Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Last Wednesday night I was adding collateral lines of the Houghton Family
to my family tree when I ran across an instance of a Sarah Houghton marryng
a Jonathan Houghton. It didn't strike me as all that odd as I'm now used to
encountering instances of cousins marrying. There was also a refernce to
a Lt Jonathan Houghton being part of a "West India Expedition" in 1740.
Now that did puzzle me. Was it West India as in the southeast Asian
country or was it the West Indies area of the Carribean?  And what was a
citizen of a Massachusetts frontier town doing on such an expedition?

I didn't have anything here at home on a West India Expedition and had
no luck initially Googling about it so I put out a question to my genealogy
friends on Facebook . Marcia Rice found a link to a Wikipedia article on
The Battle of Cartagena de Indias, and Kim von Aspern found a review
of a book on the subject here. It turns out that was part of a conflict
between Britain and Spain called the War of Jenkins' Ear. (Aha! When
they mentioned it in passing back in high school or college I bet you didn't
think you'd ever hear about that little war again. Ha! Little did you know
you'd be reading my blog!). In short, the Expedition was an epic fail led by
the British Admiral Vernon against Spanish holdings in the West Indies. But
there was no information on how and why Lt. Jonathan Houghton ended up
as part of the ill fated campaign.

I found  a partial answer when I downloaded the free book The Houghton Genealogy: The Descendants of Ralph and John Houghton of Lancaster, Massachusetts by John Wesley Houghton (New York 1912),

I'll discuss that in the next part

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