Wednesday, May 2, 2012



I have five modern day branches of the HITEN family. Three of them stem from sons of James Hiten. His eldest traceable son was William whose family I’ve chosen to call the LOST KENTUCKY HITENS because they darted in and out of the records till the branch finally withered when the last son, Willie, died childless.

The William Hiten branch begins clearly enough in the 1850 census with William Hiten (1812-1850/1), his wife Mary Ann Fields-Hiten (1818-1882) and their children, Wortley G., William J., (Sally) Sarah E., Brice (Price in this census), and (Tina) Mary E.

The eldest son Wortley G. (ca.1841- ) seems to disappear but the names Wesley and William J. (1842-1907) later appeared with nowhere to connect them to any tree except in Wortley’s place. Eventually I was to decide to call him Wesley (William J.) Hiten.

This mystery begins in the 1870 census where two William Hitens are listed. The first is William and his wife Mary, the head of the LOST KENTUCKY HITENS branch. The second HITEN listed in the 1870 census is William J. Hiten born not in 1844 as had been the William J. in the 1850 census but in 1842 as had been Wortley. Listed with him is his wife Martha, i.e., Martha Jane Courtney-Hyten (1855-1926), to whom he had married in 1870. With them was William Fields aged 60 is probably the father of William J.’s mother Mary Ann.
This 1870 William J. is pretty clearly different from William’s second son born in 1844 who was listed in the 1850 census as William J. That 1844 birth date carries through with Irwin or William I. Hiten (1844-1928) who along with his wife Anna Rebecca (1859-1929) and their first child, Ollie Clay (1879- ) are in the 1880 census of Harrison County, KY. ( It’s interesting to note that the names Ollie and Clay both show up in the corresponding generation of the Thomas Otho Hyten and William Caywood Hyten families.)
The 1900 census adds to their family Pearl C. (1883- ) and William I., Jr. (1886-1957). Connie Hiten told me that he was known as Bill Irwin. His wife was Flossie, a nurse, who is also known as Gladda (1904-1984) thus she is the person listed in the Social Security Death Index that I couldn’t identify for along time. Bill Irwin was also known as “Shooting Bill”. The only further mention of them in records that I have seen is Pearl’s 1908 marriage to J.T. Jones.

In the same 1880 census where Irwin is listed separately, the second William J. Hiten and Martha’s family consisted of Jarvey (or Jarvis), Mary A., Ida Belle, Odella Helen, and Elmer.
Jarvis (1871-1947) married Cora Duncan (1877-1953) in 1894. They had two children, Willie (1895-1978) and Velma (1895-1980) who married Edgar Maxwell in1918. Willie or Bill (Wiliam Wesley) was apparently known as “Lazy Will” in Harrison County. He was briefly married to Lena Dutton (1899-1966) but they had no children thus ending the branch.
It was Velma’s daughter Ruby Maxwell who told me that her grandparent’s names were Wesley and Martha. Although at no point is there a concrete record making Wortley, William J., and Wesley the same person, I feel justified in assuming they are.
Of Wesley (William J.) Hiten’s other three children, Mary A. (1872- ) disappeared and Elmer (1881-1950) didn’t marry. Daughters Ida Belle (1876-1966) and Odella Helen (1878-1945) married, Ida to Joe Pavey and Odella to Earnest Wollums.

Williams oldest daughter (Sally) Sarah E. (1846-1928) married John C. Hamilton in 1867 and they had three children.
His second son, Brice or Brise, married Bernette B. Dryden in 1870 and had four daughters although there is a bit of confusion surrounding him. There is a record that lists a couple with the same names as born in 1829 and 1822 making them of a different generation. While it is possible that James’ unnamed first son was named Brice, the problem with this theory is that it is highly unlikely that two Brices married two Burnettes. I don’t know how to resolve this dilemma.
Further questions arose in a 1987 letter to Gene Hyden from William Glenn Whitaker, a John W. Hiten descendant, that stated Brice was a twice-married farmer who belonged to the Sadieville Christian Church. Doubts about this second marriage lingered until 2000 when I found out that the second marriage was to Tisha Adams (1875-1961).

William Hiten’s youngest daughter linked his family to that of John W. Hiten of the HARRISON COUNTY HITENs when William’s granddaughter, Mamie McCloney (1868/72- ), the daughter of Tina (1850- ), married John’s son Ham in 1890. Tina’s was living with her father and mother in 1880 along with her daughter Mamie and her son Joseph Lee McCloney.

At this point it interesting to remember Elizabeth Heighton from the HYTENs BEFORE 1800 who, because they had the same spelling and similar birth dates, may have been a sister of Josiah Heighton, the head of the HYTEN family tree. She married John McLorry in 1791. McLorry could well be a corruption of the later McCloney. This furthers the hope of a tie between HYTENsand HITENs. She was buried on the same grounds as Polly Hiten – Pock, sister of James Hiten, the head of the HITEN family tree.

The original Willam Hiten married Mary Ann Fields.. His sister (Polly) Mary married Joel Fields. Her second marriage was to Adolphues Courtney. William’s sister Emily married (Cooper) John Courtney and sister (Kitty) Catherine’s first marriage was to Absolom Courtney. Much later Brice’s daughter (Lizzie) Elizabeth married Samuel D. Fields.
In the early days such entangling of families was quite common. It can be seen in other branches of the HYTEN / HITEN Family Trees as well.


Even though the family of James J. Hiten has its roots in Harrison County, KY, just like two other groups of HITENs, I call his branch THE KENTUCKY HITENs.

James J. (1823- ) was the third son of James Hiten although only the second I can trace. In 1848 he married Louisa Fightmaster (1826-1914) in Harrison County. The 1860 census lists them and their four children, John William, Georgiann, Lavina, and James T.

Georgiann (1850- ) married John N.Reed in 1903. Lavina (1853- ) married George W. Goodnight in 1877 and had three children. In various records her name also shows up as Sebinah, Sabina, Benie, and Cervina. James T. (1856- ) disappeared.

The family name continued through John William Hiten (1849-1922). In 1894 he married Mary C. Saylers (1866-1949) and they had two sons. Despite his rather recent death no one seems to know much about their youngest, (Ward) William Ward (1897-1970). He may have been the one of the three of Harrison County’s Will Hitens who became known as “Wild Will”. Social Security death records say that he lived in Georgetown, KY. Connie Hiten said his wife was Delora (1906-1996). I had known of her for some time previously but hadn’t placed her on any family tree.

The elder son, James Saylers Hiten (1894-1965), married Virginia Tucker (1902-1968) and they had three children before they divorced in 1924. The divorce left very bitter feelings and James Saylers’s children had no further contact with him.
The 1927 Lexington, KY, directory has a listing for James S. Hiten, a driver for Gulf Refining,and his wife Virginia, so my divorce date may not be correct. The 1930 census has James living with his children and with Virginia Tucker, his ex-wife, on the farm of her parents, James J.(63) and Clara (52) Tucker.
James Tucker Hiten (1923-1999) recalled that after his father James Saylers left his mother he may have moved to Ohio and remarried. Social Security death records seem to confirm that as those records list two HITENs dying in Ohio. James Hiten and Claudia Hiten were both of whom were born in KY and died in Ohio and James Saylors’ birth date fits.

James Saylers' first child, Francis Louise (1921-1956), married Earl Bricen Goodpaster who also was a bit of a rogue or in this case an alcoholic. They separated before their daughter, Virginia Erlene Goodpaster (1948), was born. Francis and Virginia lived with Francis’s mother, Virginia Tucker – Hiten (1902-1968).
An interesting side note to this is that Virginia Tucker-Hiten was born in Oklahoma near where the OKLAHOMA HITENS originated and where there are Goodpasters in the same area. Virginia Goodpaster remembers visiting some relatives in Pawnee. This would indicate that there is a good chance the OKLAHOMA HITENs can be connected back to Kentucky. Even more interesting is that her grandmother Clara’s middle name was Reese, a name connected to the Hyden-HYTEN family that got to Oklahoma via Indiana and Illinois.
When the elder James Saylers and Virginia parted, she and the kids moved in with her grandparents, James Jackson and Clara Reese - Tucker, who had moved from Pawnee, OK, to Kentucky, to a farm on Versailles Road. When James died Clara sold the farm and they moved into a house on Desha Road where the kids grew up.

The second child of his first marriage, James Tucker Hiten (1923-1999) was to marry three times, twice to the same woman, Wanita Asher (ca.1926-1997). They had a daughter, Jacquelyne Ann in 1953 and split up in 1954 only to remarry later that year when it was discovered that Wanita was again pregnant. After Susan Eleanor was born in 1955 they again parted ways. He again tried marriage, this time with Ruby Meadows (1915-1994).
Although James didn’t share the information with his family, apparently he was a bit of a hero in the Second World War. He served as a tail gunner in a B-52 flying over 25 missions which in itself makes him very lucky especially considering that on one of those flight they were hit and limped safely back to base. On another mission he shot down three German fighters in one battle. Only after his death did his daughters find his medals and articles describing how he earned them.

James Saylers’ youngest son was John Ward Hiten (1924-2001).In 1952 he married Charleen Wanda Votaw (1931) and they had two sons. John Flynn Hiten (1953) had two children, Brian Patrick (1979) and Erin Leigh (1981). Karl Tucker (1956) also has a son and a daughter, Von Oliver (1981) and Angela Lea (1985). All live in Kentucky.
Brian has a son, Brian Thomas (2005), insuring that the Kentucky Hiten branch will survive a while longer.

This map is portion of an 1877 Harrison County map which shows land owned by James J. Hiten, William, and Brice Hiten.

From the start of my research I was aware of the HITEN name. Before I had sorted out which HYTEN branch was which, I had come across the HITEN name but thought it was just another spelling of HYTEN. In one of my first contacts with Gene Hyden he made me aware that there were probably two different families. He sent me a chart that contained pretty much of the first two generations of the HARRISON COUNTY HITENS.

John W. Hiten lived his whole life in Kentucky (1828-1913). In 1848 he married Martha Jane Higgins (1824-1894) and in 1860 they were in the Harrison County census with five of their children, his mother, Nancy Pock-Hiten, and brother, William. Why William was there without his wife, Mary Ann Fields-Hiten, I don’t know. Nancy’s husband, James Adam Pock (1785-1848), was dead by then. Oddly enough John W., who sometimes went by the nickname Cub, does not appear in any other Harrison County censuses.

John W. Hiten’s oldest child, Nancy M. (Fannie) (1850-1931), had a daughter who married a man named Fightmaster. That was the maiden name of John W.’s brother James J.’s wife, Louisa. Later one of Fannie’s grandsons sold land to (Gene) Eugene Earl HitenJohn W.’s great grandson.
Actually I’m not absolutely positive that James J. is John W.’s brother but intermarriages are one of the ways that you can connect family groups. In this case, because all involved lived in Harrison County, KY, I am fairly certain of the relationship.
(Kate) Catherine (1854- ) married but had no children. Likewise the youngest son, Ham (1862-1890), was a farmer who is noted to me for having married a distant cousin, Mamie McCloney (1872- ). Rumor is that Ham hung himself and Mamie never again left the house.
Lewis (1858-1891), who didn’t marry, is said to have been a twin of Thomas but Thomas wasn’t listed in that 1860 census. Since John W.’s children were coming along about every two years maybe Thomas was born in late 1860 not 1858 but I don’t think so.

The oldest son, James William, (1851-1942), owned farm land in the King’s Lane area off White Oak Pike in Harrison County. Jim Will, as he was called, had four children, Alexander Jackson (1887-1975), Lillie Mae (1890-1974), Annie J. or T. (1892-1937), and Verna J. (Verma) (1896-1975).
Alexander moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he and his wife, Edith Terry - Hiten (1899-1987), died. It wasn’t until the final batch of letters came to me in 2001 that I was able to attach her to him even though it had been my assumption all along, Assumptions do come true. Sadly, solving one mystery contributed to another. The source said they had two children whom I now had to find. One was a son Carl T. (ca.1922) while the other was a daughter.
Verna (Verma) is said to have lived in Saratoga, Indiana for forty years and is buried in the Winchester, IN, Cemetery. I would like to connect the INDIANA HITENs through her but both Saratoga and Winchester are in Randolph County on the east central border of Indiana nowhere near the INDIANA HITENs.

John W. Hiten’s second son, John Mark (1856-1930), a farmer and land owner, and his wife, Annie Marie Clark (1863-1953), had three children. Lawrence T. (1887-1981), a grocery store manager, had a son Rupert who died in childhood. John’s daughter Lula V. (1888-1898) likewise died young. Son Clark (1897-1979), who owned farmland on Hick’s Pike in Harrison County, passed the HITEN name on for two generations.
Clark’s first son, (Gene) Eugene Earl (1916-2000), who was a diesel mechanic, had three children. Bradley Gene (1941-1954) died of an accidental gunshot wound. Cheryl Ann (1945-1998), a schoolteacher, and Linda Sue (1952) were his daughters.

’s other two sons, (Ray) Omar Ray (1917-1999) and (Donald) Wilber Donald (1921-1963), were farmers who didn’t marry. Between them was a stillborn son Clark (1920-1920). Daughter (Lou) Mary Louise Hiten-Scouten(1923-2000) had two children. She was one of the more helpful of the HARRISON COUNTY HITENs.

John W. Hiten’s son Thomas (1858-1917) had seven children and 45 grand children, but only five great-grandchildren that bear the HITEN name. The Connersville, KY, farmer-land owner is said to have been killed by a falling tree. His two older daughters bore many children. Merle B. Hiten-Whalen (1883-1970), a member of the Connersville Christian Church, had eight children and Ollie Jasmine Hiten-Whitaker (1885-1945), a member of the Mt. Hope United Methodist Church, had eleven. One of Ollie’s grandchildren, William G. Whitaker has done a lot of research in Harrison County; research that I did not get until a month before publishing the 2001 edition of the family story.
The cause of death of son, Roy (1891-1893), is listed as ‘a nail in the brain’. His youngest son Charles A. (1895-1970), who fought in WWI and was a farmer, was the only adult not to produce offspring. Baby Nancy (Birdie) Hiten-Price (1895/7-1961) added five (or seven, I’m not sure).

    Thomas' middle two sons brought 21 HITENs into the world. Sell H. or Selborn Henry Newton Hiten and John William (Will) Hiten both owned farms in the Connersville area.

Sell (1887-1976) had three sons; Frank Carlton (1919-2005), Eugene (Gene)(1922), and Kirby Lee (1924-1930),and three daughters; (Connie) Cornelia (1928), Juanita (1930-1979), and Mary Lou (1933), who together produced no heirs.
Sons John Thomas (1921-2004), Ray Gilbert (1926) and Robert Lewis (1938-1998), a farmer and bulldozer operator, all had sons who have not yet had children so at this point their sons are the last generation of HITENs in that branch. Robert adopted his wife Thelma’s daughters from her first marriage.
Sell’s younger daughters, Lois Todd Hiten-Riddell (1935-2001) and Charlotte Faye Hiten-White (1939), each had three children.

Thomas’ other son, John William (Will) Hiten (1891-1952), didn’t have much more success passing on the HITEN name. His oldest son Rodney William (1912-1985), a farmer, was the only one of his ten children to pass on the HITEN name. The name lives on in a single HITEN in each of three generations. (Gayle) Russell Gayle Hiten (1934) had a daughter Kathy Lynn and son Stephen Gayle who has a son Adam Taylor (1994). Gayle and his wife Minnie lived in Florida from 1978 to 1996.
Rodney’s other son, Donald Wayne (1936), who is a minister, was the first in his family to graduate from college He did not have children.

Four of Will’s daughters had children, LucilleWood (1913-1989), Flora Mae(1915), Sarah Adrienne (1925-2010),and Hildreth Clay (1929), his youngest. Will’s fifth child, Stanley Albert (1918-2002) had three daughters who were raised by their aunt Lucille. Their mother, Ruby Dunn-Hiten (1917-1956), died in child birth as the twins Ruby Lou and Johnnie Sue were born.
Woodrow (Woody) (1917-1984), a WWII Army vet and farmer, Hazel Belle (1921), Homer Francis (1923), a farmer in the White Oak area, and Virginia Ruth (1927-1930), did not have children.

It’s interesting to note that family chronicler W.G. Whitaker calls Flora Mae “a Catholic and mother”. From that you would guess the HITENs are good protestant stock as are most people in the very Confederate city of Cynthiana where Civil War memorials commemorate only the South. On my visit to Cynthiana it was apparent that at least Sell’s grandson Rob and Will’s granddaughter Pat Jones-Williams were active Catholics.
In 2008 my son, Rob, returned to his alma mater, Murray, KY, State University. When he visited the Catholic Newman Center the priest, Father Williams, informed him that his mother had Hiten relatives. He was Pat Jones-Williams son.

When I visited Cynthiana for the 2001 edition of the annual Family Reunion staged by the Will Hiten branch, Rob drove me through the countryside where the HITENs were and are. Along the way we stopped at the Hiten-Bowman Private Cemetery. It is nestled up to the Hawksville Pike a mile or so north of Gene Hiten’s house. (Pike is an area term for road or more specifically a road to somewhere.) It is a grown-over area of about fifty by one hundred feet surrounded by a very nice old, collapsing stonewall. There are only three legible tombstones, those of John W., his wife Martha, and their son Lewis A. There are a couple of half-buried stones with initials on them.
In 2003 my Son Mark and I returned and clean out the area just as we had the HYTEN cemetery in Indiana. We made little headway but Pat Jones-Williams and her husband later finished the job.

When the old timers of Harrison County remember the various William Hitens they sort them out by nicknames. John William (Will) was known fondly by all as “Working Will”. (Ward) WilliamWard of the KENTUCKY HITENs may have been “Shooting Will”. (Willie) William Wesley of the LOSTKENTUCKY HITENS was apparently “Lazy Will”. (I expect that I will be getting a correction on that piece of information as soon as word gets around that I “accused” Willie of being lazy.)
The latter map is portion of an 1877 Harrison County map which shows land owned by James J. Hiten, William, and Brice Hiten.

1 comment:

  1. I am currently working on my families genealogy. My great grandmother Ollie Hiten which married Achie Mack Whitaker. Thank you for all the information on the Hiten Family and the pictures. If you ever want to share photos or info feel free to contact me.