Monday, August 1, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Marguerite Anderson (Miller), daughter of Hannah Anderson (Anderson), daughter of Mary Margaret Edmiston (Anderson), daughter of Martha Jane Snow (Edmiston), daughter of Sarah Sawyer Hastings (Snow), daughter of Salome Burt (Hastings), daughter of Sarah Sawyer (Burt), daughter of Caleb Sawyer, son of Jonathan Sawyer, son of Sarah Houghton (Sawyer), daughter of Ralph Houghton.]

Houghton Tower

Hilltop Houghton Tower

Ralph- grandson, not son, of Sir Richard Houghton Excerpt from The Houghton Geneology, by John W. Houghton, A.M., M.D. 1912 Sir Richard’s record gives the date of death of his wife, Catherine, as Nov. 16, 1617, at least six years earlier than the date fixed for the birth of Ralph by the New England record of his age and death. There is no record of Sir Richard having married a second wife and the sketch of his life says that he had fourteen children by his wife, Catherine, all of who are accounted for by name in the list of his children. The forgoing considerations very effectually rule out the idea or supposition that Ralph was the son of Sir Richard. After weighting all the theories and evidence that have been presented we conclude that he was a grandson of Sir Richard, son of Thomas, the second son of Sir Richard. This Thomas is said to have left descendants and this conjecture very nearly satisfies and accounts for the tradition so general that there must have been some ground for it origin that he was a son of Sir Richard. A generation is needed to fill the gap between Sir Richard and Ralph which this supposition provides for, and without which it would seem that his descent from Sir Richard would be impossible. found on Ralph Houghton Ralph Houghton born ca 1623 in England, arrived at Mass Bay Colony about 1649. No record of his crossing has been found. Perhaps he used another name. Two children were born to him and his wife, Jane near the Boston area. The seacoast area was becoming very populated and land was hard to get. About a days ride was the western hills and Nashua River. Land was purchased from the Indians and was called the Nashua Plantation (now Lancaster). Eventually, several families lived there; they petitioned the General Court at Boston and on 18 May 1653, Lancaster was incorporated by an election held at Boston, Ma. Ralph was about 29 years old at the time Lancaster was founded. Apparently, a skilled penman and man of learning, he signed the Covenant in 1652 and served as Town Clerk many years. The first Indian raid on Lancaster occured 16 Aug 1675 and several people were killed but they managed to drive the Indians off. The second raid was 10 Feb 1676, many people were killed, homes destroyed and twenty one people were taken captive. All the settlers left, including Ralph and his family who went to Milton, Ma. The Indians returned and burned the remaining buildings; all of Lancaster was completely destroyed. 1682, Ralph and wife was admitted to full Communion in the Church at Milton, Ma. About 1685, he and family went back to Lancaster to help rebuild the town. He was representative to the General Court 1682 and Selectman 1682-83-84. About 1690, Ralph again removed to Milton where he built his homestead. He died 15 April 1705 at the age of 82 years. His farm is now a park in Milton where many people enjoy summer activities. A pond in the park is fed by springs from the Blue Hills. Children of Ralph and Jane Stowe: RALPH b ca 1648 in Middlesex Co. Ma. marr ca 1690 Mary Blackburn. There is an interesting story about them to be told later. JAMES b ca 1650 and marr Mary (Sawyer or Willard) ca 1685. MARY b 4 Nov 1653 Lancaster, Ma. marr Wm Bently 20 Jan 1675. JOHN b 25 Aug 1655 d Oct 1679 Charlestown, Ma. JOSEPH b 6 July 1657 marr #1 Jane Vose #2 Margaret Reding. EXPERIENCE b 1 Oct 1659 marr Ezra Clapp as his second wife. SARAH b 17 Dec 1771 marr #1 Caleb Sawyer & #2 Daniel Goble of N.J. ABIGAIL b 15 July 1664 marr John Hudson. HANNAH b 16 Oct 1667 & died 8 Oct 1679 following the Indian massacre. found on Ralph Houghton of Lancaster, MA (#101) Ralph Houghton, the emigrant ancestor, was probably born in England circa 1624. Despite many attempts to connect him to the English de Hoghton family, Baronets of Hoghton Tower, his ancestry remains genealogically unproven and unknown. There is no verifiable information about Ralph prior to his emigration to New England, circa 1647-1651. After his arrival in the Massachusetts, he settled outside of Boston in either Charlestown or Watertown, Middlesex County, MA. He married Jane Stowe, circa1647-1650, it being unclear whether the marriage took place in England or Massachusetts. Jane was born in England circa 1626; her parentage is unknown. In 1652 he was one of four signers of the incorporation of Lancaster, MA. He was clerk of the writs (town clerk) from 1656 to 1686. He became a freeman in 1668. He served as a deputy to the General Court, and was a selectman of Lancaster. In 1690 he removed permanently to Milton, MA, where he died in 1705. found on Lancaster Massacre c. 1675 LANCASTER IN PHILIP'S WAR 1675.from Nashowah Allies [alias] Lankester 16th: Aug'st 1675. "Honoured Sir Last nightt aboutt seaven A Clocke we martched Into Nashowah wheare we are Att Presentt butt shall soone as the Constable hath prest us a dozen Horsses; Proseed for groatton & so to Chenceford; according to the orders Major Willard gave me yesterday Att Quoahbauge; our Major having a Seartayne Intelligence of a Considerable Party of Indians yt [that] have gathered toogather a littell above Chensford which I hope wee shalbe up with this Night or to morrough at furthest & if it pleese God I come up with them God assisting me I will Cloosely ingadge with them & God Spearing my life I shall as oppertunity gives leave Acquaintt yo'r honor off my Actjons; I have wth me butt 60: Men at Present. Samuel Mosley" The above is extracted from a letter of the noted Captain of dragoons to Governor Leverett, in Massachusetts archives LXVII, 239. Six days later, Sunday, August 22d the Indians having warily avoided an encount-er with the dragoons, and got in their rear, made a raid upon Lancaster. Gen. Daniel Gookin states that this bloody foray was headed by a one-eyed chief of the Nipmucks, named John Monoco "who lived near Lancaster before the war began," and that he had twenty of Philip's men with him. Mrs. Rowlandson writes: "Those seven that were killed at Lancaster...upon a sabbath day, and the one who was afterwards killed upon a week day, were slain and mangled in a most barbarous manner by one eyed John and Marlboroughs praying Indians, as the Indians told me." The charge against the Christian Indians was maliciously untrue, as proven upon their trial. The scene of the murders was at the north end of the settlement, the house of the MacLouds being in the neighborhood of the North Village cemetery. The names of the slain were: George BennetWilliam FlaggJacob Farrar, Jun.Joseph WheelerMordecai MacLoudMrs. Lydia MacLoudHannah MacLoud aged four years(also) An infant MacLoud Flagg was a soldier detailed for duty here, from Watertown. Wheeler was not a Lancaster man, but probably of Concord. Letter from Ralph Houghton Feb 8th 1675 "ffor the Honoured Countie Court siting at Cambridge. I was desired by a poore widow whose husband was slaine by the Indians here and hath 5 small children left with her; by a law of the countrie shee should have brought in an Inventorie of her husbands estate, but such are the deficulties of the time and alsoe the trouble of her litle children that shee could not posibly with any saftie com downe; her name is Lidia Benet, and alsoe a Scotsman Mordicai Mukload [MacLoud] who alsoe was slaine and his wife and children, and his house and goods all burned; he hath a brother surviving, both of them had a desire to have com downe with their Inventories but both of them have Catle in the woods, but know not whether the Indians have killed them or not, and therefore they humbly desire the honoured Court not to looke upon them as contemners of authoritie but give them liberty untill another Court and in soe doing, the honoured will ingage the widow and fatherless children as in dutie they are bound to pray for the honoured Court. Lans 2: 8m: 1675 Subscribed by Ralph Houghton Clarke of the writs"[Middlesex Court Files] The bold incursion of one-eyed John was but the prelude to the fearful tragedy of February 10th. Of the plan for the destruction of Lancaster in all its details, even to the very day assigned for its accomplish-ment, the colonial authorities were fully advised; yet so far as any records show, with a neglect that seems criminally strange, they did almost nothing to ward off or meet the blow. Of the aboriginal poss-essors of Nashaway, none, unless Sholan, better deserves to be honored among us than that Indian scout, whose courage, skill and fidelity should have saved the town from the massacre of 1676, James Quanapaug, alias James Wiser, also Quenepenett or Quannapohit. This Christian Indian was so well known for his bravery, capacity and friendship for the English, that Philip had marked him for martyrdom and given orders accordingly to some of his lieutenants. The Governor of the Colony about the same date, commissioned him and a fellow Christian [Indian] named Job Kattenanit, from Natick, for the dangerous venture of visiting the Indian camps to bring back information of the numbers and plans of Philip's forces. These two men, the historian William Hubbard tells us, "through the woods, in the depths of winter, when the ways were impassable for any other sort of people," sought the Nipnet outposts, and "ordered their business so prudently as that they were admitted into those Indian habitations as friends and had free liberty of discourse with them." They were closely watched, how-ever, threatened, and but for a powerful friend would have been slain. In Quanapaug's own words: "Next morning I went to One-eyed John's wigwam. He said he was glad to see me: I had been his friend for many years & had helped him kill Mohaugs: and said nobody should meddle with me. I told him what was said of me. He said if any body hurt me they should die. I lay in the sagamores wigwam; and he charged his gun, and threatened any man that should offer me hurt. And this Indian told me they would fall upon Lancaster, Groton, Marlborough, Sudbury and Medfield, and that the first thing they would do should be to cut down Lancaster bridge so to hinder their flight and assistance coming to them, and they intended to fall upon them in about twenty days time from Wednesday next."[James Quanapaug's Information] p.100 Quanapaug finding that he must soon meet Philip, and having effected the the main purpose of his errand, evaded his suspicious foes by a cunning stratagem, and on the 24th, 11th mo., 1675, bought to his em-ployers, the Governor and Council, full knowledge of the hostile forces and their fell intent. The emergency demanded speedy energy; it met inaction. Rumors of coming woe meantime stirred the air in the Nashaway valley. The chief military officer, the minister, and other leading citizens went to the Bay to awaken the Council from their lethargy and beg for help. It was too late. February 9th 1675/6, about ten o'clock at night, Job Kattenanit, the second spy, completely exhausted, dragged himself to Major Gookin's door in Cambridge. He had deserted wife and children, and alone travelled upon snow shoes through the pathless wilderness from New Braintree, a terribly fatiguing march of eighty miles, to save his English friends. James Quanapaug had foretold that on the morrow the blow would be struck at Lancaster. Let Daniel Gookin tell Job's story and the fulfillment of the prophecy. Daniel Gookin: "He brought tidings that before he came from the enemy at Menemesse, a party of Indians, about four hundred, were marched forth to attack and burn Lancaster, and on the morrow, which was February 10th they would attempt it. This time exactly suited with James his information before hinted, which was not then credited as it should have been; and consequently no so good means used to prevent it or at least to have lain in ambushments for the enemy. As soon as Major Gookin understood this tidings by Job, he rose out of his bed and, advising with Mr. Danforth one of the Council that lived near him, they despatched away post in the night to Marlborough Concord and Lancaster, ordering forces to surround Lancaster with all speed. The posts were at Marlborough by break of day and Capt. Wadsworth with about forty soldiers marched away as speedily as he could possibly to Lancaster (which was ten miles distant). But before he got there the enemy had set fire on the bridge. But Capt. Wadsworth got over and beat off the enemy, recovering a garrison house, that stood near another bridge, belonging to Capt. Stevens, and so through God's favor prevented the enemy from cutting off the garrison, God strangely preserving that handful with Capt. Wadsworth, for the enemy were numerous, about four hundred, and lay in ambushment for him on the common road, but his guides conducted him in a private way and so they got safe to Cyprian Stevens, his garrison house very near the other only bridge and a little ground parting them. This house burnt was the minister's house Mr. Rowlandson wherein were slain and taken captive about forty persons, the minister's wife and children amongst them. [Daniel Gookin's History of the Praying Indians] p.104 London 1676. News from New England being a True and Last Account of the present Bloody Wars, etc. "In a town called Nashaway which they set Fire to, and burnt to the Ground, taking no less than 55 Persons into their Merciless Captivity, of these 55 Captives, the Minister of the Towns Relations made no less than 17 of them: viz. Mrs. Rowlandson, the Ministers Wife, and three of his children, her Sister [Elizabeth Kerley] and seven Children and her Sister Drew [Hannah Divoll] and four Children. Another pamphlet published in London late in the same year, entitled "A new and further Narrative of the State of New England," copies its facts from the preceding. A List of the Casualties - Feb'y 10 1675/6 Compiled from all Known Sources of InformationKILLED IN ROWLANDSON GARRISON Ensign John DivollJosiah Divoll, son of John, aged 7Daniel GainsAbraham Joslin aged 26.John MacLoudThomas Rowlandson, nephew of the minister, aged 19.John Kettle, aged 36John Kettle, Jr.Joseph Kettle, son of John, aged 10.Mrs. Elizabeth Kerley, wife of Lieut Henry KerleyWilliam Kerley, son of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 17Joseph Kerely, son of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 7Mrs. Priscilla Roper, wife of Ephraim.Pricilla Roper child of Ephraim, aged 3. CARRIED CAPTIVE FROM ROWLANDSON GARRISON Mrs. Mary Rowlandson wife of the minister - ransomed.Mary Rowlandson, dau of the minister - aged 10, ransomed.Sarah Rowlandson, dau of the minister - aged 6, wounded & died Feb 18.Joseph Rowlandson, son of the minister, aged 13, ransomed.Mrs. Hannah Divoll, wife of Ensign John Divoll, ransomed.John Divoll, son of Ensign John Divoll, aged 12, died - captive?William Divoll, son of Ensign John Divoll, aged 4, ransomed.Mrs. Ann Joslin, wife of Abraham Joslin, killed in captivity.Beatrice Joslin, dau of Abraham Joslin, killed in captivity.Joseph Joslin, brother of Abraham Joslin, aged 16Henry Kerley, son of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 18Hannah Kerley, dau of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 13Mary Kerley, dau of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 10Martha Kerely, dau of Lieut Henry Kerley, aged 4A child Kerley, name & age unknownMrs. Elizabeth Kettle, wife of John Kettle, ransomedSarah Kettle, dau of John Kettle, aged 14, escaped.Jonathan Kettle, son of John Kettle, aged 5.A child Kettle, daughter of John Kettle.Ephraim Roper alone escaped furing the assault. Mrs. Rowlandson writes: "Of thirty-seven persons who wer in this one house, none escaped either present death or a bitter captivity save only one." (Most authorities are united, however, in stating the number of the garrison as 42. Seven persons are therefore unaccounted for in above list.KILLED OUTSIDE OF ROWLANDSON GARRISON, BEING ALL OF SOUTH LANCASTER John BallMrs. Elizabeth Ball, wife of JohnAn infant child of John BallJonas FairbankJoshua Fairbank, son of Jonas, aged 15.Ephraim Sawyer, aged 26Henry FarrarRichard WheelerCAPTIVE: Two of John Ball's family, names unknown The whole number of casualties being 55, nine remain not ascertained. A soldier from Watertown aged 20, named George Harrington, was killed near Prescott's Mills a few days after the massacre and John Roper was killed the day the town was finally abandoned by all its inhabitants, March 26, 1676. p.106 So gret was the terror inspired throughout the Bay towns by the quick succeeding Indian raids of this period that it was seriously proposed to abandon and fence out Lancaster, Groton and other outlying towns by a stockade eight feet high and twelve miles in length, from Watertown to Wamesit [Massachusetts Archives, LXVIII 174.] "Three pounds per head bounty was voted by General Court for the killing or capturing of "sculking Indians." p.107 Lancaster March 11, 1675/6 - Letter to the Governor and Counsell -"A humble Petition of the poor distressed people of Lancaster (excerpt) "...many of us heare in this prison, have not bread to last us one month & our other provisions spent & gon, for the genrallyty, our Town is drawn into two garisons - sixteen soulders....we areseartaynly a bayt (bait) for the enemy. We are sorrowful to leave the place but hoplesse to keep it unlesse mayntayed by the Cuntrey....our women cris dus daily...which dus not only fill our ears but our hearts full of Greefe and makes us humbly Request yo'r Hon'rs to send a Gard of men & that if you please so comand we may have Carts about fourteen will re-move the whool eight of which has presed long at Sudbury but never came for want of a small gard of men, the whooll that is, all that are in the Garison, Kept in Major Willards house which is all from y're Hon'rs most humble servants & suplyants -Lancast'r March 11, 1675/6 Jacob FFarrarJohn Houghton Sen'rJohn MooreJohn WhittcombJob WhittcombJonathan WhittcombJohn Houghton Jun'rCyprian Steevens The other garrison are in like distresse & soe humbly desire yo'r like pitty & ffatherly care, having widows & many fatherless children - the number of carts to Carey away this garison is twenty carts. Yo'r Hon'rs Humble pettisioners John Prescott Sen'rTho. Sawyer Sen'rTho. Sawyer Jun'rJonathan PrescottTho WillderJohn WillderSarah Wheeler, Wid.Widow FfarbanksJohn RigbyNathaniell WilderJohn RooperWidow Rooper The whole is in the handwriting of Cyprian Steevens.[Massachusetts Archives, LXVII, 156.] Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth

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  1. Do you know of any photographs of the Houghton family home in Milton, MA?

    I am creating a trail sign for the Blue HIlls Reservation and would love to display one. Thanks so much.

    Carol Lieb

  2. I have just started compiling my family line (decendant of Ralph Houghton) and I am anxious to try and find the connection with Sir Richard Houghton- the grandson theory is an interesting one.
    I would be anxious for any additional information your direction you might have to further this research.....Thank you for posting on the internet!
    Mandy Barton

    p.s. I love the profile pic- where did you serve??