American emigrant to the county of Tyrone

The progeny of Thomas Huggins (1748–1788) and Nichola Carsan begins with their only child, Samuel Carson Huggins, who was born at the Head of Elk in Maryland sometime before 1784 (his mother having died in 1783). The story of this branch of the Huggins family traverses an arc from the maritime hamlet of Elkton, Maryland (pop. 198) to the city of Baltimore (pop. 26,514 in 1800), to Donnydeade, a rural townland in county Tyrone consisting of no more than half a dozen households, before it terminates at Ripon, Yorkshire in 1953.

Beginning with Samuel Carson Huggins, this 170-year course features a cast of just eighteen people whose collective story features themes ranging from the deplorable:

  • the conversion of slave capital into revenues to sustain the livelihood of an orphaned child in post-Revolutionary War Maryland—yet whose guardian manumitted his own slaves when he died in 1819;
  • the exportation of indentured servants from England and Ireland as part of the normal mercantile trade with the American colonies;

... to the intriguing:

  • the connection to the wife, whose estranged husband was a British loyalist, his lands having been forfeited during the Revolutionary War;
  • Samuel's very interesting uncle Robert Barclay, who was Provost of Strabane during the mid-1700s;
  • equally, his father's cousin, Thomas Barclay (1728–1793), American consul to France and to Barbary until his death by duel at Lisbon;
  • Samuel's association with an alliance of Catholics and liberal Protestants in Strabane, and his own son John's interest in the Ulster Tenant Right Association;

... to the more mundane:

  • the legacy of tenements and rural acreage, held in fee simple in the Town Parks of Strabane, sufficient to induce a young American man to emigrate to Ireland—lands which remained in this family's hands until 1933;
  • Samuel Carson Huggins' maternal lines—Carsan and Barclay of Strabane, and Maxwell and Macartney of Rosebrook, county Armagh—sorted, traced, and drawn as an ancestral chart;

... to the melancholy end:

  • the death of Samuel Carson Huggins' son, from typhus, in his forty-first year—a legal writer in an attorney's office who, nonetheless, died intestate—leaving his wife and children on the mercy of their relatives;
  • of fifteen children born in two generations, only one to marry, and the final generation consisting of one bachelor and three spinsters;
  • taking leave of the county of Tyrone on a journey to Dublin, thence to Greystones in the county of Wicklow, and finally to rest, in Yorkshire.

In fairness, there were four children for whom no trace could be found after their baptisms: ‡

  • Matilda b.1809, Thomas b.1813, and Mary b.1818, children of Samuel Carson Huggins (d.1850) and Mary Huggins (d.1865); and,
  • William Huggins b.1863, son of Samuel Carson Huggins (d.1865) and Anne Eliza Crozier.

‡ Summarized on the Family History Mysteries page.

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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2016. All rights reserved.
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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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