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The Norton Family
The Norton Family is traced to Edward Norton born presumably between 1715 and 1720. Edward and Mary (Brown) Norton, were Quakers who immigrated to Pennsylvania from presumably Armagh County, Ireland. Mary Brown Norton's parents, William and Ann, were also Quakers who had moved in 1701 to land in Chester County, Pennsylvania believed to be personally selected for them by William Penn himself. The land was right on the line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Later, after the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed in the 1760's, it became Cecil County, Maryland.
The history of the Nortons is traced in the book "The Descendants of Mercer (Messer) Norton, 1750?-1800? and his wife Martha" compiled by Mildred Dulaney.
The Norton Family became a part of the Pollock Family when John Pollock (John3, John2, Robert1) married Mary Norton(Mary3, William2, Mercer1) about 1820 - 1821. John and Mary Pollock's son, Isaac James, married Martha Emily Norton daughter of Edward (Edward3, Jacob2, Mercer1) who was the son of Jacob, Mary's uncle. So Mary and Martha were first cousins once removed and also mother and daughter-in-law .
Mercer was born about 1750 in Fairfax (later Loudon) Co., Virginia. He died about 1800 in Wayne Co., Kentucky. He was the son of Edward Norton and Elizabeth Brown.
The 1790 Census records show Mercer in Mogan Dist., First Company, Burke Co., North Carolina. Property records show that in 1779, in Randolph Co., North Carolina, Joseph Hinds District; Mercer owned 184 acres. In 1783, he paid taxes on 50 acres of land in Burke Co., North Carolina. In 1790, he owned 100 acres on Muddy Creek, Burke Co., North Carolina. On February 5, 1799 Mercer obtained 200 acres of "second rate land" in Lincoln Co., Kentucky in the part which became Wayne Co., Kentucky on the south side of the Cumberland River, west side of the South Fork of the waters Little Sinking Creek
Mercer and Martha's Children:
Hetty Norton West
Mercer and Martha Norton are considered the primary ancestors of the Nortons and subsequently Mary (Norton) Pollock and Martha Emily (Norton) Pollock. The information is based on their children's birthdates, Bible records, tombstones, and obituaries in newspapers.
It is assumed that Mercer's parents had moved to Fairfax County, Virginia by the early 1740's and then moved to North Carolina while he was a young boy.
The following is the wording of the document of the Administration of Mercer Norton. L500 means 500 pounds, they still used English coinage.
Administration of the Estate of Mercer Norton, deceased
"Administration of the estate of Mercer Norton, deceased is granted to Martha Norton, widow of said deceased, who made oath and who together with Sam. Carton and Alex Thompson her security ent into and ackn their Bond in the penalty of L500 Con acc to law. Sam Newell and Sam Hinds, John Beaty and Jno. Long or any three to appraise his said estate."
On July 8 1802 the estate was appraised and consisted of: 3 horses, 4 cows, 1 Dutch oven, 2 small hoes, 1 iron wedge, 2 clevices, 1 axe, 1 pair light plow irons, 6 pewter plates, 1 old dish, cason (basin?), spoons, pails, 1 draw knife, horse geer (gear), 1 old saddle, bells, 1 gun, 2 trunks, 1 loom, 2 steel traps, 1 harrow, 2 old wedges and other sundry head of cattle worth 5 schillings.
Signed by the Appraisors: George Singleton, Henry Beason and Jacob Huffaker
(Recorded in Record Book A, Wayne County, Page 35, June Court 1802)
The authors of "The Descendants of Mercer Norton" points out that the property may appear to be "pitiful", but other settlers had far less in 1802. The loom itself was very valuable to have because it was illegal in colonial times to import looms from England. Real estate and buildings were not included in the inventory.
In October of 1829 a lawsuit to settle the estate of Mercer was filed in the Circuit Court of Wayne Co., Kentucky. The case was not settled until July 1838. The land was sold to a Samuel Turpin the deed of which is filed in Wayne Co., Kentucky Deed Book H, pages 198, 199, 200, 22 July 1839.
At this point in time, there is very little information that can be proven about Martha and Mercer. The information was obtained from the births of their children, Bible records, tombstones, and obituaries in newspapers.
After Mercer's death in approximately 1800, Martha remarried Solomon West in 1802. The following is the wording of their wedding papers:
"West, Solomon Senr. and Martha Norton. Surety, Alexander West. Bond dated 27 July 1802, married 29 July 1802 by North East, Esq. [this strange name is correct] Note: "This is to certify that a Marriage Contract has taken place betwixt myself and solomon west senr, requesting the clerk to ishue lison for the same to be celebrated and given under my hand this 21st day of July 1802 by Martha Norton - witnessed by Alexander West."
Martha was Solomon's third wife. He was thought to have been born in 1820 and died in 1830. The 1830 census listed him as being over 100 years old.
Martha is presumed to have died after October 27, 1831. That was when she signed a release to any interest in the property of Solomon West. It reads as follows:
all men by these presents that I, Martha West of the County of Wayne
and State of Kentucky, widow of Solomon West Senr do assign all my rights
title and claim which I now have, or ever has had, on the Estate of
the sd. solomon West my deceased husband, both real and personal, unto
Solomon West Junr of the said County and state above mentioned for a
full consideration, the Receit where of I do hereby acknowledge in witness
whereof I the sd. Martha West do here unto set my hand and seal this
(Esther, Hesther) James
William Norton was born in North Carolina about 1783, the date is unproven since the date given on the census would make him only 14 when his daughter, Polly (Mary), was born. He died on March 17, 1857 in Tippah County, Mississippi and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Easter (Esther, Hesther) married William on January 29, 1803 in Wayne County, Kentucky with the consent of Isaac and Dority James, they were either her parents or were close relatives. She was also born in North Carolina about 1777. Easter died less than a month after William on April 09, 1857 and is buried beside William in Mt. Zion Cemetery.
There were in all probability 10 children, only three were living at the time of William's death which were Polly, Martha Jane and John Warren Norton. Moses and Aaron were twins born July 13, 1804. Moses died in 1806 at 2 years old, and Aaron died in 1810 at age 6.
After Williams death, Messer King Norton and John Pollock issued a petition to the court for letters of administration, the court ruled them unavailing and appointed two nephews, Pinckney Allen Norton and William Norton, Jr. as Administrators.
following is a report of the sales held on May 22, 1857 and October
23, 1861: SW1/4 S.31T3 R4E purchased by Martha Norton for $810.00
The following is a report of payment to heirs:
Davis, agent of John Norton $1030.00
A further distribution was made as follows:
(Polly) and husband John Pollock $1800.00
To the Hon. James Ryan: Judge of the Probate Court of the County of Tippah State of Mississippi
The Petition of M. K. Norton Shows respectfully, that William Norton late of Said County and State, departed this life on the 17 day of March 1857 - leaving no will so far as your Petitioner knows, or believes - That Said intestate died Siesed and possessed of real and personal estate, consisting of one trach of land containing three hundred and twenty acres, and being in the county and State afore said - Eleven negro Slaves - young and old - some horses Cattle - hogs, farming utensils, and Some debts due him - re All of Said personal and said estate being estimated to be worth Fifteen Thousand Dollars $15,000 That your Petitioner is the Son in Law of Said intestate. That is to Say - on the _____ day of _____ year of Your Petitioner was Married to Elizabeth Norton - daughter of Said intestate, by whome was born to Your Petitioner, five Children, who are now living and are lawful distributers of the estate of Said intestate and on ____ day _____ year married Martha Norton daughter of Said intestate, by whome was born to your Petitioner three children to wit, _____ who are lawful distributers of the estate afore said____, That Your Petitioner beleiving Said estate should be immediately administered, as well for proper Management of Land Agrees re as far this prompt Collection of other assets. We therefore pray that your Honor will grant letters of administration to him in the promises, upon qualifying himself according to law and the directors of this Court - Your Petitioner begs leave to offer to the consideration of Your Honor _______________ as Securities - and to Nominate ______ as appraisers to value the goods and challets re of Said estate -
in Duty bound your Petitioner will ever pray re
(Spelling is that of the original document)
Petition of John Pollock and James Spight
To Hon. James Rogan, Probate Judge of Tippah County, State of Mississippi
The Petition of John Pollock and James M. Spight citizens of said State and County respectfully shows to your Honor that William Norton, Senior, late of said County, departed this life, intestate, on the ______ day of March 1857, having an estate consisting of land, negroes and personal effects estimated at about Fifteen thousand Dollars --That said intestate died owing some debts, and leaving two daughters living, viz Mary, wife of petitioner Pollock, and Martha wife of Messer Norton -- He had also a son named John, who some years since left this County to remove to the Territory of Utah, from whom nothing has been heard, so far as petitioner knows, for three or four years past - and
Your petitioner Pollock is the Son in law of said deceased, having married his eldest daughter. At the time of the death of said Wm. Norton, he left a widow, Esther Norton, surviving him, who has since also departed this life. Previous to her death and subsequint to that of her said husband, the said widow expressed her intention not to administer on the estate of her said husband herself, and her preference and desire that the administration should be granted to your Petitioner Pollock, but thought it advisable that Petitioner Spight should be associated with him in such administration.
The said John Norton, son of said intestate, the last time he was in this Country, being about to depart, urged and requested your petitioner Pollock that when the death of said Wm. Norton, who was quite aged, should ensue, your Petitioner Pollock should become the Administrator, and would see to the interests of said John Norton.
Petitions therefore pray that letters of Administration on the estate of said Wm. Norton, be granted to them, on this executing bond in accordance with law.
William and Esther's Children:
Mary (Polly) Norton; b. March 03, 1797; d. May 12, 1869 m. John Pollock
Jacob was born on March 14, 1778 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He was the son of Mercer Norton and Martha Higgins, also older brother to the preceding William Norton. Jacob married Mary King in 1802 in Wayne County, Kentucky. Mary was born on April 07, 1784.
Jacob was listed on the 1801 Tax List of Wayne County, Kentucky. In 1825, Jacob owned 25 acres in Hardeman County, Tennessee. In 1826, Jacob owned 40 acres in Hardeman Co., TN and later added 45 acres. In Tippah County, Mississippi on June 15, 1843, he owned the SE1/4 of Sec 30S, R4E. Records show that Jacob was a farmer.
Jacob Norton was appointed a deacon of the Antioch Primitive Baptist Church in Hardeman County, Tennessee on March 2, 1824. They sometimes held meetings in their home before the church building was erected. Mary Norton was dismissed in April 1836 and Jacob in May 1836, just before the move to Tippah County, Mississippi.
The following is an excerpt of the minutes Jacob took to show his handwriting and signature:
Jacob died bet. February 7, 1842 and July 21, 1848 in Tippah County, Mississippi and is buried in the Pleasant Hills Cemetery, Tippah County, Mississippi. Mary died after 1850 in Tippah County, Mississippi and is buried beside Jacob.
and Mary's Children:
The following is a translation of a letter written by Jacob Norton's grandson. It tells some of the ancestry and history of the Nortons.
804-RJ. S Ave N W Wash D C 12/28th (19)16 Dear Child and Carver, Dear Sweet Boy, to T S, also Kindest reguards we are all well your Sweet Children are well and good Devoted to their Books Mae Uncle Washington Short traded his Farm Near Whitesboro Texas to his son John for an interest in a Herd of Cattle and I Saw him and Aunt Hettie with his other Sons in Bowie Co Texas on their ranch the only time I Ever Saw him and aunt Hettie She was living at or Near St angelo Tex. last I heard from her the other Short Boys I do not know Much about Aunt Hettie goined our Baptist (Church) Some Years Ago. Luke Short lived in Ft (Worth) years ago and killed an officer in Self Defense they Said Also a Younger Bro got in trouble in San Angelo I heard. I learned when young a little about Fathers Sisters one Married a Hillhouse in Tenn. another Married a woods they moved to Ark when I was small Henry had a sister who married a Stevins. and one day Aunt was milking a coow and the cow hooked and killed Aunt and he took his gun and shot the cow left and was never heard from again and the 4 children were raised by their kinsfolk. John Norton married Evaline and Uncle Henderson married Aunt Amanday as she lived with Mother and often told me she missed me when I was young. So she as well as Aunt Evaline were my cousins first and by marriage became my Aunts. So Dear Child I dont know why I began at bottom of page on other sheet and wrote upward and if any other questions you wish to ask about our ancestry if I can I'll answer it. You know all I know about your Sweet Mothers family. They moved from Tenn to Miss after the Civil War Irish by descent they were. I asked Uncle Mills Norton after Fathers Death about the Norton ancestry and he told me 2 brothers of Scotch Irish discent settled in Va but he did not know what Port. One of the bros moved south left the other in Va and our family sprang from the one who come South but the name he did not know and from GrandFather Jacob Norton 1 or 2 generations back came from Europe. So read Carefully the other sheet and then ask further questions I'll answer if I can.
Edward was born on November 14, 1810 in Tennessee. He was the son of Jacob Anderson Norton and Mary King. He married Nancy Ann Short on November 13, 1833 in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Nancy was born on March 30, 1815 in Tennessee and was the daughter of Josiah Short and Sophia Box.
The following is taken from an excerpt from "The History of Tippah County, Mississippi", by Tippah County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1981:
In approximately 1835, Edward and [his brother] William Norton moved to Tippah County from Hardeman County, Tennessee. They were among the first settlers and for a while lived in abandoned Chickasaw Indian huts. The Indians did not begin to leave this area until around 1837.
Edward and William married sisters. Edward married Nancy Ann Short and William married Sophia. They lived about 4 miles north of Ripley, which was the first settlement south of the Tennessee line. This area belonged not only to them but other Nortons. In 1838, William and a J.J. Norton owned one of the first grocery stores in Ripley. A railroad stop and crossing which is located on Pine Hill Road was named Norton Crossing in honor of Edward and William. Some of this same land on both sides of Hwy. 15 has been in the Norton family since that time.
Edward and Nancy belonged to the Pleasant Hill Church, Tippah County, Mississippi. Edward died on December 16, 1877 in Tippah County, Mississippi and is buried in the Pinehill Cemetery. Nancy died on April 23, 1885 and is buried beside Edward.
Children of Edward and Nancy:
Ann Middy Norton
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