Analysis:Comparison of Children of Christopher Huston (2) and Samuel Huston (5)



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This is an ongoing discussion to support the analysis of the ancestry of James Huston and William Huston of Washington County PA. These persons are of interest for the Tapestry because a) we have YDNA data for them that ties at least one of them to other Houstons of the Tapestry, and b) we have pointers in their personal history that suggest that they were related to one of the lines of Houston's in Cumberland County, and most particularly with Houston's in East Pennsboro township. See the following articles for supporting background.

Houston Land Records in Old Chester County, PA
Analysis:David Hoge and William "Catfish" Houston
Analysis:William Huston of Catfish Camp
Analysis:William and James Huston of Catfish Camp
Family Relations of Christopher of Mill Creek Hundred
Notebook:Houston Records in Cumberland County
Analysis:Comparison of Children of Christopher Huston (2) and Samuel Huston (5)
Document:Will of Christopher Huston 1773/1784
Source:Huston, 1912
Source:Anonymous, 1905


James and William Huston appear in Washington County PA prior to the Revolution. While evidence is conflicting, there's reason to believe that they are closely related. Its possible that they are;

  • father and son
  • brothers
  • cousins

In anycase, we believe that they both came to Washington County from Cumberland County, and that James was born in Cumberland County in (or about) 1760. William is known to have been an adult living in Washington County in 1774, and so is most likely the older of the two. Further, we know that William had family relations with David Hoge of Cumberland County (Williams daughter married David's son). While there are numerous "Houston's" in Cumberland County, there are relatively few "Hoge's", and we know that this particular David Hoge owned land in East Pennsboro township. This land probably lay adjacent to the Silver Springs Meetinghouse. The Reverend John Hoge, son of David Hoge, later appears as a landowner living adjacent to the Silver Spring Meetinghouse. It seems likely this land was inherited by John from his father David, and is a portion of David Hoge's original settlement.

At this time we know of three Houston's who settled in this general area at an early date: Person:Christopher Huston (2), James Huston, and Person:Samuel Huston (5). James is known to have lived adjacent to the Silver Springs meeting House, and so was a near neighbor of the Reverend John Hoge who owned property nearby, and earlier of Rev. Hoge's father, David Hoge who was probably the original land owner. The exact location of the property of Christopher and Samuel has not been determined, other than that it lay in East Pennsboro, but it seems plausible that they, too, settled near Silver Springs Meeting House. We would like to identify the male children of these three men, Christopher, James, and Samuel, to see if they did indeed have sons that could match up with James and William of Washington County. In this, the children of James of Silversprings Meetinghouse is problematic. Some genealogists who trace their descent to him, have him relocating to Center County, and others to Mifflin County. These different interpretations probably represent a confusion. As a result, identification of the sons of james is problematic, and will require closer examination in the future.

The sons of Christopher and Samuel, however, are clearly identified in their respective wills, and so a direct comparison is possible. This is given below.



The DOB's shown above reflect data from family tree's for these individuals. The dates are generally consistent with what we would exect for the children of an early settled in Cumberland county, but have not been validated. Accepting them provisionally, we see that the sons of Samuel match best with the known data for James and William of Washington County. James son of Samuel, for example is shown to have a 1758 DOB reasonably consistent with James stated DOB of 1760. William son of Samuel, does not have a DOB, but is listed first in the childlist, and appears to be the eldest child, and older than his brother James. This is consistent with what we would expect if James the Revolutionary war vet were the brother of William of Catfish run. A problem with this is that the will of Samuel does not identify a son James; James is included in most listings of Samuel's children based on Source:Anonymous, 1905 who notes that James is not in the will, but identifies him as a son on the basis of other documents. His identification maybe correct, but it is always suspicious when someone is identified as a child of someone, but not listed in that someone's will. Such circumstances are often explained away as "he and his father did not get along, so his father disowned him", or "His father had already given him his share of the inheritance". These are "just so" explanations, and often given to explain the inexplicable. Absent other data to show that the child was disowned, or was not mentioned for good and sufficient reasons, they are, at best questionable.

Vita 1

Children of Person:Christopher Huston (2) and Susannah Wilson
Christopher (3)1738/1739
Sarah 1740/1745James McKinstry
Elizabeth 1740John McCulloch
Person:John Houston (25) 174418 SEP 1828 Margaret HustonSource:Huston, 1912 On March 23, 1817, John Huston, of Dickinson township, and Margaret, his wife, for $4,973.00, deeded to Michael Saxton 160 acres and 19 perches of land which tract of land is described in the title deed as follows:

"Whereas Christopher Huston, father of said John Huston, late of the township of East Pennsboro, in the said County of Cumberland, became in his lifetime lawfully seized in his demesne as of fee of and in a certain plantation or tract of land containing 320 acres, be the same more or less, adjoining lands of James McKinstry, the heirs of John Waugh, deceased, and others, and being so seized, died, having first made his last will and testament in writing, bearing date April 26, 1773, wherein and whereby (among other things) he did give and devise unto said son John Huston, one-half of his plantation or tract of land."

James 1747/1752
William (10) 17541821Mary Beatysaid to be buried in First Presbyterian cemetery, Newton township, Cumberland. If so, remained in Cumberland County.
JanetWilliam ClendenninIdentified as a cousin of isabella Houston who married James Clendenan

Vita 2

Children of Person:Samuel Huston (5) and Isabella Sharon
William (11)known to have a son "Samuel"---see Person:John Houston (22)
SamuelEsther Waugh
MargaretJohn Huston, a son of Christopher HustonLived in Dickenson Township
Mary17391812John Mateer/McTeer.Moved to Lower Allen township.
Source:Anonymous, 1905 gives her DOD as 1812 at age 73
AnneJames GibsonND
JaneJohn CreighProminent lawyer in Carlisle, Cumberland County
JamesJames Huston, was not named in the will of Samuel Huston (5). Some (e.g., Source:Anonymous, 1905 nonetheless believe him to be the son of Samuel Noteing " September, 1785, [he] bought a farm at the head of Penn's creek, in what is now Centre County... In the deed conveying it the seller is designated as "James Huston, of Philadelphia, innholder;" and the purchaser as "James Huston, Jr., distiller, of East Pennsboro, Cumberland county." ...There is a record in the orphans court of Cumberland county showing that [James] was a brother of John Huston, who in the will of Samuel Huston is designated as one of the testator's "two younger sons." He in all probability was a nephew of James Huston, of Philadelphia, "innholder."
Isabella1) James Clendenin
2)Nathaniel Eckels
Remained in East Pennsboro;
Clendenin was the youngest child of John and Janet (Huston) Clendenin and Isabella Huston's first cousin.
Eckels was a widower, who by his former marriage also had a family, by whom she also had children See BYU Document:49, 121
John*by 1811nancy Carlos(w)?, Mary Hall, Mary Pea, Sarah Pea "John Huston lived upon the old Huston homestead bequeathed to him by his father, till his death" Source:Anonymous, 1905
Jonathan*1760Nov. 10, 1830Margaret Rankin McIntyreHe and his brother John jointly received all the lands of their father's estate
They apparently partitioned the lands between them. When John made his will in 1808 he severally owned the farm originally located by his father, while
 Jonathan was sole owner of the farm adjoining him on the north. Jonathan
 always lived on his farm in Silver Spring township. he died at age 70. His wife died Aug. 24, 1846, aged seventy-six years.
  • Identified in fathers will as one of two younger sons


What we are looking for is a James Huston born about 1760, with an older brother or cousin William. Given the above, this best fits the children of Samuel. The DOB of Samuel's James is close to 1760 (its given as 1758), and he is commonly shown to have had an older brother William. This James also had a (slightly) older cousin William, son of Christopher. So William of Catfish Run could have conceivably been a cousin of James (or alternatively his father). But (disputably) the best candidate for James himself, if he is not the son of William of Catfish Run, is the supposed son of Samuel Huston (5).

Additional work on this is needed. For this particular problem, the exact DOB and birth order of the sons of Christopher and Samuel is critical. Solid sources for their DOB's are needed to permit firm conclusions. Without such sourcing we can't be sure what these DOB's are based on, and hence, we can't be sure what we have are their correct DOB's. In addition, data on their future history is needed; for example, it does little good to explore the possibility of James son of Samuel being the James Huston of Washington County, if he's known to have died young, or to have moved elsewhere as some might suggest.

However, the above analysis does provide a framework for guiding further work, and may help lead us to a satisfactory, and acceptable answer to the question "Who is the father of " James Huston of the revolution"? and "Who is the father of William Huston of Catfish Creek?"