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Hull Genealogy

Abbreviated History of my Hull Ancestors in America

Generation 1
Henry Sealy Hull, the immigrant

Henry Sealy Hull was born in England to Henry Hull and Eleanor Sealy (1) about 1784 and probably came to the United States between 1815 and 1817. Conflicting documentation records his motivation. One source reports he was "one of his majesty's soldiers and was present and an active participant in the decisive battle of Waterloo in which battle he received across the back of his right hand a sabre cut that marked him for life. The restoration of peace, and honorable discharge from the army gave him liberty and leisure to immigrate to the United States."(2) A second source supports this claim by noting that "before his recovery from this wound he and his brothers Samuel and Edwin took ship at Bristol, England, bound for the Unites States."(1) However a third states that "stories told to us when we were children are to the effect that there were three Hull brothers who ran away from England so they would not have to serve in the... army."(3) I will not rush to judgment on this point, but military records or the lack thereof would presumably prove the correct interpretation. I will look into this issue further during my research efforts.

All sources agree that Henry Hull survived a shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina which must have been a horrifying experience, since few passengers aboard the ship survived. "He and another passenger clung to a chicken coop or some other kind of a piece of wreckage until a projecting rock, about three miles from the shore, offered them a more secure and safe refuge."(2) He settled in North Carolina and married Eleanor Webb about December 20, 1817, near Scotland Neck in Halifax County.(4) Around 1819 the family moved to Lincoln Co., Georgia, but returned to North Carolina after a few years. Henry passed away on March 19, 1829 from a heart attack: "they found him lying by a tree, with his arm under his head, faithfully guarded by his dog."(2)

See also:
Henry Sealy Hull, Genealogical placement.
Eleanor Webb, Genealogical Placement.

Generation 2
Edwin Sealy and Thomas Philip Hull

Edwin Sealy and Thomas Philip were Henry Hull's two sons. Edwin was about 10 years old when his father passed away, leaving him the oldest of six children. He soon became the chief dependence of his family. Thomas, my 2gr. grandfather, was only about six years old. Edwin and Thomas were closely associated with each other for the remaining eighty years of their lives.

[IMAGE: Edwin Sealy Hull]
caption reads:(5)
Col. Edwin Sealy Hull

B. 1818, Scotland Neck, N.C.
D. 1909, Panola County, Texas

The brothers traveled to Raleigh, NC to become tailors, like their father before them. Edwin married Sarah Ann Young on November 25, 1841, in Scotland Neck, NC, and continued as a tailor. He expanded his business interests by becoming a merchant, keeping a hotel in Marion, NC, retaining several farms, and in the embarrassing tradition of the American South owning several slaves. Edwin sold his property to pay-off a bad investment and moved to Woods Post Office, Panola County, Texas in 1857. He built a store, assisted in the construction of a church and a school house, and finally brought his family out from North Carolina to Texas in April 1858.(2)

Thomas remained a tailor and a farmer during this period. When the Mexican War broke out, Thomas served as a Private in Co. K of the First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, under Captain Samuel P. Tipton. He enlisted at Murphy, Cherokee County, NC in March 1847, and was listed as 5 feet 6 1/2 inches, with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion. He mustered-in at Ft. Johnson, Smithville, NC in April and served as the regimental tailor. While in Mexico he contracted an intestinal illness that became an increasingly debilitating, lifelong condition. He was discharged with the company in August 1848 and received a bounty land warrant of 160 acres which he sold for $96 in January 1849. (5)

After his discharge, Thomas moved to Marion, McDowell County, NC and remained there until moving to Murphy, Cherokee Co., NC in 1849. He married Cordelia E. Reddick in Cherokee on November 14, 1850. In 1855 he moved near Ash Grove, Missouri, about 18 miles west of Springfield in Green County. This lasted until 1859 when he joined his brother in Panola Co., Texas. Panola must have held a special appeal because he stayed there another 52 years, before he finally moved-in with his daughter and her family a few months before his death. (6)

The Hull Family in The American Civil War

The Hulls staunchly supported the Southern cause. Edwin joined the Confederate States Army and donated some of his personal wealth to the war effort: "A number of soldiers were fitted out with horses, saddles, and all accouterments of warfare with his own private funds, and he was promoted to the position of quartermaster."(2) His son James Henry Lauriston Hull ("J.H.L.")(7) and his brother Thomas(6) both joined Captain W.D.L.F. Craig's Company of Texas Volunteers which subsequently became Company F of the 10th Regiment of Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army. Perhaps this was the unit Edwin supported, but I have not confirmed this independently.

Thomas enrolled as a 1st Lieutenant at Taos, TX on October 31, 1861 for a period of 12 months. J.H.L. enrolled the same day, served as a 4th sergeant, and remained with the unit for the duration of the war until "he was surrendered May 26, 1865, at New Orleans, Louisiana, and was paroled in June, 1865."(7) As a result of Thomas' service in the Confederate States Army, his claim for restoration of his Mexican War pension was rejected in 1880 on the "ground of disloyalty." Fortunately the definition of loyalty changed as memories of the War faded, and he was able to reclaim his pension in 1887.(6)

After the War, Edwin and Thomas returned to their normal lives in Panola County, Texas. Edwin remained a "pillar of the community." He continued to operate his general merchandise business and eventually turned it over to J.H.L. upon his retirement. He participated in civic groups such as the Masons and the Odd Fellows. He remained a devout Methodist, serving in many official capacities, and at one point helped pay the church out of debt. Edwin and Sarah were married for 65 years when Sarah passed away in 1906. Three years later, "Col. Hull was stricken... with something like vertigo. While of course the family and connection were alarmed, yet it was not thought that death was so near, as he had several of these spells before and had recovered. He had apparently recovered from this one, but his rally was not for long."(2). Edwin passed away on February 19, 1909 at the age of 91.

Thomas never matched his brother's business successes but he was well-liked in his community. In Carthage, Texas, he was "affectionately known... as Uncle Tommie."(8) His disabilities from the Mexican War severely restricted his earning potential. Eventually he became "wholly unfit for outdoor work" and was able to practice his tailoring skills only intermittently.(6) Like his brother, he was involved in the Masons and the Methodist Church.

Sometime prior to April 18, 1910, he moved to the home of his daughter, Em Hull McGaughy.(9) This was located on Prarie Street in Timpson, Shelby Co., Texas. Around 1911 he then moved with the family to Beeville, Bee Co., TX.

[IMAGE: Thomas Hull]
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An octogenarian Thomas Philip Hull poses in front of the home of Em Hull McGaughy, his daughter, in Beeville, Texas. The photograph was likely made very early in the 20th Century. After living in Carthage, Texas for more than 50 years, he moved in with his daughter and her family permanently, first in Timpson and then in Beeville, presumably due to his advanced age. He passed away soon thereafter.

The photograph merely says "Hull" on the back. I speculate that this is indeed Thomas Hull because other photographs in the same collection identify the house as belonging to his daughter and son-in-law, he was the only Hull from that generation still living at the time, and two independent sources list the Beeville residence as his place of death [(6) and (8)]. Another photograph shows the same gentleman feeding chickens at the family's coop. (10)

Thomas Philip Hull
circa 1911

"Just before he left Carthage, Uncle Tommie was in the Watchman office [a Carthage, TX newspaper] (he always spent a great deal of his time with the editor, because he knew we loved him and liked to have him with us) and he said to us: 'Park, my time is nearly up. I am just simply waiting, patiently waiting. But Park when I die and they bring me back here to bury me, you are going to write my death notice. I don't want you to write a whole lot of things about me, like you do about other folks because I don't like it. Just state where I was born, if you want to, and how old I am, when I came here, and say that Uncle Tommie told you he lived the best he knew how.'"(8)

Thomas Philip Hull passed away in Beeville, TX, on September 23, 1911, at the age of 88. His son John left Beeville with his remains the following day. They were met in Timpson by a committee of Masons from the Carthage Lodge. From there they continued to the depot in Carthage, and then to the City Cemetery. Thomas was buried there with Masonic honors.(8)

See also:
Edwin Sealy Hull, Genealogical placement.
Sarah Ann Young, Genealogical placement.
Thomas Philip Hull, Genealogical placement.
Cordelia E. Reddick, Genealogical placement.

Generation 3
Emma M. Hull

I have very little information on Em Hull prior to her marriage to John McGaughy in 1901. She was the second-to-last child of Thomas and Cordelia Hull, born June 3, 1871, some twenty years after the birth of the first Hull sibling. She was probably one of the "two daughters" supported by Thomas and his wife in "his little home, worth 500$ & situated in Carthage" in 1893, since she was the sole child still living with Thomas and Cordelia in 1900.(11) The family lived very modestly because of Thomas' disabilities, and other than the home, owned only "two cows & one calf worth 20$."(6)

Em Hull, daughter of Thomas Philip Hull (shown above), lived with her family in Carthage, Texas when this photograph was taken, circa 1887. In 1901 she married John Henry McGaughy Sr. and the family eventually located in Timpson, Beeville, and San Antonio, Texas.

A handwritten note on the back of the photograph reads, "Aunt Helon said this was made when Aunt Em was about 16. Isn't it sweet tho?" (10)

See Family Photographs page for more.

[IMAGE: Em Hull McGaughy]
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Em Hull McGaughy
circa 1887

The results of further research efforts will be placed here as they are completed.

See also:
Em Hull McGaughy, Genealogical placement.

Successive Generations

Successive Generations intersect with the McGaughy Genealogy with the marriage of Em Hull and John McGaughy in 1901.

For that story check out the Earliest Known McGaughy in my lineage (William McGaughey), the McGaughy photographs on the Photograph Page, or read Polly Rachel McGaughey Sutton's wonderfully researched "Descendants of William and Margaret McGaughey, 1740-1984" and "William and Margaret McGaughey/y, Supplement 1991."

If You are Related to this Lineage...

If you descend from Henry Sealy Hull please feel free to contact me. I have much more information to share, and in turn, would like to get copies of any primary sources you have researched and include your family information in my database. You can reach me by e-mail.

(1) Johnson, Frank W., "A History of Texas and Texans," vol. III (Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1914), pp. 1412-1413.

(2) Panola Watchman [a newspaper based in Panola County, Texas], obituary for Col. Edwin Sealy Hull, February 24, 1909. Available through the Stephen F. Austin State University, Ralph W. Steen Library, Nacogdoches, TX.

(3) A family genealogy prepared by an unknown great-grandchild of Henry Sealy Hull, probably before 1958.

(4) From marriage bond recorded 20 December 1817. Halifax County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds. Typed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. Page 94. Groom - Hull, Henry, Bride - Elenor Webb, Bondsman & Witness - David Clark, (w) Richard Eppes, C.Ct.

(5) Photo source: LaGrone, Leila B., ed., "A History of Panola County, Texas 1819-1978" (Panola County Historical Commission: Carthage, TX, 1979), page 326.

(6) Pension file for Thomas Philip Hull. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration.

(7) Widow's Application for Pension #19190 (Confederate pension granted by the State of Texas), for Mrs. J.H.L. Hull, filed July 30, 1910. Available through the Texas State Archives / Texas State Library, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX.

(8) Panola Watchman [a newspaper based in Panola County, Texas], obituary for Thomas P. Hull, September 27, 1911. Available through the Stephen F. Austin State University, Ralph W. Steen Library, Nacogdoches, TX.

(9) 1910 Census, Timpson, Shelby Co., TX, Enumeration District 155, Sheet 3B, Line 67. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration.

(10) Photograph from the private collection of a descendant.

(11) 1900 Census, Carthage, Panola Co., TX, Enumeration District 64, Sheet 7, Line 75. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration.

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