John Hearst of the Long Canes

In the 1750's, when the area was first settled, the Long Cane District of South Carolina was in Cherokee country. This became all too apparent when, in 1759, the small, non-Indian population of this and other backcountry settlements was forced to seek protection in the local forts due to the increasing hostility of the Cherokee Nation. Not all of them made it in time. On 1 February 1760, all the residents of the Long Cane settlement were descending toward Patterson’s bridge on their way to Augusta, a more settled and secure area of the country. While making camp for the night, they were attacked by a band of 100 Cherokee. Not having completed the protection of the camp, this group of 150-250 was unable to put up much of a defense and between 20 to 50 them lost their lives. For the next few years, the backcountry was left to the Indians.

In 1763, the Peace of Paris concluded the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) and the Indian hostilities in the American colonies subsided. By 1764, the backcountry of South Carolina had once again become peaceful and was attracting new settlers. One such group of immigrants arrived on 28 July of that year in New York. Dr. Thomas Clark, his entire Presbyterian congregation, and some of their neighbors had embarked at Newry, Ireland, 10 May 1764 on the John bound for America. After arriving, about half of the group went to settle in Stillwater, New York. The remainder made their way to the Long Cane District where they made up the nuclei of the Little Run, Long Cane, and Cedar Creek Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches (ARPC).

One theory has John Hearst and family, who were originally from Scotland, coming to America with Dr. Clark and settling in the Long Cane area. His children were members of the ARPC as evidenced by the 1797 call, which contains the names of all his sons and presumably his daughters through their husbands. The origin of this theory is thought to be from John's granddaughter Mary and her husband Jacob Clark.

An alternative theory according to 'Early Settlers of Franklin County', compiled and edited by Ralph Gregory, was that the first American settler of this line was a John Hearst or Hurst who settled in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia in 1680. The article further states that his son John moved to the Abbeville district of South Carolina in 1766. The Hursts of Virginia were from England

A third theory, which appears to be born out by the facts, has him coming to South Carolina from Ireland in late 1765 or early 1766. Both John and his son John appear in the Council Journal for 26 Oct 1766 under the surname Hearse on 26 October 1766. The entries indicates that they arrived during the Stamp Act protest (1 November 1765 to 6 May 1766).

The Long Cane area was originally part of Colleton and Granville Counties, which extended from one end of the state to the other. In 1769 the backcountry was reallocated into the 96th district. The district was further sub-divided in 1795 into the Abbeville, Edgefield, Newberry, Laurens and Spartanburg Districts. The Long Cane area was encompassed by Abbeville district. This district was finally divided into three counties: Abbeville, Greenwood, and McCormick. The Long Cane district extends through all three counties, but is primarily in the southern part of Abbeville County.

Generation One

HEARST, John d ca. 1781

m Elizabeth Knox

  • John
  • Robert b Ireland m unknown Foster
  • Mary b Ireland
  • Margaret b Ireland
  • Ann (possibly Nancy)

m unknown

  • Joseph
  • Thomas b 1761
  • George b 1764
  • William b Ireland d ca. 1834
  • Christian b Ireland m unknown Wilson
  • Elizabeth b Ireland m William Pressly

m Mary O'Bryan

John wrote his will 9 Sep 1780 and it was probated 23 Aug 1782. His wife Mary was named executrix and the witnesses were Robert Wilson and Robert Erwin. All the children listed above appear in the will. The will also mentions a step daughter, Eloner O'Bryan, which presumably was the daughter of his wife Mary from a previous marriage.

John's son William left a will dated 8 Jan 1823, which was settled 8 Dec 1834. The will names his "full" brothers and sisters. It is presumed, therefore, that there was a second unknown wife that was the mother to the remaining children. It's possible that Mary O'Bryan was that second wife.

The following can be found in the 1800 census for the Abbeville district of South Carolina:

Hearst, George SC ABBEVILLE DIST. ABBEVILLE 11 1800 40100-1101000

Hearst, John SC ABBEVILLE DIST. ABBEVILLE 11 1800 11101-1200106

Hearst, Joseph SC ABBEVILLE DIST. ABBEVILLE 28 1800 00111-1001000

Hearst, Robert SC ABBEVILLE DIST. ABBEVILLE 11 1800 10100-1010000

Hearst, Thomas SC ABBEVILLE DIST. ABBEVILLE 28 1800 10100-0010000

Generation Two

HEARST, John b Ireland d ca. 1808

m Martha Carson, daughter of William and Margaret Carson

  • Margaret b 6 Sep 1772
  • Robert b 22 Aug 1774
  • Mary b 4 Oct 1778
  • Jane b 12 Oct 1780 m unknown Holiday
  • John b 21 Feb 1783 Abbeville District, South Carolina
  • George b 18 Nov 1786
  • Martha b 8 Nov 1788 m James Cochran
  • Lewis b 11 Feb 1790 Abbeville District, South Carolina
  • Sarah b 22 Jun 1792 m John Gallaugher

m Phoebe Stark

The distribution of the children between Martha and Phoebe is not known. John's will was administered on 6 Feb 1808 by Robert Hearst and Josiah Patterson Esq. The estate was administered again on 9 Jan 1807 by Phoebe Hearst, Andrew Gray, and John Gray. The sum of $1200.05 was paid to the each of the following: Lewis Hearst, John Hearst, Robert Hearst, George Hearst, Jane McMillian, John Gallaugher, James Cochran, and Jacob Clark. John McMillianreceived $3346.91.

John was identified as a major in his will and is presumed to have served in the Continental Army.

HEARST, Thomas b 1761 Ireland

m Isabella Miller , daughter of James Miller

  • Margaret Peggy b ca. 1793 South Carolina
  • Isabella b 1795 never married
  • Betsy m William Love/Luce
  • unknown killed by Indians
  • John b 1797 South Carolina m(1) Susan Blair, sister of William Miller's wife m(2) Elizabeth McKee
  • Ann b 25 Apr 1799 m John McCune
  • William Miller b 25 Apr 1799
  • Jane b 1802 South Carolina m Julius Higgens

A likely death record appears for the daughter Isabella in Washington County, Missouri Death Book 1883-1893, page 23: "Isabel Hearst, female, white, 90y, died Dec 21 1884, single American, born in South Carolina, 70y resident of Missouri, died in Kingston Furnace from old age, for several years buried in Stafford Graveyard on Dec 22 1884, papers filed by Sam’l Gibson of Kingston Furnace"

HEARST, George b 1764 Ireland d 1822 Franklin County, Missouri

m bef. 1807 Jane Pressly

m bef. 1820 Hester (Easter or Easther) Frasier b ca. 1802 d 1870's Washington Country, Missouri

  • Eveline b ca. 1820 Missouri d 1840's

George hearst signature

This signature is from a promissory note dated 20 March 1820.

George came to the Abbeville district of South Carolina with his parents in 1766.According to probate records, George Hearst married an unknown Pressly prior to 1807 (the first name of Jane is unproven at this point). The George of this marriage may have been the son of Major John Hearst below. In circa 1808, George and his family left South Carolina for Illinois. George's son Joseph stated in the 1850 census that he was born in Illinois. After a few years, the George once again moved, this time to Missouri were he settled in the Meramec valley near his brother Thomas who had preceded him there. It appears that he married again around 1820. By the timeof his death, George had become one of the wealthiest man in Meramec township. He kept 19 of the 41 slaves to be found in the township.

George Hearst died intestate in 1822. His estate was administered by William Hearst and William Gibson. The following record was filed 17 July 1862 in the Recorder of Deeds, Franklin County, Missouri, page 622:

Know all men by these presents that we the heirs as follows of the Estate of George Hearst Deceased: Elias Gibson & Easther Gibson Widow of said Hearst, William Gibson, Joseph Hearst, Caleb Bowls, & Elias Gibson as guardian for Eveline Hearst for and in consideration of thirty three dollars to each of us paid in hand by William Hearst have granted bargained, sold, and released unto the said William Hearst ... set our hands and seals this eighth day of November One thousand Eight-hundred and twenty-Eight. [punctuation added]

Caleb Bowles was the husband of Mary Hearst. William Gibson is almost certainly the husband of another daughter.

The attribution of Martha as a daughter to George can be found in Greenwood County Sketches, by Margaret Watson, Attic Press, Greenwood, SC., P 254:

GEORGE HEARST was the son of the pioneer John. Name of wife not known. Four Children: William G. Hearst. A son was George Hearst who lived in California and was the father of Wm Randolph Hearst ... Joseph Hearst m. first, Ann Frazier,2. (?) [Hannah] Armstead; Polly [Mary] Hearst married Caleb Bowles; daughter, name not known [Martha], married cousin, Lewis Hearst. 5 Children, all dsp.

Martha may have remarried to William Gibson. In that case, unknown and Martha are one in the same. William Hearst, Polly Hearst, Easter Hearst, William Gibson, and Elias Gibson's names appear in the bill of sale for George Hearst's personal estate.

HEARST, Joseph b Ireland d bef. 20 Oct 1814

m 8 Jun 1784 Jane Pressly or Mary Peterson

  • William
  • Margaret b 1786
  • John b 1787
  • Elizabeth Knox
  • Jane m Rev John T. Pressly
  • Mary b bef. 1800 m Thomas White Chiles
  • Sallie b 1800 d 1832 m Samuel Bonner
  • Isabella b aft. 1800 m Dr. George Pressly

Joseph served as a private in the Revolutionary War.

Generation Three

Children of George and Jane Hearst

HEARST, William George b ca. 1796 Woodvine District, South Carolina d Nov 1844

m 1817 Franklin County, Missouri Elizabeth Collins d 1 Apr 1861, daughter of Jacob and Martha (Wheat) Collins.

  • George E. b 3 Sep 1820 Franklin County, Missouri
  • Jacob (Jake) d 1846
  • Martha (Patsey) b 1823 d 1854 never married

In 1830 William bought out his brother Joseph's interest in the land they had inherited from their father. He rented out some of his land while using the rest for stock raising and farming.

In testimony given by William's son George, it is stated that William died in November 1844. He also mentions having to care for his brother Jacob and his sister Martha. Three other children have been mentioned in other genealogies: Phillip b 1824; Elizabeth d 1861; and William b 1837. Their association to this line does not appear to be supported by the facts available to me. It is possible that they may have died before 1844.

Elizabeth Collin's sister Anne was married to Austin Clark below.

HEARST, Joseph

m Ann Frazier

  • Mary J. (possibly Jane) b ca. 1834

m 15 June 1848 Franklin County, Missouri Hannah Armstead

Joseph's marriage to Hannah can be found in the "Franklin County, Missouri Marriage Records Books 'A' & 'B' 1819 - 1858", page 45. The daughter Mary is listed in the 1850 census

Children of John Hearst and Martha Carson and/or Phoebe Stark

Hearst, John b 21 Feb 1783 Abbeville District, South Carolina d 24 Dec 1847

m Margaret Hearst b 1786 d 1856, daughter of Joseph Hearst and Jane Pressly (she and John were first cousins)

  • Martha b 2 Oct 1817 d 30 Jul 1822
  • Jane b 27 Dec 1818 Abbeville District, South Carolinam 7 Mar 1839 W. M. Strong (Strain) Ansley
  • Elizabeth b 28 Sep 1820
  • Mary Isabella b 4 May 1824 Abbeville District, South Carolina d 1 March 1852 m 12 April 1849 Rev David G. Phillips
  • Joseph Lewis b 6 Jul 1822
  • John Pressly b 1826 d 17 Aug 1827
  • Sarah Amanda b 11 Aug 1828 Abbeville District, South Carolina m Rev. John Nesbit McCain
  • Margaret Carson b 16 Feb 1830 d 11 Sep 1835
  • Benjamin Franklin b 11 Nov 1831
  • Martha Ann b 30 Jul 1833 m 9 Sep 1851 Rev. Henry Leland Murphy
  • Susannah Eleanora b 30 Jul 1836 Abbeville District, South Carolina d 1 Aug 1936
  • J. Thomas Jefferson b 26 Jun 1838 m 12 May 1864 Mary Josephine Conner

Hearst, Mary b 4 Oct 1778 Abbeville District, South Carolina

m Jacob Clark b 1778 d 1824, son of Jacob Clark and Anne Livingstone or Anne Overstreet

  • Austin b 1801 Abbeville District, South Carolina d Franklin County, Missouri m Anne Collins, daughter of Jacob Collins and Martha
  • John b Abbeville District, South Carolina d Missouri m Nancy Jane Timberlain
  • Elizabeth b Abbeville District, South Carolina d Franklin County, Missouri m Nathan Whitmire
  • Mary d young
  • Jacob b 5 May 1810 d 1857 Abbeville District, South Carolina m Phoebe Whitmire

Mary and Jacob moved to Missouri in 1818. Some of this information is from Abridged Compendium by Frederick Virkus

Children of Joseph Hearst and Jane Pressly

HEARST, John b 1787 d 1843

m Sarah Wardlaw, daughter of John Wardlaw

  • John b 1814 d 1878 m Ann Chiles
  • Jane m James Pressly

(Childern of Thomas Hearst and Isabella Miller)

HEARST, Isabella b 1795 d 21 Dec 1884

A record of her death can be found in the Washington County, Missouri Death Book 1883-1893, page 23: "Isabel Hearst, female, white, 90y, died Dec 21 1884, single American, born in South Carolina, 70y resident of Missouri, died in Kingston Furnace from old age, for several years buried in Stafford Graveyard on Dec 22 1884, papers filed by Sam´┐Żl Gibson of Kingston Furnace". According to Shala Huff, Isabella was deaf as a result of an illness and inherited the home place from her parents.

HEARST, William Miller b 25 Apr 1797 d Jan 1863

m 21 Jan 1822 Mary (Polly) Blair b 14 Sep 1804 Georgia d 21 Apr 1863

  • Francis Marion b 1 Jul 1834 d 1908 m 20 Apr 1859 Jefferson County, Missouri Elizabeth Bage
  • Jane b 14 Jul 1822 d 3 Feb 1863 m 8 May 1844 Washington County, Missouri Mark C. Jennings
  • Susan m(1) 24 Mar 1842 Jefferson County, Missouri Clifton Baker m(2) John Pence
  • John Davis m 17 Nov 1853 Jefferson County, Missouri Nancy King Buren
  • Isabella b 5 May 1829 m(1) 25 Jun 1846 Jefferson County, Missouri James Long m(2) Mark Jennings
  • Rebecca Angeline m Samuel Decatur Gibson
  • William F. died age 11
  • James T. died age 4

This line is being researched by Shala Huff. She can be reached at Be sure to remove CUTOUT from the address before sending.

Generation Four

HEARST, George E. b 3 Sep 1820 Franklin County, Missouri d 28 Feb 1891 Washington, D. C., buried Colma, California

m 15 June 1862 Steelville, Crawford County, Missouri Phoebe Apperson b 3 Dec 1842 Franklin County, Missouri d 22 Jan 1919 Pleasanton, California, daughter of Randolph Walker Apperson of Virginia and Drucilla Whitmire of South Carolina

George graduated from the Franklin County Mining School in 1838. While still in Missouri, George pursued various mining interests including prospecting and dealing in mineral lands and rights. He also owned a general store at Judith Springs.

With news of the gold strike in California George asked Dr. William Nelson Patton to handle his affairs and property as well as his father's estate. He left for California on or about 15 May 1850 taking five months to make the journey. While in California, a few creditors took advantage of George's absence and brought attachments against land he owned that was in Dr. Patton's care. When Dr. Patton failed to satisfy the demands, the Hearst lands in his control were sold on the court house steps.

George didn't make his fortune in the California mines. He was keeping a store when, in 1859, the Comstock Lode was discovered in Nevada. George joined the rush there and invested in the Ophir mine. When Alva Gould sold his claim to George Hearst for $450, he ran down the street yelling "I tricked a Californian". After digging for only two months, George and his partners hauled 38 tons of high grade ore to California and made a profit of $90,000 from its sale. In less than a year he sold his share in the mine for a fortune. At one time the Ophir mine, which was almost a quarter mile in length was worth $4,000 per foot. During his life, George also invested in the Homestake Mine in South Dakota and the Anaconda Mine in Montana, two other large mining discoveries.

After selling his interest in the Comstock mines, George returned to Franklin County where he was able to see his mother before she died in 1861. He stayed on in order to pursue law suits against the heirs of Dr. Patton - he having died in 1858 - to recover losses from the sale of his land holdings. George's relationship with the Patton's may have not been too acrimonious for family tradition has it that George courted Dr. Patton's daughter Susan Ellen before marrying her close friend Phoebe Apperson. Susan Ellen eventually married George's first cousin, Caleb Bowles at George's and Phoebe's home in San Francisco in 1868. In addition to the marriage record, the Crawford County Marriage Book contains a contract in which George gave 50 shares of Gorden & Curry Gold & Silver Mining Company to Phoebe

George served in the U. S. Congress as senator for California from 1886 until his death. It was George that first acquired the land on which Hearst's Castle now stands. George and Phoebe lived in a much smaller house at the foot of the hill

Generation Five

HEARST, William Randolph b 29 Apr 1863 d 14 Aug 1951 Los Angeles, California

m 1903 Millicent Wilson b 1881, New York d Dec 1974 New York

  • George Randolph b 24 Apr 1904, Washington, D. C.
  • William Randolph b 27 Jan 1908, New York, New York
  • John Randolph b 1910 d 1958
  • Randolph Apperson b 1915 d 18 October 2000
  • David Whitmire b 1915

Generation Six

HEARST, William Randolph b 27 Jan 1908 New York, New York

m 29 July 1948 Warrenton, Virginia Austine Byrne McDonnell b private Newtown, Massachusetts

  • William Randolph b private
  • John Augustine Chilton b private