Notebook:Christopher Huston of East Pennsboro



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E. Rank Huston

From: Huston, E. Rankin, 1912. History of the HUSTON FAMILIES and their DESCENDANTS 1450-1912 with a GENEALOGICAL RECORD from chapter 2, and 3. Ellipses (.....) mark deleted text. See: Source:Huston, 1912 for link to complete online version of this work.



The first apearance of the name Huston upon any document relating to affairs in the Cumberland Valley was in 1743. In February of that year a large number of the inhabitants of East Pennsboro township petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster County for action in the case of a proposed road which was to lead from the Susquehanna river up thorugh the valley in the direction of the Potomac. On that petition appear the names of James Silvers, Tobias Hendricks, John Glendenin, John Dickey, James Dickey, Joe Galbraith, Archibald McCallister and John Huston, besides many others who figured prominently in the early settlement of the eastern end of the valley.

CHAPTER III. Huston's Who Remained In Cumberland County.

When Cumberland county was formed in 1750 there were among the taxables within its territory a Christopher Huston and a Samuel Huston, as appears by the records in the Commissioner's Office at Carlisle. Both were located in the part of East Pensboro township that is now Silver Spring.

Christopher Huston was an active and prominent citizen of the section even prior to the formation of the county and in 1784 was tax collector for East Pennsboro, collecting tax to the amount of 12£ 2d. The records of the Internal Affairs Office at Harrisburg show that on October 30, 1744, Christopher Huston obtained a warrant from the Proprietors of Pennsylvania for 150 acres cf land.

The records of the Internal Affairs Office also show that on November 9, 1752, Samuel Huston obtained a warrant for a tract of land in East Pennsboro township, Cun berland county, the survey for which was returned on March 7, 1753. The warrant for Samuel Huston's tract called for 200 acres but the survey made it 240 acres. The draft on record shows that it was bounded on the south by lands of John Sample; on the east by John Carson and Richard Peters; on the north by Robert Carothers ,and on the west by John McClellan.

On April 26, 1773, Christopher Huston made his will which was probated on December 14, 1784.

He died December, 1784. His wife, Susanna Wilson, died aged 80 years and the remains of both repose in the graveyard of Pine Hill.

They were born in the northern part of Ireland [1] and had seven children, as follows:

Christopher, married Nancy Smith.
Sarah, married James McKinstry. She died aged about 84 years.
Elizabeth, married John McCullough. Died aged about 70 years*
William, died aged about 40 years.
John, married Margaret, a daughter of Samuel and Isabella (Sharon) Huston.[1]
Rebecca, married McMurtrie, and her second husband's name was Smith.

He distributed his personal property to

his wife, Susanna (Wilson.)
his granddaughter, Janet Smith;
his son-in-law, James McKinstry, and
his son, Christopher, and
John McCullough a certain amount.

His real estate he distributed among his sons, James, William and John.

To James he gave the "place of land" on which James was living at the time the will was made;
to his son William he gave, with sundry provisos, the eastern one-half

of two surveys of land which joined each other;

and to his son John the western onehalf of the same tract, also with provisos.

He appointed his wife, executrix, and his son John executor, but the wife renounced her right under the will and the son, John, became the sole executor of the estate.

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."

On March 31, 1818, Michael Saxton deeded this same tract of land to John Kibler. On March 27, 1823 John Kibler deeded it back to Michael Saxton. May 9, 1827, John Clippinger, High Sheriff of Cumberland county, seized this same farm as the property of Michael Saxton and under an execution sold it publicly to John Saxton for the sum of $400.00. The record shows that the deed poll was dated August 20, 1827.

December 16, 1837, John Saxton sold the same farm to George Rupp, who had the same patented by two patents, dated May 23, 1838, and May 24, 1838, respectively.

On June 12, 1838, George Rupp sold the same back to John Saxton, and on April 4, 1839, John Saxton and Nancy, his wife, for $2,000.00, conveyed it to Henry W. Grissinger, of Fairview township, York county, Pa. According to the survey of this conveyance the tract contained 162 acres and 52 perches. March 31, 1860, Henry W. Grissinger and his wife sold 50 acres off the south part of the tract to Henry Balthaser, and on April 3, 1876, Anna Maria Grissinger, executrix, sold the farm proper to John Simmons, whose son, Jacob W. Simmons, now (1912) owns and resides upon it.

About the year 1790 John and Margaret Huston moved from their East Pennsboro home to a tract of land in West Pennsboro township which John Huston had purchased from James Carothers in 1778. When John Huston bought this land it was within the bounds of West Pennsboro township, but in 1785 Dickinson township was formed from West Pennsboro and after that it came within the bounds of Dickinson. In 1860 Penn township was formed from Dickinson and after that this particular farm lay within the bounds of Penn. He was the only John Huston in that township until 1828 when he was designated as "John Huston senior."

On September 15, 1784, Samuel Huston, of East Pennsboro township, Cumberland county, Pa., made his will, which was probated on October 12, 1784. According to his recorded will he had sons as follows: William. Samuel. John. Jonathan.

No daughters are mentioned in the will, but according to reliable information obtained from other sources he had five.

Samuel Huston gave all his lands or real estate to his two younger sons, John and Jonathan, to be held by them and their heirs in common, with the proviso that they pay to his son William the sum of twenty-eight pounds, and to his son Samuel fifty pounds in certain stipulated payments. To his wife he gave one-third of his personal property, together with a reasonable maintenance out of his real estate, and named his sons John and Jonathan as the executors of his will.

The witnesses to the will were Jonathan Hoge, Walter and John Buchanan. Jonathan Hoge being a Justice of the Peace at the time, it is probable that he wrote the will. Only one Samuel Huston appears upon the East Pennsboro township assessments between 1750 and 1776 and in no instance in that period was he taxed with less than 200 acres of land.

In Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. 6, page 224, the names of Christopher Huston and John Huston apear as "Associators" in Captain John McCormick's 3rd company, 3rd battalion, Cumberland County, August, 1780. In the Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., there is a record of Samuel Huston as "a private in Captain Henry McKinley's company, 12th Pennsylvania regiment, comanded by Colonel William Cook, Revolutionary War."

The name appears on a receipt roll which shows that he entered the service November 11, 1776, that he was in the service one month and four days and received "2-16-8," as the full amount of his pay, and "2-8-0" as subsistence.

Also in Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. 6, page 203, will be found the name of Lieutenant Samuel Huston, July 31, 1777, as an "Associator" in Captain James Samples' Sixth company, Third battalion, from Cumberland County.

In 1776 and in 1778 a "Samuel Huston freeman," is also assessed in the township but with no property taxed against him.

In 1779, 1780, 1781 and 1782 this second Samuel Huston was assessed as "Samuel Huston, Jr.," but in no instance with land taxed against him, while in every one of these six years the former Samuel Huston had from 300 to 387 acres of land taxed agains thim, excepting only 1782, when he appears upon the record simply as "Samuel Huston, Sen."

It follows, then, that the Samuel Huston who in East Pennsboro in 1752 took out a warant of 200 acres of land was the same Samuel Huston who bequeathed his real estate to his sons, John and Jonathan. The exact locality of the tract of land for which Samuel Huston in 1752 obtained a warrant, can be fixed by the boundaries and other data given in the records regarding the property. As has been noted, the first Samuel Huston bequeathed his real estate to his younger sons, John and Jonathan, to be held by them in common. These two Hustons probably held it in common for a while, but they could not have done so very long.

There is nothing to show that they ever divided it, but from a will made by John Huston on May 17, 1808, and probated on August 3, 1811, it appears that he then held his real estate in severalty, and hence the two, some time prior to the making of the will, must somehow have made a partition of their patrimony. On April 7, 1811, four months before his will was probated, a tract of land in East Pennsboro township belonging to John Huston was sold at sheriff's sale. The tract contained two hundred and sixteen acres, more or less, and the boundaries given in the sheriff's deeds show beyond question that it was the same tract of land named in the warrant that on November 9, 1752, was issued to Samuel Huston.

It was purchased for $12,660, by William Bryson, of Allen township, who with John Creigh and Andrew Mateer, gave his judgment bond for the full amount of the purchase money. In making his will John Huston had appointed William Jamison and John Waugh as his executors, but they renounced and letters of administration pendente lite were issued to John Creigh and Andrew Mateer, who were nephews of John Huston and the same persons who with William Bryson appear on the aforesaid judgment bond. The words pendente lite indicate that there was a suit pending against the estate when it passed into the possession of John Creigh and Andrew Mateer as administrators. Whether Creigh and Mateer ever became the actual owners of the property, or whether it remained in possession by virtue of the trust issued on them on August 3, 1811, nowhere appears. After the judgments against the estate were satisfied there remained in the hands of the sheriff a balance of $10,652.50, which the Court in August, 1814, ordered paid to John Creigh and Andrew Mateer, administrators pendente lite, upon them filing an additional administrator's bond with the register of wills. On November 21, 1814, they filed a bond of $21,305 with Samuel A. Anderson and Henry Quigley as their sureties. May 8, 1815, the administrators filed their first account, which being adjusted and passed upon by the Court, showed in their hands a balance of $9,394.121/2, subject to distribution according to law. In his will John Huston first made bequests to eight different persons named, after which he specifies that the remainder of his estate shall be equally divided between Samuel Huston his brother; Isabella Eckels his sister; and Samuel Huston his nephew. The will was unsatisfactory to some of his heirs, and on January 10, 1818, six years and five months after letters pendente lite had been issued to John Creigh and Andrew Mateer, Samuel Huston and John Clendenin also administered upon the estate. f

On February 13, 1822, John Creigh and Andrew Mateer, administrators pendente lite, filed their second and final account in the estate of John Huston, showing in their hands for distribution a balance of $9,260.40. In August, 1818, Samuel Huston and John Clendenin, administrators, brought suit upon the bond which John Creigh and Andrew Mateer had filed with the register of wills on November 21, 1814, and upon which Samuel A. Anderson and Henry Quigley were sureties. The suit was brought against both principals and sureties and dragged along in court until March 21, 1828, when the farm which formerly belonged to John Huston and which in 1784 was bequeathed to him by his father, Samuel Huston, was seized in execution as the property of John Creigh and Andrew Mateer on suit of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was bought by William Ramsey, who was one of the plaintiffs' counsel, for the sum of $4,000.

The sheriff's deed to William Ramsey was acknowledged in court on April 14, 1828, and it was stated that the farm was bounded by lands of Jonathan Huston, Coffman's heirs, Samuel Sample, and others, and the Conodoguinet creek, and that it contained 230 acres more or less. April 1, 1829, William Ramsey sold the farm to Peter Phillips for $6,000. The land belonging to Coffman's heirs subsequently passed into possession of Christian Coffman Rupp, and that of Samuel Sample to Henry Ewalt. On March 31, 1838, Peter Phillips sold the farm to Isaac Neidig, and on April 6, 1842, Isaac Neidig sold it to Frederick May for $9,000. It then measured 225 acres and 24 perches and was bounded by lands of Henry Ewalt, Jacob Deemy, Jonathan Huston's heirs, Benjamin Eberly, John McCartney and Christian C. Rupp.

November 14, 1859, Frederick May's administrator, Daniel May, sold the farm to Abraham May for $10,807.20 Abraham May had a daughter who married Harvey Gutshall and by him had two children, a son and a daughter, Abraham Gutshall and Mrs. Harry W. Shaull, who now (1912) own and live upon the land that Samuel Huston in 1752 first located—it in recent years having been divided into two farms.

In 1825 East Pennsboro township was divided, the western part of it becoming Silver Spring.

Persons well acquainted with the present conditions of the part of Silver Spring township lying north of the Conodoguinet creek will readily see, from these two chains of title, that Christopher Huston and Samuel Huston settled near each other when they came into the Cumberland Valley. They were Scotch-Irish, as were nearly all the first settlers in that immediate locality.

Robert Carothers (now spelled Carothers), John Clendenin, John Waugh, James Waugh, James Sharon, James Dickey, John Dickey, Francis McGuire, John Semple (frequently spelled Sample), John McClelland, Adam Calhoun, Thomas Rankin, Robert Bell, Walter Buchanan and Isaac Rutledge were some of their neighbors.

Samuel Huston and John Clendenin were brothersin-law, John Clendenin being married to Janet Huston, Samuel Huston's sister.

It is very probable that more of these Scotch-Irish neighbors were related to the Hustons and that others not related were well acquainted with them before they left Ireland. It cannot be shown from the records at present accessible that Christopher Huston and Samuel Huston were related, but the similarity of given names in the two families; being of Scotch-Irish nationality; settling in the same section, and various other circumstances, strongly indicate they were, as well as a relative of John Huston of the aforesaid road petition. They may have been brothers.

Samuel Huston was a member of the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, now made famous in history as the first church west of the Susquehanna river. His name appears upon the church records in 1764 along with that of 42 other members of this church and Carlisle who signed a call for the Rev. John Steel to become pastor of this church. In the northwestern corner of the old Samuel Huston farm, near the edge of a precipitous hill, there is a burying ground which in its time was famous. Originally it was in a dense wood of tall pine trees, from which circumstances it has been known almost from the first, as the Pine Hill Graveyard. Something of it still remains, but the wood about it has been cleared away to the very brink of the hill and the little shrunken graveyard is left up in a field where it is exposed to the danger of being farmed over and entirely obliterated. That neglected burying ground now contains but two tombstones upon which the inscriptions can be read, yet to the many descendants of the first settlers of that part of the country it is hallowed ground. Within its narrow confines repose the dust of Samuel Huston, his wife, Isabella Sharon; their nephew, Captain John Clendenin, and his wife, Elizabeth Caldwell, who was an aunt of Hon. John C. Calhoun, and members of the Huston family of the second, third and fourth generations.

In addition to the above named Captain John Clendenin, the following Revolutionary soldiers lie buried there: Lieutenant Samuel Huston, Christopher Huston, James Bell, Robert Bell and James Nesbit, of the War of 1812, some of whom were buried with the honors of war and whose funerals were probably the most ostentatious and memorable events that that quiet section of the country ever saw.

Here lie the remains of Nathaniel Eckels, son-in-law of Samuel and Isabella Huston, who died September 16, 1830, aged 86 years. He was the ancestor of a distinguished family, some of whom have graced the halls of Congress, and many of the higher walks in life. Hon. James Herron Eckels, who was Comptroller of the Currency during the Cleveland administration, was a great-grandson. As we stand on the bluff a short distance south of this burial ground a delightful panorama unrolls and we have a glorious vision before us. The winding Conodoguinet glitters in the sunshine from many points in its tortuous course onward to the Susquehanna, until it is lost in the haze that hangs over the stream. The neglected condition and general decay of this graveyard portend a speedy ruin. A few short years will only have elapsed before the stranger will stand on this hill and sadly meditate upon the past history of these mounds. Then the descendants of these pioneers and patriots will have gone, and no one will be able to recount the many stirring events connected with its former years.

We have neglected the graves of these Revolutionary sires so long that brambles and briars hide them from view and cattle tramp over the hallowed spot. No loving hands strew flowers on their lowly beds on Memorial Day, no orator or poet tells of the hardships they endured that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty. No flare of band—no beat of drum—no call of bugle disturbs the stillness that broods over their last resting place. The writer with a few friends have decorated their graves for a number of years, but the soldiers of the Revolution are worthy of higher honor and a more enduring fame. Samuel Huston, the pioneer, has no mark of marble or granite to decorate his grave—nothing but the towering hill which stands as an enduring monument to his memory. The giant pines whose plumes almost hid the sunlight from his couch have given way to the woodman'e axe, while the silent stars stand as sentinels over his lonely grave. Here he lived, loved, died and was buried within the shadow of his own home.

Biog. Annals

From: Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Chicago: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905, pages 676-680 Intermediate source: USGenWeb

When in 1750 Cumberland county was formed, there were among its taxables a Christopher Huston and a Samuel Huston. Both were located in the part of East Pennsboro township that is now Silver Spring. Christopher was there as early as 1744, as is shown by the records, and in 1748 was tax collector of the township. Whether these Hustons were relatives of the aforesaid John Huston cannot be definitely determined, but being all of Scotch-Irish nationality, and settling in the same section so near the same time, the presumption is that they were. They may have been brothers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 This assertion may not be true. It may be based on the belief that Christopher was related to the John Houston family, from which General Sam Houston descended, and who is said to have come to this country around 1740. Christopher is thought to be a relation of Christopher Huston of Iredell County NC. Those familiar with YDNA relationships in the Houston family indicate that Christopher of Iredell is unrelated to the family of General Sam Houston.Specifics of the YDNA argument are not currently available.