Henry Heth from Ireland and Pennsylvania

©2009; 2015 Kathryn Gearhart (No portion of this web site may be reproduced, in any form, including Internet, electronic or print, in whole or in part.)

Henry Heth, immigrated from Ireland, first settled in Pennsylvania, where he married, and then came to Virginia in 1759, settling in Richmond.  His wife was Agnes McMahon.  Henry Heth and Agnes, his wife, brought a suit against Gabriel Jones and Lewis Meill, the executors of William McMachan, deceased, in August, 1750.  William McMachan of Frederick County, Virginia land adjacent Richard McMachan and Henry Heth.  Henry’s will was probated in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on September 2, 1793.  In his will he mentions his wife Agnes, and sons William, Andrew, John, Harry, Hervy, and Richard M. Heth.  He notes daughters, but not by name, and son-in-law Gabriel Peterson.  William was the eldest and had been deeded land near Pittsburgh.

Henry, William, John and Andrew Heth who were all members of the Society of the Cincinnati.  There is a wealth of information about this family in the records.  They were involved in coal mining, using slave labor, and the distribution of coal throughout the country, particularly during the War of 1812.  They struggled with production and distribution, hampered by northern brokers and bankers.

Henry was a captain and major in the 1st Virginia regiment in the Revolution with Gen. Montgomery at Quebec, where his bravery was noted.  A sketch of him is given by George Mason in a letter to his son.  It states that Henry was a person of character and based in Richmond where he was involved in commerce.  The records of West Virginia are filled with large land purchases and sales by Henry and Agnes.  It is likely that some of this land became the Chesterfield Coal Mines which Col. Henry Heth owned.

William Heath (Heth) Henrico Co received an undivided half of 1370 acres in Pendleton County which was a tract patented to Henry Heth, deceased, in July 15, 1780.  This land was conveyed to Carrington by Agnes and William Heth, executors.  William Heth, a Richmond Federalist, held the rank of colonel at the close of the American Revolution.  He was collector of cutoms at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia.  On July 18, 1798 Washington wrote to Heth:  Your favour of the 13th. Instant, with its enclosures, came duly to hand…I thank you… for the offer of becoming one of my Aides…and although I shall keep you constantly in mind, I do no care to be under any promises…  In a letter to Alexander Hamilton he wrote, …I should appear more like an Irishman than I really am, were I to offer as an apology for the verbosity of this….  Col. Heth was captured at Charleston.

Henry held land in Hampshire County, Frederick County, and Hardy County.  In January, 1799, Agnes Heth and William Heth, executors of Henry Heth, dec’d sold 256 acres on Mill Creek, under the South Branch Mountain, and another on Little Capacaon of 400 acres, which Agnes was devised and her sons William Andrew, John and Harry, agree.

William Heth’s will filed in 1807 in Richmond mentions first and second wives, son Henry Heth, daughters Elizabeth Agnes, Margaret Thomas Jacqueline, and Mary Andrietta all under age.  Son William M. Heth, was noted as commander of the ship, Marshall, of New York.  William Heth’s orderly book from the Revolution has been published and is very interesting reading.

Henry Jr. was known as Captain Harry Heth of the Revolution.  His daughter was Ann Eliza Agnes Pleasants Heth. He lived at Blackheath, in Chesterfield County.  The Blackheath Coal Mine was begun in 1785.  In 1839 an explosion killed all but 3 of the 54 miners.  Another disaster struck in 1844 and the mine was closed until 1938.  The mine was run by John Heth.

Andrew Heth and John Heth were Lieutenants in the Revolution.  John served under Gen. Anthony Wayne, and was in the 1792 campaign against the Northwestern Indians.  eHHHe rAndrew served as commissioner for apportioning and surveying the lands granted by Virginia to the Illinois regiment.  In Augusta County, in December, 1776, the house of Andrew Heath, on the Monomgahela River was chosen as the most convenient place for holding Court.  In 1780 he was ordered to have the court-house and gaol (jail) repaired and to build a pillory and stocks.

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