Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The TENNESSEE HITENs are actually Hydens and I can make a case for connecting the INDIANA HITENs to the Kentucky clans of James Hiten. That leaves just the OKLAHOMA HITENs totally unconnected.
The information I received from Linda June McCurry-Sawyers and Barbara N. Stewert opens up two distinct possibilities for the origin of that branch. One is that they are connected to William Hyten and the other is that they are associated with the Hyden/HYTENs of ARKANSAS. There is no direct evidence to support either theory, but these are definitely two directions for further research to pursue.
Over time I have concluded that the OKLAHOMA HITENS are in fact HYDENs.
Sylvanus (Charlie) Hiten who is a the head of my OKLAHOMA HITEN tree seems to be a descendent of the HYDENs in Vigo Co., IN and Edgar Co., IL. The 1960 Vigo Co.,IN census lists Christine Hyden, 56, born in KY, with Margaret, 27, born in IN, and Sylvanus, 1, born in IN. While this is the only place where Sylvanus is listed with Hyden as a last name, there are no Hytens or Hitens in either of these counties. The name change to Hiten is just on of those cases where an illiterate person lets someone else spell his name on a census or government form.


Sylvanus (Charlie) Hiten (ca.1860-), born in Illinois or Indiana depending on different documents. In 1881 he had married Mary C. Miles (1861-ca.1910) in Stone County, Arkansas, which is where John Alfred Hyden was living when he died in 1928 or 1929.
In the 1870s Sylvanus was apparently a little further west in Boone County, AK working on the farm of James Monroe Eoff. Eoff was the subject of a Coronet magazine article (date unknown) titled “The Strange Hermit of Crooked Creek”. This man’s problems apparently began with a severe bout with the measles. During this time his farm was tended by three men including Vane Hiten. In 1880, Vain Hiten, born ca. 1858, was in the Wallace, Stone Co. ,AR, census.
Sylvanus was in the Indian Territory census of 1900 and the Sequoyah County, OK, census of 1910. In the latter he was living with a Cooper family. This was the last word of him.
There are no HITENs in the 1880 censuses of either Illinois or Arkansas but there are Hydens in northern Arkansas and Illinois and Hytens in Illinois. The interesting point is that William Taylor Hyden appeared in in the Johnson County, AR, censuses from 1850 to 1900 but it wasn’t until 1900 that his name was spelled HYDEN. Earlier he was Hyton, Hyten, Hyton, and Hyghton.

Sylvanus and Mary had three children, Mickey Jane (Janie) (1881-ca.1903), Emily (1885-ca.1940), and Link W. (1893-by1910). Emily married James McGinnis and Bill Hughes and Link also married but I don’t know to whom.
Mickey Jane (who might also be Murky in one document) is source of the present day HITENs. While she never married; Janie, as she was sometimes called, and Burl Stephens (1880- ) conceived a child, Gilford Hiten (1901-1979). Janie died a couple of years later so it was actually her sister Emily who raised Gilford. Stephens soon married someone else and raised a family, but remained close to the HITENs.
There is the possibility that Gilford had a brother named Hershel. Then again that could have been his middle name. Neither shows up in actual records.
Gilford, or Hub as he was sometimes known, married Bessie Lee Wheeler (1907-1981) in 1925 in Haskell County, OK, an area which remains the base of the family to this day. One of Gilford’s sons said his mother’s maiden name was Madewell. According to Newton McCurry, daughter Betty’s second husband, this idea probably originated because Bessie too was an illegitimate child. Her mother, Millie Pitts-Wheeler never married her father, John Madewell. Gilford and Bessie had five children.
The oldest, Betty Jo (1927-1999) married Carl Tripplet just before he went off to WW II where he was killed during the Normandy invasion. She met her second husband, Newton McCurry, in 1946 when he has back home in Briartown, OK, on an Army furlough. A year and a half after her death he fondly recalled her memory to me, still quite in love with her.
During WW II Guilford moved his family to Blackwell, OK, where he worked for the Blackwell Zinc Company. His daughters Betty and Danna Lee (1929-1997) eventually returned to Haskell County, OK. The three sons moved on and passed on the family name.
A.K. (that’s it, just A.K.) (1931) is still in Oklahoma as is his son (Kevin) Robert Kevin (1962). Kenneth Rea (1957) is nearby in Oxford, KS which ironically is the next town east of Wellington where the ancestors of William Caywood Hyten settled.
A.K.’s brother, Larry Leon (1933), is in Langley, OK but his son Mitchell Larry (1956) is back in Haskell County. The third brother Gary N. (1943) and his sons Chris Alan (1966) and Steven Lee (1970) are in Colorado. Larry’s wife Lila S. Swords-Hiten (1935) is the OKLAHOMA HITEN most interested in the family tree.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, John Calvin Hamilton 1/19/1843 2/6/1916 and
    Sarah Elizabeth Hiten 3/22/1846 5/31/1928
    buried in Davis Cemetary are my great great great grandparents on my mother's side. I'm looking forward to browsing the information you have gathered.

    Daphne Richards