Houston Family in Old Chester



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McQuiston Family in Old Chester
Houston's of Philadelphia


There are a number of Houston lineages within the Old Chester Project area, though the Revolutionary War. Many of these lines are thought to be closely related, owing in part to similar naming ways. Their interconnections, if any, are unclear at this time. Some of these lines have been confused with the lineage of General Samuel Houston; researchers in the Houston YDNA state that this is generally unfounded, and that the GSH lineage is unrelated to many of the family lines commonly described for Old Chester. [1] As with most Houston family lines, the spelling of the surname is quite variable among the Old Chester Houston's. "Houston" and "Huston" predominate. This study also inncludes other spellings, including for example "McQuiston".

In the following tabulation persons are organized primarily in terms of geographical groupings. In some cases, such as the Mill Creek Hundred Huston's, family relations are known or strongly suspected, and the group is focused on a specific lineage. In other cases, such as "the Gap Houston's", persons are included only because of geographic proximity; they may be related, but direct evidence for that relationship is lacking. This arrangement is admittedly imperfect, driven in part by our lack of knowledge of how some of these people relate to each other. In point of fact it is strongly suspected that many of these groups are closely related to each other, though how is not always clear. As an example, there is a strong suspicion that the Brandywine Creek Huston's are descended from Person:Christopher Huston (1) of Mill Creek Hundred as are the Huston's of Conodoguinet Creek, and at least some of the Huston's in Washington County. Further evidence to support these ideas is needed.



Houston's of Whithorn. William Houston came to New Castle, DE before 1703. William was originally from Whithorn, Wigtonshire, Scotland, but a merchant in Glasgow number of years before immigrating to America. William apparently returned to Scotland shortly before his death in 1707, as his will was registered in Sorbie. William died unmarried, though may have had children whose names are not known. He left much of his American possessions to brother Anthony of London. Anthony apparently came to America after Williams death, dying in Delaware about 1724. He had three known sons.

Huston's of Mill Creek Hundred. The Mill Creek Hundred Hustons trace their descent from Christopher Huston who died about 1726 Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County, DE. Christopher had two confirmed sons, Samuel Houston and Robert Houston. Samuel died with out issue, though Robert had several children. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Christopher may have had a third son James of Brandywine Creek, who predeceased him, and left two sons, Christopher and James.

Houston's of Brandywine Creek. James Houston lived on Shellpot Creek in the Brandwine portion of New Castle County, DE. He may be the son of Christopher of Mill Creek Hundred who named two grandsons, Christopher and James who are not easily accounted for. Evidence for this this is indirect. James had a son James; his descendants believe that he moved westward into the Juanita River basin, sometime after the close of the French and Indian War.

Houston's of the Gap. This line was founded by John Huston who immigrated about 1725, settling on Pequea Creek, near Gap, PA. see Notebook:Houston's of Pequea Valley. William Huston and Samuel Huston settled about the same time as John, but on the Brandywine, slightly to the east. It is not clear how, or if, the three are related. Data on William and Samuel seems to be particularly sparse, though they may have been associated with the Upper Octoraro Presbyterian Church. Some of John's children were Quaker, suggesting that he may have been Quaker.

Houston's of Conodoguinet Creek. A number of Houston's settled in Cumberland County in Pennsboro township, along lower Conadoguinet Creek during the early settlement period. The earliest seems to be a Christopher Huston followed later by a Person:Samuel Huston (5) and person:James Huston (15). Given the use of the given name "Christopher", there is a possibility that these Houstons are related to Christopher Huston of Mill Creek Hundred, and to Christopher Huston of Iredell County, NC. How that relationship might run, is not clear. Some of these Huston's may have moved south along Conadoguinet Creek, settling near Big Springs MH in Newville. There are certainly Huston's in that area after the Revolution, but documentation for them is quite sparse.

McQuiston's of Cumberland County. Family records indicate that Robert, Thomas, and James McQuiston/McCuiston immigrated to American in 1735, landing at New Castle DE. By the early 1750's they had settled in West Pennsboro, Cumberland County, PA. Their stay thee was probably short lived, as soon thereafter they had relocated to Rowan/Guilford County, settling on the Haw River and Horsepen Creek. No evidence of their long term persistance in Cumberland County is noted here. This family line seems to have used "McCuiston" or "McQuiston" consistently. While these surname variants probably derived from the same root as "Houston", there is no immediate reason to believe that they may be connected genealogically with other "Houston's" in Old Chester.

Houston's of the Walnut Run A Robert Huston took out a land warrant in 1744, that was used much later as the basis for a land survey and patent on Walnut Run in hanover Township. Robert fled the area during the beginning of the French and Indian War. The land where the warrant was eventually used is of relatively low quality, at least in terms of farming. It seems likely that Robert did not actually intend to use the warrant at the Walnut Creek location, but that the warrant was transferred to someone else, at a later date. The area where the warrant was used is within the Cornwall Furnace area; it may be that the land surveyed under this warrant was used in someway to support the charcoal burning iron furnaces located nearby. That may have been Robert's original intent, or it may have been the intent of the person for whom the survey was conducted, and to whom the final patent was granted.

Houston's of the Conococheague Several Huston's appear living in close proximity to each other within the Conochocheague watershed in the Franklin County portion of Old Cumberland County. The earliest warrants are for a David Huston who seems to be the head of the family. Other given names in use among these Huston's include:Archibald, John, James, and George. Archibald was also among the earliests warrant holders, but his property seems to have been transfered at some point to other family members. Its not clear if this happened at his death, and its possible that he left the area. An Archibald Huston who appears in Old Augusta about this time may be the same person. Overall we have very little data other than land records associated with this group of Houston's

Houston's of the Little Conowago A John Huston settled in York County the east side of the Little Conowago Creek by 1748. A systematic data capture has not been performed for him, but available evidence indicates that he was in the area after 1750, appearing as a Juryman, etc. in court records.

Houston's of the Juanita River Basin A number of Houston's settled in the Juanita River Basin. They include two William Houston's, two James Houston's, and Robert Houston who settled on Licking Creek, a tributary of the Juanita. One of the James Houston's is believed to be the son of James Huston of Brandywine Creek, and is considered to be a member of the Mill Creek Hundred Houston's. The relationships of the other Houston's in this area are unknown, and no systematic data capture has been accomplished for them.

Big Springs Huston's Records of the Big Spring Meeting House in Newville mention a number of Huston's. Surviving records date to the post Revoutionary War period, but it seems likely some of them were present in this area at an earlier date. A Revolutionary War soldier "John Huston" is said to be buried in the Big Springs MH cemetery, but whether he was in the area prior to the Revolution or not is not obvious. No land warrants, however, have been identified for Houston's in this area, and at present their early presence in the area is conjectural. There are indications that some of the Huston's in East Pennsboro moved south into this general area, and the Huston's of Big Springs MH may be related to them. More work on this is needed.


There are several groups of Houston's who appear in other areas near, but outside of Old Chester County. Some of these Houston's are of interest because they have pointers back to Houston's within Old Chester, and may be important in unraveling family connections. The location of these Houston's is not shown in the above map.

Houston's of PhiladelphiaThere are a number of documents pointing to the presence of Houston's located within Philadelphia prior to the Revolution. Some of these Houston's are identified as being ancestral to Houston's living within Old Chester, and are therefore of interest to Old Chester Houston Research. See: Notebook:Houston's of Philadelphia

Houston's of Washington County [2] There were at least two Houston who settled in Old in Old Washington County prior to the Revoluion:

Person:William Huston (4) settled on Catfish Creek in what is now the town of Washington, on the border of South Strabrane and North Franklin townships.
Person:James Huston (4) settled near by, and is known to have come to the area from Cumberland County.

Given their proximity to each other, James and William are presumed to be kin. [3]After the Revoluion land records show several Houston's in the area. Their relationships with James and William are unknown.

Person:Phillip Huston (1)


  1. While this is useful to know, much of the YDNA information available to the Houston YDNA researchers is closely held, and not available for independent review. As a result these conclusions can not be independently verified.
  2. Washington County PA is somewhat off the beaten track for "Old Chester County". The Houston's in this area have been included primarily because there's good reason to suspect that some of them came here from the Cumberland County portions of Old Chester, and because there is some reason to hope that their study will help improve our understanding of the dispersion of the Old Chester Houstons.
  3. YDNA results for a descendants of James, and for William are said not to match. While this seems to show that the two lines are not related, it is possible that the lineages of one or the other of these descendants are not correct. That is, the reason the YDNA results do not match is perhaps because one of the other test subjects has a misunderstanding in their lineage, and do not descend from the person from whom they believe they descend. Additional work here is needed.