Thursday, June 06, 2019


My 8x great grandfather Ratcliffe Ralph Houghton was an immigrant from England who was one of five founders of the town of Lancaster, Ma.  Ellery Bicknell Crane wrote this about my ancestor:

II) Ralph Houghton, son of Sir Richard Houghton (t), born in England, in 1633; died April 15, 1705, in Lancaster. He is believed to have emigratedo New England in 1635. He was in Lancaster in 1647, and was one of the founders of that town with five others: Edward Breck, Nathaniel Hadlock, William Kerley, Thomas Sawyer. John Prescott. He was the first town clerk, and the writing of the early records in his hand show that he was not only a good penman but well educated. His home was on the Neck. He was town clerk for many years: was admitted a freeman in 1668, and was deputy to the general court in 1673-89. He was one of the leaders, and was identified with the organization of the town and its government until his death. He had to abandon his home with the others at the time of King Philip's war in 1675. In 1682 he settled in Milton. He returned to his Lancaster home in 1685, but was again in Milton in 1690, and built a homestead there in which seven generations of descendants have been born. He married Jane __ who was born 1626, in England, and died January 10, 1700-1. Their children were: 1. Mary, born January 4, 1654. 2. John, born April 28, 1655. 3. Joseph, born July 6, 1657: settled in Milton. 4. Experience, born October 1, 1659; married May 22, 1784, Ezra Clapp. of Dorchester. 5. James (see forward). 6. Sarah, born February 17, 1664. Ralph Houghton, of Dorchester (Milton later), was lost at Port Royal June 7, 1782, aged twenty-eight, in the earthquake.-pp263-264
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 1  Lewis Publishing Company, New York, New York 1907

Two of the other five founders of Lancaster mentioned in that excerpt are also my ancestors John Prescott is my 9x great grandfather, Thomas Sawyer is my 8x grandfather. I am descended from Ralph Houghton's son James.

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