- On the marker at Maj. John Hounshell's grave it says: Departed this life Aug 11, 1826
aged 70 years 10 months & 6 days. I take that to mean he was born 5 Nov 1756.
Linda Brown lists John's birth as Oct. 5, 1754 and his death as Sept. 12, 1826. Canfield lists his death as Aug. 11, 1826 according to court records and that the tombstones of both John and Susannah have a date of a year later than they actually died.
Honchell-Edwards Newsletter lists John's birth as Nov. 5, 1756. It also states that John "served with the Virginia Troops as a Private during the War of 1776 to secure Freedom from English tyranny." (stated source: A ROSTER OF REVOLUTIONARY ANCESTORS OF THE INDIANA D.A.R., reprinted by Unigraphics, Evansville, IN, 1976)
The baptism record believed to be John's in the Burg Lutheran Church spells his last name a "Unchild", baptised by Festo Trinitatis in 1761 and witnessed by Jacob Speidel and Elizabeth Greb. It lists his birth date as May 20, 1759. (Source: NOTES AND QUERIES "HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL, by W.H. Egle, MDMA). This is not proven to be John, since neither the child's first or middle names nor the parents names are given. Speculation: Could this be an unknown child and not John at all?
In August 1777, John Hounshell is mentioned as a Private in the First Battalion of Virginia, under Colonel William Christian, under John Montgomery, in the Cherokee expedition of that same date. This could have been John or his father, Johann. John would have been 20 yrs old and Johann would have been around 48. (Source: ANNALS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, by L.P. Summers)
Between September and December 1777, John Hounshell, by his mark, was one of the men in the newly formed Montgomery County, VA who swore their allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia before James McGavock. (Source: MILITIA OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VIRGINIA, by Mary Kegley) Again, this could have been Johann or John.
The following is a quote given by Teresa Hounchell(firstname.lastname@example.org) from the Biographical Encyclopedia, pg.407:
"Major John Hounshell, served with great zeal and bravery as an officer in the Revolutionary army; was of Holland extraction; was a man of distinguished courage, bodily strength, and generosity; at an early day, settled in Wythe County, where he died in 1821."
The following information is all taken from THE HOUNSHELLS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, by Clifford R. Canfield, 1973:
On March 6, 1787 John was appointed as an ensign in James Findley's Company of Militia and on May 26, 1790, he was recommended to the governor as an officer in the County Militia. According to Canfield, John served as a Private in the Revolutionary War and was given his rank as Major in the militia after the war.
On Sept. 9, 1796, Robert Bumpas of Halifax County, Va., sold one male slave, age 22, to John.
John's name does not appear on Wythe Co. deed records until 1809 but they had land long before that. John and Susanna had lived on 158 acres of land located on the South Fork of Reed Creek since 1782 but it was not deeded to them until 1800 by Henry and Peggy Umberger.
The following is a summary of an appraisal, excluding the land, of John's property that was undersigned by Richard Mathews, Esq., a Justice of the peace for Wythe Co. done on Oct. 3rd and 4th of 1826.
This appraisal was ordered by the County Court of Wythe at the Sept. Term of 1826 and taken by John F. Straw, Michael Walten and Colser Johnson. It was certified to be a true and perfect inventory by Casper Yost and Christopher Brown, Executors of John's will, on Feb. 12, 1827 and returned and recorded by the Court of Wythe Co. on March 12, 1828.
Household goods $ 55.50
Tools & Farm Implements 222.52 1/2
Pack saddle .25
Crops & stored grain 139.72 1/2
Slaves (1 man, 1 woman, 3 girls) 1,675.00
Notes owed to John 305.00
Total Value $2,880.00
Note: John's clothing consisted of 1 big coat, 3 shirts, 1 pair of pantaloons, 1 vest and 1 jean coat.
John signed his will on July 31, 1826 and it was witnessed in court on Sept. 12, 1826 by John Moyers, Samuel Corvin and Casper Yost.
In his will, John's children were to receive equal shares of his perishable estate and a 50 acre tract of land on Tate's Run, which was leased at that time to William Heldridge, to be divided equally among them when the lease ran out. He also made a provision that the children would inherit any land his wife inherited upon his death. He wished them to keep this land and sell it only to each other if possible. To his daughter, Teana Hutsell, he left one black girl named Mariah, who was upon Teana's death to go to her daughters. To his daughter Mary, he left one black girl named Mary to have and to hold forever and to be taken into account as part of his estate (as part of Mary's share).
He also charged each of his children to pay, out of their share for things they had received through his lifetime, the expenses for the Executors. John $234.74, Jacob $68, William $360 (land included), David $73.91, Joseph $0, Hiram $17.50, Teana $100.83, Mary $98, and Andrew $0. Note:Joseph had already left Virginia by this time and Andrew was deceased.
To his wife, he left the homestead, 50 acres of land for timber, the cupboard, table, 2 good beds and sufficient bed clothes, as many pots and ovens as were necessary for her, all the spun wool, one cow, one gray mare and out of the settlement of debts owed to him, enough money for one saddle. He also left her a negro girl named Bets for her lifetime with the stipulation that if Bets behaved herself and served his wife well, she and her offspring were to be free forever.
After the will was probated, David, Jacob, Hiram, Hosea Brittain (Mary's husband), and John Hutsell (Teana's husband) received $462.13 each. John only received back what he had paid out, which was $234.74. These were paid with the monies collected from the children and the sale of property and after all other debts were paid.
This accounting was not filed until Nov. 9, 1835 and recorded Nov. 14, 1835 by Isaac Leftwich, Commissioner. The Executors were still owed $55.41 at that time.