MARK HARDIN DESCENDANTS AND OTHER STORIES
by J. ORAN HARDIN
A founder of the Harden-in-ing Family Association and editor
of the Harden-in-ing Newsletter from its beginning to 2005.
Recorded 27 Sept 2005 at the Hardin Reunion, Little Rock, Ark.
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A few corrections and amplifications have been
added after talking with Oran Hardin later.
Mark Hardin ((b. 1681, m. Mary Hoague) had these four
sons, and 3 of 'em ...let’s see... Martin Ruffleshirt died in
Pennsylvania. Buried there. Major John, the older brother, went to
Kentucky. So did his children. Mark Jr. Married a lady, Elizabeth Ashby
and had several children. They divorced about 1753. Their children went
to Kentucky. I have less information about who came from Mark Jr. than
any of the others.
Henry, the fourth son, moved down into Pittsylvania Co, Va,
down near Danville in that corner of the state, and that’s where he
died... (see Henry Hardin's
gravestone in NC)
Q: Henry and Judy?
Yes. Judith Lynch. Both Henry and Judith were in the
Revolutionary War. Judith was a patriot. I don’t know what she did to
get to be recognized by the DAR. They had a big family, and a lot of
their children went to Ash Co. NC where her husband...
Q: Last night we got the same guy born in 1785 in Grayson Co.
Va and b. 1790 in NC. And we thought it was probably Ash County,
because that’s where all the Hardins were. I thought too, the New River
runs right there. Maybe it shifted. They do that. I have a grandmother
who was back and forth in Pennsylvania and New York until they settled
One of Henry’s sons was named William. He was in the
Revolutionary War too. So was one of his sons, Mark. But William had a
son named Swan.
Q: I’ve heard of him. He’s one of the troublemakers?
William married ...Sarah Bledsoe, who supposedly lived to be
105 years old. She was buried in Mississippi--College Hill. Anyway,
they had a son named Swan and Swan had a son William, a son Augustine
(Gus) and some more sons, Franklin and Watson. Augustine had a wife and
they lived in one of the counties in TN. One of the leading families in
that county was a family named Porter. Porter bragged that he had his
way with Gus’s wife. Gus, William, and his brother, and maybe another
one of the Hardin brothers, went into town and shot it out and killed
Porter. [see news article below]
The Porters being an influential family, the Hardin boys that
killed him were in big trouble. So they took off to Texas. Moved to
what’s now Liberty, Hardin Co. Texas. That was around 1830.
Q: Just in time to start making trouble for the Mexicans. The
mexican war was what, the 1840's, 1848?
Yeah, that was the Mexican War, but the other war, for
independence was something like 1836. They were 15 years apart. The one
where the Alamo was involved, that was the first war. The second war
came about 1846-8, called the Mexican War.
Anyway, Gus and his brother William –there were 3 of those
brothers- who were involved in the war of independence in Mexico.
They’ve got monuments built to them in Hardin County. William Hardin
was supposed to have been the biggest land owner in Texas. They named a
county after him. Of all the descendants of Martin Hardin and Mary
Hogue, there are more descendants documented from them than any of the
other sons. Major John’s descendants have a lot of documentation.
We’ve got a good bit of information on Martin Ruffleshirt,
too. He had a son named John, Colonel John Hardin. Hardin Co. KY is
named for him. He was supposed to have been a close friend of George
Washington. He was a marksman after the time of Braddock’s retreat. He
was in charge of military operations in New Washington. So when he
moved to Kentucky, they said that he took a grapevine and measured off
all the Hardins’ land in a 30-mile stretch in what’s now Hardin County,
Kentucky, then Washington County. He surveyed out and marked off claims
for all his kin folks, using a grape vine to measure with.
They were having all these skirmishes with the Indians, and
George Washington wanted to make peace with the Indians, so he sent
Col. John Hardin up into Ohio to talk to the Indians about peace. He
went alone up there, riding a horse, to a place called Hardin County in
Ohio, renegade Indians met him. They told him that they would take him
to their leader. So they stopped at night to make camp, and while he
slept, they killed him. They took his horse and rifle and sold it. That
was in 1792.
Col. John Hardin had 7 boys. Another Col. John, a grandson,
was killed in the Mexican War in 1848 at the battle of San Jacinto.
They shipped his horse back up to Illinois. He lived then in Illinois,
near Jacksonville. Near the present town of Hardin.
There’s a town on the Illinois River, north of St. Louis,
where it runs into the Mississippi River. They sent his horse back by
steamboat or whatever, back up there to where Hardin, Illinois is now.
It stayed there a good while, so the town was named for Hardin’s horse.
Wise guy: Bocephus?
About 1990 I guess, I remember there was a great flood in the
mid-west, between Kansas City and St. Louis, and dikes broke and
flooded the whole area including the town of Hardin, Missouri. It
washed the cemetery away. It washed all the caskets away. They were out
there floating around in that water. The levee broke and the water
spilled in there and eroded that deep soil they have in the mid-west
and washed caskets up–about 1600 of ‘em. One of our association members
who lived in Roanoke, Virginia called me on the phone and said “Why
don’t you write a letter out to all the Hardin association members and
tell ‘em let’s send some money and help those poor people out there in
Hardin, Missouri, who had the cemetery washed away. “ I said, ”We’ll
pay for the postage; we can mail ‘em at a bulk rate, about 10 cents a
letter. I think in amounted to $150. The Roaknoke member paid it. I
called over to Missouri – they were Baptists, and I’m Baptist – they
said they thought it would be better if it were administered through
I called the Baptist office in Virginia and I said “have you
got a telephone number for the Missouri Baptists? “ Yeah. They gave me
the number. I called Missouri Baptist headquarters and said I’m trying
to get in touch with the pastor of the Hardin church. OK, his name is
such and such, and here’s his phone number. He’s in a certain
Association, and here’s the Association number. So I think I called the
Association first. They said, yes, here’s the church number. I called
and no answer. I tried two or three days – no answer. I found out later
there was about 4 feet of water in the church. The phone was on top of
a filing cabinet. It was still active, but nobody answered. So I called
the association and said “I can’t get in touch with the church in
Hardin.” “Oh,” they said, “It’s flooded, so he’s probably living with
his daddy. They gave me his daddy’s number. Finally I got up with him.
He said, yes, we’ve got a church alliance in Hardin,” and he gave me
the name of the treasurer, and said he’d welcome all the funds they
I wrote the letter out and told everybody. I called him back a
month or so later and asked him if there had been any donations made.
He said yeah, $3000.
Q: What year was that?
It was after I became editor of the newseltter, 1990 I believe
it was. I got pictures. People kept sending me clippings out of the
Kansas City newspaper that showed these caskets floating around the
water out there, and boats trying to lasso them in. Of course when the
water went down, most of ‘em settled in the mud. They recovered, I
believe, about 1100 of the 1600 caskets. They took a bulldozer and made
a big long trench and put row after row of those caskets in a mass
grave. I got pictures of ‘em.
Wise guy: They missed a chance to get some DNA while all those
caskets were above ground. Bore in there...
I found out who, I’m pretty sure, that Hardin, Missouri got
its name from. Charles Hardin, who was governor of the state in 1872.
Before that, the place had another name. It got the name Hardin about
the time he was governor. He came from that group out of Northumberland
County, northern neck of Virginia. There were Hardings. Later some of
them dropped the G. Actually one came from Missouri. Through the
generations, that bunch wound up on the west coast. I’ve got a lot of
information on that. That’s an interesting group of Hardins too.
I lived on the Northern Neck for 17 years, and I know a lot of
Q: Now when you say northern neck...
That’s between the Rappohannock and the Potomac. On the
western side of the Chesapeake Bay.
They say that the Northern Neck in the mid 1600's was “all the
land between the two great rivers to their head-springs. (Rappahannock
and Potomac Rivers)” That was way on up into West Virginia. That was
all Northumberland County. King James II granted it to Lord Culpepper.
Now it’s several counties – Stafford County, Prince William County...
Prince William County is where Mark Hardin died in 1734, which is now
Mark, I believe, was the son of Martin Hardin of Staten
Island. Most people agree with me on that. Hiss will was dated 1734,
but I believe he died in ‘35. I’ve got a copy of his will. Got a copy
of Major John’s will. Got a copy of Indian Bill Hardin's will. They’re
all in the newsletter. Got a copy of Henry’s will.
[end of recording] The transcriber and wise guy was Travis Hardin.
Newspaper Account of the Porter Murder
October 19, 1825, Vol. 4, No. 25
“Reward $500. Ovening this evening A. B. Hardin, William
Hardin, B. F. Hardin, W. Hardin and S. Hardin, armed themselves with
pistols and clubs and attacked my son, Isaac N. Porter, on the public
square in Columbia. A. B. Hardin shot him dead with a pistol. Wm. H.
Williamson in trying to suppress the affray was shot by B. F. Hardin.
He died an hour later. Swan Hardin, Watson Hardin and William Hardin
were taken and committed to the Maury County jail. A. B. Hardin and B.
F. Hardin excaped. B. F. Hardin is bald, 25 years old, and dark
skinned. A. B. Hardin is spare made and about 21 years old. Joseph B.
–from “Genealogical Abstracts from Tennessee Newspapers 1821-1828,
Compiled by Sherida K. Eddlemon, Heritage Books, Inc. Name of newspaper
Biography of Texas Hardins from Handbook of Texas Online:
Watson Hardin Biography
Also see Liberty, Liberty County, Hardin, Hardin County, etc.
Descendants Outline (pdf)*
*The Mark Hardin genealogy located on Rootsweb and presented here may
be perfectly accurate, or it may be in error. We do not know its
This Web site is about Plumnelly Hardins. Information
about Mark Hardin and descendants is incidental. Better information may
be found elsewhere.
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