Thursday, January 31, 2008

More on the John Horton family

The John Horton (1696-1796) family of Scituate and Glocester, Rhode Island is one that I know very little about. I recently obtained the probate record for John Horton, which I transcribed today into my database and posted on Genea-Musings in hopes that it will help somebody. I posted the will of Nathaniel Horton (1730-1819) of Foster RI, the son of John and Mary (Chase) Horton, here back in July.

I spent some time today going through the WorldConnect database entries for John Horton and his family, trying to find spouses for his children and death dates for his descendants. I also have pages from the "Thomas Horton of Milton and Rehoboth Massachusetts" book by Margaret R. Jenks and Frank Seymour, published in Kirkland, Washington circa 1984, which has provided most of what I know about this family line.

I Googled ["John Horton" Glocester] in hopes that somebody else has posted something online. This hit a bit of pay dirt with a deed in 1779 in Scituate RI between John and Elizabeth (--?--) Horton of Scituate RI and Noah Miller of Glocester RI. This is my John Horton and sheds light on where he lived until 1779. The property description reads:

"A Certain Farm lying and being in Scituate & lyeth on both Sides of the highway that leadeth from Amos Hammons to Job Shippee, and is the farm that the Grantor Now Lives on Containing by Estimations Sixty Acres be the same more or less, Together with the Dwelling House and Out Houses thereon Standing the Highway and Burying Place Two Poles Square Excepted & is buted and Bounded as followeth beginning at the Northeast Corner a white Oak Tree marked which is Nathaniel Horton's Corner from thence Westerly Nath. Hortons land to a Corner & then turning a little North Still Westerly to an Ash Saplin Standing on the West Side of George's Brook so Called thence Southerly a Strait line to a heap of Stones and Southwest corner thence Easterly with Joseph Round Land to the vc. Highway Thence Northerly 8 Poles to a stake of Stones thence Easterly 10 Poles toa Stake and Stones thence Southerly 8 Poles to a Stake and Stones thence Easterly to a Stump from thence a Strait line to the first mentioned bound, the Same borrideth Northerly on Nathaniel Horton West on Job Randal on the South on Joseph Round East on George Westcots Land"

The deed ends with -

"FURTHERMORE, I the said John Horton-- for myself my Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, do convenant and engage the above demised Premises to him the said Noah Miller his Heirs and Assigns, against the lawful Claims or Demands of any Person or Persons whatsoever, forever to Warrrant, secure, and defend by these Presents. And Elizabeth Horton the Wife of John Horton Doth by these Presents give up and Surrender all her Right of Dowrey and Power of Thirds in and unto the above bargained Premises in manner and form as above written in Witness Whereof we have hereunto Set our Hands and Seals this 13th Day of January Anno Domini 1779 -
John Horton (LS)
Elizabeth Horton (LS)
Signed Sealed & Delivered in the Presence of us
Waight Wood
Caleb Arnold
Rec'd Feb. ye 15th 1779"

One of my hypotheses is that this land in Scituate belonged to the family of Elizabeth --?--, John Horton's wife in 1779. While she is not my ancestor, it would be wise to find earlier deeds that might shed light on her parents or an earlier husband. It is possible that she is a Wood or Arnold since those are the surnames of the men that witnessed the deed.

I mentioned in my John Horton post that the proceeds of the sale of John Horton's farm was to go to Mary Horton, only child of John Horton, son of John and Mary (Chase) Horton. I wondered if there were records of Mary's birth, marriage and/or death. My Google exercise found that Margaret Jenks posted a message on the HORTON Rootsweb mailing list in January 2007 that provided information about the son, John Horton, who died in 1776. Sarah Hix, the wife of the son John Horton, married (2) William Ross, who was one of the executors of the will of John Horton. A Polly Horton married Nathaniel Walker, both of Providence, on 20 December 1794. This may be the granddaughter Mary Horton. Or maybe not!

My reason for blogging about this deed and the probate records is to demonstrate that NOT ALL RECORDS useful to clearly defining family members are online YET! More and more are coming online all the time, and the digitization and indexing of the LDS Microfilms, including the probate and deed records described herein, will be a big step toward being able to do research in primary records a lot faster - but it's still years in the future.

Researchers still have to dig through deed indexes, deed books, probate books, town records and the like to find the primary records that provide direct evidence of family structure and relationships. That's why I go to the FHC occasionally!

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