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Peter Light - Barbara Hays(Hayes)
Posted by: Frank Light (ID *****9323) Date: May 30, 2004 at 08:25:29
  of 2090

I'm trying to improve the quality of the write up of Peter Light that appears below.

I'd appreciate any additional material facts about Peter that anyone may be able to provide. Credit would be given of course.

Frank Light


Peter Light was born in 1746, probably in the Conestoga Valley, but we can't be absolutely sure where his parents were living at the time.

Little is known of Peter's early life. In manhood he followed the profession of surveyor but whether he learned the art as a youth or later in life is not known. Peter probably accompanied the rest of the family to Berkeley County, VA in 1773 but it isn't clear from the record. On February 8, 1777 Peter sold a tract of land on George's Creek in Westmoreland County, PA to Robert Richey (EX U). In this document he is said to be of Westmoreland County. Then on September 3, 1782 Peter sold a parcel of land "on the Glades of Jacobs Creek" to Samuel Bradley (EX V-2) and is said to be of Westmoreland County. On June 25, 1783 Peter purchased land from John Donne on the "head branches of Jacobs Creek adjoining the Chestnut Ridge" which adjoined that of Christopher Hays and was part of "Archers Survey" (EX V-1). In this document Peter is said to be of "Berkley" County. I can only suppose that clerical error accounts for Peter being of Westmoreland in September 1782 and then Berkeley in June, 1783. Unfortunately the purchases by Peter preceding the first two sales could not be located at Greensburg. They might have contained some useful information.

On the tax assessment of 1783 (EX C) Peter is shown to have 480 acres of land so at least one additional purchase is missing from the record. Shortly afterward on July 8, 1784 Peter witnessed the marriage bond of Mary Turner and Robert Orr. On October 11, 1786 Peter sold off 200 acres of his land to his brother John(ABE) (EX W).

Exhibit X details the sale of "Plainfield" by Christopher Hays and his wife Eve and Peter Light and his wife Barbara (Hays) to Collins Betts.

On October 11, 1784 Peter Light and Christopher Hays were awarded a patent jointly for this land. I have never located a copy of this patent.

We have always known that Peter's wife was named Barbara Hays (Hayes). It now seems a certainty that she was from this Westmoreland County Hays family. I tend to believe that Christopher was Barbara's brother rather than her father. Peter must have married when in his 30's. His first child, Susannah, was born in 1780 when he would have been about 34 years of age. It appears likely to me that Peter must have met Barbara and her family shortly after his arrival in Westmoreland County and wasted little time wooing, winning her hand and starting a family.

Additional real estate transactions in Westmoreland County engaged in by Peter include the November 8, 1792 sale of "Smiths Grove" to Peter by his brother John(ABE) and his wife, also named Barbara (EX Y-1). This deed was witnessed by brother Daniel(ABF). Then on October 2, 1793 Peter purchased land from Andrew Finley (EX Y-2).

On May 1, 1798 Peter sold his remaining Westmoreland County lands to Jacob Walts (EX Z). In this document Peter is said to be of Mason County, KY (Maysville) as duly attested by the Clerk of Mason County. Also in the deed it states that part of the land is adjacent to that of the "late John Light" indicating that his brother may have recently died. Evidently Peter had been in Mason County, Kentucky for several years at this point for he had witnessed the will of James Campbell in Maysville on January 17, 1795 and had been issued a tavern, or ordinary, license in 1792 (see "Kentucky Ancestors" Vol 6 #4 p. 171).

Peter later removed to Williamsburg, Clermont County, Ohio where he lived the remainder of his life actively engaged in the surveying profession, even becoming County Surveyor of Clermont County.

An interview with Robert Jones in the Draper Manuscripts places Peter as a surveyor in Colonel Morgan's expedition to New Madrid (Missouri) in 1788. There are other indications that he may have done other surveying in Kentucky in the 1780s.

Peter died in 1821 at his home near Williamsburg. His will, if any, has not been found.

Peter's three children, Susannah, George Clinch and David M. must all have been born in Westmoreland County, PA on one of the properties outlined above.

Susannah Light was born March 30, 1780 in Westmoreland Co., PA, married William Smith on March 29, 1803 in Clermont Co., OH and died May 12, 1867 in Clermont County.

George Clinch Light was born February 27, 1785 and died February 27, 1860 in Vicksburg, MS. He married Ann Taylor Caldwell on July 3, 1808. Their progeny, if any, are unknown. During his life he was a Methodist minister, surveyor, sheriff and state representative.

David W. Light was born May 1, 1790, married Sarah Strickland on March 12, 1812 in Clermont Co., OH (the marriage being performed by his brother George) and died April 14, 1845 in Clermont Co., OH.

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