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Dora Lawton Rhodes
Posted by: James F. Lawton Date: July 04, 2001 at 14:56:17
  of 287

I have posted the bible and an estate settlement of my great great great grandfather, Squire Lawton (Laughton) of Hope Falls, Hamilton County, New York as in the l950s the Lawton Family of the greater Northville, N.Y. area underwent what amounted to a Salem Witch Hunt, concerning a cleft problem of the mouth area. Dora Lawton was the pretty and bright daughter of William Lawton, son of Leonard Lawton (Laughton) son of Squire Lawton (Laughton) and Dora had a cleft lip. Rather than accept the design her family had in terms of her future in Hope Falls she frequented Northville two miles to the south and was a little wild and four children at the turn to the twentieth century were born to her and recorded in the Northville, N.Y. town records of unknown men. Then she married an older man in his late sixties by the name of Rhodes with a farm in Hope Falls and settled down and had three children by him. William, father of Dora, also had a cleft problem. His Civil War records are available and he was discharged with no war injuries and being once hospitalized for dissentery. On the 1892 NYS census he defines the cleft problem on his cheek as a bullet wound from the Civil War. William was the son of Leonard Lawton, who is my great great grandfather by another son. Leonard married Elizabeth Carr, grandaughter of William Carr, born R.I., a descendent of Robert Carr of R.I. and William may descend from as many as three descendents of George Lawton (Layton) of R.I. When I posted Carr family on this forum the first response I got was from Thomas Carr, concerning Robert Carr, the son of Robert Carr of R.I., and that was that Robert Carr the son had married a daughter of George Lawton of R.I. Leonard Lawton however descends from Thomas Laughton (Leighton) Sr., town clerk in very early colonial history, of Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. And has only one descendency from Thomas Laughton Sr. (There is also a Thomas Lawton (Layton) of Rhode Island, family of George Lawton of R.I.). A few years after World War 2 medical researchers began researching the unusual frequency of cleft lip problems in the greater Northville, N.Y. area. It went on for more than 10 years and actually never did end, but after more than a decade of researching, an article of two full pages appeared in a Gloversville newspaper that the team had been unable to prove that the cleft problem of Northville, N.Y. greater area was a hereditary cleft problem. And this conclusion was made only months after large rich deposits of Uranium ore had been found in the greater Northville, N.Y. area. And a conclusion was that possibly the radioactivity contributed to the cleft problem. The geneological talents of the medical researchers were poor and most reverse gears did not work in backing up to earlier generations prior to the Northville, N.Y. area - which in the mid 1800s still had a bounty on mountain lions (cougars). Few families could be traced back. There were few records - and there are probably even fewer now.


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