Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
This family belongs to the good Scotch-Irish stock which has contributed some of the best blood to the amalgamation of races which makes up our American citizenship. The name is not so common in this country as its allied form of Houston. In fact, the only places in America where men spelling their name Huston were living in the eighteenth century were a few towns in Maine and New Hampshire.
We find Samuel Huston on the list of the proprietors of Londonderry, N. H., which was incorporated in the year 1719. It may have been one of his descendants, John, born at Dunstable, now Nashua, N. H., in 1773, who moved to Industry, Maine.
A Simon Huston, who had a large family and left numerous children and grandchildren, was living at Gorham, Maine, in 1763. It is not known that any of these is related to the family now under consideration.
The origin of the patronymic is obscure; possibly it may be connected with the Anglo-Saxon hus, which means house. Among Americans of distinction now bearing the name may be mentioned Henry A. Huston, an expert chemist of Chicago, connected with various educational institutions, who was born at Damariscotta, Maine, in 1858; also Thad Huston, born in Indiana in 1846, who is judge of the superior court in the state of Washington.
(I) The progenitor of the following line was James (1) Huston, born near the end of the seventeenth century, who about the year 1725 emigrated to this country from Londonderry, Ireland, and first settled in Boston. He must have been a man in middle life when he sought the new world, because he brough with him a wife and seven children. If not actually a participant, he was probably familiar with the famous siege of Londonderry, Ireland, which took place in 1689. There is a family tradition that the ancestor of James, a native of Cornwall, accompanied Sir Richard de Huston into Ireland, during the reign of Elizabeth, and received for his services a grant of land near Londonderry, where many of the name are still living.
After coming to this country, James Huston and his family, induced probably by the liberal offers of Colonel Dunbar, moved to Pemaquid, Maine, and settled on the banks of the Damariscotta. The place had just then received the name of Walpole from Dunbar. To each family was assigned a city lot of two acres and a farm of forty acres, with a promise of one hundred acres more in due time. The three families of Huston, Jones and Lermond, who had been neighbors in Ireland, were the first settleres in the new territoty.
When the pioneers passed up the Damariscotta, they landed on what is now called the Sugar Loaf, a bare rock, but which at that time was a small island about fifty rods from the shore. A sand-bar that connected the island with the mainland was uncovered at low water, and as the settlers walked over this, and saw such evidence of teeming life at their feet (clams were abundant), someone exlaimed: "Call this an inhositable shore, where a man has only to dig his meat from the ground over which he walks!" Their first meal was cooked by haning a pot from the limb of a tree and kindling a fire under it. But if food was plenty, other necessities were not. Before their first rude hut could be finished, a storm came on, and the women and children found protection under the empty hogsheads which had contained their scanty supplies of cooking-utensils and furniture.
During the French and Indian war, beginning in 1745, nearly all of the settlements in that region were broken up, and the settlers that remained lived in a garrison. It is not known how many of the Hustons were killed by the Indians, but some of the Lermond women suffered death at the hands of the savages, April 27, 1747. Those who could fled for safety, most of them going to Boston and the neighborhood, but at the close of the war, in 1759, nearly all found their way back to their old homesteads in Walpole.
In 1811 John Huston testified that he was a grandson of the first of the name who came to Walpole, and that he was born in Boston in 1748. He learned from his parents that they came to Walpole the next year, and he himself remembered living in a garrison. Before he was born, an aunt and grandmother of his were killed by the Indians; but he does not say whether they belonged to his father's or his mother's family. There is every reason to believe that the Hustons suffered all the terros and hardships of pioneer life, and without doubt some of their number endured captivity and death.
John Huston married Mary Sloss.
1. William, married Nancy Lermond.
2.. Robert, married Jane Bell.
3. James (2), whose sketch is given below.
4. Margaret, married William Jones.
5. Jane, married John Stinson.
6. Elizabeth, married a Dodd.
One statement says that the Hustons had four daughters, but the names of three only have been preserved. Colonel William Jones, who married Margaret Huston, was a man of considerable prominence, and did good service during the revolution. Very early in the war an English ship, the "Rainbow," commanded by Sir George Colyer, came up the Sheepscot river, and seized two vessels that were loading with masts and spars for France. Jones demanded that the American vessels should be given up, which was refused, and there was much threatening talk on both sides. The English captain finally saw how determined would be the Colonial resistance; and he gave up the ships and persuaded the Yankees to allow him to leave the river without molestation.
Colonel Jones repesented the town of Bristol in the general court many times, and was a member of the convention of Massachusetts by which the constitution of the U. S. was adopted. He objected to the latter document because it did not contain a more decided acknowlegement of God, and also because it did not require a religious test for candidates for office. [trans note: thank goodness!]
(II) James (2), son of James (1) and Mary (Sloss) Huston, was born in or near Londonderry, Ireland, and when a young child came to this country with his people, about the year 1725. It is not known just what time the family moved to Maine, but James (2) Huston spent the remainder of his life there, and became a prominent citizen of Bristol, the town which sprang up near the mouth of the Damariscotta, where the immigrants first landed. He was elected to the board of selectmen in 1766, the second year after the town was incorporated, and he served many subsequent times, the last being in 1797. The date of his death is unknown.
He marraied Fanny Rodgers, and among their children was Robert, see forward.
His name as one of the three selectmen of Bristol is appended to an address to the provincial congress of the Mass. Bay, May 2, 1775, a document which can still be seen on file at the State House in Boston. An extract from it gives some idea of the resources, as well as of the patriotism of the men of Bristol:
"Therefor we would now Inform your Honours that we have Indeabor'd to put ourselves into Military order and Discipline as well as we war Capable. We make out three Companys. Each Company consisting of Sixty Training Soldiers Exclusive of Officers, which Officerss was Chosen by vote of the Several Companys in ye Trining Field. As to arms the most part of us have Got Guns, but we are in very low Sircumstances in Regard Ammuntion, powder especially. We have used Several miens to provide ourSelves with powder but it has happened to be to no purpose. Therefore if it is passable that your Honours Can point out to us any way of Releff in this particular we shall take it as a very grate favour; we apprehend that we are very unsafe to be Distitute of ammunition as our Town borders on the Sea we are much exposed to our Enemys."
In common with other towns, Bristol was obliged to furnish clothing and food to the soldiers. In a papre dated Bristol, Sept. 28, 1778, and signed by Thomas Johnson and James (2) Huston, we find that the town furnished "27 pair of Shoes at 48s. per pair; 27 Shirts at 47s a peace; and 27 pair of Stockings at 36s per pair." The document was addressed to Dummer Sewall, Esquire, of Georgetown, who had evidently thought that the committee were guilty of extravagance, because we find the following apology tacked onto the bill: "We are informed by Mr. Hancock that you think the price very High, but things is so dear that we was obledged to return Sunday articels to the owners again, because we could not come to their price."
(III) Robert, son of James (2) and Fanny (Rodgers) Huston, was born at Bristol, Maine, in 1774, died there in 1858. He had the privilege, rare in this country, of living and dying in the house where he was born. Like most men who live near the shore, he derived some of his income from the sea. He worked at spar-making in ship-building goods, and was a part owner in some of the vessels that were built on and sailed down the Damariscotta river. He also carried on the farm which he inherited from his father. He was major of a militia company, the Washingtonian Artillery, which was one of the famous military organizations of that day, and which was an important feature on public occasions.
Robert Huston married (first) Sally Huston, born at Bristol, Maine, 1776, died in 1859.
Andrew, Joel (whose sketch follows), Thomas, Mary Ann, Robert and Caroline.
(IV) Joel, second son of Major Robert and Sally (Huston) Huston, was born at Bristol, Maine, 1809, died in 1890. He was educated in the town schools, and then went to work in a shipyard, becoming master builder at the time he reached his majority. He subsequently held an interest in several ship-building concerns and became a large owner of vessels. He retired from active business when he reached the age of sixty.
In politics he was originally a Whig, but joined the Republican party upon its formation. He was a member of the Congregational church and trustee of Lincoln Academy.
He married (first) Elizabeth Jones, born in Bristol, July 4, 1820, died in Dec., 1861. They were married in 1845.
1. Sally Elizabeth, married William C. Achron, of Damariscotta.
2. Joel P., whose sketch follows.
3. Esther Hilton, who is now living on the home place.
In 1864 Joel Huston married (second) Ann Hunter, of Bristol.
(V) Joel Payson, only son of Joel and Elizabeth (Jones) Huston, was born at Damariscotta, Maine, Sept. 22, 1857. His preliminary education was obtained in the town schools and at Lincoln Academy, from which he graduated in 1875. He then entered Bowdoin College, and took his degree of A. B. with the class of 1879. Immediately upon graduation he began the study of law with William H. Hilton, Esquire, of Damariscotta. He was admitted to the bar in 1882, and remained in partnership with Mr. Hilton for five years. In 1889 he was elected cashier of the First National Bank of Damariscotta, and has served in that capacity ever since.
In politics Mr. Huston is an independent Republican, and he is deacon of the Congregational church at Newcastle, Maine. He is trustee and treasurer of Lincoln Academy.
On Oct. 30, 1889, he married Martha Susan, daughter of Capt. Abner S. and Martha (Knowlton) Robinson, of Newcastle, Maine.
Christine Elizabeth Huston, born at Newcastle in 1892.