The Huggins family came into Ohio with Rev. James Gilliland from Gastonia, North Carolina to Red Oak circa 1805. Their earliest ancestor was John Huggins (1726-1811), who was born in Ireland and died at Gastonia, N.C.

He was married to Elizabeth “Betsy” Henderson (1725-1806) at Lancaster, Pa. in 1748, and they had a large family.

Robert Henderson Huggins (1768-1839) married Sarah Irwin (1781-1875) on Sept. 20, 1806 in North Carolina.

They were the parents of nine children; and while the record says that he died at Ripley in Brown County at age 70, he is buried with his wife in the Huggins/Peddicord Cemetery at Sicily in Highland County. Family history says that they moved up from Brown County in 1825-26. On the 1850-60 census, she was living in her son, William’s household.

Jane McEwen Huggins (1809-93), the oldest of the children, married Lewis Miller (1797-1870) on June 28, 1843 in Highland County. They lived in Clermont County, and she died in Brown County and was buried in the Huggins/Peddicord Cemetery at Sicily.

John Newton Huggins (1810-60) married Isabella Hindman (1813-99) on Aug. 29, 1833 in Highland County. They had nine children. He is credited with the founding of Sicily in 1848 with 17 lots. About 12 houses were built, a store and school.

Robert Irwin Huggins (1812-97) was a farmer and miller who married Sarah Sally Moore (1815-97).

She was the daughter of John Moore, as stated earlier.

They were married on Dec. 11, 1832 in Brown County. (I will come back with more on them and their children later.)

William Davis Huggins (1814-85), the fifth-oldest child of Robert Henderson Huggins, married Lavina Work (1823-1913) on June 4, 1850 in Montgomery, Ind. They were back in Clay Township, Highland County in time for the census.

William farmed, and he is credited with being involved in the Underground Railroad with his brother, Milton. They didn’t have any children to my knowledge, and both are buried at Sicily in the Huggins/Peddicord Cemetery.

James Edward Huggins (1816-98) married Arethusa Catherine Diboll (1820-96).

They had a large family who, from the 1860 census, lived in Green Township, Brown County, coming there with his father and staying while his parents moved on into Clermont County. Both are buried in the Huggins/Peddicord Cemetery at Sicily.

Milton Henderson Huggins (1819-97) married Nancy Elizabeth Jane Diboll (1834-1902), and they had seven children.

Milton was a farmer and is also credited with being involved with the Underground Railroad.

The following is a family story about that involvement: “Milton was making a trip home with a load of slaves hidden beneath a load of fodder when he was pursued by a Southern man who fired his gun at him. The bullet missed its intended mark, but scared the horses so badly that they bolted.

One fell on Milton and injured him to the extent that he was crippled for the rest of his life.” It is alleged that their cabin was a “safe house” and another family story is that “Grandmother (Milton’s wife) was afraid of being observed by a Southern sympathizer, so she kept dogs in the cabin.

After supper, she would pile food onto a platter as if she were going to feed the dogs, and slip it under the hearth to the people below.”

Included is an old copy of a photo of the three brothers and wives; back row: Nancy “Lizzit” and Arethusa, front row: Sarah, Robert Irwin, Milton and James E. Huggins.