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Houghton / Hocton Family

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  • John Houghton, II (1650 - 1737)
    John Houghton, Jr Birth: Apr. 26, 1650 Death: Feb. 3, 1737 John was the son of John Houghton III and Beatrix ___. He married: 1) at Lancaster, MA on Jan 22, 1721/2, Mary Farrar. 2) at Lancaster o...
  • Elizabeth Milton (1536 - 1575)
    Elizabeth Haughton (c.1535 Stanton, St. John, Oxfordshire, England - c.1600 Stanton St John, Oxfordshire, England) Marriage: abt 1563 in Stanton, St John, Oxfordshire, England
  • Adam de Houghton (c.1310 - 1386)
    Sir Adam de Hoghton 1345-1385, son of Sir Richard de Hoghton and Sybilla de Lea. Represented the County of Lancashire in Parliaments 1348, 1363, 1365 and 1383 and helped build Lancaster Castle with 200...
  • Sybil de Lea, Lady of Mollington (1284 - 1330)
    Sybil de Lea, Lady of Mollington , was born 1284 in Molynton, Banastre, Cheshire, England. Parents: Sir William de Lea , Lord of Molynton-Banastre (born about 1237 in Amounderness, Lancashire, Englan...
  • Margaret Wyche (1529 - d.)

A genealogy Project attempting to gather and distribute information on the descendants and ancestors of all the Houghton / Haughton / Howton individuals and families who have immigrated to the United States from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and other countries.







  • Motto "Malgre le tort" (Despite the Wrong)
  • Shield - silver and black 'argent'.
  • Mantle - ' burgundy and gold'.
  • Helmet - 'closed passive'.
  • Crest - 'bull'.

Houghton Database and DNA

The Houghton Project (Dr. Charles Vella's site, above) database currently has 86,345 Houghton/Haughton individuals and their descendants (41,600 Houghton and 3330 Haughton surname individuals).

Recently Published

This book documents the lives of the Houghton ancestors from England and America during the past 1,000 years. From the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, this thrilling story deals with kings, queens, knights, religious wars, saints, Revolutionary and Civil War heroes, explorers, settlers, farmers, poets, businessmen, and even spirit mediums. It has 95 illustrations and photos, many of which have never been published.It even covers never before published information on the Stone Age ancestors of the Houghtons that can be traced back over 300,000 years by using modern DNA testing and new archeology and paleoanthropology findings. I trust that I have captured some of the achievements, hopes, dreams, lives, and even sorrow and anguish of our forefathers so that they will not be forgotten by future generations.


In an 1869 publication, The Houghton Memorial, Francis Walter Houghton (probably having taken the idea from his grandfather Jason Houghton's unpublished Lineage of the Houghton Family of 1828) was the first to formally present the theory of a connection between the Houghtons of Lancaster MA (John Houghton and Ralph Houghton) and the British noble Hoghton family of Preston's Hoghton Tower (and the latter's connection to William the Conqueror). Unfortunately, this theory is pure speculation. The English origins of both Ralph Houghton and John Houghton of Lancaster MA are yet to be established. No documentary evidence, vital record, or parish record exists for such a connection.

It was high fashion in the early 1880s to 1920s to try to connect an American family's ancestry to British nobility. Even John Wesley Houghton examined the theory in his 1912 Houghton Genealogy (the first major Houghton genealogy) and rejected this connection. I still await anyone who can produce valid genealogical evidence for this theoretical connection. The latest volume of Anderson's Great Migration discredits the theory that John Houghton of Lancaster MA was the John Houghton, aged 4 (or 40) who came over on the "Abigail", the most often cited theory of John the Emigrant's origin. It is even unproved that John and Ralph Houghton were cousins.

The earliest citation I have been able to find that Ralph and John were "cousins" was in Topographical and historical sketches of the town of Lancaster (1826) by Joseph Willard, which is 200 years after the fact. There is also no evidence to suggest that John and Ralph "became" Protestants here, as opposed to their having been Protestants in their homeland.

While I have given the ancestry of the current Baronet of Hoghton Tower, Bernard de Hoghton BT (based on two Pedigree charts supplied by him), this is only for historical interest and does not imply any acceptance of the connection theory. I would welcome any valid genealogical evidence from anyone claiming the English noble connection. Until then, the connection is a Houghton myth not based on any valid genealogical evidence.

Hoghton Tower, Lancashire

Hoghton Tower has been the home of the de Hoghton family since the Norman Conquest. Take the long drive to the 16th century and follow in the footsteps of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and King James I who, at a banquet held in his honour, famously knighted a loin of beef ‘Sir Loin’.

Hoghton Tower, a Grade I listed building is the ancestral home of the de Hoghton family. The de Hoghtons are descended directly from Harvey de Walter, one of the companions of William the Conqueror, and through the female line from Lady Godiva of Coventry, wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.

Since its re-creation in 1565 by Thomas Hoghton this ancient, fortified, hilltop manor house has retained its Tudor-Elizabethan character and construction in its entirety. It occupies a commanding position, 650ft above sea level mid-way between Preston and Blackburn, with magnificent views of Lancashire, the Lake District and North Wales. Hoghton Tower is the only true baronial residence in Lancashire and is the home of the 14th Baronet, Sir Bernard de Hoghton.

Over the centuries many royal guests have been welcomed and entertained here including James I, William III, George V & Queen Mary and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Other distinguished visitors include William Shakespeare, J.M.W. Turner and Charles Dickens.


  1. Rev. Royal and Cecelia Houghton, Diary, 1868
  2. Columbus Smith, Report to the Houghton Association, 1869
  3. Pedigree of De Hoghton, of Hoghton Tower Charts (supplied by Sir Bernard de Hoghton, BT in 2005)
  4. Henry S. Nourse, Lancaster, MA Vital Records, 1890
  5. D. A. Keizer, The History and Genealogy of the Houghton Family, 1896 (Genealogy of Canadian Desc. of Capt. Timothy Houghton)
  6. Almira White, The Genealogy of John White, 1900
  7. John Wesley Houghton, MD, The Houghton Genealogy, 1912 (The first major Houghton Genealogy of Ralph and John Houghton)
  8. Clarence W. Bowen, Ph.D., The History of Woodstock, CT, 1926
  9. William Love II, Descendants of Capt. William Houghton and Marilla Clay, 1953
  10. Vivian I. Uran, The Houghton Genealogy, 1953
  11. Norman W. Carpenter, Descendants of Elijah Houghton, 1954
  12. Willis Harry Miller, The Descendants of Henry Martin O'Brien and his wife Lydia Houghton, 1956
  13. Marshall L. McClanahan, Ralph and Jane Houghton of Lancaster, Mass., 1957 (The second major Houghton Genealogy, volume 1)
  14. Marshall L. McClanahan, John & Beatrix (Joselyn) Houghton of Lancaster, Massachusetts , & some of their Descendants. 1973 (The second major Houghton Genealogy, volume 2)
  15. Marshall L. McClanahan, John Houghton, Pioneer of Hopewell, New Jersey , 1973
  16. Rosamond Houghton VanNoy, Houghton Family, 1993
  17. Barbara H. Houghton, et. al., The Michigan Descendants of Noah Houghton, 1994
  18. Howard B. Houghton, Jr., Our Houghton Heritage, 1995 (The first major genealogy of John Houghton of NJ)
  19. Dr. Carolyn Chapman, John Hart Houghton Genealogy, 1997