Person:John Huston (9)

John Huston
d.Between 10 Aug 1769 and 6 Dec 1769
Facts and Events
Name John Huston
Gender Male
Marriage Document. John Houston's will of 1769 identifies wife as "Martha"
to Martha Unknown
Death[1] Between 10 Aug 1769 and 6 Dec 1769


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Document. John Houston's will of 1769
Biography of David W. Houston


John is believed to have immigrated from Ireland, landing in New Castle, DE, about 1725. He settled in the Pequea Valley, Leacock Township, then Chester Co, PA, now Lancaster Co. Land warrants for the area indicate that he was present by 1737, but was probably on the land considerably earlier than that. About this same time William Huston and Samuel Huston also secured land warrants in this same area. They are presumably John's kin.[2]

John is said to have owned a number of farm properties and at death is have been in possession of 1000 acres of land. His initial land warrant of 1737 appears to have been vacated, and no patent is recorded. Another warrant was issued in 1741, and eventually exercized for land located on Houstons Run near Gap, PA. His will also identifies a mill which he owned that some describe as being "near the Leacock Township line at the present intersection of St. Rt. 772 & Hershey Church Rd." Land records (Houston Deed Records in Lancaster) identify him as a miller. John Huston's original land warrant property is shown in pink. Click image for larger view.

John was Presbyterian, and during the New Side/Old Side schism of the 1740's he adhered to the conservative "old siders". In his will John identifies his wife as "Martha", whom some identify as "Martha Cunningham", mother of the line that led to General Samuel Houston. This is probably a misidentification. Statements from some members of the Houston YDNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA suggest that YDNA evidence shows that descendants of John are unrelated in a genealogically meaningful timeframe to persons descended from General Sam Houston.[3]


DOB: 1705
POB: Londonderry, North Ireland
DOD: 1 Aug 1769 this is probably the date of the will; other sources give his DOD as 6 Dec 1769, which may be the probate date.
POD: Pequea Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Burial: Seceder Graveyard, Pequea, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Spouse: Martha Stewart (1721-?) Will lists wife Martha; She is sometimes identified as Martha Worke who married a Robert Houston in Philadelphia about this time. Some interpret this to mean that John Houston's full name was John Robert Houston. That is probably unsound, and perhaps intended to allow a connection to be made to the line of General Samuel Houston. Others identify her as "Martha Cunningham, also of the General Samuel Houston lineage, and thought to have been equally unsound. Unsubstantiated YDNA information indicates that the Pequea Creek Houstons are unrelated to the line of General Samuel Houston.
DOM: c1737 Other sources give 31 Oct 1734 as the DOM. This is the DOM for Robert Houston and Martha Worke, not John Houston and Martha Stewart See USGENWEB entry.
POM: Pequea Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania


The lives of John's children are briefly described in Source:Ellis and Evans, 1883 "History of Lancaster County". The article is somewhat disjointed, and has been somewhat reorganized and reformatted to improve its readability.[4]

The family remaining in Lancaster County are the descendants of John Houston, who had six sons and two daughters, all born at the farm in Pequea Valley, immediately facing Gap Station, on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
One daughter married the Rev. Dr. Proudfit, the other Mr. John Johnson, of Mercersburg, Franklin Co., Pa. Both daughters had large families. The Proudfits now live in New York and vicinity, and the Johnsons in Franklin County and farther west in Pennsylvania.

The sons were:
  • Daniel[5]
  • Dr. John,
  • William,
  • James,
  • Thomas, and
  • Samuel.
The five elder boys (Samuel was too young) were soldiers in the Revolutionary army, and with the exception of James, who was killed at Paoli, fought through the war.


Daniel After the war Daniel moved to Franklin, and afterwards to Washington County, Pa.,

Dr. John Houston , the second son, was born at Pequea in 1743. Dr. John Houston was a man of mark and belonged to a fighting family. He was born in Salisbury township, in this county, in 1742. His father sent him to Edinburgh, Scotland, to be educated for the ministry. He finished his studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, graduating in 1766...Not liking that profession he chose that of medicine [and] studied medicine with Dr. Shippen, of Philadelphia. [He] commenced the practice of medicine at York, Pa., then a frontier town, [marrying] Susannah Wright, of Columbia, June 17, 1773. He entered the army as a surgeon. Gen. James Ewing married Patience Wright, Mrs. Dr. Houston's sister. They were the only children of John Wright, the holder of large properties on both sides of the Susquehanna River, at Columbia and Wrightsville.
After the war, Dr. Houston spent the remainder of his life at his winter home in Columbia or on his farm, on the west side of the Susquehanna, in York County, now a part of Wrightsville. His wife, Susanna Houston, survived him many years, and died in 1829.... On the 6th day of May, 1773, he married Susanna Wright, daughter of John Wright, Jr., who owned the ferry and lived on the west side of the river at Wrightsville. In 1775, when hostilities broke out between England and America, he was appointed a surgeon in the Continental army, and remained in it for seven years. After the war he removed with his family to York borough, where he practiced medicine. A few years thereafter he removed to Columbia. Governor Mifflin appointed him one of the justices of the peace for this district about the year 1793 or 1794, an office which he held until his death, June 9, 1809. He was an accomplished gentleman, and was considered in his time the best educated and read physician in the county. His widow died in August, 1829.

The doctor left a large family [6]

  • [James Houston],
  • Mrs. [Martha] Mifflin,
  • [John Houston]
  • Dr. William F. Houston,
  • Robert [W.] Houston,
  • Samuel N[elson]. Houston,
and the 
  • Misses Houston

William William married a sister of Dr. Watson, late of Donegal. He was taken prisoner on Long Island by the British. [After the war] William [moved] to Trumbull County, Ohio,

James James was killed at Paoli;

Thomas [After the war] Thomas [moved] to Rockbridge County, Va.

Samuel The youngest son, Samuel, remained in Pequea Valley, Lancaster Co....and grew up in Lancaster County. Esquire Samuel Houston, of Pequea Valley, of [whose] family we regret we cannot give a full account...married Miss Hopkins, of Lancaster, and had children--John, James H., Franklin, William, Samuel, Horatio, Sarah Jane, Martha, and Louise.

John married Gertrude Truxton, daughter of Commodore Truxton, and had sons and daughters. Several of the boys were in the navy, and daughters married officers in the United States army. One of the sons, James Buchanan Houston, is president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
James H. married Miss Henderson, and had sons and daughters. One of the sons, J. Hopkins Houston, was rapidly becoming prominant as a railroad officer, but died young at Prairie du Chien, Wis., while occupying an important position.
Franklin lived and died in Lancaster County, was married, and most of his children are settled in this county.
Gen. William married Miss Jacobs, of Lancaster County. He was engaged for many years in the manufacture of iron in Centre County. He had several sons. Part of the family went to California, and part to Missouri. He died in California.
Dr. Samuel married Agnes Humes, of Lancaster. They had sons and daughters. The doctor died in Washington, where his family now resides. One of his sons, a prominent army officer, died young of yellow fever in Havana.

Horatio was an officer in the navy, and died young.

Sarah Jane married Dr. Harris, of Bellefonte, Pa., and after his death married Mr. Yardly, a prominent merchant of Cincinnati. He lived but a few years. She lived several years a widow, and died in 1881, and is buried in the family burying-ground, Pequea Valley, Lancaster Co.


Document:John Houston's will of 1769


  1. Date of Will is 19 August 1769; probate date is apparently 6 December, 1769. See: Index to Abstracts, F-K Surnames, 1721-1819, Lancaster County, PA. The notes for the abstract of the will in USGenWeb archives indicate that the township was not identified; it is possible the probate date is for a different John Houston.
  2. John had sons named William and Samuel, but they would not have been adults (and probably not even born) at the time of settlement. The William and Samuel who took out land warrants at this time may be brothers, cousins, or unrelated persons who just happened to settle in this area at the same time as John.
  3. At the present time these statements can neither be confirmed nor denied. land records (see Houston Deed Records in Lancaster), however, confirm that the first name of John's wife was martha.
  4. Many older articles require are written in a style that to modern eyes seems disjointed. I often do some minor rewriting and reorganization some reorganization to improve readability, striving to retain the fullest sense of the original authors meaning and intent. In this case, the re-organization required is more extensive than I normally find necessary. I believe Everts and Peck's original sense is retained, but those interested in this line may wish to review the original. ~~~~
  5. Not discussed in the text.
  6. The following list was taken from later in the article, and does not agree exactly with the original discussion of the children that appeared in this location. I've attempted to meld the two together, but caution is warranted in using this list. Q 19:36, 18 March 2010 (EDT)