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Abraham Howton

Also Known As: "Abram Howton", "Abraham Howton"
Birthplace: Rockingham County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Place of Burial: Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Howton and Ann Elizabeth Howton
Husband of Assella Dorcas Howton
Father of William Martin Howton; Hiram Howton; Abraham (Abram) Howton; Elizabeth Peden; Johnathan Howton and 13 others
Brother of Lewis (Louis) Jonathan Howton; David Howton; Curtis Howton; Jane Robards Grace; Amanda (Ann) Dorris and 9 others

Occupation: farmer
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About Abraham Howton

HOWTON, Abraham ~ One of the early settlers and owned a large portion of land where the City of Fayette now stands. Farmer. His father came to the United States from England.

Abraham Howton Family Story

Abraham Howton was born into the Howton family about 1794 in Rockingham County, Virginia while his father Jonathan Howton and mother Ann Elizabeth Howton (Trover) were trying to find a permanent homestead.

Through Abraham's early life his family was moving from place to place and spent much time on the trails. His family finally settled in Hopkins County, KY where his father obtained land grants for at least 400 acres and set up a permanent homestead and a farm.

Abraham Howton learned about farming from his father and became a farmer himself. Some years late, Abraham's oldest brother David Howton was seeing a woman named Elizabeth Castleberry which led to Abraham meeting Assella Dorcus Castleberry. Elizabeth Castleberry was Assella Dorcus Castleberry's older sister. Both couples got married in March of 1812.

Abraham at about age 18 married on March 19, 1812 in Caldwell County, Kentucky to Assella Dorcus Castleberry who was about age 16 and David age 23 married on March 23, 1812 to Elizabeth Castleberry age 20 in Caldwell County, KY only 4 days apart from the two marriages.

Abraham Howton spent a few years with his wife on his farm and had six children while in Hopkins County, KY. Abraham Howton Migrates to Alabama 1821: According to the migration information, U.S. Census records, marriage records, land grant records, and various other research obtained, we can highly hypothesis that Abraham Howton made a choice to migrate from Hopkins County, KY to the present day Fayette County, Alabama sometime in mid to late 1821 according to when his sixth child Abbie Nancy Howton born 23 APR 1821 in Caldwell, Kentucky and seventh child Cassie Howton born 16 DEC 1822 in Fayette County, Alabama.

The decision to migrate was most likely due to a decrease in demand for tobacco, a very valuable cash crop in the region years before, and the fact that there was a decline in soil fertility of the upper South that was accompanied by this sharp decrease in demand for tobacco. This was a devastating blow to any farmer in the upper South areas who wish to be prosperous.

Abraham Howton was a farmer that owned 200 acres of land on a land grant surveyed on 21 May 1811 in Hopkins County, KY of which could not produce a good amount of crops that were in high demand at the time to be successful. There were also numerous stories coming out of the Mississippi Territory (what is now the states of Alabama and Mississippi) by settlers moving to that region describing fertile land that could offer exceptional economic opportunities for the settler or immigrant. There was a widespread belief that the Mississippi Territory was an idyllic “Garden of Eden,” an unlimited expanse of fertile country “like the land of promise, flowing with milk and honey.” It is said that one Mississippi immigrant described his new home as “a wide empty country with a soil that yields such noble crops that any man is sure to succeed.” Another new settler wrote to family back in Maryland that “the crops here are certain..., and abundance spreads the table of the poor man and contentment smiles on every countenance.” These were some of the stories being told that may have caught Abraham Howton's attention.

Many people in the thousands were moving to the Mississippi Territory believing they were taking up residence in a land of unsurpassed opportunity. It was believed that hard work and resourcefulness were sure to be rewarded with prosperity, security, and happiness. The Mississippi Territory was a land where opportunities for settlers or immigrants to achieve economic independence and wealth seemed boundless and symbolized the promise of American life. The idea to migrate had been set years before the actual migration due to The Great Migration that took place from 1798 through 1819.

Abraham Howton most likely sold his 200 acres in Hopkins County, Kentucky, bought the supplies him and his family would need to include a covered wagon, horses or oxen, and as many supplies as they could take with them. Some of the common food they would take would include: yeast for baking, crackers, cornmeal, bacon, eggs, dried meat, potatoes, rice, beans, and a big barrel of water. They would also take a cow if they had one. They would use it for milk and meat. Pioneers at that time made their own clothing so they brought cloth to sew, needles, thread, pins, scissors, and leather to fix worn-out shoes. They had to make their own repairs so they brought saws, hammers, axes, nails, string, and knives. Abraham Howton most likely carried a musket for protection and hunting.

In 1821 Abraham Howton about age 27 with wife Assella Dorcas Howton (Castleberry) age about 25 with their six children: William M, age 8, Abram, age 7, Elizabeth, age 5, Jonathan, age 3, James, age 2, & Abbie Nancy, age under 1 all migrated to present day Fayette, County, Alabama. The family all packed up their belongings and headed south for Alabama. They most likely traveled by oxen due to them being stronger than horses and a drawn covered wagon. The wagon was usually a wooden wagon made of hickory, oak, or maple. A wooden piece made from hickory stuck out from the front of the wagon. This piece called a tongue was connected to the yoke of the oxen, mules, or horses. The wagon could not carry more than 2,000 pounds. It had big wooden hoops, called bows that were bent from side to side. There would be 4 to 7 wooden hoops on one wagon. There was a canvas pulled across the hoops that would keep out the rain, wind, and the hot sunshine. Pioneers were known to rub oil on the canvas to make it waterproof. Inside the wagon there were many hooks that hung from the wooden hoops. They could hang weapons, clothes, milk cans, and anything there was room for. The front wheels of the wagon were smaller than the back wheels. This helped the wagon turn. Underneath the back wheels there was a bucket full of grease hanging from the axle. This was used to make the wheels run smoothly.

Traveling in a wagon was not an easy trip. There were many things that could go wrong. For example some wagon wheels would break or there would be no water. If they ran out of food they would need to hunt. When they were on the trail it was very noisy because all the pots and pans hanging off the wagons were clanging against each other. Abraham with a wife and 6 children to take care of traveling on dangerous terrain and long distances would have been non- the-less a daunting task. On the trail, as many settler families did, each morning on the trail the Howton family would most likely get up before daylight and gather their livestock and belongings and cook breakfast. Many times they would go ahead and prepare lunch as well. After breakfast around 7:00 a.m. they hitched up the oxen and started down the trail. They would stop at lunchtime and rest for an hour or two. After a rest period they would travel down the trail until about four or five p.m. At night they would stop till the next morning. Assella Dorcas Howton being the woman would have fixed the dinner and the Abraham would have prepared the livestock and camp site for the night. After supper they would gather around the campfires and sing songs, dance, and tell stories. Sometimes like other common settlers they slept inside the wagon but they also slept under the wagon, in a tent, and sometimes under the stars.

The distance from Hopkins County, Kentucky to Fayette County, Alabama is roughly 333.5 miles at least and most likely extended many miles more due to the winding of trails and navigation over terrain. On many days the family in a wagon could only travel ten to fifteen miles with the best conditions. On rainy and muddy days they might only travel one mile. Roughly figuring with 3/4 conditions good covering 10 miles a day and 1/4 on bad conditions covering a mile a day, it would take them at least 4 months to make the journey. At half and half conditions it would take on average 6 months to make the journey. As we can see, the Howton family spent a good deal of time on the trail migrating to present day Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama.

Abraham Howton & Family

Making a Homestead in Fayette County, Alabama. When the Howton family arrived in present day Fayette, Alabama, sometime in late 1821 to early 1822, Abraham had to immediately get to work on settling his family and making a home. Abraham Howton’s first priority would be to make a settlement that would provide the basic necessities such as shelter, food, water, & clothing. A crude style cabin would have been constructed near a creek for water. There is a Federal Land Patent for Abraham Howton’s son, Abram, which shows that on 10/5/1826 bought with cash 80.07 acres of land. According to Abram’s birth date being 8 DEC 1814, Abram would have been only 11 years old; highly unlikely. I do not have a logical explanation for the time and age differences or why would it be that Abram so young bought land before his father Abraham Howton did. I hope someone can clarify and give an answer for this delima.

Abraham Howton bought a Federal Land Patent with cash for 39.9575 acres on 9/20/1839. Abraham set up his farm and a home most likely growing cotton and probably some other varieties of crops to sustain his family and make a living. Cotton was a major cash crop that fueled the migration and was in high demand. Cotton fields of Alabama dominated its scenery and produced a valuable resource. Abraham Howton and Assella Dorcas Howton (Castleberry) had eleven more children while in Fayette, Alabama with their last two children being fraternal twins; Martha Howton and Matthew Howton both born 10 May 1838. Matthew Howton is my Great Great Grandfather.

Everything seemed to be going well for Abraham Howton and his family. Consequently, on 12 AUG 1840 in Fayette Co, Alabama, Abraham Howton dies widowing Assella Dorcas Howton (Castleberry) and leaving all his children without a father. Abraham Howton burial is NOW known as the information to which grave yard he was buried in was passed down through a decentdant named Timothy Curtis Howton who is a 2nd great grandson of Abraham and Dorcas Howton. His Line Jonathan Curtis Howton, Abraham Howton, Matthew Howton, George Matthew Howton, James Curtis Howton, to him Timothy Curtis Howton. The location was passed down from his grandfather, Geoge Matthew Howton who told his son and grandson where Abraham Howton was buried. The information passed down through their line was that Abraham Howton is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Fayette County, Alabama. Timothy said that Abraham Howton he has an unmarked grave in the old section of the cemetery but does not know which one. If they knew which one, they would have bought a tombstone for him to put there. The exact unmarked stone which is Abraham Howton's is yet to be determined. We may never know which one is his unless there is a decendant who does know or a record showing it. Timothy Curtis Howton also mentioned to me that it was passed down in stories that Abraham Howton won the land everyone referes to that he own in the city of Fayette by a gambling and winning it in a card game. Timothy also says Abraham Howton also lost that land in a card game as well. Abraham Howton was an avid gambler in his day. Timothy Curtis Howton is my second cousin and my dad's first cousin.

On another note of interest: Abraham's Children Matthew Howton and Martha Howton, Abraham's youngest children, were 2 years old when their father died and would never personally know their father.

It is unknown why Abraham Howton died at about age 46. One can only speculate the cause of death anything from coming down with a sickness, an accident, or some other unforeseeable event. It is unlikely that he died of natural causes. Something had to have happened that took his life and we may never know but, on thing is for certain, we can honor his life by knowing about it and telling our children and their children’s children about what Abraham Howton did.

Abraham Howton was a pioneer and farmer like his father, Jonathan Howton who came to this country from London, England who was seeking a new life. In the same context, Abraham Howton was seeking a new life in Alabama that had potential to benefit him and his family.

The Howton family in Fayette, Alabama was one of the wealthier families in the area. This is based on the 1850 U.S. Census of Abraham Howton's widow Dorcas Howton who shows a lot of her children still living with her, all males over 16 were classified as farmers, and the simple fact Dorcas's Estate value was at $800 which is equivlant to a rough estimate of haveing a worth of about $338,000.00 in today's money using the nominal GDP per capita figure.This is the story of Abraham Howton's legacy. 

This is the story of Abraham Howton's legacy.

Author: Ronnie Dale Howton

Born March 14, 1982 of Berry, Fayette County, Alabama

Residing in Clarksville, TN

Dated: 23 Apr 2010

1830: United States Federal Census, Fayette, Alabama

Howton, Abraham

Ages of Males: 1 - 30 thru 40, 2 - 15 thru 20, 2 - 10 thru 15, 1 - 5 thru 10, 2 - under 5. Ages of Females: 1 - 30 thru 40, 2 - 15 thru 20, 1 - 10 thru 15, 2 - 5 thru 10, 1 - under 5

1840: United States Federal Census, Fayette, Alabama

Howton, Abram.

(same page with Lewis Howton, Samuel? Howton)

Ages of Males: 1 - 50 thru 60, 2 - 15 thru 20, 2 - 10 thru 15, 2 - 5 thru 10, 1 - under 5. Ages of Females: 1 - 20 thru 30, 1 - 5 thru 10, 2 - under 5

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Abraham Howton's Timeline

June 20, 1794
Rockingham County, Virginia, United States
January 14, 1813
Age 18
Fayette, AL, USA
January 14, 1813
Age 18
Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States
December 8, 1814
Age 20
Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States
July 2, 1816
Age 22
Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
March 12, 1818
Age 23
Fayette County, Alabama, United States
December 24, 1819
Age 25
Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States
April 23, 1821
Age 26
Fayette County, Alabama, United States