Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


The Houghtons are of distinguished ancestry and can trace their lineage back for eight centuries, an extremely long period, when it is considered that most Americans can trace their lines only as far back as the original settlers of this country. The antiquity of the family is shown by the fact that the first of the line in England was Sir Roger de Busli, one of the gallant knights who invaded and aided in the conquest of England, with William of Normandy, in 1066. The Norman knight was given a large estate in what is now Lancashire, and Houghton castle yet stands thereon, a noble structure of the Norman Gothic type, often visited by the Houghtons of America during their trips abroad.
The present family name, originally written De Hocton, was derived from the chief manor being located upon a lofty and almost inaccessible situation and called Hocton or "high-town." The Houghton crest is a bull, passant, argent, and the motto "Malgre le tort."
The pioneer ancestor in this country was John Houghton, a native of England, born probably at Eaton Bray, in Bedfordshire, where his parnets, John and Damaris (Buckmaster) Houghton, lived with their ten children. The father, by the way, paid a visit to New England as early as 1635, in the ship "Abigail," from London but returned later to his native land. John Houghton again arrived in New England in 1651 or 1652, with his wife Beatrix; his son John; and his cousin Ralph; and settled on a large landed estate in Lancaster, west of Boston, where he died April 29, 1684. The names of the villages around Houghton Castle in England are perpetuated in Lancaster, Bolton, Milton, and others in the vicinity of the old Houghton estate in this country. While many of the descendants of the pioneer yet remain in the locality mentioned and in Boston, others are now scattered throughout the U. S., as far as the Pacific coast; and it is to be noted that they are almost all of them persons of mark, noble in physique, distinguished in appearance, and many of them leaders of men.

(I) John Houghton, the immigrant, one of the founders of the town of Lancaster, Massachusetts, was born or baptized in England Dec. 24, 1624, and died in Lancaster, Mass., April 29, 1684. During King Philip's war, when the town was destroyed with frightful loss of life and property by the Indians, Feb. 10, 1676, both he and his son John were members of the garrison on the east side of the North river. He went to Charlestown, Mass., along with others of the fleeing and homeless settleres, under escort, for a time to secure the safety of his family, but returned later to Lancaster, making his home on Bridecake Plain, now the Old Common, opposite the present (1908) Girls' Reform School, where he died. His estate was situated in what are now the towns of Lancaster, Bolton, Milton and Clinton. Beatrix, his wife, died Jan. 8, 1711-12, aged eighty-nine.

(II) Jonas (1), son of John and Bestrix Houghton, was born in 1660, and was married Feb. 15, 1681, to Mary, daughter of John and Sarah Gould Burbeane, of Woban; she was born July 2, 1661, and died Dec. 31, 1720. The history of this man is meager, owing to the destruction of the town records during the war with the Indians.

(III) Jonas (2), son of Jonas (1) Humphrey and Mary (Burbeane) Houghton, spoken of as "captain" in the records, was born in Lancaster, July 2, 1682, and died in Bolton, Aug. 15, 1739. He married Mary Brigham, of Marlborough.

(IV) Jonas (3), son of Jonas (2) and Mary (Brigham) Houghton, was born in 1726, and died Nov. 2, 1801. Like others of the sturdy pioneers and Puritans of that region, he was a soldier of the American revolution, and served through several enlistments from 1776 to 1780. In the Mass. militia maintained after the war he held the rank of major.
He married (first) Rebecca Nichols, who died in Bolton, March 20, 1772, at the age of forty-three; (second) Elizabeth (Ball) Johnson, of Berlin; the second wife died April 15, 1794, at the age of forty-four.

(V) Levi, son of Jonas (3) and Lucy (Johnson) Houghton, was born in Bolton, Sept. 3, 1783, and died in Bath, Maine, in 1857. Married Nov. 3, 1813, Charlotte, daughter of John and Rachel (Clark) Reed, member of another family of distinction, whose descendants have included many persons prominent in affairs. Charlotte Reed was a descendant in the sixth generation from (1) William Reed, the pioneer, who came to New England in the ship "Assurance" and was a representative in the general court; (2) Colonel Thomas Reed, son of William, who acquired his title in the Indian wars; (3) John Reed, son of Thomas, and also a military officer with the rank of captain; (4) John Reed Jr., son of John; (5) John, son of John Reed Jr., both of the latter serving in the American revolution; and (6) Charlotte, daughter of John Reed.
1. Levi Warren, born in Bath, Maine, Feb. 5, 1815, died there Dec. 13, 1895. Married Dec. 28, 1843, Arzilla, daughter of Isaac and Hannah (Sturtevant) Record, of Brunswick, Maine. She was born March 30, 1825, and died May 15, 1865. Children: Henry Warren; James McKeen (deceased), Sarah Virginia (now wife of Henry Hall of new York), Clara Elizabeth (now deceased), and Ernestine Arzilla (now wife of Dr. John H. Payne, of Boston.
2. Charlotte Elizabeth, born Nov. 16, 1816, died March 10, 1822.
3. Clarissa Ann, born March 31, 1819, died Aug. 5, 1859; married May 3, 1843, Otis Kimball, of Bath, Maine; Children: Margaret Rogers, Levi Houghton, Clara Houghton Kimball, all deceased, and Levi Houghton Kimball, M. D., now of Rolxbury, Mass.
4. Silas Amory, born in Bath, Maine, June 19, 1821, died Oct. 18, 1881; married Nov. 22, 1843, Lucy Ann Jewell, of Bath, Maine. She died July 10, 1902. Children: Silas Amory, Charlotte Ann, John Amory, all deceased, and Kate Houghton, wife of William E. Rice, M. D., of Bath, Maine. Emma McLellan Houghton, and Marcia Houghton, wife of Samuel S. Sewall, of Bath, Maine.
5. John Reed, born in Bath, Maine, April 25, 1824, present (1908) member firm of Houghton Brothers; married Nov. 25, 1858, Emma P. McLellan, of Bath, Maine. She died June 22, 1866. Children: Amory McLellan Houghton, present member firm of Houghton Brothers.
6. Henry Loudovicus, born in Bath, Maine, April 16, 1826, died Oct. 4, 1904; never married.
7. William Frederick, born Aug. 17, 1828, died Dec. 31, 1828.
8. Charlotte Reed, born in Bath, Maine, Dec. 21, 1829, died Oct. 20, 1863; married Aug. 21, 1850, Cornelias T. Meeker, of New Orleans, Louisiana. He died May 13, 1904. Children: Charlotte, Isabel, Cornelia Amory (now deceased), John Randolph, Gilchrist Irving (now deceased), Florence Muker (now deceased), Clara Louise (now deceased) and Sydney Johnson Meeker, present member firm of Houghton Brothers.
Levi Houghton was a tall, active and energetic man. By diligent labor and thrift he had acquired a cash capital of $200. Being attracted to the north country, then claiming so much attention, he sailed for Bath, Maine, a boy of ninetten, in 1802, in the schooner "Sophronia" (Capt. William Hayden). He bought a small stock of goods and began business as a merchant, in the corner of a building on Water street, then owned by Jonathan Davis. In 1808 Mr. Davis failed. Mr. Houghton had prospered and he bought the Davis property and became a merchant on a larger scale, entereing the wholesale trade and dealing with the inhabitants of the country all about. Boots and shoes, sale and West India goods were prominent articles in his business. His old brick store yet stands on Water street in Bath, just south of the Bath Iron Works, and has been a prominent landmark on the water front for more than a century. Mr. Houghton's trade brough him into contact with the shipping interests of Bath, the town having already entered upon the career which made it eventually the foremost and most famous builder of deep sea sailing tonnage in the new world. He outfitted many of the Bath vessels, sailing on foreign voyages; began importing on his own account; and was naturally led in time to buy shares in some of the vessels which were building in the Bath yards. The first investment of the latter character was in the "Betsey," two hundred and seven tons, built by Edward Wood in 1811. Growing success finally induced him in 1819 to build on his own account the brig "Bolton," one hundred and twenty-one tons, and thus was laid the foundation of a famous fleet of deep-sea vessels and of a shipping house known and respected all over the civilized world. The "Bolton" did so well that Mr. Houghton eventually gave up all his mercantile business except the importation of salt; and he built for his own use and managed an ever-growing fleet of fine ocean carriers. He was one of the most sagacious and far-sighted of those bold and enterprising spirits who established the supremacy of the American flag in the carrying trade of the U. S. during that palmy period of our merchant marine; his ships were noted for their excellence and durability, and his credit was good in every port to which his vessel sailed.
In Bath he was highly esteemed for his high personal character and qualities of mind, and he was a deacon of the old Central Congregational Church for many years.
In 1857, upon the death of Levi Houghton, the business was taken over by his four sons, who formed the firm of Houghton Brothers, and who amply sustained the high reputation of the house to the end. In 1891 the last of the beautiful full-rigged ships of the Houghton Brothers was launched from the old yard in Bath. The firm continued in the business for a number of years, in the hope that congress would yet take some action in favor of the American merchant marine. It was owing to the persistent neglect of this important interest by the government that the firm of Houghton Brothers gradually retired from the trade, and today it does not own a single ship.
During the seventy-two years after 1819 the Houghtons had built a fleet of forty-four commerce carriers for their own account, aggregating about 19,000 net tonnage. They were the following:
Bolton, brig, 121 tons, 1819.
Warren, brig, 214 tons, 1822.
Clarissa Ann, brig, 276 tons, 1824.
Caledonia, brig, 299 tons, 1828.
Cordova, ship, 333 tons, 1831.
Braganza, ship, 333 tons, 1832.
Missouri, ship, 399 tons, 1833.
Rochester, ship, 564 tons, 1837.
Hanover, ship, 577 tons, 1838.
Clinton, bark, 349 tons, 1840.
Princeton, bark, 297 tons, 1842.
Charlotte Reed, ship, 472 tons, 1845.
Milan, ship, 700 tons, 1847.
Henry Warren, bark, 347 tons, 1848.
Houghton, ship, 787 tons, 1849.
Clara Ann, ship, 422 tons, 1850.
Pelican State, ship, 850 tons, 1851.
Kate Swanton, ship, 490 tons, 1851.
Northampton, ship, 983 tons, 1852.
Shamrock, ship, 1,125 tons, 1853.
Baltic, ship, 759 tons, 1854.
Potomac, ship, 1,199 tons, 1855.
Pocahontas, ship, 1,088 tons, 1855.
Rochester, ship, 633 tons, 1856.
Bolton, ship, 988 tons, 1858.
Crescent City, ship, 1,000 tons, 1859.
Europa, ship, 949 tons, 1859.
Persia, ship, 1,049 tons, 1860.
Caldeonia, ship, 1,000 tons, 1860.
Virginia, ship, 873 tons, 1863.
Scotia, ship, 1,098 tons, 1864.
China, ship, 1,174 tons, 1866.
Arcadia, ship, 1,235 tons, 1868.
Prussia, ship, 1,212 tons, 1868.
Austria, ship, 1,300 tons, 1870.
Columbia, ship, 1,472 tons, 1871.
Louisiana, ship, 1,436 tons, 1873.
Geneva, ship, 1,535 tons, 1874.
Bohemia, ship, 1,633 tons, 1875.
Samaria, ship, 1,509 tons, 1876.
Armenia, ship, 1,699 tons, 1877.
Arabia, ship, 2,024 tons, 1881.
Servia, ship, 1,773 tons, 1883.
Parthia, ship, 2,370 tons, 1891.
Many of these ships had romantic careers. They were all famous for their strength and durability, standing high in the books of the underwriters. The "Pocohontas" came to nearest to being a full clipper ship of the Houghton fleet. Many of the others were speedy ships, but they were more notable for their carrying capacity, especially those which were destined for the cottton-carrying trade from Southern ports. The "Pocohontas" made some excellent records. The wrck of the "Hanover" at the mouth of the Kennebec river in 1849, celebrated in the story of "The Pearl of Orr's Island," by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was one of the saddest chapters in the history of the coast. Bound for home after a long voyage, the ship was making her way to the mouth of the river in a heavy gale. The captain was dressed to come ashore, many of the crew were in sight of their homes, and members of their families were watching from the shore the gallant fight of the ship with the gale, when the "Hanover" missed stays, and was dashed to pieces on Pond Island, where she became a total loss with all hands.
The "Rochester" met with a surprising adventure, on one occasion, while lying at the Houghton wharf in Bath, discharging cargo. In the night a terrific gale caused the Houghtons much concern. They hastened to the wharf to make sure of her safety, and she had utterly disappeared from view. She had broken from her moorings and had been blown up stream through the Narrows and Burnt Jacket in entire safety, with no one on board to guide her, and was found next day riding safely near the shore.
The older "Rochester" was once making for the Kennebec in a howling gale and heavy snowstorm. Getting off her course she was driven into the little harbor of Cape Newagen, and there anchored without harm. No pilot would ever have undertaken to guide a ship through that reef-bound entrance, and in fact she was extricated only with the greatest difficulty.
In another heavy blow the "Prussia" passed safely between Glover's Rock and Cape Small point and was anchored smartly in the lee of the promontory; later lost off Cape Horn, the captain and part of the crew. The splendid ship "Arabia" was wrecked on Cape Horn in terrible weather and the crew were marooned on an island there for two weeks before they were rescued. The captains' wife, Mr. Macloon, went through this thrilling adventure with her husband. The "Arcadia" was burned. The "Parthia," the last of the fleet, was burned while on a voyage from Liverpool to San Francisco. The crew were forced to take to the boats. One boat load landed on Juan Fernandez Island, made famous by Robinson Crusoe, and the other finally made Valparaiso after much suffering.


The Houghton family of Waterford, Maine, and neighboring towns is a branch of the well-known Massachusetts family of this name. Its male members have been enterprisin citizens, and many of them have been soldiers.

(I) Major Jonathan Houghton was probably born in Harvard, Mass., and was a soldier in the revolution. The History of Waterford, Maine, states that he was in the Burgoyne campaign. The following is the revolutionary record of Jonathan Houghton, of Harvard, as found in the Revolutionary Rolls. List of nine months men mustered by Thomas Newhall, muster master for Worcester county; Captain Darby's company, Colonel Whitney's regiment; engaged for town of Harvard; mustered July 20, 1779; also, descriptive list of men raised for continental service, as returned by Seth Washburn, superintendent for Worcester county; Captain Darby's company, Col. Whitney's regiment; age eighteen years; stature five feet six inches; complexion dark; engaged for town of Harvard; marched Aug. 3, 1779; reported delivered to Ensign E. White; also, list of men raised for the six months service and returned to Brigadier-Genearl Paterson as having passed muster in a return dated Camp Totoway, Oct. 25, 1780; also, pay roll for six months men raised by the town of Harvard for service in the continental army during 1780; marched from home July 19, 1780; discharged Jan. 22, 1781; service, six months twelve days, including travel (one hundred and eighty miles) from place of discharge home. After the close of the war, like thousands of other young men, he looked around for a place to make ahome and was attracted to Maine by the opportunities it offered to the energetic young men of that period, and went to Waterford and settled. The list of taxpayers in Waterford, 1797-1820, the former being the date of the incorporation of the town, gives Lot Seven, Range Two, as the place of abode of Jonathan Houghton. His name is on the petition for the incorporation of Waterford, Dec. 19, 1795.
About 1814 Jonathan Houghton was one of those who "signed off" from the Congregational to the Baptist church, which latter was founded there at that time. In 1805 Jonathan Houghton was one of the baord of selectmen, and in 1807 he was moderator. Nov. 9, 1830, the Universalist Society in Waterford was formed, and the name of Jonathan Houghton is one of the forty-six on the list. This may have been the son of the first Jonathan.
Major Houghton was a cooper and farmer. He and his sons, Abel, Henry and Cyrus, were in military life; Jonathan was representative, and both he and Henry were deacons; Josiah was a clergyman, and Lewis a physician.
Major Houghton married (first) Rachel Hall; (second) Mrs. Mary Bryant.
Abel, Jonathan, Mary, Josiah, Henry, Rachel, Sally, Mary (the other Mary was still living), Betsey, Cyrus, Esther and Lucy (twins), Harriet H. and Daniel (twins), and Lewis W.

(II) Captain Abel, eldest child of Major Jonathan and Rachel (Hall) Houghton, was born in Massachusetts, and removed to Maine with his parents. He resided in several places in Waterford; was a farmer, house joiner, and kept a hotel. He opened a tavern in Waterford City about 1820, which was kept by his son, Capt. Luther HOughton, as late as 1879.
Abel Houghton married (first) Betsey Greene, born 1786, daughter of Lieut. Thomas and Lydia (Kilborn) Greene, of Waterford; (second) Lydia Greene, born 1782, sister of the first wife.
Luther, Calvin, Betsey, Levi H., Daniel and Eliza (twins).

(III) Captain Luther, eldest son of Capt. Abel and Betsey (Greene) Houghton, born Waterford, Dec. 27, 1808, died May 15, 1880, aged seventy-one years five months. He was a tavern-keeper and farmer and lived in Waterford. In 1825 a second company of cavalry was formed in Waterford, and Luther Houghton, who shared the military spirit with his ancestors, was the last captain of the organization.
Luther Houghton was a member of the Congregational church at Waterford Flat, and for forty years led its choir.
He married (first) Ruth P. Jewett, who was born in 1811, died March 29, 1846, aged thirty-five. She was the daughter of Lieut. Ebenezer and Mary (Farrington) Jewett, of Waterford. He married (second) Mary Hale, born July 31, 1801, died Feb. 20, 1888, daughter of Oliver and Eunice (Fletcher) Hale.
Children, all by 1st wife:
Mary Elizabeth, Helen Maria, and Henry L., next mentioned.

(IV) Henry Luther, youngest child of Capt. Luther and Ruth P. (Jewett) Houghton, born Waterford, April 20, 1841, died April 20, 1901, and was burried at sea two days out from Jamaica. He lived with his father till he was twenty-one years of age, and was educated in the common schools. In 1862 he went to Boston to learn the baker's trade, but stayed only three months, and enlisted in the Sixth Massachusetts regiment, a nine months organization, raised in Lowell. He served his term of enlistment and returned to Waterford, where he was drafted, but did not go into the service. He was again drafted at the next consciption, and that time sent a substitute. About 1865 he became a clerk in Portland for William Deering, who at that time was manufacturing cloth for the government to make into soldiers' uniforms. After leaving that place he was a clerk for the Eastern Express Company, in the fall of 1866 became a teamster for Haines & Smith, in the fall of 1867 was a clerk, and in 1872 was admitted as a member of the firm of Smith, Tibbetts & Company. In 1894 the firm of Houghton, Clark & Company was formed, Mr. Houghton being the senior partner, and succeeded Smith, Tibbetts & Company, and carried on the business till 1901, when Mr. Houghton died, and this firm was succeeded by Edwards & Walker.
Mr. Houghton was a man of considerable musical ability, and for three years sang in the choir of the Second Parish Church. He was for several years the president of the Hayden Musical Association of Portland. In politics he was a Republican. He was a member of Bramhall Lodge, Knights of Pythias.
Henry L. Houghton married, in Waterford, Sept. 3, 1863, Harriet Elizabeth Hale, born Waterford Aug. 23, 1843, daughter of Oliver and Harriet (Waite) Hale, and granddaughter of Oliver and Eunice (Fletcher) Hale, who came from Harvard, Mass. Oliver, first, was a farmer, and served as a soldier in the war of 1812 . The children of Olvier and Harriet (Waite) Hale were: i. Henry Wyer, born Oct. 5, 1833, died Aug. 20, 1897; married Anna Russell, and they had one child, Edward Russell. ii. Frederick Fletcher, died young; iii. Edward Oliver, b. May 3, 1838, d. Aug. 15, 1869; married Ethel Pillans. iv. Frederick F., b. May 20, 1841, d. Oct. 1, 1897; married Adelaide McLellan, by whom he has five children: Edith McLellan, Frederick Gordon, Arthur McLellan, Marjorie and Fletcher.

Children of H. L. Houghton:
1. Adelaide Louise, born June 29, 1864, died Dec. 27, 1865.
2. Annie Prince, born Dec. 15, 1866, died Oct. 26, 1898; married, July 2, 1896, at Idaho Springs, Colorado, Erwin L. Reginnitter.

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