I am from the Watauga County, North Carolina branch of Hortons (Nathan and Elizabeth Eagles Horton - Chester, NJ to Ashe Co., NC) which appears in "The Horton Family in America." For years, I have taken at face value the information recorded in this volume, but I have begun to dig a bit deeper into what is true and untrue, particularly regarding the Roxbury/Chester, NJ line of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton. I have pasted in an excerpt from the family record I have been compiling and would like to get input from other researchers about my thoughts, specifically concerning the data related to the following children of Caleb & Phebe Terry Horton:
Child # 1 (Phebe Horton King vs. Phebe Horton Tuthill)
Child # 4 (Nathaniel Horton & Mehetabel Case)
Child # 8 (Nathan Horton & Sarah Luse/Luce)
The children of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, all born in Southold, Long Island, were:
1. Phebe Horton (1715-1789), who married Constant King.
Adaline H. White’s 1929 The Horton Family in America states that Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton were the parents of Phebe Horton (1722/23-1793), who married Henry Tuthill III on March 16, 1737 in Southold, Long Island, and this has become widely accepted as truth. It is true that there was a Phebe Horton Tuthill and, although I have been unable to establish her true parentage, since she was from Southold, Long Island, there can be no doubt that she was of the same extended Horton family. Henry and Phebe Horton Tuthill were grandparents of Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison, First Lady and wife of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States. Through this couple, Phebe Horton Tuthill was also a great, great-grandmother of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States.
Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton did indeed have a daughter named Phebe, but she was a different individual altogether than Phebe Horton Tuthill. Their daughter Phebe married Constant King on February 13, 1734 in Southold, Long Island (the marriage date being recorded in The Salmon Register). Both were natives of Southold – he being born there February 19, 1712, and she being born there on June 3, 1715. They relocated to Roxbury (now Chester), New Jersey prior to 1753. Most likely, they went there with Phebe’s parents in 1748.
(Note: The Horton Family in America lists Phebe Horton King as a daughter of David and Mary Horton Horton, David Horton being an uncle of Caleb Horton who married Phebe Terry. This has Phebe Horton King incorrectly being a first cousin to Caleb Horton rather than being his daughter.)
Constant King was a hatter by trade. The following article from a New York newpaper, dated April 20, 1761, records the loss of his house and shop to fire:
“We have advice from Roxbury, in Morris County, East New-Jersey, that in the Night of the 25th of March last, Mr. Constant King, of that Place, Hatter had his Dwelling House and Hatters Shop, in which was a considerable Quantity of Fur, new Hats, &tc. entirely reduced to Ashes by Accident. The major part of the Family had but just time to escape, with only such cloaths as they slept in; the wearing Apparel, Furniture, &tc. being entirely consumed. The whole is valued at upwards of 500 £.”
The following are supporting reasons that Phebe Horton, wife of Constant King, was the daughter of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton rather than Phebe Horton, wife of Henry Tuthill III:
Ø The 1759 will and codicil of Caleb Horton names his children, but he only mentions his daughters by their first names, including Phebe. He also mentions one grandchild – Justin King. Justus King, whose given name is sometimes recorded as Justin, was a son of Constant and Phebe Horton King. If Justus/Justin is Caleb Horton’s grandson, then Phebe Horton King must be Caleb’s daughter. Also, Caleb Horton’s will was signed in the presence of Richard Terry, Constant King, Joseph King, and Frederick King. Joseph and Frederick King were sons of Constant and Phebe Horton King. Richard Terry was Caleb Horton’s son-in-law, the husband of Caleb’s daughter Mary. It stands to reason that Constant King was also Caleb’s son-in-law and that Joseph and Frederick King were Caleb’s grandsons. The codicil to Caleb Horton’s will was signed in the presence of Richard Terry and Constant King. Neither the will nor the codicil contains the name Tuthill.
Ø There is no evidence that Henry and Phebe Horton Tuthill ever lived outside of New York. That does not preclude Phebe Horton Tuthill from being a daughter of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, but it seems more reasonable to believe that Phebe Horton King, who moved from Southold, Long Island to Roxbury, New Jersey in the same timeframe as Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, was their daughter, particularly since all the other children of Caleb and Phebe did so.
Ø In a letter written around 1785 to his friends and family in New Jersey following his move to western Florida (now Natchez, Mississippi), Rev. Samuel Swayze, who married Caleb Horton’s daughter Hannah, mentions his wife’s parents and some of her siblings and their spouses. Among them are Constant King and Phebe, who Rev. Swayze states was the first born of the family – “Their Mosaic days are out for they are three score and eleven next June” – an obvious reference to Phebe’s being born on June 3, 1715 and her approaching 71st birthday. A June 15, 1715 birthdate makes Phebe Horton King older than all of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton’s other children. Phebe Horton Tuthill was born around 1722/23 which would have placed her around fourth in birth order.
Constant and Phebe Horton King had a large family of children. Among their sons were Caleb King and Justus King, who married their first cousins, Mary and Sarah Swayze, respectively, daughters of Richard and Sarah Horton Swayze. These two couples left Chester, New Jersey for western Florida (now Natchez, Mississippi) in 1772 as part of the “Jersey Settlement” group led by their uncle, Rev. Samuel Swayze.
Among Constant and Phebe’s other children were Frederick King, the first postmaster at Morristown, New Jersey; George King, who was a Judge of the Morris County, New Jersey Court of Pleas and a Justice of the Peace; Catharine King, whose husband William Walton was killed in the British attack on Charleston, South Carolina; and Constant Victor King, an officer of the New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War.
Constant King died March 15/16, 1780 in Black River (now Chester), Morris County, New Jersey. Phebe Horton King died May 19, 1789.
2. Caleb Horton (1716?-1768), who married Sarah Benjamin (1717-1773)
Some sources have indicated Caleb’s birth year as 1715, but since we know that Phebe Horton was his oldest sibling and was born June 13, 1715, he apparently was born after 1715, perhaps in 1716. He married Sarah Benjamin in Southold, Long Island in April 1737 (although the marriage date is not found in The Salmon Register). Caleb died in Roxbury, Morris County, New Jersey. Among his children were Polly Horton, who married her first cousin once removed, Elisha Horton, grandson of her uncle, Nathaniel Horton; and Sarah Horton, who married her first cousin, Richard Terry, son of her aunt, Mary Horton Terry.
3. Hannah Horton (1717-1771), who married her first cousin, Rev. Samuel Sweazy/Swazey/Swayze, Jr., son of her aunt, Penelope Horton Swayze.
The Horton Family in America states that Hannah Horton married “Samuel Sweazy, son of Joseph Sweazy.” Likewise, in Benjamin F. Swasey’s 1910 Genealogy of the Swasey Family, which includes descendants of the Swezey families of Southold, Long Island, New York and descendants of the Swayze families of Roxbury, now Chester, New Jersey, the author shows Hannah Horton being married to Samuel Swezey, son of Joseph Swezey of Southold, Long Island, and a first cousin to Rev. Samuel Swayze, Jr. The author also records Rev. Samuel Swayze, Jr.’s wife as Phebe (maiden name unknown). Other researchers, however, have stated that Hannah Horton, daughter of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, married her first cousin, Rev. Samuel Swayze, Jr., son of Judge Samuel and Penelope Horton Swayze, and not Rev. Samuel’s first cousin of the same name. Rev. Samuel’s siblings, Lydia and Richard, married Hannah Horton’s siblings, Elijah and Sarah (although The Horton Family in America incorrectly states that Sarah married Stephen Sweazy), so it would be reasonable for Rev. Samuel to have married Hannah, making a total of three brother-sister marriages between Hortons and Swayzes. Rev. Samuel once referred to his sister Lydia’s husband, Elijah Horton, as a “brother twice.” This may be an indication that Elijah was not only the husband of Samuel’s sister but also a brother to Samuel’s wife, making Elijah Samuel’s brother-in-law twice over. In the same letter, Rev. Samuel mentions Caleb and Phebe Horton and refers to “Father Horten” (perhaps his father-in-law Caleb) and to brother Nathaniel (probably his brother-in-law Nathaniel Horton). He further mentions the wives and widows of his wife’s brothers, including Sarah, once the wife of his brother Horten (probably Sarah Benjamin Horton, wife of Caleb Horton who had died in 1768).
Rev. Samuel Swayze was either born or baptized July 4, 1712. The Salmon Register records the October 7, 1731 marriage between a Samuel Swesey and Hannah Horton in Southold, Long Island. If this truly is Rev. Samuel Swayze and Hannah Horton, daughter of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, then Samuel would have been around nineteen years old at the time, and his bride Hannah about fourteen. In 1737, when he was twenty-five, Samuel and his family moved from Southold to New Jersey. He was minister at the First Congregational Church in Roxbury (now Chester) in Morris County, New Jersey, a position that he held for twenty years.
Like most of his father’s family, Samuel was a staunch Loyalist. Being a man of marked personality and occupying a prominent position, he he bitterly opposed in public and private the aggression of the Colonies against the rule of his sovereign, King George III. The proportion in the Colonies of adherents to the Crown and the Whigs or Patriots was about one to three. Families were pitted against one another, and the rise of the Whig Party made life intolerable and hazardous for the Loyalists. A state of anarchy prevailed in many neighborhoods which culminated in a relentless persecution by the dominant party and finally in armed and organized aggression toward all who would not join their ranks. This was a prelude to the American Revolution and, no doubt, compelled Samuel to seek a home elsewhere.
In 1767, Amos Ogden, a wounded and retired British Navy captain, settled in New Jersey. Ogden was descended from an earlier Amos Ogden, who had rendered aid to King Charles I by hiding him in a hollow tree on his farm while his enemies were pursuing him. In consideration of his forebearer’s valuable service as well as his own, the British Crown granted the younger Amos Ogden 25,000 acres of land in the Province of West Florida. He proceeded to Pensacola and had his property registered, received vouchers for the same, and was on his way back to New Jersey when he died and was buried at sea. His son, yet another Capt. Amos Ogden, found the Florida land vouchers among his father’s papers. Meeting with the brothers, Rev. Samuel and Richard Swayze, who were men of wealth, he sold to them on April 14, 1772, an undivided interest of 19,000 acres. The Swayze brother paid Ogden 900 pounds, or 20 cents per acre, and agreed to the condition that they locate and have surveyed the entire claim at their own expense. Later that same year, the Swayzes, Ogden, and others traversed to Pensacola to obtain authority from the Provisional Government there. They then went overland to the Natchez District and located the land. After completing the survey, the parties returned home, and Capt. Ogden died shortly afterwards in October 1772 in New York City.
As the Revolution approached, the Swayze brothers sold their property in New Jersey and, with a partly mostly consisting of their married children and numbering twelve to fifteen families, they sailed in a chartered boat from Perth Amboy, New Jersey in the latter part of 1772. Samuel’s wife, Hannah Horton Swayze, had died the previous year. After a tedious and perilous journey, they arrived at Pensacola. Then, placing their families and personal effects into smaller, open boats, they followed the coastline to Lake Pontchartrain. From there they navigated a chaos of lakes to the mouth of the Amite River, then to Pass Manchac to the Mississippi River, and up the Mississippi to to the mouth of the Hoonochitto River. They followed that river to their grant and stopped opposite of what is known as Carter’s Bluff. This was early in 1773, and they managed to find some cleared land to plant corn. The growing season was successful and by fall they yielded a good harvest. The following year they moved and settled on a ridge about a half mile from Kingston. They built their cabins near together, forming a village, which they named “Jersey Settlement.” The named a nearby creek “Town Creek.” Because Indians were numerous and hostile, they built a log stockade for protection. Richard’s son-in-law, Job Corey, was surprised and killed by Indians and was the first person in their party to be buried in what became their graveyard. They remained in that location several years, cultivating the land and farming, but by 1780, the Indians and Spaniards had become so troublesome that they temporarily moved to St. Catharine’s Creek near Natchez. According to the Genealogy of the Swasey Family, “There Samuel Swayze and his wife died, and were buried on the bluffs at Natchez, below Ft. Rosalie.” Since Hannah Horton Swayze had died in 1771 before the move to Florida, the implication is that Samuel had remarried. Perhaps this is “Phebe” who the genealogy states was his wife and who Samuel calls his wife in a 1782 letter. Richard Swayze died soonafter, and his remains were carried back to the Jersey Settlement and buried.
By 1786, the Indian threat had subsided to a great extent, and the settlers returned to the Jersey Settlement. Soonafter, the Spanish Governor ordered them to divide their lands and each one to settle on their portion. The heirs of Samuel and Richard Swayze sold 4,000 of their 19,000 acres and divided the balance among them – 7,900 acres for Rev. Samuel’s heirs and 7,900 acres for Richard’s heirs.
Soon after their arrival in their new wilderness home, the Jersey Settlers organized themselves into a Congregational society, and Rev. Samuel Swayze continued his former pastoral role in New Jersey by ministering to the settlers in western Florida until his death. He was doubtless the first Protestant minister to settle in that portion of Mississippi. He and his flock had to endure many hardships and privations. In 1776, the Province fell into the hands of the Spanish Government, and Roman Catholicism was declared the only allowable religion. The Jersey Settlement, with the voice and hand of persecution raised against them, found their religious freedoms threatened. Catholic priests and their emissaries were ordered to search for and burn Protestant Bibles and religious books. In response, Samuel retired to a cane brake on the edge of a creek (known later as “Sammie’s Creek) where he sat in a hollow sycamore tree and read and studied his Bible in secret in order to continue teaching and guiding his flock. When the settlers were certain that no spies were around, by sound of horn they would gather assemble in the cane break to worship. The Bible used by Samuel was brought by him from New Jersey and was passed down through the family until it burned in a house fire in Mississippi in 1866.
In a letter (a well-preserved, clearly legible, thirteen-page pamphlet also referred to by family members as “the Little Book”) dated April 5, 1782, Samuel wrote about a business transaction with his New Jersey church brethren (and brothers-in-law) Caleb and Elijah Horton. The Horton brothers had sold a negro belonging to Samuel and had sent him 100 pounds paper money. He mentions the difficulty that the settlers have experienced in getting letters to their friends and family back in New Jersey due to the revolutionary times and the fact that letters had to be sent unsealed so that officers of the law could examine them for any Loyalist sentiments. Sometimes river couriers were also intercepted and taken by “the heathen” (probably a reference to the Indians).
In the style of the apostle Paul writing letters to the early Christian church, Samuel then writes a little book to his loved ones in New Jersey, greeting them on behalf of his family in God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, admonishing them, encouraging them in their faith, and informing them about life in the deep south. He shares that he has lived to see five of his great-grandchildren, but that “the time draws nigh that your brother Samuel must die…as these lines in all probability will be the last lines you will ever read of my writing, in the way of a letter….” Samuel then sends specific greetings, by name, to his siblings, his brothers- and sisters-in-law, his first wife’s parents and siblings and their spouses, and others. Among the Horton family members mentioned are Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, Nathaniel Horton, Elijah Horton, Constant and Phebe Horton King, and Sarah Horton (presumably Sarah Benjamin Horton, wife of Caleb Horton [Jr.]). Finally, Samuel states that the most that troubles him “is the want of peace and the want of good husbandry,” and he shares that, with his water pounding mill, he makes good cider vinegar, samp meal, and rice. He signed the letter, “Your Loving Father in the Gospel, Samuel Swayze.”
4. Nathaniel Horton (1719-1804), who married Mehetabel Case (some say Mehetabel Wells – see below under Nathan Horton).
Nathaniel was born October 13, 1719 in Southold, Long Island and died January 24, 1804. Mehetabel (shown as “Meheatabel” on her tombstone) was born February 29, 1719 in Southold and died December 10, 1801. They were married August 15, 1739 in Southold (as recorded in The Salmon Register) and moved from there to Chester, New Jersey in 1748. They are buried in the First Congregational Cemetery in Chester. The portions of Nathaniel’s tombstone that stated his name and his birth date as October 13 were transcribed in 1921, but those were broken off and missing in 1933. Their sons David and Daniel Horton were soldiers in the New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War. Daniel married his first cousin, Martha Terry, daughter of his aunt, Mary Horton Terry.
No doubt, Mehetable Case Horton was a descendant of Henry Case (between 1624 & 1630-1665), a native of Leicestershire, England who came to Southold, Long Island probably around the 1650s, and his wife Martha Corwin Case. Using birth years to calculate generations, Mehetable was most probably a great-granddaughter of this couple who are known to have had two sons, Henry Case, Jr. and Theophilus Case. These boys were around ages six and four, respectively, when their father died, and their mother married Thomas Hutchinson soon afterwards.
Henry Case, Jr. (1659-between 1720 & 1740) married Tabitha Vail (ca. 1661-1735), and they were parents of six children: Henry, Samuel, Hannah, Tabitha, Benjamin, and Mary Case.
Theophilus Case (1661-1716) married Hannah Youngs Mapes (1663-?), and they were the parents of eight children: William, Theophilus Jr., Ichabod, Hezekiah, Hannah, Eunice, John, and Daniel Case.
Both Henry Case, Jr. and his brother Theophilus had sons who could have been Mehetable Case Horton’s father – Henry, Jr.’s sons Henry (who married Martha Payne), Samuel (who married Zerviah Horton), and Benjamin (who first married Esther _____; then Mehitable Homan; and then Mary Overton), and Theophilus’s sons William (who married Anne _____), Theophilus Jr. (who married Hannah _____), Ichabod (who first married Mary Terriel, then Abigail Mapes, and then Hannah Goldsmith), Hezekiah, John (who married Jemima Hulse), and Daniel (who first married Elizabeth Wells and then Abigail Moore) – a total of nine possibilities.
Although it has not yet been determined which of these two brothers, Henry Case, Jr. or Theophilus Case, was Mehetable Case Horton’s grandfather, supposition leans more toward Henry Case, Jr. and his wife Tabitha Vail Case. A supporting indicator of this supposition is that known descendants of Henry Case, Jr. intermarried with the Horton and Terry families, and Theophilus Case’s known descendants did not. One son and two great, great-grandsons of Henry Case, Jr. married Hortons, and one daughter and one great, great-granddaughter married Terrys. Henry, Jr.’s daughter, Mary Case married Uriah Terry who was an uncle of Nathaniel Horton who married Mehetable Case. So, if Mehetable Case Horton was a granddaughter of Henry Case, Jr., then Mary Case would have been her aunt. This means that Mehetable Case Horton’s aunt, Mary Case, married Nathaniel Horton’s uncle, Uriah Terry.
Going with the supposition that Henry Case, Jr. was the grandfather of Mehetable Case Horton, her father would have been one of his three sons – Henry, Samuel, or Benjamin. Based on the birth years of the known children of these three brothers, it appears that Mehetable’s own birth year (sometime between 1721 and 1729) would fit most closely with the children of Benjamin Case (1692-1774) of Southold, Long Island and his first wife Esther (his last two marriages occurring later in life when Mehetable would have been in her twenties or thirties). If Mehetable Case Horton is a daughter of Benjamin and Esther Case, then she may have named her children, Benjamin and Esther Horton after her parents.
Henry Case, Jr.’s wife, Tabitha Vail Case (believed to be the grandmother of Mehetable Case Horton), was the daughter of Jeremiah and Mary Folger Vail. The surname Vail, Vele, Veale, La Veyle, La Viele is not unusual in England, being found in that country as early as 1341. While there is traditional evidence of a Welsh origin of this family, the weight of argument favors England as its true home. The family is said to be descended through its direct male line from Louis IV, King of France and therefore from the Emperor Charlemagne. Jeremiah Vail was among the first settlers of Salem, Massachusetts, arriving as a twenty-one-year-old blacksmith in 1639. He later removed to Gardiner's Island, under the jurisdiction of Easthampton, Long Island, and probably again, about 1659, to Southold, Long Island, where his wife Mary died in 1685.
Jeremiah Vail’s younger brother, Thomas Vail, also a blacksmith, is believed to have arrived in America in 1640, one year after Jeremiah, and he also settled originally at Salem. Like Jeremiah, Thomas relocated to eastern Long Island but settled at Southampton. Whale-watching was one of the earliest and most lucrative occupations of Southampton. Records show that, in 1650, Thomas Vail was “to have for his paines, 3 shillings per day at the Seapoose.” Seapoose is an Indian word meaning “Little River,” or the inlet connecting Mecox Bay with the ocean, where he was stationed at certain periods to range the shore and watch for stranded whales. When finally the huge carcass of a whale was cast upon the sandy beach and temporarily secured until the town was warned, the custom was for all the grown men of the town to be impressed into subdividing the carcass and “try out” the blubber. This custom began as early as 1644, when two men of each of three wards of eleven men each, were to cut up the whale, try the blubber and have a double share. The remainder was to be divided among the townsmen, and in the long run became a rich source of revenue for the town. This whaling station at Southampton was the first of a long series of stations along the Long Island shore. Nearly all these whaling stations have passed away except the original one at Southampton.
In 1660, Thomas Vail with Thomas Pell and a group of others, purchased land from the Indians and settled the town of Westchester, now within the boundaries of New York City. Thomas Vail appears as a man of prominence and influence. Westchester was, at that time, under the control of the Dutch and Director General Stuyvesant and Council appointed Thomas Vail a Magistrate for three terms – in 1660, 1661, and 1662.
Thomas’s wife, Sarah Wentworth Vail, was known for her sharp tongue. In 1651 she was brought to court, as was the Puritan custom, for angry words to her neighbor and had to stand with her tongue in a cleft stick while the offense was read against her.
Thomas Vail’s great, great, great, great-grandson, Alfred Vail (1807-1859), was a machinist and inventor. Alfred was central, with Samuel F. B. Morse, in developing and commercializing the telegraph between 1837 and 1844. They were the first two telegraph operators on Morse’s first experimental line between Washington, D. C. and Baltimore, and Alfred took charge of building and managing several early telegraph lines between 1845 and 1848. He was also responsible for several technical innovations of Morse’s system, particularly the sending key and improved recording registers and relay magnets. Alfred refined Morse’s crude prototype to make it suitable for public demonstration and commercial operation. The first successful completion of a transmission with this system was at the Speedwell Iron Works on January 6, 1838, across two miles of wiring. The message read “A patient waiter is no loser.” Over the next few months Morse and Alfred demonstrated the telegraph to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, members of Congress, and President Van Buren and his cabinet. Demonstrations such as these were crucial to Morse's obtaining a Congressional appropriation of $30,000 to build his first line in 1844 from Washington to Baltimore. There has been a minor controversy as to whether Alfred or Morse invented the “Morse Code.” Alfred’s mother, Bethiah Youngs Vail, was a descendant of Barnabas and Anna Eddy Wines (see p. ).
Another descendant of Thomas Vail and a first cousin once removed of Alfred Vail was Theodore Newton Vail (1845-1920)), a United States telephone industrialist and president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, known today as AT&T. Theodore’s grandson, James Vail Converse, was the first husband of Thelma Morgan who was a twin sister to Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, mother of fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt and grandmother of CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper.
Mary Folger Vail was first married to Peter Paine, and Jeremiah Vail was her second husband. She was the daughter of John and Meribah Gibbs Folger, natives of Norwich, the capital city of Norfolk County, England.
John and Meribah Gibbs Folger immigrated to Massachusetts in 1635 on the ship Abigail and first settled at Dedham, then Watertown, and finally Martha’s Vineyard. The Folgers may have been of Flemish descent. Their son (brother to Mary Folger Vail), Peter Folger, was instrumental in the colonization of Nantucket Island in the Massachusetts colony. A Baptist missionary, teacher, and surveyor, his dealings with the native population promoted harmony between the Native Americans and European settlers. Peter married Mary Morrell/Morrill, an indentured servant in the household of Rev. Hugh Peters (who came to America in the same ship as the Folgers). It is said that Peter paid her service debt of 20£ to Rev. Peters to secure her freedom. Peter was a disciple of Puritan Thomas Mayhew, Jr., following him to Martha's Vineyard, where he served as Mayhew's accountant and general overseer. Peter was a preacher, surveyor, miller, and blacksmith. While living on Martha's Vineyard, he became a prominent citizen of Edgartown, serving as a town commissioner and schoolmaster. He was also employed by the Commissioners of the United Colonies to teach English and Christianity to Indian children. He was a staunch Anabaptist (now Baptist). At a meeting of the proprietors of Nantucket Island held in Salisbury in late 1660, Peter was chosen as one of five men to lay out the land, which was to be purchased from Mayhew. The previous year, he had accompanied Tristram Coffin and others to Nantucket to view the potential purchase. Peter surveyed the Island during 1661-1662, and on July 4, 1663 was granted half a share. He moved his home to Nantucket in 1663, and there, as he did on Martha's Vineyard, served as an interpreter between the Wampanoag Indians and the English. On July 21, 1673, he was elected clerk of the courts in Nantucket. He died in 1690. Many of his descendants became whalers off of Nantucket.
Peter Folger’s daughter, Abiah Folger, a first cousin of Tabitha Vail Case, became the second wife of Josiah Franklin and was the mother of Benjamin Franklin, the great American author, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, and diplomat who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Among Peter Folger’s other notable descendants are William Franklin (illegitimate son of Benjamin), last Colonial Governor of New Jersey and a steadfast Loyalist during the Revolutionary War in stark contrast and opposition to his Patriot father; Hannah Pope Putnam, wife of Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam, who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775; Mayhew Folger, a ship’s captain and whaler who captained the sealing ship Topaz that rediscovered the Pitcairn Islands in 1808 and found one of HMS Bounty’s mutineers still alive; James Athearn Folger, founder of Folger’s Coffee, and his great, great-granddaughter, coffee heiress Abigail Folger who was murdered by the Charles Manson “family” in 1969; Henry Clay Folger and his wife, founders of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D. C. is named; astronomer Maria Mitchell who became the first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848; Ezra Cornell, co-founder of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Lucretia Coffin Mott, the American Quaker minister, abolitionist, social reformer, and proponent of women’s rights; and Rev. Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford, a suffragist, minister, and author who, in 1868, became the first New England woman ordained to the ministry and the third in the United States.
5. Elijah Horton, Sr. (1724-1799), who married his first cousin, Lydia Sweazy/Swazey/Swayze, daughter of his aunt, Penelope Horton Swayze.
Elijah was born January 19*, 1724 in Southold, Long Island, New York, and Lydia was born March 4, 1731, also in Southold. According to his tombstone, Elijah moved from Southold, Long Island to Roxbury, New Jersey in 1748. He married Lydia in 1749, probably in Morris County, New Jersey as the Hortons moved there in 1748 and as The Salmon Register has no record of their marriage in Southold. Elijah died October 7, 1799 in Chester, New Jersey, and Lydia died March 18, 1823 in Roxbury, New Jersey. They are buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Chester.
According the The Horton Family in America, Elijah “was a Justice of the Peace, of fair reputation, and much respected.” The Genealogy of the Swasey Family records a letter written from Western Florida by Rev. Samuel Swayze to his family in New Jersey in which he describes his brother-in-law Elijah Horton as “a brother twice and a thousand times a friend.”
(*The Horton Family in America by Adaline H. White states Elijah’s birthdate was June 19.)
6. Mary Horton (1726-1807), who married her first cousin, Richard Terry, son of her uncle, Nathaniel Terry.
Mary and Richard were married June 10, 1745 (as recorded in The Salmon Register) in Southold, Long Island. They were both born in Southold – Mary on July 19, 1726 and Richard on May 12, 1721 – and both died in Chester, New Jersey – she on November 16, 1807 and he on November 19, 1791. They are buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Chester.
According to the book Chester by Joan S. Case, Richard and Mary settled in Roxbury, New Jersey 1760. The house that Richard built remained in their family for quite some time but was eventually moved to make way for development. It still stands and functions as a garage attached to a more modern house.
Among Richard and Mary’s children were Martha Terry, who married her first cousin, Daniel Horton, son of her uncle, Nathaniel Horton; Capt. Nathaniel Terry, who was an officer in the New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War; and Richard Terry, a Revolutionary War soldier, who married his first cousin, Sarah Horton, daughter of his uncle, Caleb Horton. In 1839, Sarah Horton Terry applied for a widow’s pension for Richard’s military service. Her deposition is very vivid and gives great insight into the Revolutionary era:
“I am the widow of Richard Terry, who was a Militia soldier in the Revolutionary War & served in defense of the United States from the beginning to end of said war. The particular details of his service, have most of them escaped from my memory, & I can only give a journal outline, as my recollection may serve me. Most of his comrades have died & the few who remain are very aged….
“Soon after the war broke out, Captain Nathan Luse, who was our near neighbour, enlisted a company of men, who were most of them his neighbours, to serve for five months as then I understood & believed. Constant Victor King, also a near neighbour, was one of the officers, & I believe at first he was an Ensign. William Hagan & one Hagan, I think were Lieutenants. My husband, Richard Terry, according to the best of my remembrance enlisted & served in this company. They marched off in the spring season about corn planting time, directly past our house toward Morris town, the drum beating & fife playing Yankee Doodle, & I remember my oldest child Phebe, then about 4 or 5 years old, attempted to sing the tune with the fife. I had prepared his clothes, blanket & knapsack, with provisions for several days, & he left me to take care of the children & manage our farm as well as I could. I sometimes heard from him, but I did not see him again till late in the fall or winter in cold weather. He was marched, as I was told by him often, to Elizabeth town – was a time in New York City – then was taken to Long Island – was in the battle with the enemy there – was marched to White Plains – had various skirmishes, & in one of them, a musket ball was shot through his neck handkerchief, passing so near the skin as to graze his neck. He was in the retreat through Jersey, with Genl. Washington’s army, called the ‘mud rounds,’ of which I have often heard him speak. He was in the battle at Trenton with the Hessians, & in the Princeton battle, as I believe from his own story, and when he returned home, it was cold winter weather, sometime after the Holidays. I have often heard him speak of Col. Munson, Lord Stirling, Genl. Sullivan & Genl. Washington as officers of the army during this campaign; & altho’ it is my impression that it was called the 5 months service, yet I only believe he was absent from home, & actively engaged in this duty, not less than six months. In the latter part of this winter (77), he was absent from home, & engaged in performing militia duty near New Brunswick & Amboy not less than six weeks under General Winds & Captain Luse, or Captain Nathaniel Terry his brother, or perhaps Captain Nathaniel Horton, as he performed militia duty under each of them, at different times..."
7. Rhoda/Rodah Horton (ca. 1728-1771), who married Robert Robinson;
Rhoda and Robert were probably married after 1748 in Morris County, New Jersey (The Salmon Register has no record of their marriage in Southold, Long Island). Rhoda died June 30, 1771 in Chester, Morris County, New Jersey as is buried in the First Congregation Church Cemetery in Chester. The year following her death, her brother-in-law (and first cousin), Rev. Samuel Swazey, long-time pastor of the church, led a group of Jersey settlers to West Florida (now Mississippi. Rhoda’s husband, Robert Robinson, was among this group. On November 14, 1776, he received a grant for 100 acres situated about 16 miles south of “the Natchez.” He settled on the Mississippi River and was killed by Indians while he was working on his farm. His family did not know until after the Revolutionary War that he had been killed. Robert’s will, dated/probated? September 27, 1778, was recorded in the District of Natchez, Province of West Florida and mentions his nephew by marriage, Richard Swayze, Jr. and Richard, Jr.’s son Gabriel Swayze.
8. Nathan Horton (ca. 1730-1808), who married Sarah Luse/Luce.
The Hortons in America states that Nathan was born about 1720 or 1725 and married Mehetable Case about 1749. This information does not correspond with The Salmon Records: A Private Register of Marriages and Deaths of the Residents of the Town of Southold, Suffolk County, N.Y. 1696-1811. Known more briefly as The Salmon Records, this register was begun by William Salmon (1684-1759) and subsequently kept up by members of his family. Salmon recorded the marriages and deaths of his fellow Southold citizens. Within the register, Salmon states that on August 15, 1739, “Nathll Horton” and “Mehtabel Case” were married. If the Nathan Horton who, according to The Hortons in America, was born circa 1720-1725 is the same individual as the Nathll (Nathaniel) Horton as recorded by Salmon, then, he would have been 14 to 19 years old at the time of his supposed marriage to Mehetable Case. Nathan Horton, son of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, is most likely the same Nathan Horton who is buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Chester, New Jersey, who died February 10, 1808 at the age of 78, which would indicate a birth year of 1730. If Nathan was truly born in 1730, he would only have been 9 years old in 1739 when Salmon states Nathaniel Horton married Mehetable Case. This means Nathan Horton, son of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, could not be the same person as Nathaniel Horton, husband of Mehetable Case.
The spouse buried beside the Nathan Horton who is interred in the First Congregational Church Cemetery is listed as his wife, Sarah Luce Horton (circa 1735-1795). Sarah Luce was a daughter of David and Jemimah Corwin Luce. David Luce was a half-brother to Caleb Horton, both being sons of Sarah Wines Horton Luce. This would make Nathan Horton and his wife Sarah Luce half first cousins. Such a cousin marriage was common, and four of Nathan’s siblings married their Swayze and Terry first cousins.
Some researchers have expressed doubt that Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton would have named one of their sons Nathaniel and another one Nathan. Despite the similarity in their names, they are clearly stated to be two individual sons in their father Caleb’s will. Also, their mother is known to have had two brothers named Nathaniel Terry and Nathan Terry.
Nathaniel and “Meheatable” Horton are also buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery. The Hortons in America states that Nathaniel, son of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, married Mehetable Wells. Banks McLaurin, Jr., in his Horton genealogy, states that Nathaniel Horton and Mehetable Wells were married August 15, 1739 and cites the Salmon register as the source for that information. However, as stated above the August 15, 1739 marriage date was recorded by Salmon for Nathaniel Horton and Mehetable Case, not Mehetable Wells. Salmon records no marriage between a Nathan or Nathaniel Horton and a Mehetable Wells.
Mehetable Case Horton, supposed wife of Nathan, is said to have died in 1787 in Chester County, New Jersey. If it were true that Nathan married Mehetable Case and Nathaniel married Mehetable Wells, it would seem there would be gravestones for two Mehetables in the First Congregational Church Cemetery. There is, however, only one – that of “Meheatable” Horton, wife of Nathaniel. Is it possible that another Mehetable Horton could have been buried elsewhere in Chester, but that is very unlikely since this was the family’s burial ground. The presence of only one Mehetable in the cemetery, and she definitely being Nathaniel’s wife, coupled with the married record between Nathaniel Horton and Mehetable Case, would point to Nathaniel’s wife being a Case and not a Wells. It is most likely that the Nathaniel and Mehetable Horton buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery are actually Nathaniel and Mehetable Case Horton rather than Nathaniel and Mehetable Wells Horton, Mehetable Wells Horton being a non-existent wife of Nathaniel.
According to the tombstone of the Nathaniel Horton who is buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery (see above – Nathaniel Horton), he was born in 1719. If he is the same Nathaniel Horton who married Mehetable Case in 1739, he would have been about twenty years old at that time, and his age fits much better than that of his brother Nathan. (It should be noted that Salmon does not record a marriage between Nathan Horton and Sarah Luce, but Nathan probably moved to Roxbury, New Jersey with the rest of his family, and the marriage, which occurred a year later in 1749 – according to a family tree on Ancestry.com – would have likely have taken place in New Jersey. Nathan would have been around 19 at the time and Sarah 14.)
Based on Caleb Horton’s will, it is a fact that he and his wife, Phebe Terry Horton, had sons named Nathaniel and Nathan. Based on the assumption that these sons are the same men as the Nathaniel and Nathan Horton buried in Chester, New Jersey, they were born in 1719 and 1730, respectively. If they are the same men, then based on their wives’ tombstones, Nathaniel was married to “Meheatable” (maiden name not stated), and Nathan was married to Sarah Luce. Based on the absence of a marriage record between Nathaniel Horton and Mehetable Wells and the presence of a date and age-sensible marriage record between Nathaniel Horton and Mehetable Case, it seems most reasonable that it was Nathaniel Horton who married Mehetable Case (not Wells) rather than his younger brother Nathan who married his half first cousin, Sarah Luce.
Finally, the name of Nathan Horton’s children, specifically Israel, David Bethia, Nathan, Zephaniah, Sarah, and Jemima, are all reflective of names in the immediate Luce family. This is an indication that, at least from a naming perspective, Sarah Luce is a much better fit for Nathan Horton’s children than Mehetable Case. Similarly, Mehetable Case (a possible daughter of Benjamin and Esther Case) is a better fit to be the mother of Nathaniel Horton’s children, two of whom were Benjamin and Esther.
9. Sarah Horton (ca. 1735-after August 29, 1795), who married her first cousin, Richard Sweazy/Swazey/Swayze, son of her aunt, Penelope Horton Swayze.
The Hortons in America published in 1929 by Adaline H. White incorrectly states that Sarah married Stephen Sweazy. She actually married Richard Swayze, who was her first cousin and a brother to Rev. Samuel Swazey and Lydia Swayze who married Sarah’s siblings, Hannah and Elijah Horton. Richard Swayze did have a first cousin named Stephen Swezey who, according to Benjamin F. Swasey in his 1910 Genealogy of the Swasey Family, was married in 1748 to Massa or Mary Horton (1712-1807), who was probably a relative of Sarah Horton, and this may be the source of confusion regarding Sarah’s supposed marriage to Stephen rather than to Richard. The Salmon Record states that Stephen Swesey married Marcy Horton on June 1, 1748 in Southold, Long Island.
Sarah was 18 years younger than Richard. They were both born in Southold, Long Island, New York – she around 1735 and he on August 20, 1717. The Salmon Register does not record their marriage, so it presumably occurred in New Jersey between 1748 (the year the Caleb Horton family moved there) and 1753 (the year their daughter Deborah was born). This would mean that, at the time of their marriage, Richard would have been between 31 and 36 years old, and Sarah would have been between 13 and 18 years old.
In 1773, Richard, with his wife, children, two negroes, and an apprentice, moved from Chester, New Jersey to Western Florida (now Mississippi) as part of the group led by his brother, Rev. Samuel Swazey. Settling near what is now Natchez, Mississippi, Richard and Samuel shared 19,000 acres of land they had purchased from Amos Ogden. At the time of Richard’s death around 1785/86 near Natchez, six of his children were heirs to 7,900 acres of this purchase. (See p. .)
Among Richard and Sarah Horton Swayze’s children was Deborah Swayze. She married Israel Luce, a half-brother of Sarah Luce who married Deborah’s uncle, Nathan Horton. So, uncle and niece (Nathan Horton and Deborah Swayze) married a half-sister and brother (Sarah Luce and Israel Luce).
Sarah Horton Swayze survived her husband Richard by at least around a decade. The Pioneer Families of Western New Jersey records an interesting deed in which “Mrs. Sarah Swasy, widow of Richard Swasy, living under the Spanish government at Natchez, Miss. (then known as West Florida) on 8-29 1795 declares that for love of her daughter Debora Luse, wife of Israel Luse, of that place, she gives her a negro girl named Peggy.”
The Horton Family in America states that Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton were also the parents of Richard Horton and Rachel Horton:
Richard Horton (1727-1773), who married Elizabeth Harrison.
Richard was born in 1727 in Southold, Long Island and died in 1773 in Radnor, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth was born around October 30, 1729 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in Radnor. They were married about 1750 and were Quakers who lived in Radnor. Tradition states that Elizabeth was from the same line of Harrisons as Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Harrison and his descendants, Presidents William Henry and Benjamin Harrison. Richard and Elizabeth were great-grandparents of Tennessee Governor James D. Porter.
Rachel Horton (ca. 1733 in Southold, Long Island-?), who married Jonathan Racket on August 23, 1753.;
As with the earlier mentioned mistake regarding Phebe Horton Tuthill being a daughter of Caleb and Phebe Terry Horton, I believe this to also be erroneous – that Richard and Rachel Horton were not children of this couple as Caleb Horton does not name them in his will or the codicil to his will.
Phebe Terry Horton died December 24, 1767, and Caleb Horton died August 6, 1772. Both died in Roxbury (later Chester), New Jersey and are buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Chester. The following is taken from their gravestones:
Caleb Horton – born “at Southold, Long Island, Dec. 22, 1687, and in the year 1748 moved from thence to Roxbury and died there Aug. 6, 1772, aged 585 years.” (The stonecutter made several mistakes – the year 1687 was cut over 1767, and “585 years” should be “85 years.”)
Phebe Horton – died December 24, 1767, aged 78 years, and who lived “58 years as wife of Caleb Horton.”
According to The Hortons in America, Caleb died with an unblemished character. His will, dated May 16, 1759, and the codicil to his will are as follows:
New Jersey Book K, p. 508-510
“Hereas Caleb Hortton (Sen’r) late of Roxbury in the County of Morris and Province of New Jersey by his last Will and Testament bearing date the sixteen the day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty Nine did Nominate me the ??? Executor of the said Testament Now know yet that I do hereby Renounce and Refuse to take upon my self the Burden of the Execution of the said will and all interm whatsoever with the Estate of this said Deceased, Whitnefs my hand and seal this Eighteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Two maked & delivered in the presence of Benjamin Horton
“In the name of God Amen, I Caleb Horton of Roxbury in Morris County in the Province of New Jersey being at Present Weak in Body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God therefore But calling to mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing it is appointed for all men made to die do make and Ordain this to be my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: First and Principally I give and Surrender my Soul into the hands of God who gave it and my Body to the Earth to be Buried in decent Christian Burial at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named and as touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me with in this life, I give, will and dispose of as follows
“First I order all my just debts and funeral charges to be paid by my Executors out of my Movable Estate.
“Secondly I give Will and Bequeath unto Phebe my dearly Beloved wife the use of my now Dwelling house and the Gardens as they are fenced it being about three Quarters of an acre of land, also the Orchard I purchased of my son [-in-law] Samuel Swesey, so long as she shall remain my Widow, and no longer. Futhermore, I give unto my said wife all the Remaining Part of my Moveable Estate (Except what shall I hereafter dispose of) and such injunctions as I shall lay on my four sons, viz: Caleb Horton, Nathaniel, Elijah and Nathan, for her to enjoy and dispose of as she shall soo meet, All which I give my said wife for her to Quit her Right of Dowry and Power of thirds.
“Thirdly for the better Enabling of my said sons to perform the injunctions aforesaid, I give unto them as following.
“Fourthly I give Will and Bequeath unto my said son Caleb Horton and to his heirs and assigns forever a part of my Tract of Land I purchased of Isaac Pierson Beginning at the land Jonah Robinson bought of one Colmon and from thense to pillar of Stones upon the Center line that one Wm. Reding run when he laid out the said Land into Lotments for said Pierson Supposed to go twenty three Chain be it more or less and to Extend North Sixty degrees Westerly and South sixty degrees Easterly to the utmost bounds containing about four hundred acres.
“Fifthly I give Will and Bequeath unto my said son Nathaniel Horton and to his heirs and assigns forever another Part of my said Tract. Beginning at the above Bequeathed Land runing from thense to a Pillar of Stones upon the said Center line supposed to be thirty two chain be it more or less and to extend North sixty degrees Westerly and South Sixty degrees Easterly to the utmost Bounds containing about four hundred acres.
“Sixthly I give Will and Bequeath unto my said son Nathan Horton and to his heirs and assigns forever another Part of my said Tract of Land Begining at the Land I Bequeathed to my said son Nathaniel from thense to a pillar of Stones upon said Centor line supposed to be thirty two Chain be it more or less and to Extend North sixty degrees Westerly and South sixty degrees Easterly to the utmost Bounds containing about four hundred acres.
“Seventhly I give Will and Bequeath unto my son Elijah Horton and to his heirs and assigns forever All the remaining Part of my said Tract of Land Containing about four hundred acres be it more or less And also the Farm I now live upon which I Purchased of my son [-in-law] Samuel Swesey And also my Farm I purchased of Obadiah Brown.
“Eightly I order my said son Elijah to provide for my said wife a sufficient Quantity of Suitable firewood and also to pasture two Cows in good pasture in the summer season and to winter them well the town aforesaid and also provide a good able easy horse for her whenever she hath occasion to use one And I further order my said son Elijah to pay each of my said sons viz: Caleb, Nathaniel and Nathan the sum of twenty five pounds five shillings a piece money of New Jersey af as ? at 8/ and oz: within four years after my decease. Furthermore I order my said son Elijah to pay unto each of my daughters viz: Phebe, Hannah, Sarah, Mary and Rhoda three pounds a piece and to my grandson Justin King the sum of two pounds all money at 8 lbs and 10 oz.
“Ninthly I order each of my said sons viz: Caleb, Nathaniel, Elijah and Nathan to pay unto my said wife four pounds a piece money as aforesaid yearly and every to the day of her death or marriage which shall first happen.
“Tenthly and Lastly of this my last Will and Testament, I do hereby Constitute appoint and Ordain Phebe my dearly beloved wife and my two sons Caleb Horton and Elijah Horton my Executrix and Executors of this my last Will and Testament will full power and authority to act in and about the premises and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disowned all and every other former Testaments, Wills and Bequests Rattifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed my Seal the sixteenth day of May in the Year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine.
Sign’d seal’d Published and Declared by the said
CalebHorton to be his last Will & Testament in the Caleb Horton. Seal
presence of us Witnesses. Richard Terry, Constant
King, Joseph King, Frederick King.
“Be if Known to all Men by these presents That Whereas I Caleb Horton of Roxbury in the County of Morris and Province of New Jersey have made and declared my last Will and Testament in writing bearing date the Sixteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine I the said Caleb Horton by this present codicil do fully and confirm my said last Will and Testament except whereas I ordered all my just debts and funeral charges to be paid by my executors out of my movable estate I do now hereby order my said four sons viz: Caleb, Nathaniel, Elijah and Nathan to pay all my just debts and funeral charges equally between them and except all that part of my movable estate which I gave unto Pheby my dearly beloved wife (she being now dead) I now give and bequeath it all to my said five daughters, Phebe, Hannah, Sarah, Mary and Roda to be divided equally between them and my will and meaning is that this codicil or schedule be and be adjudged to be part and parsol of my said last will and testament and that all things forementioned and contained be faithfully and truly performed as fully and amply in every Respect as if the same were so declared and set down in my said last Will and Testament Witness my hand and seal the second day of January in the year of out Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty Eight .
Seal’d and Delivered in the presence of Caleb Horton: Seal
Richard Terry, Constant King
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