Margaret Huffman or Hoffman - What is known about her? Whose wife is she, Harmon or John Back?

Joseph F. Buchanan, 29 June 2002, West Jordan, UT

This document is intended to clarify the true identity of Margaret Huffman and show that she was in fact the wife of John Back and not the wife of his brother Harmon Back, Jr., as recorded in numerous records of the LDS Ancestral File as well as many personal genealogy records of the Buchanan family.

Margaret Huffmann was born Nov. 27, 1748 in Orange Co., Virginia. Her parents were John Hoffmann (later Huffman) and Maria (Mary) Sabina Folg. This and most subsequent information is recorded in the book, "The Germanna Record" Number three, April 1963, official publication of the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Incorporated. Much of the other information in this document came from that publication, but where original sources were found they have been noted. The record of her birth is mentioned on page 7 (listing Margaret as Anna Margaret). There was no specific record mentioned that specified the birth information, and the original records, so far, have not been found to corroborate this information. Other records do indicate that this birth information is likely to be true. There is a reference to another Germanna publication, where the author states: "His [John Huffman's] other daughters married men from the second Nassau-Siegen group in the Little Fork of the Rappahannock, which I treated in the 1960 Bulletin of the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies." - Vol. 3 p. 9. I have not been able to locate this publication.

According to records found, Margaret was married to John Back, son of Harman Back (or Bach) of Little Fork settlement of the Rappahannock. Her sister, Elizabeth, married John's brother, Henry Back.

Recorded events following 1748 are listed, in chronological order, along with source information:

1. 30 Dec 1762 - Will, probated 17 Aug 1772 - Culpeper Co. Will Book B, p 61-65, 73, 74. See LDS Family History Library Film 30931, item 3.
The will of John Hoffman (Hoofman), Sr. where Margaret is listed to receive 120 or 150 acres, but no husband nor married name is listed.

2. 15 Feb. 1768 - Deed - Culpeper County Deed Book, p. 529-531. This was a tract of land known by the name of Elkwood, bounded by the Rappahannock River. John Back of Culpeper, Millwright. It is interesting to note that one of the witnesses was James Buchanan.

"John Back of Culpeper County, millwright, to William Allason of King George County, merchant. Mortgage to secure 223.17.7 current money due 1 May next. The lease of a tract bounded by the River of Rappahannock, being part of the tract known by the name of Elkwood on which lott there is at present a grist mill built by me.
John Back
Wit: James Woodburn, Jams. Buckanon, Alexr. Wodrow, David Allason.
19 May 1768. Acknowledged by John"

3. 19 July 1779 - Deed - Culpeper County Deed Book "I", p. 392. John and Margaret Back of Culpeper County are mentioned in an indenture.

Culpeper Deed Book "I", p. 382 (LDS Family History Library Film 30946). July 19, 1779:
"This indenture made this 19th day of July in the year of out Lord One thousand seven hundred and seventy nine Between John Back and Margaret his wife of the County of Culpeper on the one part..."

4. 1782 - Land Tax Records, Culpeper County Land Tax Books, p. 14, 37. See LDS Family History Library Film 2024517,microfilm of a printed book transcribing the tax records.
This mentions John Back with 130 Acres and 120 Acres. Henry Back with 150 Acres of land. Herman Back, Jr. is also mentioned with 100 Acres with the date of 1785.

5. 14 Jan 1783 - Deed - Culpeper Co. Deed book "L", p. 240 (listed incorrectly as p. 246 in the Germanna record). This is an indenture listing "John Back and Margaret his wife".

Culpeper Co. Deed Book "L", p. 246 [actually 240](LDS Family History Library Film 30947). Jan 14, 1783:
"This Indenture made this Fourteenth Day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty three Between John Back and Margaret his wife and Peter Clore and Mary his wife of the State of Virginia and County of Culpeper of the one part and John Wayland Jun. of the aforesaid County of the other part witnesseth that for and consideration of the sum of Ten Pounds Current money of Virginia to them the said John Back and Margaret his wife and Peter Clore and Mary his wife will and truly in hand Paid at of before the sealing and Delivery of these presents this receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge have Bargained and sold in fee off and confirmed unto him the said John Wayland Jun. his Heir Executors Administrators and Assigns for ever a certain piece or parcel of land lying in the aforesaid County and lying on both sides of Deep Run continuing by estimation Twenty acres more or less & Boundeth as follows: to wit. Beginning at two White Oaks on the West side of Deep Run Near the said Run corner with John Back, Running Thence North Forty Eight Degrees East, Fifty Eight Poles to two pines in Tilman Huffmans line, Thence with his line, South Forty Degrees East Twenty Eight poles to Deep to a Maple & parcimon Thence up the said run four poles..."

6. 23 Jan. 1794 - Will - Madison Co. Will Book 1, p. 27. Will probated upon the death of John Back. Administrators are Margaret Back and Henry Back.

Madison Co. Will Book 1, p 27 (LDS Family History Library Film 32570, item 3):
"... Sealed with our seals and dated this 23rd day of January Anno dom one thousand seven hundred and ninety four and in the 10th year of the Commonwealth. The conditions of the above obligation is such that the above Bound Margaret Bach and Henry Back administrators of all goods, chattels and credits of John Back deceased, do make or cause to be made, a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased..."

7. 19 Aug. 1803 - Deed - Madison Co. Deed Book 3, p. 437. John Huffmann gives rights to the land Margaret lives on to her. It was willed to John by his father John Huffman, deceased.

Madison Co. Deed Book 3, P. 437, dated Aug 19, 1803
This was taken from a transcript, book index number 975.538 R2s
Page 137 of the transcription book:
(p. 437)
On Margin: "Exd. & deliv'd."
"Be it known .. I JOHN HUFFMAN SENR. for $1.00 paid by MARGARET BACK .. make over all my right to land Margaret now lives willed by my Father, John Huffman, deceased, to my Sister .. 19th August 1803."
"Witnesses: Paschal Earley, Adam Miller, Ephraim Fray"
"John (X) Huffman"
"Recorded Madison County 25th August 1803"

NOTE: There is some confusion here because I have not found that there was a brother of Margaret Huffman named John. The records so still mention that Margaret Back was willed the land by a John Huffman, deceased, though, and that seems to clarify the relationship she has to both the Huffman family and the Back family.

8. 2 Nov. 1803 - Deed - Madison Co. Deed Book 3, p. 457-458. John Huffmann gives rights to the land Peter Clore bought from John Back. It was willed to Margaret Back, John's sister, by his father John Huffman, deceased.

Madison Co. Deed Book 3, P. 457-458, dated June 11, 1807
This was taken from a transcript, book index number 975.538 R2s
Page 140 of the transcription book:

(pp. 457-458)
On Margin. "Exd. & dd June 11th 1807"
"Be it known .. I JOHN HUFFMAN SENR. for $1.00 paid by PETER CLORE make over all my right to land Peter purchased of John Back, which land was willed by my Father, John Huffman, deceased, to my Sister, Margarett Back .. 2nd November 1803."
"Witnesses: Paschal Early, William Taylor, Sampson Huffman"
"John (X) Huffman Senr.
"Recorded Madison County 24th November 1803"