52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, My Family Tree, Paternal Side

Week #5: Oops!

We all have encountered an oops when working on a family tree, and mine is no exception. Mine is actually a work in progress still and relates to my 3rd-great-grandmother on my paternal side, Eliza Horton.

The oops in question deals with Eliza’s parents. At the time I did the unthinkable as a newbie genealogist and took my cue from whomever she was attached to on the big tree on FamilySearch, which had her mother listed as Elizabeth Horton, no father was listed. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I realized that Eliza was either born out of wedlock or she did not belong to Elizabeth. Both of these scenarios could still be true.

Oddly enough while reading a book written about the Horton’s, no one seems to know where Eliza goes (even below she is listed alone in an excerpt from a book, not under her parents like most are listed). She took care of her grandfather, Samuel Horton, until his death in 1836. Samuel Horton and his wife, Martha Evans, had 11 children together, 6 of them boys (Abner, Josiah, John, Thomas, Samuel, and Septimus) and so I’ve been slowly trying to piece together which of them could be Eliza’s father.

The Horton’s in America by Dr. George F. Horton, found on Ancestry.com

So here is what I do know about Eliza Horton. She was born 2 April 1813 in Broad Top, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and I read somewhere that she never roamed further than 25 miles from her home, which always gets a wow from me. She married Thomas Foster and they had 16 children together in their over 50 years of marriage.

Their children were Amanda, Miles, Ira, Aaron, Wealthy Ann, Joseph, Elizabeth, William, Louisa, Thomas Jr, Sarah, Septimus, Lewis Thompson, Susan Jane (my 2nd-great-grandmother), Lyman, and Sampson.

I mention before my oops is a “work in progress” because on my personal family tree, I still have Elizabeth Horton listed as her mom. I’m pretty sure that is incorrect, but I figure why make all the changes until I have the correct Horton? On my Ancestry family tree, which is public, I have her attached to a “Horton” male but no name until I can safely figure out which of Samuel Horton’s children she descends from. I will confess I have assumed it’s a son since her last name is Horton. Elizabeth would have been exactly 20 years old in 1813 so there is that chance that Eliza could be her daughter, and she doesn’t marry William Anderson until 1820).

The present scenario in FamilySearch has Eliza’s parents being Thomas Horton and his wife, Sarah Foster. I don’t like this match because that has her marrying her uncle. Did uncles marry their nieces back then? Maybe I’m too clouded by today’s standards to truly be open-minded about this possibility. For some reason even cousins (which I knew happened) doesn’t bother me as much as this uncle-niece option.

It’s easy to see how Eliza could have gotten lost in the shuffle of her family. In the 1820 Census, Samuel and Martha have taken in several of their grown children and it makes me wonder if they continued to care for Eliza once everyone has moved out (and then in turn, Eliza cared for them).

1820 Census for Samuel Horton, found at Ancestry.com

In the above photo of the 1820 census, you can see where Samuel has 14 children under the age of 10 living with he and Martha. I’m sure one of those 9 girls is 7-year-old Eliza. But where Josiah and Abner Horton both are listed separately in the 1810 census, I would guess that they are 2 of the 4 males aged 26-45 living with Samuel and Martha (Evans) Horton.

I have two key things I need to do: 1) is to determine how old each of Samuel and Martha’s children are (I’ve noticed what is on FamilySearch and what I have on Ancestry don’t necessarily complement each other), and then try to find copies of each child’s probate records to see if they mentioned their children in their wills. I was fortunate that Samuel Horton (1752-1836) even mentioned his son, Septimus, who had already passed away.

So this is a “to be continued” post as I slowly make my way through each child of Samuel and Martha to find out who Eliza’s parents are.

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