My Horton family originated in England. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact date the Horton surname was first used, but some ancient records of England show the surname was in use as early as 1273. Records from the famous Hundred Rolls list Thomas de Horton in County Devonshire in 1273, William de Horton in County Kent in 1273, and Adam de Horton in County Cambridgeshire in 1273.

In about the 1200's, family names became common practice.  The English took their surnames from several sources, including the names of flowers or animals (such as Rose, Fox or Crow), from physical features (such as Longfellow, Short, or Stout), from occupations (such as Baker, Carpenter, Smith or Taylor), from Christian names (such as Richards) or from localities or place names (such as Hill, Ford, Dale or Brook). The Horton surname comes from the place name source. One of the easiest ways of identifying an individual was to give him the name of a geographical feature where he lived. The suffix "-ton" means a village, estate, farmstead, manor or collection of houses. The first part of the Horton name literally means muddy.

The Horton surname was most abundant in Devonshire and Warwickshire and was also found in Cheshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Buckinghamshire counties of England. Records show Horton immigration to America in the early 1600's. Some early Horton immigrants to Virginia were Bartholomew Horton in 1638, Isaac Horton in 1636, Tobias Horton in 1638 and William Horton in 1649. There may have been others who immigrated prior to that time.


*       *       *       *       *       *       *

My 4th great grandfather, Isaac Horton, was born in London, England, on May 12, 1759. He immigrated to America in 1775, when he was sixteen years old.

We found two accounts of how Isaac came to America. One source said he stowed away on a ship which was coming to America. The other source said he was serving aboard a British naval ship and he jumped ship and boarded an American ship which brought him to America in 1775.

Isaac enlisted to serve in the Revolutionary War on March 20, 1781, in Marshfield, Massachusetts, at the age of twenty-one. He served with the Massachusetts Continental Line in the 6th Massachusetts Regiment, under Capt. Pillsbury, commanded by Col. Smith. Isaac later transferred to the 3rd Regiment, commanded by Col. Hine. Isaac served as a boatman, transporting officers, soldiers, and orders up the Hudson River from West Point to New Windsor and Newbury, New York. Lawrence County, Tennessee, court records from 1825, state that Isaac was honorably discharged by General Knox at West Point, New York, in February, 1783, after peace was declared. Knox County, Tennessee, court records from 1818, state that Isaac was honorably discharged on or about Christmas 1783.

Isaac married my 4th great grandmother, Hannah Farris, about 1784, probably in New York. Hannah Farris was born December 9, 1759, in Salem, Westchester, New York, the daughter of James Farris.

Isaac appears on the 1790 Ulster County, New York, census, in New Marlborough Town. He appears as a free white male 16 and over. With him is one free white male under 16 and 3 free white females. Also listed in New Marlborough Town on the 1790 census is Peter Horton who appears as a free white male 16 and over and 2 free white females, and Abigail Horton who appears as a free white female with 2 free white males 16 and over and 2 free white females.

Some researchers say that Isaac was in Orange County, New York, in 1800. We found record of two Isaac Horton families on the 1800 Orange County census. One family shows 1 male 16-26 (born 1774-1784) and 1 female in the same age group. We know because of the age that this was not our Isaac. The other family shows 2 males 16-26 (born 1774-1784), 1 male 0-10 (born 1790-1800), 1 female 26-45 (born 1755-1774), 2 females 10-16 (born 1784-1790) and 1 female 0-10 (born 1790-1800). This does not appear to be our Isaac either. The 1800 Orange County, New York, census also shows a James Horton. We found it curious that parts of this family so closely match the birth years of that portion of Isaac's family of which we have record. James Horton's family appears as 1 male 26-45 , 1 male 10-16, 3 males 0-10, 1 female 26-45, 3 females 16-26, 2 females 10-16 and 1 female 0-10.

Between 1800 and 1804, Isaac moved his family to Montgomery County, Virginia. Isaac posted a surety bond for his daughter Mary's wedding in Montgomery County on January 14, 1805. Isaac's daughter Hannah married on December 23, 1806, in Montgomery County. Isaac Horton's son Isaac, Jr. may also have married in Montgomery County about 1815.

It appears that Isaac's family fell upon hard times while living in Montgomery County, Virginia. Records show that in 1815, Isaac applied for county assistance in Montgomery County.

  Between 1815 and 1818, the family appears to have moved to Anderson County, Tennessee. Isaac was living in Anderson County on May 22, 1818, when he applied for a military pension. This application was made and recorded in Knox County, Tennessee. On the 1818 pension application was a statement that Isaac was "in low circumstances".

Isaac's son Nathaniel married about 1818, possibly in Anderson County, Tennessee. Isaac's youngest son William married about 1820 or 1821, probably in either Anderson County or Lawrence County, Tennessee.

Information obtained from Jo Watts, says that Isaac Horton, Sr. and Isaac Horton, Jr. both paid taxes in Campbell County, Tennessee in 1820. They were the only Hortons listed in the tax list. Jo says that Isaac Horton had 400 acres of land and Isaac, Jr. had 60 acres.

The book, Early Tennessee Tax List, compiled by Sistler, Byron & Barbara shows Isaac Horton, James Horton, Nathaniel Horton and William Horton all paid taxes in Campbell County, Tennessee, in 1823. We believe this was either Isaac, Sr. and three of his sons, or Isaac, Jr. and his three brothers. This idea has not yet been proven.

Isaac moved his family to Lawrence County, Tennessee, prior to 1825. Isaac appeared in the April 1825 term of the Lawrence County court to reapply for his pension. In his application he names is wife Hannah and two grandchildren, James and Polina.

One source tells us that Isaac began receiving his pension June 3, 1825, payable in Knoxville, Tennessee. He received $75.64 in back-pay, and drew $8 per month pension. According to information compiled by Jenenah O'Neal Smith, a Horton descendant, Isaac rode horseback once a month from Waynesboro to Knoxville to pick up his pension check.

About 1828, Isaac settled his family in Wayne County, Tennessee. Wayne County court records show Isaac bought 13 acres of land below the old mill on Indian Creek in 1830, from James Holden for $100. The deed, recorded in Deed Book B, page 260, describes the property as "13 acres on Indian Creek of Rains Creek, refers to SE corner of Alexander McDaniel entry".

Isaac built his house along the banks of Indian Creek. It was a log house that stood until about 1985, when lightning struck the house and it burned to the ground. The house set under a hill, a short distance above Indian Creek. We have been told by Grace Holt, a Horton descendant who remembers the house, that the log house had two large rooms and a kitchen downstairs, and bedrooms upstairs (which was probably originally an open sleeping loft). A large chimney in the center of the log house furnished heat for both the large downstairs rooms. The ceilings in the house were high and a porch ran all across the front. The water supply was a spring which flowed out of the hillside above the house. In later years the spring water was piped into the house by gravity flow. A pump was never used. The road running by Isaac's house was for many, many years the main road and mail route. Isaac's house and property were later referred to as the Heard Farm. George Heard, who married Peter Gales Horton's daughter, Ella, owned the farm for many years. Peter Gales was Isaac's grandson through his son Nathaniel Horton.

 Hannah Farris Horton died between 1845 and 1847 in Wayne County. She was laid to rest on the hill above Isaac's log house. Four cedar trees were planted around her grave. On our last trip to the cemetery, which is called the Isaac Horton Cemetery, in 1997, two of these mighty cedar trees were still standing. Many others, mostly family members, have been buried in the Isaac Horton Cemetery through the years.

Isaac, who was often called "Old English Horton", married Mary "Polly" Weaver on May 18, 1848, in Wayne County. Isaac was 89 years old at the time and Mary was 38. The 1850 Wayne County census shows that Mary was mute. They were married by John Cypert, J.P. There were no children from this marriage.

Isaac Horton outlived all of his sons. Isaac died February 28, 1854, in Wayne County, at the age of 95 years. He is buried beside Hannah in the Isaac Horton Cemetery.

Polly Horton was granted a years support by the Wayne County court on March 17, 1854, after the death of Isaac. Estate sales were held in April and September 1854. Isaac left no will and on April 2, 1855, Isaac's grandson Isaac W. Horton, son of William Horton, applied for and was granted a Letter of Administration to administrator Isaac's estate.  An Administrative Settlement was submitted to the Court in the October 1856 term. Warren County, Tennessee, court records show that on June 30, 1869, Polly Weaver Horton appeared before the Clerk of the Warren County Court and also before a Justice of the Peace for Warren County, in an attempt to obtain Isaac's war pension benefits. Her post office address was listed as McMinnville in Warren County.

We have been told that Isaac Horton is the only Revolutionary War soldier buried in Wayne County. On Sunday, June 1, 1986, a ceremony was held at the Isaac Horton Cemetery and a marker was placed at Isaac's grave by the DAR and SAR, honoring Isaac as a Revolutionary War veteran.

Children of Isaac Horton and Hannah Farris

1. Mary Ann Horton, b. about 1785, New York

2. Hannah Parley Horton, b. about 1787, New York

3. Isaac Horton, Jr., b. December 1, 1788, New York

4. Nathaniel Horton, b. about 1790, New York    (my line)

5. James Horton, b. about 1791-1793, New York,

6. William Horton, b. about 1795, New York


I am not a professional genealogist and although I have researched much of the information found at this site, some of it was given to me by other researchers and may not have been documented. Each bit of information found here should be carefully researched and proved or disproved by you, the researcher. Researchers may copy information found at this site for their own personal use and to share with other researchers or genealogical organizations. Any commercial use or distribution without the written consent of this author is prohibited.

Others researching the Horton line:
W.T. and Lavaughn Knight (descendant of William and Nathaniel Horton)
Shelby Crosswhite (descendant of "James" Horton)
Jim Wallace (descendant of Hannah Parley Horton Stooksberry)
Keith Burkhead (descendant of Isaac Horton, Jr.)
Virginia LeJuan Shrimplin (descendant of Isaac Horton, Jr.)
Jenenah O'Neal Smith (descendant of Isaac Horton, Jr.)

The music you are hearing is A Whole New World

Back to Index