  • John Martin Hastin (1798-1843)
  • Martha “Patsy” Hastin (1801-1865)
  • Sarah H Hastin (1803-1876)
  • Absalom Hastin (1805-1876)
  • Rebecca B Hastin (1808-1882)
  • Mary Hastin (1809- )
  • Jacob H Hastin (1811-1889)

We know this because one of the pages of the pension filing is a copy of the entries in the family Bible. We also know the married names of many of the children because of another page listing them.

I am not exactly sure what other fact led me to believe Pharo was a Hasting, but I began a years long search of all the records I could find related to Pharo’s neighbors. Each of the family connections I highlight below took many weeks to discover and confirm. It really was an amazing puzzle to unravel.

As I noted in the last post, Pharo’s neighbors in 1880 Sumner (Webster) county MS included:

  • Jacob Hastings; born in VA in 1811; wife Narcisuss
  • Benjamin James; born in SC in 1817; wife Maria A.
  • Matilda Howard; born in SC in 1814; widow
  • David Ross; born in SC in 1800; widower
  • James P Wofford, born in SC in 1817; wife Margaret
  • Jeremiah Wofford; born in SC in 1798
  • Julia Cole, born in SC in 1824, widow

Beginning with Jacob Hastings, I was surprised to discover (months after I reviewed the Absalom Hastin pension filing) he was the youngest son of Absalom Hasting of Spartanburg, SC and Amelia, VA. Thanks to the record of family in the Bible and Will, I was able to pretty much confirm the person living next to George and Pharo from 1850-1880 was actually the youngest son of Absalom Hastin.

Was it just coincidence that he was living next to Pharo and George Smith?

I then noticed Jeremiah Wofford in the “neighborhood”. He too lives near Pharo and George from 1850-1880, but the Wofford name is very famous in Spartanburg, SC as well. That area bred Revolutionary War heroes from that era who helped win freedom from the British. I could do a whole post on Spartanburg and its place in American history. But I digress.

It turns out Jeremiah Wofford married Martha “Patsy” Hastin (both from Virginia, but married in Spartanburg, SC). With sister and brother Hastin living nearby it was obviously not a coincidence.

It took a months of work on the Wofford family tree to identify Jame P Wofford living in Sumner, MS in 1880 as the Reverend James Pickney Wofford, cousin to Jeremiah. What is interesting about the good reverend is he married a Margaret Vaughn. Why is this interesting? Because the eldest Hastin son of Absalom Hastin and Martha “Patsy” Wade is one William Wade Hastin. He married Jane R Vaughn. They live out their lives in South Carolina.

So where are we? William Wade Hasting married Jane R Vaughn. His sister Martha “Patsy” Hasting married Jeremiah Wofford, whose cousin the Rev James Wofford married Margaret Vaughn. All of the same generation, with 2 out of three ending up living near Jacob Hasting in 1880. The Wofford’s follow William Wade Hastin’s youngest brother to Choctaw County, MS and all are living next to George and Pharo Smith.

I want to jump now to Julia Cole. Julia Cole was born in Spartanburg, SC and happens to be the daughter of William Wade Hastin and Jane R Vaughn. She is a widow. Her husband Alfred Pickney Cole died in Ft Delaware Prison as a confederate prisoner of war. She and AP Cole had lived in Itawamba, MS. But by 1880 she had moved to Sumner (Webster) County, MS with the rest of the family. So while William Wade Hastin himself is not living in MS, his daughter is.

Update: Upon request I attempted a graphic of the family tree and who was living in Choctaw/Sumner/Webster County MS next to Pharosima (Hastin) Smith. In the following graph any name with a green outline was living in MS near Pharo’s families.  You can see the complex intermarriages from the Spartanburg SC families. Purple boxes are the Hastings line.


– end update

It was at this stage I began to realize Pharo Smith was probably connected to the Hastin family. The only question was how and to confirm my suspicion. So I began to research where her children ended up since Death Certificates tend to be a great source for father and mother full names.

Imagine my frustration as I ran down all the children of George and Pharo Smith and not finding a single death certificate. Between the records in MS being lost to arson fire and the fact many were living in Indian Territory where records are few and far between, I was not having any luck.

Until I ran across the Death Certificate of one Sally A Gould in Tulia, Swisher, TX. Sally A Gould turns out to be the youngest daughter of George and Pharo Smith (Sarah Alice Smith). And on her death certificate she lists her father as George Smith and her mother as Farrell Hastings.

Since that momentous discovery, I have determined Pharo Smith is likely the daughter of William Wade Hastin, eldest son of Absalom Hastin and Martha Wade. Pharo’s eldest son is named William O and the eldest daughter is Nancy Jane. Both reflect her parents William Wade Hasting and Jane R Vaughn, as was the tradition of the time.

And I am not the only person to make this connection. A genealogist named Georgia Hornbuckle Hendrix developed a genealogy history for Gary Kueber in 2006. She noted that “Pharosima” Hastin was the daughter of William Wade Hastin and Jane R Vaughn. So somewhere there is another piece of evidence of the connection. Interestingly enough, this independent analysis has no connection to George and Pharo Smith in Webster, MS. [Note: If anyone has any clue on what this other data source is please leave a comment]

To close out I need to address the other neighbors of 1880 and how they relate to Pharo and George Smith. Beginning with Benjamin “James” the actual name was Benjamin Jones. His wife is Mariah A Smith – probable sister of George Smith. Matilda Howard can be traced back to Spartanburg and is listed in 1880 and sister-in-law to Benjamin Jones – making her another likely sister to George Smith.

David Ross is married to Elizabeth R “Betsy” Vaughn. As I noted Rev James Wofford and William Wade Hastin married Vaughn’s. So I am attempting to build the Vaughn family connections. What I have discovered is “Betsy” (Vaughn) Ross’s grandmother was also a Wade from South Carolina – bringing us full circle to Absalom Hasting and Martha “Patsy” Wade.

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