FAMILY OF JOHN (GRANT) LAUGHTER AND MARY LANGFORD
JOHN (GRANT) LAUGHTER/LAWTER was born March 17, 1745/46 in St. John's Parish, North Carolina and died June 13, 1817 in Warren County, North Carolina. He is buried in unmarked grave on Hawtree Plantation. He married MAY/MARY LANGFORD about 1785 probably in Old Bute County, North Carolina, daughter of JOHN LANGFORD. She was born May 20, 1760 in Bute County?, North Carolina, and died March 1805 in Warren County, North Carolina. She is buried in an unmarked grave on Hawtree Plantation.
FROM "THE ROSTER OF TEXAS DAUGHTERS REVOLUTIONARY ANCESTORS" BY TEXAS SOCIETY OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, BICENTENNIAL EDITION, MRS. GEORGIA BINGLE EDMAN, STATE REGENT, 1976
LAUGHTER, (LAWTER), JOHN (GRANT) SR. - born March 17, 1746, St. John's Parish, North Carolina, died June 13, 1816, Warren County, North Carolina, married about 1745 (obviously a typo which I changed to 1765), probably Old Bute County, North Carolina,, May Langford, born May 20, 1760, Bute County, North Carolina.
SERVICE: Fought under General Sumner at Guilford Courthouse, March 15, 1781, and at Eutaw Springs, September 8, 1781. Because he could serve his country better in another capacity, he was awarded a large contract and thereafter manufactured hats for the Revolutionary Army. He was a Revolutionary Patriot and Soldier. Residence: Warren County, North Carolina.
MEMBERS: Maida Davis Turtle No. 444536 and Stella Hagy Eddins No. 452592
FROM "THE LAUGHTER FAMILY GENEALOGY" BY DOUGLAS LAUGHTER
John Laughter served in the Revolutionary War under General Sumner (sic) at Guilford Court House 15 March 1781, and Eutaw Springs, 8 Sept 1781. He was a great friend of Nathaniel Macon and they entered the army at the same time. Neither one served long as they could serve their country better in other capacities. Nathaniel Macon was elected to the General Assembly. John, who was a manufacturer, was detached from the army and was given a large contract to supply the army with hats. He continued to manufacture hats for the government through the war.
SOURCES: Will Book 6, p. 130, Warren County, North Carolina
North Carolina Militia Returns, 1747-1859, Box 4, Rutherford County, North Carolina
Isabella Patterson Will, Wilkes County, Georgia dated 1 July 1815
DEED BOOK A - PAGE 182 - WARREN (BUTE) CO. NC
William Kimball to John Larter, 9 Mar 1765 - 200 Acres on both sides of Halifax Rd., head of Saul's Creek.
DEED BOOK 3 - PAGE 255 - WARREN (BUTE) CO. NC
James Laughter to John, both of Bute Co., 11 Feb 1771 - 300 acres on Hawtree Br., north side of road line of Laughter.
NORTH CAROLINA - BOOK 21, PAGE 43 & 44
In the name of God Amen I John Laughter, Sen. of the County of Warren and State of North Carolina being in a low state of health but of sound and deposing memory and mind to make and ordain this my last Will and Testament. In the first place I will that my boddy be burried in a decent and Christian manner and my just debts be honorably paid in the manner hereafter laid off.
Item: I will that my Executors hereafter named sell at their discretion at private or publick sale my Reedy Creek land and my negroe fellow Moses and if they should, meaning the land on Reedy Creek and Moses, over pay my debts I will that the balance be equally divided between my two sons John and William and should it fall short I request that my two sons sahll pay the balance of my debts. I will that my executors out of the sale of my property pay to my daughter Rebeckah the sum of three hundred dollars for the purpose of perchasing a small tract of land such as my Executors should think proper the title of the land to be retained in my Executors for the purpose of maintaining my daughter during her life and my will and desire is that all the ballance of my property both real and personal be sold on a credit of 12 months and the money arrising from the sale be equally divided between my two sons John Laughter and William Laughter and I will further that my executors pay to my daughter Polly Bell one hundred dollars and my daughter Susanah Hunt the Sum of two hundred dollars likewise. I utterly revoke all other wills by me heretofore made and I do hereby appoint my two sons John Laughter and William Laughter and my friend Robert R. Johnson my executors to this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 10th March 1817.
Witness N.B. The uttering of the word two hundred as the legacy for Susanah Hunt was made before signers.
John Evans, Jurat John (his X mark) Laughter
Susanna (her X mark) Worrell Sen.
Winidred M. Johnson
WARREN COUNTY - NOVEMBER COURT 1817
This will as duly proven in open court by John Evans subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Wm. Green CWCC
CHILDREN OF JOHN (GRANT) LAUGHTER AND MARY LANGFORD
Mary (Polly) Laughter - married Jesse Bell
Rebskah Laughter - married William Bates
John Langford Laughter
Susannah (Susan) Laughter
FAMILY OF JOHN LANGFORD LAUGHTER AND ANN MARY (NANCY) HUNT
JOHN LANGFORD LAUGHTER was born about 1786 in Warren County, North Carolina-War of 1812 veteran, and died about 1858 in Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina. He married ANN MARY (NANCY) HUNT August 08, 1809 in Granville County, North Carolina, daughter of JAMES HUNT and ANN SATTERWHITE. She died after 1858.
FROM "THE LAUGHTER FAMILY GENEALOGY" BY DOUGLAS LAUGHTER
He was well known as a teacher and surveyor. He lived for many years on his land left to him by his father. Hawtree Plantation was his home until in later years when he lost the land and house because of financial troubles. He married in Granville County, NC to Ann Mary (Nancy) Hunt, daughter of James and Ann (Satterwhite) Hunt, in 1809. John served in the War of 1812. He went in as a Captain, but was soon promoted and served until the close of the war as Colonel of the Second North Carolina Dragoons. His regiment was stationed during the entire war in Norfolk, Virginia and was a part of the Regiment commanded by Col. Duncan McDonald. On his return to Hawtree Plantation in Warren County, he was made General of the Militia, but preferred the title of Colonel he had won in actual warfare in the face of the enemy. he died about 1858 in Warrenton, Warren County, NC. Nancy, his wife, outlived him as his will left a "years provisions for Nancy Laughter, wife of John L. Laughter". His home was still standing in 1967 when it was completely destroyed by fire. This house was pointed out in "The County of Warren, NC 1587-1817" by Manley Wade Wellman as "Place No. 1, site of John Laughter Home, a Hatter during the Revolutionary War".
RALEIGH EVENING TIMES, JUNE 13, 1906
COLONEL JOHN LAUGHTER, AN OLD TIME GENTLEMAN, BY REV. T.J. TAYLOR
"Did you ever see Col. John Laughter, the school teacher and surveyor, Uncle Russ?" "Oh, yes, I know Col. Laughter well, and have in mind at this moment a good picture of the old gentleman as he appeared in the latter years of his rather eventful life. He was a man of good physique, clear cut features and striking personality. A stranger would recognize him at once as a man of more than ordinary importance. his features indicated intellectuality, his voice, though commanding, was exceedingly soft and musical. His erect figure and soldierly movements marked him as one acquainted with military life and accustomed to the duties of a soldier.
He was a proud man, very ambitious and aspired to the best society for himself and family, and strove to maintain under the adverse circumstances of later years the same manner of living and social relations to which he had been accustomed in the more prosperous years of his life. His fondness for fine clothing made so as to set off his soldierly figure to the best advantage resulted in part perhaps from his military life and training. He was not only fond of fine clothing, but refused to purchase anything that was offered to him below what he regarded as a respectable price. A good story used to be told illustrative of this peculiarity. He went to a store to purchase a vest pattern. The clerk spread several before him, one of which pleased the would be purchaser. He asked the price and being told that it was only 2 dollars, replied, in disgust, 'I came to buy a vest pattern, and you insult me by offering me this cheap stuff. Show me a vest pattern suitable for a gentleman to wear.' The clerk quietly removed the offending goods and exhibited several other pieces. After awhile, he brought out the same pattern that had been so contemptuously rejected and said, 'Colonel, here is a piece of goods for which we have no demand on account of price, see what you think of it.' The Colonel examined it for a moment with evident pleasure and inquired the price. On being told that it was 7 dollars and 50 cents, he promptly said, 'I will take it, for I do not like to wear common goods.'
Col. Laughter's father, John Laughter, came from England to this country and settled in Butte county sometime previous to the Revolutionary War. (NOTE: Current Laughter research appears to demonstrate it was likely Henry Laughter/Lawter/Larter, great, great grandfather of this John Laughter who was the immigrant ancestor of this Laughter family.) He purchased a tract of land on Hawtree, about four miles from Warrenton, where he raised his family and where he died and was buried. John Laughter was a man of affairs. He stood well in the county and left to his descendants the heritage of a good name. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and fought under Gen. Sumner at Guilford Court House and Eutaw Springs. It is more than probable that the stories which he told of his stirring soldier life had much to do with the military trend of his son's mind.
Col. John Laughter was a soldier in the war of 1812. He went out as a captain of a company of dragoons, but was promoted, and served until the close of the war as Colonel of the Second North Carolina Dragoons. His regiment was stationed during the entire war in Norfolk, Virignia. He had a high ideal of military life, and was a strict disciplinarian, but he was kind to his men and was a very popular officer. As long as any of his men in this secton lived they would frequently visit him to talk over their army life, and he often visited them, and was always a welcome guest in their homes.
After the war, Colonel Laughter returned to Warren County and lived the life of a farmer for some years. He was also a surveyor and was in great demand in surveying land in this and adjoining counties. After some years he met with reverses, lost his plantation, and gave up farming. Subsequently he devoted himself to school teaching and surveying. He had received the best educational advantages available in his youth.
He was probably a student in the old academy in the first years of its existance, where he was instructed in the branches usually taught in such schools at that time. Either then or under a private tutor he studied surveying, which was considered an exceedingly respectable and profitable profession. The late James A. Egerton and other surveyors of the two past generations in this county were taught surveying by Colonel Laughter.
Perhaps as a teacher he most profoundly impressed himself upon the community in which he lived. In his schools he taught in addition to the usual branches surveying and military tactics. As a result there were several good surveyors in Warren County, and the whole of the Hawtree section was fired with military enthusiasm. This was perhaps the reason that the young mn of the community hurried into the army at the first call for men at the beginning of the civil war.
Colonel Laughter was for many years after the war of 1812 general of the militia of this county, but he insisted on being addressed as colonel instead of general; because he had won the former title in actual warfare in the face of the enemy.
When the Nat Turner insurrection spread terror through all this section of North Carolina and Virginia, Colonel Laughter lead his command to the scene of conflict and was present at the capture and execution of Turner. His daughter, now living at an advanced age says she was about 12 years old when her father went to aid in quelling the Nat Turner insurrection, and when he returned he brought with him stories of the blood curdling cruelties perpetrated upon the defenseless people by Turner and his band. One of them was of the murder of a school teacher and his pupils. When the soldiers came upon this bloody scene, and saw the teacher and the children lying dead in their blood, they began at once to search for any that might have escaped. After awhile they found on the outside of the house between the funnel of the chimney and the wall a little girl who on the first alarm climbed to this safe retreat, and lay snugly hidden crazed with fear, while the cruel negroes were murdering her teacher and schoolmates.
It was a remarkable coincident suggested to me by the Judge Montgomery that on the same plank road where Nat Turner devised his scheme for killing the whites and liberating the slaves, General Grant afterwards matured his plans for the overthrow of the Confederacy and the liberation of the slaves. Here is a suggestion to some one that may be in search of material for a thrilling story.
A former pupil and admirer of Colonel Laughter recently told me of his famous duel with a Mr. Andrews. Andrews felt that Colonel Laughter had so deeply offended him that nothing but the blood of the old war horse of Hawtree could atone for the offense. He therefore challenged the colonel to mortal combat. The challenge was promptly accepted, and the weapons and conditions of the duel were agreed upon. They met at a picturesque place on the banks of historic Hawtree. News of the duel had gotten abroad, and a large concourse of people assembled to witness the fight. The colonel and his second were first on the ground. After a time Andrews and his second were seen approaching. When he saw the colonel waiting to receive him in the attitude of a god of war, his heart failed him; and he cried, 'Don't shoot colonel, I'll withdraw the challenge.' The people shouted with laughter. The colonel kindly refrained from shooting, and the affair passed off without bloodshed.
For more than 50 years the martial form of Colonel Laughter has been wrapped in death's dreamless sleep. Most of his pupils have passed away, and only two of his children remain; but now and then I meet with one who when I ask, 'Did you ever see Colonel Laughter?' replies with brightening face, 'Certainly I knew Colonel Laughter. Why he was my old teacher, and if you had met him you would have taken him for the president, or some great general. he was one of the most distinguished looking men I ever saw.'
There are other interesting incidents in the life of Colonel Laughter which I have not now time to relate, but hope to give you on some future occasion."
CHILDREN OF JOHN LANGFORD LAUGHTER AND ANN MARY (NANCY) HUNT
Marie Louise Laughter - married James B.E. Lambkin
Robert W. Laughter
Henry Michael Laughter
Frances Laughter - married William Wortham
Ann Mary Laughter - married George H. Pegram
Penelope L. (Jackie) Laughter - married John C. Paschall
John L. Laughter, Junior
William Hunt Laughter
FAMILY OF SUSANNAH (SUSAN) LAUGHTER AND GROVES HUNT
SUSANNAH (SUSAN) LAUGHTER was born about 1790 probably in Warren County, North Carolina, and died about 1863 in Beach Grove, McLean County, Kentucky. She married GROVES HUNT October 03, 1811 in Warren County, North Carolina, son of SAMUEL HUNT and SARAH HOWARD. He died September 1857 in Russelville, Logan County, Kentucky. He is buried in the Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery, McLean County, Kentucky.
FROM "THE LAUGHTER FAMILY GENEALOGY" BY DOUGLAS LAUGHTER OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
They lived on their farm near the present day city of Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina. Groves sold large crops of tobacco in Petersburg, Virginia. Later they moved to Oxford and kept the leading tavern. In 1843, they moved to McLean County, Kentucky where they bought land, farmed and raised stock. Groves Hunt died in Sept 1857 in Russelville, Logan Co. KY while visiting his daughter, Susan Hutcheson. Susan Laughter Hunt died in 1863 at Beach Grove, McLean Co. KY.
CHILDREN OF SUSANNAH (SUSAN) LAUGHTER AND GROVES HUNT
Susan Hunt - married George Washington Hutcheson
Polly Ann Hunt - married Charles B. Reeks
Weldon B. Hunt - married Nancy Johnson
Sallie Hunt - married John Reeks
Samuel Hunt - married Mary Johnson
Robert A. Hunt - married Margaret A. Porter
Mildred Hunt - married William Mallory
Elizabeth Hunt - married James Porter
© L.L. Kight 2005