Are these two Hughan families related?

+3 votes

A project within Westward Ho brought me to an Alexander Hughan born Scotland 1827 who lived in Indiana and Kansas.

There are very few (49) Hughan's in WikiTree. Finding no record of Alex's arrival in the States, I searched FMP for records in Scotland and find only one family with that spelling of the surname which fits the time period recorded in 1841 Census at Wigtownshire (link on profile). However, that Alexander Hughan appears to have remained in Scotland.

How common is this surname and can anyone connect the two families even if the two Alexanders are not the same man?

WikiTree profile: Alexander Hughan
in Genealogy Help by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (188k points)

An obituary found in 4 Oct 1895 edition of The Valley Falls Vindicator states he was born Jan. 8th 1926 Whitlorn, Wigtonshire, Scotland. Would this be the same family as in the 1841 Census at Orchardton Farm, Sorbie, Wigtownshire?

1 Answer

+1 vote

Hope this helps a little:

Source: Find My Past

George Hughan married Elizabeth Dickson on 6 May 1808 at Kirkinner.

1841 Census: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland.
George Hughan, Male, 55, 1786, Wigtownshire.
John Hughan, Male, 20, 1821, Wigtownshire.
Alexander Hughan, Male, 15, 1826, Wigtownshire.
Janet Hughan, Female, 14, 1827, Wigtownshire.
Anthony Hughan, Male, 12, 1829, Wigtownshire.
George Couper, Male, 20, 1821, Wigtownshire.

1841 Census: Ravenston Mill, Sorbie, Wigtownshire.
Elizabeth Hughan, Female, 50, 1791, Wigtownshire.
plus 9 other people..

George and Elizabeth's children:
John Hughan, baptised 30 Aug 1819 at Whithorn.
George Hughan, baptised 18 May 1821 at Whithorn.
Alexander Hughan, baptised 20 Dec 1823 at Whithorn.

Alexander Hughan:
John Hughan:
The Valley Falls New Era, 23 January 1892, page 5 has an obituary notice for Jessie Hughan born 28 November 1828 at Whithorn, Wigtownshire (sister of Alex Hughan) married Isaac Southward in England 1867.

1851 Census: George Hughan, age 71, Elisabeth Hughan age 65 and Anthoney Hughan age 23 at Whithorn, Wigtownshire.
1861 Census: nil George or Elisabeth at Whithorn, Wigtownshire.

The other Hughan Family..........

Alexander Hughan married Mary Dodds on 23 February 1824 at Mochrum.

1841 Census: Glasserton Mains, Glasserton, Wigtownshire, Scotland.
Alexander Heughan, Male, 35, 1806, Wigtownshire.
Mary Heughan, Female, 42, 1799, Ireland.
John Heughan, Male 13, 1828, Wigtownshire.
Alexander, Heughan, Male, 14, 1827, Wigtownshire.
Agnes Heughan, Female, 11, 1830, Wigtownshire.
Elizabeth Heughan, Female, 8, 1833, Wigtownshire.
George Conning, Male, 15, 1826, Wigtownshire.
Alexander Heughan, Male, 75, 1766, Wigtownshire.

Alexander and Mary's children:
Alexander Heughan, baptised 14 August 1826 at Whithorn.
John Heughan, baptised 9 April 1828 at Old Luce or Glenluce.

Some of this family went to Boonton, Morris, New Jersey, United States of America.
Mary Dodds Hughan:
Agnes Hughan Clave:

Orchardton Farm Hughan's........

Alexander Hughan married Christin Cowan on 21 Apr 1792 at Kirkinner, Wigtown.
4 children located from that marriage:

Thomas Hughan baptised 1793, Kirkinner, Wigtown. (Had children with Janet Law)
1841 Census: High Street South, Wigtown, Wigtownshire.
Janet Heughan, Female, 35, 1806, Wigtownshire.
Grace Heughan, Female, 10, 1831, Wigtownshire.
Mary Heughan, Female, 8, 1833, Scotland.
Alexander Heughan, Male, 6, 1835, Scotland.
Euphemia Heughan, Female, 4, 1837, Scotland.

Ebenezer Drew Hughan baptised 5 Apr 1795, Kirkinner, Wigtown.
Ebenezer Heughan was 1st married to Jane Leslie at Sorbie on 18 March 1819.
Ebenezer Heughan was 2nd married to Maria Shilan or Sheiland or Shellan at Sorbie on 18 January 1839.
1841 Census: Orchardton Farm, Sorbie, Wigtownshire.
Ebenezer Hughan, Male, 40, 1801, Wigtownshire.
Maria Hughan, Female, 20, 1821, Scotland.
Anne Hughan, Female, 13, 1828, Wigtownshire.
Alexander Hughan, Male, 12, 1829, Wigtownshire.
William Hughan, Male, 10, 1831, Wigtownshire.
Margaret Hughan, Female, 8, 1833, Wigtownshire.
Peter Hughan, Male 6, 1835, Wigtownshire.
Christina Hughan, Female, 4, 1837, Wigtownshire.
John Hughan, Male, 1, 1840, Wigtownshire.

Sanders Hughan baptised 24 Sep 1797, Kirkinner, Wigtown. aka Alexander married 14 May 1826 - Marion Kidd Storm at St Marylebone Westminster.
1841 Census: Cottagehouse Millside, Sorbie, Wigtownshire.
Alexander Hughan, Male, 35, 1806, Wigtownshire.
Marion Hughan, Female, 30, 1811, Scotland.
Isabella Hughan, Female, 12, 1829, Wigtownshire.
Jessie Hughan, Female, 9, 1832, Wigtownshire.
Manie Hughan, Female, 4, 1837, Wigtownshire.
Margaret Hughan, Female, 2, 1839, Wigtownshire.
Ann Hughan, Female, 0, 1841, Wigtownshire.

Robert Hughan baptised 26 Mar 1800, Kirkinner, Wigtown. Robert married 22 Jul 1834 - Mary Kelly at Kirkmabreck.
1841 Census: Creetown, Bridge Street, Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Robert Hughan, Male, 40, 1801, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Mary Hughan, Female, 40, 1801, Kirkcudbrightshire.
John Hughan, Male, 6, 1835, Kirkcudbrightshire.

by Anonymous Ryan G2G6 Mach 1 (19.4k points)
edited by Anonymous Ryan
Thanks, Erin. Piecing this together with some additional info, it appears the brother John that Alexander first came to in Cincinnati and Indiana when he arrived is the John found buried in Valley Falls. John married Jane Wallace of Pennsylvania 1851 in Dearborn, Indiana (Dearborn is adjacent to Cincinnati, Ohio).

So, in this family unit we have Alexander b 1827, Jessie b 1828 and the older brother John b about 1819. I think it is possible that John has left home by the 1841 Census. It appears they were all originally stone masons. The 1860 US Census has another stone mason named McDowell of Scotland living in Jane's house after John has died.
Did the 1841 Census collect the age and year of birth or is one inferred from the other? The family of George Hughan of Whithorn most closely approximates the dates found in the US. But we still have a Jessie in the US who appears as a Janet in the 1841 Census transcription. The only other Jessie Hughan found 1841 Census is listed as b 1832 and absent any siblings of correct names.

Dear T. Stanton,

In Scotland, and elsewhere many names are interchangeable often in ways which may and do confuse, - Jessie, Janet and Jean are a good example of interchangeable names.

With the same names it becomes very confusing John, Alex and Janet/Jessie are still in Scotland in 1841, the census was taken on 6 June that year.

1841 Census: Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland.

George Hughan, Male, 55, 1786, Wigtownshire.

**John Hughan, Male, 20, 1821, Wigtownshire.  Baptised 30 Aug 1819 at Whithorn.

**Alexander Hughan, Male, 15, 1826, Wigtownshire. Baptised 20 Dec 1823 at Whithorn.

**Janet Hughan, Female, 14, 1827, Wigtownshire.

Anthony Hughan, Male, 12, 1829, Wigtownshire.

George Couper, Male, 20, 1821, Wigtownshire.

Scotland's People has an excellent guide to the Scottish census, well worth a read sometime for those that are interested:

Hope this helps sort your Hughan's out.

Thanks, Erin. My earlier note about John having left by 1841 was incorrect. With your excellent help on the forenames, I am as certain as it may be possible to get that this is the family group where the three siblings eventually end up in Valley Falls (then known as Grasshopper Falls), Kansas.
Except we now have a three year discrepancy in baptismal dates for Alexander. Bap 1823 son of George and Elizabeth Dickson. Bap 1826 son of Alexander and Mary Dodds. Both Whithorn. More research ahead...

There appear to be discrepancies between census records and baptismal records as transcribed. Are images of either available? I do not find images at FMP or Ancestry.

Mary Dodds' marriage to Alexander Hughan is 1824 which is 3-4 years after the birth of known sibling John so I don't believe they are the parents. This leaves, among other potentials, the possibility of a third family not yet identified or errors in the baptismal records. I don't think there are two wives of one man since there is record of Elizabeth in later years (yet she is not shown in 1841 census transcription).

Hi T. Stanton,

The images are available on Scotland's People but unfortunately you have to pay for them. 

Remember the census is only a guide to the people at a particular address on a given night and it is not an exact science. Scottish Census Age range - in 1841 the ages of people "over 15 years were rounded down to the nearest five."

1841 Census: Ravenston Mill, Sorbie, Wigtownshire.
Elizabeth Hughan, Female, 50, 1791, Wigtownshire.
plus 9 other people..

1841 Census - John Hughan, Male, 20, 1821, Wigtownshire.  Baptised 30 Aug 1819 at Whithorn. On his headstone at Valley Falls Cemetery his date of birth is 25 Aug 1819.

The newspaper obituaries link up Alexander to John and then Alexander to Jessie.

Speaking of Jessie .....


Jessie/Janet Hughan 1st marriage:
St. James Church, Toxteth, Lancashire - 23 April 1854, Jessie Hugan, full age, a spinster of Aigburth Road, daughter of George Hughan, a Mason. Married to George Sutherland, full age, a bachelor, Mariner of Stanhope Street, son of William Sutherland a Master Mariner.  Witnesses William Kerr and Jane Kerr.

Jessie Hughan Sutherland 2nd marriage:
Isaac Southward married Jessie Sutherland in 1867 at Whitehaven, Cumberland, England. 3rd Qtr., Vol 10b, Page 732.

Jessie/Janet Hughan had a brother - George Hughan baptised 18 May 1821, Whithorn, son of George Hughan and Elizabeth Dickson.

1861 English Census: Sea View, Preston Quarter, Whitehaven, Cumberland, England.
Jessie Hughan, Head, Married, Female, 37, 1824, Master Mariners Wife, Scotland. (Married to George Hughan on 29 Mar 1852, at Whithorn. Recorded as Jess Lenna?)
George Hughan, Son, Male, 8, 1853, Scholar, Scotland.
Alexander Hughan, Son, Male, 5, 1856, Scholar, Scotland. (Born 1855 at Whithorn, son of George Hughan and Jessie Lennox.)
William Hughan, Son, Male, 5 1856, Scholar, Scotland. (Born 1855 at Whithorn, son of George Hughan and Jessie Lennox.)
James Hughan, Son, Male, 2 1859, Cumberland, England.
**Jessie Sutherland, Sister In Law, Widow, Female, 34, 1827, Scotland.
Isabella McWhaw, Servant, Unmarried, Female, 17, 1844, House Servant, Cumberland, England.

If your wondering about all the edits, I'm doing my Christmas baking!

Notice how the families keep the same first names through the generations. 

There is a wonderful obituary notice, through FMP in the Whitehaven News, 20 February 1873, Page 3 for Captain George Hughan.

I hope this helps a bit, all my information comes from Find My Past and Scotland's People.

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