This article appeared in a series of articles pertaining to the early history of twenty two families of Westchester County, New York. They were published during the summer and fall of 1951 as part of a special feature in the Westchester Group Newspapers and Affiliates. The author was Maureen McKernan. The article on the Horton family was the 11th of the series.
So many Hortons are there in Westchester, and so widespread is the family into every town, village and city that those of the direct line along fill over a column in the telephone directory. Families descended from daughters of the line are even more numerous. An account of the members of the family today living in Westchester would fill a small volume. In a brief space one can but turn to the originators of one of Westchester's oldest and most virile clans.
The common ancestor of the hundreds and hundreds of those in the county of Horton blood was Joseph, who was born in Moseby, England, about 1625. His parents, Barnabas and Mary, brought him to Ipswich, Mass., about 1641. A year or two later Barnabas Horton and his family went to Southold, on the eastern tip of Long Island where son Joseph married Jane Budd.
Founded the Town of Rye
This marriage is responsible for the establishment of the Horton family in Westchester for young Joseph and his wife were among the early settlers who followed Jane's father, John Budd, to found the Town of Rye in 1662. Joseph Horton and Jane sold their farm at Southold to Joseph's father in 1665 and after that date he and Jane lived out their lives in Rye. Joseph was a miller in Rye, perhaps operating the mill owned by his father-in-law, or in partnership with him, in the mill that stood at the mouth of Blind Brook. Joseph became a Justice of the Peace, a lieutenant in the local militia in 1678, and later a captain. He was a Town Selectman in 1671 and he died in Rye on June 13, 1696, when he was seventy-one.
Joseph Horton and his wife had seven children, from whom not only Westchester Horton's but those of Pennsylvania and many other states are descended. They were John, who married Rachel Hoyt; Joseph who married Sophie Jans; Benjamin who married a cousin, Ann Budd; Hannah, who first married Thomas Robinson and then, on his death, Miles Oakley, grandson of Miles Oakley of West Farms from whom the Oakleys descend. The marriages of the other three, Jonathan, David and Samuel are not known to the writer.
To show how these old families of Westchester are related by marriage to each other, through the first few generations, one may study the family of John, 1655-1707, the oldest son of Joseph Horton and Jane Budd. John and Rachel Hoyt had seven children. They were John, who married Judith Purdy; Elizabeth, who married Isaac Covert; Daniel, who married Hester Lane; Caleb who married Martha Turner and Hannah Underhill; Jonathan, no known marriage; James, who married Sarah Budd, and Phoebe, who married James Gedney.
Clanned in White Plains
Joseph's fourth son, Benjamin 1660-1730 lived in Rye and his daughter, Phoebe, married Daniel Purdy. Jonathan, 1662-1694, who had two children, was a White Plains charter holder in 1694. Jonathan's brother David, 1664-1734, held a White Plains patent in 1722. The White Plains settlement of Hortons was added to in 1747 when Joseph Horton, a grandson of the original Joseph Horton, sold this land in Budd's Neck, now Rye Neck area of Mamaroneck Village, and moved to White Plains, John, another of Joseph's grandsons, born 1693, was granted a farm in White Plains when he was just twenty-one. David, another grandson, who married a Dutch girl, moved from Rye in 1726 and died in White Plains in 1781, aged 81. Obadiah Founded the Dutchess County Horton's when he left the farm of his father, David, in White Plains and moved north.
Gilbert Horton, fourth generation, in 1784 took a farm near Valhalla which is probably part of the Horton land that was flooded over when Kensico Dam was built.
In 1725 Daniel, another of the fourth generation, left White Plains to take up land in Yorktown. From him descend many of the Northern Westchester Hortons. Stephen, 1731-1814, moved from White Plains, to Yorktown where he had 10 children, was recorder of deeds of the town.
Gilbert, a great-grandson of the original Joseph, was born in White Plains in 1725 but lived all his life in Mamaroneck. His son, Gilbert, married Deborah Griffin whose ancestor had been Caleb Heathcote's surveyor and for whom Griffin Avenue on Quaker Ridge, Scarsdale, was named. The original Griffin homestead is part of a house still standing on Old Mamaroneck Road in Mamaroneck.
Sons Saved Father
Another Jonathan, born in Rye in 1711, moved to Greenburgh, was Town Assessor in 1759, lived on Stevens Avenue, at the Bronx River in Mount Pleasant and was a Loyalist but his sons, Jonathan and Caleb, were such ardent patriots that they saved their stubborn old father from conscription during the Revolution. He died in 1795, safe on his own land, thanks to his sons. The wife of John P. Jones, founder of Monticello in Sullivan County, was a Phoebe Horton of White Plains. Samuel of Elmsford, third generation, was a patriot during the Revolution, but his two sons were Tories and were banished to Nova Scotia. Joseph, fourth generation, born in White Plains in 1736, married Caleb Tompkins' daughter and moved to Beekman, in Dutchess County.
Jonathan, fourth generation, born in White Plains in 1737, was a captain of American militia throughout the Revolution and by his two wives, Gertrude Purdy and Ann Secor, had 13 children. Caleb, Capt. Jonathan's brother, who married a Martine girl, was a lieutenant under Capt. Henry Dusenbury. He died in 1831.
Local Westchester histories are studded with the names of Hortons who were county Supervisors and town officials and if space permitted, many stories could be told of the fights of Horton farmers in the northern part of the county with Tory cattle rustlers during the Revolution.
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