Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Having downloadrd The Houghton Genealogy I set out to see what I could find
out about Lt. Jonathan Houghton's part in the West India Expedition and found
this in the family of Jacob Houghton and Rebecca Whitcomb  on page 307:
"Jonathan, b. in 1708; d. in 1740: m.1, 20, 1725 Mary Houghton, who died in
Bolton in 1791. He was lieut. in Captain John Prescott's Company, which was
sent  out to aid Admiral Vernon's disastrous expedition against the Spanish
West Indies, whence not more than fifty of the five hundred from Massachusetts
returned. His wife was appointed administratix of her husband's estate  4,2,1744

Right away I knew this was not the right Lt Jonathan Houghton because his
wife was a Mary Houghton, not the Sarah Houghton I was researching, and he
had died in the Spanish West Indies before Sarah Houghton had even been born.

On the next page (p308) I found him as one of the children of  a Jonathan
Houghton and Thankful White:
"Lieut. Jonathan, b. 3,28, 1719; m. 2 ,22, 1742, Sarah Houghton, b.5, 2, 1742;
dau. of James and Sarah Houghton. Jonathan came from Bolton, Mass., and
settled on the farm where A.D. Kerr now lives. He was a farmer and a noted
hewer of timber. He was a Revolutionary soldier and wounded at the Battle
of Bennington."

So there was my correct Lt. Jonathan Houghton. As it turns out,  Jonathan was
not a close cousin of his wife, at least not through her ancestor Ralph Houghton.
Jonathan was descended from a John Houghton who may or may not have been
Ralph's brother. But now I had another intersting question. I have Prescott
ancestors from the same area; what relation was this Captain John Prescott to
my Prescott line and had perished in the West Indies as well?

I found the following in Dr William Prescott's  Prescott Memorial (Boston, 1870)
on page 50:  
"John Prescott graduated Harvard College 1727. He settled in Concord, Mass.,
as a physician, with his father, where he was highly esteemed for his professional
skill and excellent character. He enlisted one hundred men, which he commanded
 in the unfortunate expedition to Cuba in 1740. Upon its failure, in 1743, he returned
 to this country, and soon after was sent by the Government to England, where he
was treated with great respect. But, being seized with the small-pox, he died of
that disease in London, Dec 30, 1743, in his thirty-seventh year. In testimony of the
esteem in which his services were held, the British Government conferred upon
his widow, an annual pension during her life. She died May 12, 1795, aged 88.
They had three sons and two daughters."

Captain John Presscott is a distant cousin as he was descended from the older
brother of my ancestor Jonas Prescott.

Even though neither Jonathan Houghton nor John Prescott are direct
relations to me, it was an interesting exercise for me. It was a preview
of some of the difficulties I'm going to have researching the Houghtons,
Prescotts and other lines where there are more than one family member
with the same name who are in the same area.
And it brought home to me how much more I need to learn about
colonial history. I knew that the colonists served in local militias in campaigns
against the French in Canada; I hadn't know about them being used against the
Spanish in the Carribean!

There's always some new to learn in genealogy and family history!

1 comment:

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

Each find or answer leads to ten more questions.