September 3, 2011

Founding Family: John Eaton of Radnorshire, Wales

We have yet another contender who is center of a great story.  Until the EFA and its Members started researching this line, little had been confirmed, but each day we are getting closer to the truth.  Hope you are part of this exciting family and can join us in solving a true mystery.

John and Joan Eaton were from Radnorshire, Wales. They were Baptist. According to Jones's History of the Baptist in Radnorshire, the Eatons were members at Dolau Chapel, in the the parish of Nantmel.  John Eaton was most likely the grandson of George and Ellen Hatfield Eaton; John b. 1645, George, b. 1650 and Sarah b. 1655 all fit into the time frame and area of the George Eaton family.

In Jones' History of the Baptist In Radnorshire, he speaks of "Mr. John Eaton and his little band of pilgrims who emigrated from Llanddewi to Pennsylvania in 1686 (?) had two sons George and Joseph."  Our research indicates that  John and Joan had three children: John, Jr. born in Wales (village unknown); Joseph, born Aug. 25, 1679 at Nantmel and George, born in 1686 either in Wales or in Pennsylvania. It would seem that all the Welsh Eatons had arrived in Philadelphia by 1689.

John Eaton's brother George was born in Wales about 1650. He was baptized in Radnorshire about 1670. He was married to a woman by the name of Jane. They had no children. He died in Dublin Township on 28 September 1706. He is buried in the Pennepack Baptist Church Cemetery. His widow, Jane, died in Dublin Township on Aug. 10, 1724. She is also buried in the Pennnepack Cemetery. John's sister, Sarah Eaton was born in Wales on 1 April 1655 and was baptized in Radnorshire. She married John Watts on Feb. 16, 1686/87. He was born in Leeds in England Nov. 3, 1661. There is a tradition that he descended from Sir John Watts, Lord Mayor of London.

Founding Family: Theophilus Eaton of New Haven Colony

This is a well known Eaton progenitor, perhaps you can claim descendancy from him.

Theophilus, first Governor of the New Haven Colony, was born in the year 1590, at Stony Stratford in England.  Theophilus and his brothers, the Revs. Samuel, and Nathaniel Eaton were among the children of the Rev. Richard Eaton, of Over-Whetley, Co. Chester, England, who died not long after July 1616. Rev. Richard Eaton, who was born in 1563, received his education at Lincoln college, and became vicar of the parish of Great Budworth, in Cheshire. He afterwards removed to Stony Stratford, where he was for some time pastor of a church, and from thence he removed to Coventry, where he died in the pastoral office, in 1617, at the age of 54. Mather characterizes him as "a faithful and famous minister."

Governor Eaton was twice married. Of his first wife we have no other account than that she died after becoming the mother of two of his children. His second wife was Ann, the widow of David Yale, Esq., and daughter of Dr. Thomas Morton, the bishop of Chester. [Note: Ann was daughter of George Lloyd, bishop of Chester.] At the time of this marriage, she had three children, David, Thomas and Ann Yale, to whom, says Mather, Mr. Eaton "became a most exemplary, loving and faithful father." Edward Hopkins married Ann, and the three children came to New England with their mother.

Governor Eaton, in his will, names three children only--doubtless all who were at that time living. Mather says that two of his children died of the plague in London. Of those who died before him, his son Samuel was the most distinguished. He was born in 1629, came with his father to New England, graduated at Harvard college in 1649, and was chosen a magistrate of New Haven colony in May, 1654. He and his wife died with two days of each other, in June, 1655."(42)

The three children named in the Will, were Theophilus, Mary, and Hannah. Theophilus, a son by the first marriage, came to this country, but returned and settled in Dublin. Mary was married to Valentine Hill, who, in 1658, removed to Pascatawqua in New Hampshire. He had been a deacon in the First Church of Boston. Hannah, after the death of her father, accompanied her mother to England, where, in 1659, she was married to William Jones, an English barrister, son of Col. John Jones, brother-in-law of Cromwell, and one of the regicides executed on the Restoration in 1660.

Source:  Memoir of Theophilus Eaton by Jacob Bailey Moore (1797-1853)

Founding Family: Francis Eaton of Mayflower

Perhaps you may be part of our pilgrimage history by way of Francis Eaton and his descendants:

By Rev. Silvanus Hayward

FRANCIS EATON(1) came over in the Mayflower in 1620 with his first wife Sarah, who died the following winter. His second wife, name unknown, died about 1625. His third wife, Christian Penn, came over in the "Ann" in 1623. He was a carpenter by trade, and resided in Plymouth and Duxbury, where he died in 1623. His autograph is preserved in the County office at Plymouth.

SAMUEL EATON(2), son of Francis(1) and Sarah, came with them in the Mayflower, --"a suckling child." He was apprenticed for "seven yeares" to John Cooke, and was one of the purchasers of Dartmouth in 1652. He resided in Duxbury, Plymouth, and Middleboro’, where he died in 1684. His first wife was Elizabeth, whose only child died young. His second wife, Martha Billington. Daughter of his step-mother, Christian Penn, who after his father’s death married Francis Billington. The children of Samuel(2) and Martha were Srah3, Samuel3, and Mercy3, who married Samuel Fuller, and had eleven children.

RACHEL EATON2, daughter of Francis1, married Joseph Ramsden. Their son Daniel3, was born in 1649, and among his descendants, now called Ramsdell, is a tradition that the name of Rachel Eaton’s mother was Lois.

BENJAMIN EATON2, son of Francis1 and his third wife, Christian, was bound out to "Bridgett Fuller, widow for fourteen years". He married Sarah Hoskins, and resided in Duxbury and Plymouth. Their children were William3, Benjamin3, Ebenezer3. and Rebecca3, who married Josiah Rickard.

September 1, 2011

Founding Family: John Eaton of Salisbury/Haverhill

We are currently working on information concerning this family line and would love to get your take on where and how your family fits in:


JOHN AND ANNE EATON settled in Salisbury, Mass., prior to the winter of 1639, when his name first appears on the Proprietor’s Books. There were several grants of real estate made by the “Freeman of Salisbury unto John Eaton1 from 1640-46.” On one of these “containing pr estimation six acres lying upon ye great neck” it is supposed that he lived. The homestead has never passed out of the Eaton Family, and is now known as “Brookside Farm.” What ever may have been the cause of the emigration of this family from the old country one thing is plain, that he was a man of conviction who acted upon his own opinion. His general course of conduct clearly shows that he was capable, under God, of being the architect of his own fortune. His autograph, his dealings in real estate, hi official relations, and his last will and testament, which contains twenty-four well arranged items, wherein are bequests to his wife, children, and grandchildren, are so many testimonies to his intellectual ability and moral integrity.

In the year 1646 he moved to Haverhill, Mass., where the last twenty-two years of his life were spent. His first wife Anne, died in 1660, and he married Phoebe Dow, Widow of Thomas Dow of Newbury, the following year. He died in Haverhill, Oct. 29th, 1668, aged seventy-three years.

His children, all by his first wife are as follows.
  • John2 b. 1619; m. MARTHA ROWLANDSON of Ipswich, Mass., and resided in Salisbury, Mass.
  • Anne2 b. about 1622; m. LIEUTENANT GEORGE BROWN of Salisbury, and resided in Haverhill.
  • Elizabeth2 b. about 1625; m. THOMAS DAVIS of Haverhill.
  • Ruth2 b. about 1628; m. SAMUEL INGALLS of Ipswich, Mass.
  • Thomas2 b. about 1631; m. 1st MARTHA KENT, 2nd EUNICE SINGLETERY, and lived in Havehill.
  • Hester2 b. about 1634. She died unmarried.

Founding Family: Jonas Eaton of Reading

Perhaps this Founding Family is the ancestral line for you:

BY WILLIAM L. EATON, Concord, Mass.

It is not known in what year Jonas Eaton came to New England from the mother country. No record of his birth or of his marriage has yet been found. It is believed that he was the brother of William of Reading, for the following reasons; both of them bought and that he occupied land in Watertown, Mass.; then at about the same time they removed to Reading, Mass., and were among the earliest settlers of the town (see notice re "DNA Evidence...." There has been a persistent tradition to the same effect. Lastly, in the land records at Cambridge we find Jonas2, a son of Jonas1, referring to a son of William1, as "my cousin, John Eaton, late deceased." Upon this evidence, the late Prof. Daniel C. Eaton, whose extensive and critical investigations and study of the early Reading families supplementing the earlier studies of Hon. Lilley Eaton, of Reading, cleared the way of nearly all the serious obstacles to progress in our genealogical work upon these families, was convinced, and he accepted as proven—that William and Jonas were brothers. Less convincing evidence also connects these two Reading Eatons with John of Haverhill, and John of Dedham, by ties of kinship.

The record of the descendants of Jonas are perhaps as complete as they can be made without the expenditure of more time and money than are available. The most serious gap in the record occurs in the second generation, and, indeed, we ought to feel reluctant to print the genealogies before we learn what became of Jonas Eaton2 and family, --all of whom seem to have left Reading about 1702.

Founding Family: Wm Eaton of Reading

Do you descend from this Eaton progenitor?

BY DANIEL A. EATON, Lowell, Mass.

It is not known who his father was, but he was born in England about 1604 or 1606. He married Martha Jenkins in 1633, and came to the American plantation from Sandwich, on or about June 9, 1637, with two children, and a servant. He was a proprietor in Watertown, Mass. In 1642; made freeman in 1653; moved to Reading Mass., where he died Nov. 14, 1680. His will was made Sept. 26, 1672, and names wife Martha, eldest son John, son Daniel and childre4n, daughter Mary and two sons-in-law, Thomas Brown and Francis Moore.

Ancient Lineages in Wales & England

Do you follow the lines of the more ancient Eyton/Eaton, Eton families (prior to 1600)? If so, I would love to start a discussion and share information. Here is a conclusory comment I wrote several years ago which takes my position -- anyone else want to play?

Criggion: Home of Sir Philip Eyton of Shropshire

"We may never find the ultimate smoking gun that points absolutely in the direction of our contentions, however, from a geographic standpoint, we are looking at an area of less than 50 miles distance between Alburbury and Cresswell and little more than 20 miles between Alburbury and Brosely. Within their parameters are at the very least 3 towns or villages named Eyton, and for the existence of 3 major families named de Eyton/Eaton to have lived within this region for centuries, the obvious possibility of kinship must exist. As Alan Garner once told us, there is no reason to assume that any family of consequence would allow a non-aligned family to use same or similar name without consequence. That they are connected to our progenitor, Robert de Eyton, is indicated by a preponderance of evidence of future generations and property holdings. That the Eytons/Eatons were connected to the FitzWarins, Peverels, FitzAlans, and Pantulf families and each in turn to the other is most emphatically indicated through marriage and property holdings yet again. The evidence now seems overwhelmingly to indicate that indeed our Robert de Eyton inherited his land holdings not only from William Pantulf, but from one of the descendants of Waryn the Bald, providing us with a heritage of Welsh nobility and the Dukes of Brittany. That descendants of Robert de Eyton lived in Staffordshire as well as Shropshire and have now been proven to be connected to the descendant families of Warin de Metz in both Broseley and Alberbury and part of the larger family of Peverels of Powys, we have only to conclude their kinship. That evidence from Bangor Monachorum indicates these Welsh families were part of the Wrexham, Ellesmere, Cheshire, Shropshire Eyton groups is without a doubt from coats of arms and property holdings. That they were and are family is now obvious. As records for that time and place will never indicate to anyone’s satisfaction exactly who married who or provide us with an additional register of children for the subsequent marriages to provide a better understanding of the scope of these families, we must, therefore, be pragmatic and look more broadly at the inheritance of land and coats of arms maintained by these families and note their various similarities, but if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose . . ."

Barbara Fitzsenry
VP/Web Editor/Web Master
The Eaton Families Association

DNA Evidence Rewrites History

Seven Eaton Lineages Become Five
William and Jonas Eaton of Reading, MA and John Eaton of Dedham, MA are genetically indistinguishable.
For further information, check out

Founding Family: John Eaton of Dedham

Are you descendant of this Founding Eaton father?

In 1898, a published report of the then Eaton Family Association written by George F. Eaton is information that may prove useful to those who trace their roots to Massachusetts and, before that, to Dover (Kent), England.
"John Eaton, who settled in Dedham, Massachusetts, came to this country from Dover, England. before leaving his native place he maried, April 5, 1630, in St. James Church, a widow, Abigail Damon or Dammant by name. From this union two children were born, -- Mary and john, who were both christened in St. James' Church. The little John lived but a few months, for we find a notice of his burial in the parish records of St. mary's church in Dover. 
In April 1635 Mistress Eaton and two children, a second son, Thomas, having been born, embarked in the ship 'Elizabeth and Ann," bound for New England. We are left in doubt whether John Eaton came on the same vessel or whether he preceded his family, as his name does not appear on the list of passengers. However, we find them reunited at Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1636, where it is recorded that John Eaton took a freemans's oath on May 25 of that year. His wife is spoken of as being a member of the church at Watertown.
In 1637 he removed to Dedham (MA(, in which he was occasionally elected to minor town offices, and where he died on November 17, 1658, having made a will in which he names his wife Abagail, son John, and daughters Mary Mason and Abigail, then unmarried, but who afterwards married Robert Mason, a brother of her sister's husband, John Mason.

In 1637 he removed to Dedham (MA(, in which he was occasionally elected to minor town offices, and where he died on November 17, 1658, having made a will in which he names his wife Abagail, son John, and daughters Mary Mason and Abigail, then unmarried, but who afterwards married Robert Mason, a brother of her sister's husband, John Mason.

The son Thomas, who was brought from England in 1635, lived but four yers, and another son, Jacob, dies at the same age in 1646.

The surviving son, John (born 1636, died perhapps 1694), lived in Dedham, as has the senior line of his descendants to the present generation. By his wife, Alice, whose family name is not known, he had seven sons and one daughter, the dates of whose births are all recorded. Only four sons lived to maturity; John, of Dedham (b.1671, m. Ann whiting, d. before 1710); Thomas, of Woodstock and Ashford (Connecticut) (b. 1671, m. Lydia Gay, d. 1748); William, of Dedham (b. 1677, m. Mary Starr, d 1718); and Jonathan, of Killingly (Connecticut) (b. 1681, m. Lydia Starr, d. 1748). The marriages of these four men were all fruitful, and their sons, twelve in number, of the fourth generation, all married and were blessed with children, so that the family was then established in the land.

The living descendants of the original John Eaton of Dedham number many thousands, and probably, nearly two thousand of these inherit the name of Eaton.

The later professor Daniel C. Eaton, who was secretary of the Eaton Family Association, was the eighth generation of this line, and it is from his recorded notes that the present account of the family was taken. In various reports which he prepared for the ...Association, he embodied the results of his genealogical research. In the report of 1884 he gave the names of the descendants of John Eaton of Dedham to the fifth generation, and in the subsequent reports of 1888 and 1890 he gave further interesting information concerning the family."

August 28, 2011

Warton, Lancashire, England & George Washington

A new member to our group, Wm. Eaton, wrote a small article in the September newsletter regarding the ancestry of George Washinton in Warton, Lancashire. Here is some additional info:  
Warton was the birthplace of the medieval ancestors of George Washington, the first popularly elected President of the United States. The story of the Washington family begins with William, who settled at Washington in north-east England, some time before 1180. Like other great mediaeval landed proprietors the Washingtons moved between their estates, living in different properties in turn while performing local duties and services, but known by the name of their principal residence. William, descended from the younger son of an ancient noble house (Wessington), became the founder of another great line, which, after varied fortunes, produced the first President of the United States of America.

It was Lawrence Washington, born c. 1500, the eldest son of John Washington of Warton, Lancashire, who first settled at Sulgrave with his second wife Amy, the third daughter of Robert Pargiter of Greatworth, near Sulgrave. His former wife, Elizabeth, died childless and Robert Washington his eldest son, born to Amy in 1544, inherited Sulgrave Manor with about 1250 acres. In 1568, Robert's Wife Elizabeth gave birth to a son, Lawrence, who later married Margaret, daughter of William Butler, of Tyes Hall, Cuckfield, Sussex, he died on 13th December 1616 in his fathers' lifetime.

Lawrence Washington, seven generations prior to George Washington and his family, arrived in Warton around 1300, and Robert Washington, Lawrence's great-grandson, is rumoured to have help build the clock tower of St Oswald's Church. The Washington family coat of arms, three mullets and two bars, can be found in the church and is said to have inspired the design of the flag of the United States.

The Reverend Lawrence Washington, was born in 1602, the fifth son of Lawrence and Margaret. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1623. He became rector of Purleigh, Essex, a wealthy living, in April 1633. That summer he married Amphyllis, daughter and co-heiress of John Twigden, of Little Creaton, Northamptonshire. Their eldest son John was born the following spring.

In 1643, Parliament ordered the living of Purleigh to be sequestered and he was ejected. The Civil war was in progress and he was accused as a "Malignant Royalist". He became greatly impoverished and Amphyllis and their children made their home with her stepfather at Tring (her mother had re-married after her father's death). John Washington was about 19 when his father died in poverty in 1654/5. Two years later, his mother died intestate and was buried at Tring. When John came of age, soon afterwards, he went to London. He married and sailed for Virginia in 1656, unfortunately his wife died and in 1658 he married again, this time to Anne, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Nathaniel Pope JP, of The Cliffs, an early settlement on the northern neck of Virginia near the Potomac. The wedding present from his father-in-law was a 700 acre estate at Mattox Creek, where their eldest son Lawrence was born in 1659.

Lawrence Washington inherited Mattox Creek Farm from his father. In 1685 he was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and in about 1686 married Mildred, daughter and co-heiress of Colonel Augustine Warner, of Warner Hall. Lawrence made his will on 11th March 1698 and died soon after, leaving his wife with three children, John, who was nearly seven, Augustine, aged three, and Mildred, a baby.

Augustine came of age in 1715 and with an estate of 1700 acres, married Jane, the 16 year old heiress of Major Caleb Butler JP on 20th April the same year. He married secondly on 6th March 1730, Mary Ball, then an orphan aged 23.

Their first born, on 22nd February 1732 was George, who became the first president of the United States of America.

Source: Sulgrave Manor
William also provided me with photographs, all of which I didn't get to include in the newsletter. Here are a few more:

William Eaton, Eaton, Cheshire - 2011
 Washington family "Old"  Coat of Arms in masonry of house

 Lintel of Washington family house

 Washington family house

 George Washington pub and nearby church flying stars and stripes in honor

Better visual of (worn) CoA
Old Rectory, Warton, Lancashire

Please thank Wm. G. Eaton for the information and photographs. Awesome!

August 20, 2011

Revival of the EFA -- In the beginning ...

The Association, in general, will be two things, if anything:
(1) democratic, which means that everyone's membership is equal. Naturally, we will have officers (elected, of course) to make sure that our afairs are administered appropriately. But the Association will, if you will for give the trite use of an already old adage be by, of and for the Eatons. That means everyone who is a member controls what is contributed to the Association and taken from it, in terms of benefits as outlined [in Bylaws]. Everyone can submit and take material from the archives, or write for an (edited) newsletter, or submit and use photos and more.
(2) Nobody I know gives a hoot about where a family member is from or what stage each is at in his or her research, except, perhaps, to wish that we can all meet some day and want to help one-another whereever and whomever they may be.
In my own case, I had good information on ancestors in England, but had been unable to provide proof that a man born in England was the same person who was my line's founder in this country. 'Cousin Shelley" of Boston, a truly giving person, whom I have never met, provided the answer which had defied four generations of searching in my family. If that doesn't say it all, then nothing does...There is no specific thrust or weight in terms of era. To someone trying to break through a barrier or search for a great aunt, that information is no less vital than the search for some of us are conducting for "Robert, the mystery man, b. c. 1118."
 [founding charter member, Rick Eaton, c. 2000] 

Now what can the EFA do for you in 2011 and how can we help provide best information currently available and/or improve our web site?  Feel free to comment or post a response at any time, and be sure to check back often for additional postings or information.  Also, please be kind enough to post your own blog regarding your family and specify which group or branch of the family tree you belong to for the benefit of others trying to "fit in."  This way, others will be able to answer your queries or post additional questions as well.

If you are interested in furthering as well as sharing understanding and knowledge of your Eaton or Eaton associated ancestry, please be sure to visit our EFA web site at Eaton Families Association to fill out our membership application and/or contact our membership chairman, Lorna Eaton.