Halifax, England
to Massachusetts
The Ancestors of Anne Horton




Ancestors of Ann Horton

The Johnsons

Anne HORTON descended from prominent and influential families of the early settlers in New England and Massachusetts Bay. The "Hortons in America", 1929 by Adaline HORTON White, and "Descendents of Thomas HORTON", by A.J. HORTON, 1912, provide the family history for much of Anne's father's family. From the latter, an excerpt states; "The first of the HORTON family know to have emigrated to this country were Thomas, Jeremiah and Barnabas, who came from England, 1633 to '38; they are supposed to have been brothers; Thomas came over in the "Mary and John," in 1633, and settled in Springfield, Mass. Jeremiah also settled in Mass."

In June of 1997, I received a copy of some notes and diagrams written by an unknown person. At the bottom, a notation states; "The above concerning Aaron Horton's family was on a large sheet of paper which was rescued by Miles Richards from the Bert HORTON house, while making repairs, before Mr. and Mrs. R.G. BALDWIN moved in. I have added some dates which are recorded in Mount Holly records. C. Tarbell." Although extremely hard to read, it outlines roughly five generations beginning with Joseph HORTON in Mowsley, England in 1576 to our Ann HORTON b. July 21, 1752. Some of the later names on the outline are dated in the early 1900's.

There are three pages of diagrams, in this genealogy. After hours spent with a magnifying glass, I was able to read most of the names, dates and notes. I, then, attempted to 'recreate' the three pages of diagrams, using the same format. I have posted both the original pages and the recreated pages. You might want to compare the the original and the copy, by opening a second browser, for the copy, then placing them side by side, on your screen.


Page 1   Page 2   Page 3
554kb      647kb        292kb


Page 1 Rewrite   Page 2 Rewrite   Page 3 Rewrite
346KB                      379KB                          214KB


The FOSTEN and EDDY family information came from the "Genealogy and History of the HATCH Family" by Ruth Hatch Hale. The KNIGHTs, JOHNSONs, WISWALLs, REEDs, KENDALLs, ROCKWELLs and DOGGETTs have all been documented in published genealogies, town records, New England registers, town histories, etc. These histories are available through many libraries and bookstores. Some information was copied from Broderbund World Family Trees and should not be assumed to be proven.

Probably the most well known of Anne HORTON's family was Captain Edward JOHNSON. He authored the "Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Saviour".

Captain Edward JOHNSON was described by John Franklin Jameson, in THE HISTORY OF HISTORICAL WRITING IN AMERICA, 1891, as "an average Puritan of the middle class. He was a Kentish farmer, and probably also a shipwright, who came out in the same fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630. A dozen years later, he was, in company with half a dozen others, one of the founders of the new town of Woburn. The stout Kentishman, having put his hand to the plough, chose to remain in the town he had helped to plant. He had always an important part in the affairs of the town, was chosen selectman nearly every year, was again and again elected to represent the town in the general court or legislature of the colony, acted as town clerk, and was captain of the train-band. He was, therefore, more or less concerned in the public affairs in the colony, but never had a leading part in them. Though he was a more prominent, a wealthier, and perhaps a more intelligent man than most of his fellow citizens, we may well enough take him as in most respects a type of the rank and file of the original settlers".

The Hortons

The HORTON Family incuded many men of distinction and character. From "HORTONS IN AMERICA" 1929 by Adaline HORTON White;
Thomas HORTON, Immigrant, was one of the founders of Springfield, Mass., 1636. Thomas HORTON, once thought to be a brother of Barnabas HORTON ,[now accepted] who settled in the eastern end of Long Island, (NY), 1640, was born in England, 1602.
From "Barks Landed Gentry", vol.1, pg.345, (1)William of Barkisland or Bark Island Hall, who purchased in the 15th year of the reign of Charles I. the estate of Howroyde, was born 1576, (2)his brother, Joseph, born 1578. Thomas HORTON was the son of Joseph, born 1602.

Thomas HORTON, who had married in England, Mary EDDY, came to America in the ship "Mary and John", 1632-33. They sojourned at Windsor, Connecticut, two or three years, where their first son, Jeremiah, was born. They were educated people, the report says. Their signatures are still to be seen in the "Pyncheon Papers" that have to do with the land purchase from the Indians.

Thomas HORTON was one of the founders of Springfield, Mass.; was witness and signer of the Indian Deed; was town officer and proprietor. His lands are minutely described in History of Springfield, Mass., by Mason Green, pg.45: A map is shown, minor matters of record in the same show that Thomas HORTON was party to a trivial suit at law with one Mirick. Another entry shows that his levy for ministerial support was L1. He died 1641, before he had time to make much history.

From "Pioneers of Massachusetts 1636-1736" by Pope, pg.231, there is: "Robert Ashley, proprietor of Springfield, Mass., town officer and keeper of an ordinary (tavern), made marriage contract with Widow Mary HORTON, Aug. 7, 1641, who was possessed of much property and guardian of the children of Thomas HORTON." It is explained that the women in those times were not safe without male protection and also that they were fewer in number than the men and therefore in much demand. There is record of further allotment of land to Widow Mary HORTON.
Thomas HORTON left three sons: Jeremiah, born 1636; Thomas, born 1638; John, born 1640. There were other children of Mary HORTON Ashley. The children of Thomas HORTON are likely to have been scattered as they grew up and were found in other localities...Braintree; Milton; Reheboth; Charleston; Dorchester; and Templeton whose records of Hortons in church and historical documents. One of them, of a later generation, is recorded as the heaviest taxpayer and man of affairs in his community.

The Arms claimed by this House are given below, and were obtained from the Heraldic College, London, England, by us in 1928. This Arms design was granted and confirmed, 1725, to Anne, daughter and co-heir of Thomas HORTON of Barkisland in the west riding of County York, and to her descendants and the other descendants of her great grandfather, William, of Barkisland, as follows: Gules, a lion rampant, within a bordeure engrailed argent, charged on the shoulder with a boarhead, couped, azure, and crest, a rose, gules, seeded barbed, and sorrounded with two laurel branches, proper.

The grant goes on to recite that Anne descended from the family of HORTON of HORTON, in the parish of Bradford, who were seated there in the times of Eadward I. (early English king, A.D. 890) and that the arms appear to have been in Barkisland Hall, Howroyde House and Sowerby, all in the parish of Halifax.

(From report of Heraldic College, London, England, 1928.) As a matter of history, Anne HORTON, the heiress (above) married the Duke of Cumberland. The Cumberland River and Mountains were named for the Duke of Cumberland in 1766. In 1909 there was about to be published at Bloomfield, NJ, a record of Thomas HORTON, the immigrant to Springfield, Mass., 1636, and the posterity of same. It was compiled by Marcus Nelson HORTON, one of the descendants of Thomas. It seems that he died before it was finished. It is believed that the data gathered and arranged by him is yet in existence. Every effort has been made, without success, to bring it to light. Future historians of Thomas HORTON may yet accomplish it. Material is being collected and added to the records of a branch of the family of Thomas HORTON by Mr. Guy B. HORTON, Montpelier, VT. The line briefly is: Guy, Brent, Andrew, Alva, Aaron, Joseph, David, Thomas I., but is not perfected as yet. Mr. HORTON says that family tradition centers the early life of this line at Templeton, Mass.

First Generation-Thomas HORTON, furnished by Brigadier General William Edward HORTON of Washington, D. C. Thomas HORTON, with his wife, Mary EDDY, came to America in 1632-33 in the ship Mary and John. Settled in Springfield, Mass., 1636. He was one of the witnesses of the orginal deed with the Indians to the townsite.

Craggen and Dawes

John CRAGGEN and Sarah DAWES provide some color to our family history.
From "The American Genealogist" April 1994 Vol. 69, No. 2 "The Will of John CRAGGEN Sr. of Woburn (executed 30 May 1704 and proved on 29 November 1708) is quite clear in identifying Francis NURSE of Reading as his son-in-law (Middlesex Co., Mass., Probates #5296)."

"John CRAGGEN married Sarah DAWES in Woburn on 4 November 1661 (VR, pt. 3:64). They had eight children whose births can be found in the published Woburn vital records. The second child, Sarah, was born on 10 August 1664 (VR, pt. 1:623) and would have married Francis NURSE sometime before the birth of their first child, Francis, who was born in Reading on the 10th and died on the 15th of March 1685/6 (Reading VR, 165, 545). Sarah would have been twenty-one years old at this time.

Although death records in Reading are scanty, there is no indication that Francis NURSE was married more than once. There is no death record for Sarah (CRAGGEN) NURSE. She received her dower on 12 June 1716 and was apparently living in 1733, when the estate records of her son Francis mention her third of his homestead. She had died in or by 1746, when her dower portion of her husband's estate was returned for disbursement. (Neal Anc., 27.) She was probably nearly eighty-two years old when she died.

The family of John and Sarah (DAWES) CRAGGEN is clearly delineated by his will and the published vital records, except for Stephen FISH, whom John CRAGGEN named as one of his sons-in-law. According to the Salem vital records, Stephen FISH married there on 22 November 1680, Mary MICRIST (VR, 4:87). Investigation of the Middlesex County Court Records (ca. 1870 transcription at Massachusetts State Archives, Columbia Point; Thomas B. WYMAN, "Middlesex Co. Court Record Abstracts," 2 Vols., MS at New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston) provides evidence that Mary MICRIST was Sarah DAWES's illegitimate daughter born before her marriage to John CRAGGEN (Middlesex Co. Quarterly Court Recs., 1:113-14):

Court transcript;
[7October 1656] Daniel MACKDONELL and Sarah DAWES both serv[an]ts to Jno WIMAN of Woburne, being convicted before this Court of that great sin of fornicaccon by them comitted together, both parties acknowledged the fact, as more fully appeareth in their examinaccon w[hi]ch is on file with the Records of this Court. Also the said Sarah DAWES confesseth that shee is now quicke with Child. the Court ordereth that the said Daniell shallbe whipt with twenty stripes by the Constable of Cambridge, except he give security to the Tr[easur]er of this County, for the Paym[en]t of five pounds sterl[ing] before tomorrow seven of the clock in the morning, and that the said Sarah DAWES shall make her appearance at this next County Court at Cambridge. Jno WIMAN ingaged before the court to pay the said fine of five pounds in the behalf of his serv[an]t within six weeks in Wheate and Rie.

The reason that the couple did not marry is given in Daniel's examination:

court record;
more over he confesseth th[a]t hee was a married man in Scotland...& has left his wife & two small children alive about seaven yeares & half since.

Daniel was then (1656) aged about thirty (WYMAN's Abstracts, 1:57). On 30 1m [March] 1657, a writ was issued against Sarah DAWES (Wyman's Abstracts, 1:64). She appeared in court on 7 April 1657 and was sentenced to twelve stripes but was reprieved when Francis KENDALL paid her fine of 40 shillings.

The same couple was again convicted of fornication on 3 October 1659. This time, Daniel was given the surname MECREST. (That Daniel MACDONELL and Daniel MECREST are identical is indicated by the fact that MECRIST was convicted of fornication a second time with Sarah DAWES; the fornication with Daniel MACKDONELL is Sarah's only previous conviction on record.) The court record states starkly (Middlesex Co. Quarterly Court Recs., 1:191):
Daniel MEECREST Scotchman being convicted of comitting fornicaccon a 2d time with Sarah DAWES they are both sentenced to be openly whipt twenty stripes a peece.

Although the record of the second conviction is not explicit, it is probable that Sarah was pregnant again. If so, the Mary "MICRIST" who married Stephen FISH was probably the result of the second pregnancy, which would make her about twenty at marriage. During the editing of this article, David L. GREENE made me aware of the Benoni MACKREST who married Lydia FIFIELD on 12 September 1681 (David W. Hoyt, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, 3 vols. and supplement [Providence, R.I., 1897-1919], hereafter Hoyt's Old Families, 1:235-36; the marriage is not in the pub. Salisbury VR). It seems quite possible that he was the child of the first pregnancy. Since he died in Salisbury on 7 August 1690 (VR, 584), his probable stepfather, John CRAGGEN, would have had no reason to mention him in his Will written fourteen years later. The following provides support for this identification:

(1) The surname MECRIST and its variants was very uncommon in New England at this time. Only Benoni and his apparent sister Mary appear in Clarence Almon Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore, 1985).

(2) Benoni MACKREST married some twenty-four years after the child of Sarah DAWES's first pregnancy would have been born. Twenty-four was an appropriate age for the marriage of men during this period.

(3) Benoni means "son of my sorrow" and was a name often given to sons born in circumstances that made the name appropriate, e.g., their fathers died before they were born, their mothers died giving them birth, or they were illegitimate.

From the records given above, we can surmise that, when John CRAGGEN married Sarah DAWES in 1661, he probably took into his home two children who were issue of Daniel MECRIST. One of the children was the Mary "MECRIST" who wed Stephen FISH."
















Updated August 11, 2011