Analysis:Parents of William Huston of Catfish Run



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person:Christopher Huston (2) E. Pennsboro
person:Samuel Huston (5) E. Pennsboro
person:James Huston (15) E. Pennsboro
Person:William Huston (10) son of Christopher (2)
Person:William Huston (11) son of Samuel (4)
Person:William Huston (4) On Catfish Run
Person:James Huston (4) On Catfish Run
Person:Isaac Huston (1) Washington County
Person:James Huston (4) On Catfish Run
Notebook:James Huston the Revolutionary War Verteran of Washington County
Houston Land Records in Old Chester County, PA
Person:Janet Huston (1)
Analysis:Comparison of Children of Christopher Huston (2) and Samuel Huston (5)


We now know (or at least have good reason to believe) that William Huston (4) came to Washington County from East Pennsboro Cumberland county.[1] That suggests that he is the son of early in's person:Christopher Huston (2), and person:Samuel Huston (5). He might conceivably be the son of [[person:James Huston who settled near the Silver Spring Meetinghouse, but his late appearance in Cumberland County records (c1773) makes this seem less likely. There is also a John Huston who appears in East Pennsboro in a very early road record, but for whom we have no further data. For the moment, we'll focus on Christopher and Samuel of East Pennsboro as his possible father.

Christopher (2)

Analysis:Comparison of Children of Christopher Huston (2) and Samuel Huston (5) provides a summary of what we know about the children of Christopher and Samuel. Data for William is summarized here:

Rebecca Huston
Christopher Huston 1738/1739Nancy Smith
Sarah Huston 1740/1745James McKinstry
Elizabeth Huston 1740John McCulloch
John Houston 174418 SEP 1828 Margaret Huston
James Huston 1747/1752
William Huston 1754

From this tabulation we see that Christopher did indeed have a son named "William". He is currently identified on WeRelate as Person:William Huston (10). We would like to know if he's the same person currently identified as Person:William Huston (4) of Catfish Run in Washington County. There are a number of data elements that suggest, but do not prove, that he can not be William (4) of Catfish Run:

  • We know from court testimony that William Huston (4) was in Washington County as an adult by 1774. Available evidence suggests that he was in fact born about 1729 [2] While few, if any, of the DOB's for Christopher's children have been validated, the DOB's commonly cited suggest that he did not marry Susannah Wilson until just before 1738. William (10) son of Christopher, was apparently not born until 1754. If these dates are accepted it seems highly unlikely that William (10) could be William (4).
  • William (10), son of Christopher, married Mary Beaty, and is said to be buried in the graveyard of the First Presbyterian Church in Newton township, Cumberland county. This is "know" from a reading of Ancestry family trees, none of which document their source of information. If you accept this datum, then this William lived his entire life in Cumberland County, and so could not be "William of Catfish Run".

None of these data about William (10) have been validated, and are essentially hearsay evidence. However, if you accept these data William (10) it seems difficult to see how he could be William (4) of Catfish Camp. Additional data is needed to verify and validate all of the above data concerning William (10). Absent that validating data, we can not completely rule out William (10), albeit he now seems to be an unlikely candidate.

Samuel (5)

The other likely candidate in Cumberland county for the father of William (4) is person:Samuel Huston (2). Samuel is known to have had a son Person:William Huston (11) who could theoretically have been William (4) of Catfish Run. We have considerable family information about most of Samuel's children, but very few DOB's that would allow us to make a good guess about Samuel's DOM, or the age of William (11).

William (11)
SamuelEsther Waugh
MargaretJohn Huston, a son of Christopher Huston
Mary17391812John Mateer/McTeer
AnneJames Gibson
JaneJohn Creigh
Isabella1) James Clendenin
2)Nathaniel Eckels
Jonathan*1760Nov. 10, 1830Margaret Rankin McIntyre
  • Identified in fathers will as one of two younger sons

One available data element that speaks to this is found in the estate record for William's brother Person:John Houston (22). John left a complex inheritance problem, probably driven by the fact that he had four wives (perhaps they were "wife not wife") by each of whom he had children, and some of whom (more than one) survived him (which is why I suggest "wife not wife" status). In anycase, Geoffrey Hayden, has examined some of the in's and outs of his estate, noting that John left a bequest to a nephew Samuel, and that the estate records show this Samuel to be the son of John's brother William. John left bequests to another brother (Samuel) and to a sister (Isabella), who correspond clearly to the children of William (11)'s father, Samuel (5).

We can use this evidence to see if William (11) could correspond to William (4) of Catfish Run. The family of William Huston (4) is given at Family:William Huston and Unknown Unknown (1). Little of the data shown there has been verfied. The child list is based on Ancestry family tree's, and may have been developed from William (4)'s will. It is possible that there are missing children. However, if you accept the child list as complete than we see that William (4) did not have a son Samuel. Therefore, he can not be the same person as William (11) who we now know DID have a son Samuel. Thus William (11) son of Samuel (5) of Cumberland County, could not be the same person as William (4) of Catfish Creek.

While the available data suggest that William (4) can not be the same person as William (11), the unverified state of the child list for William (4), plus the lack of good DOB's for the children of Samuel (5) means we can not entirely rule out this possibility, but it currently seems unlikely.


There are at least two other candidates in East Pennsboro who could be William (4)'s father:

James Huston of Silver Springs,
John Houston who appears at a very early date in a single record for the area

We have no reason to believe that John Houston remained in the area for any length of time, and is an unlikely candidate for William (4)'s father. In anycase, we simp.y do not have enough information about him to evaluate him further. Absent conclusive information about him, he must remain a potential, but unassessible candidate for William (4)'s father.

James of Silver Springs appears in land records of the area beginning in 1773. Since he lived close to the Silver Springs MeetingHouse, and to members of David Hoge's family, he is most likely related to William (4) whose daughter married a son of David Hoge of East Pennsboro. Its conceivable that he is Williams father, but we do not have sufficient data about him to evaluate him in detail.

Future Direction

While we have good reason to believe that William Huston of Catfish Run came to Washington county from East Pennsboro, we are not able at this time to identify his father among the possible candidates in that area. The main candidates, Christopher (2) and Samuel (5), both had a son William, but neither son seems to be consistent with what we know about William (4). Unfortunately, conclusions based on what data we have about Christopher (2) and Samuel (5) (particularly in regard to their children) could in fact be unsound because that data has not been validate. Both have been tentatively eliminated but should be reconsidered when validating data is available.

However, we now DO have good reason to believe that William is related to the Houston's in East Pennsboro. His 1729 DOB, for which we have decent validating information, suggests that he was not in fact born in East Pennsboro, as that area was not being settled that early. Some Ancestry Family Tree data indicate that he was born in Philadelphia. If true, this would be consistent with a number of other "pointers" suggesting that various persons thouhgt to be in the Mill Creek Hundred family line [such as William (4)] came from the area between the Skullykul River in Pennsylvania, and the Christiana River in Delaware. This suggests that we may be better off searching for William (4)'s parents in the eastern most portions of Old Chester, and in particular, in Philadelphia.