The History of Houghton Surname Research
by Charles J. Vella, PhD (C)
Dr. Douglass Houghton (1810-1845):
Michigan geologist who compiled an unpublished list of English Houghtons circa 1825.
Joseph Willard (1798-1865):
Topographical and historical sketches of the town of Lancaster 1826, (Lancaster MA):
First to erroneously report John and Ralph Houghton of Lancaster MA as "cousins". A theory disproved by current DNA evidence.
Houghton Association (1846-1868):The original Houghton Association was created circa 1846 and lasted until 1855. It was then reorganized in 1868 and later dissolved circa 1870. The purpose of the association was to collect information relative to unclaimed Houghton property in England, reported to belong to the Houghton family in America. Clearly a get rich scheme. There were three meetings of the Houghton Association: one at Winchendon, MA, on Apr. 21, 1868, one at Groton, June 3, 1869 and at Milton, June 5, 1869. Columbus Smith spoke at two of them. About 220 Members paid $5 in 1868 to join the Houghton association hoping to receive $200 in any recovered property. Fisher Rice, agent of the Association, interviewed Judge Jacob Houghton, who refused to join, but gave him an introduction to Sir Henry Bold Hoghton Bt in England. While John Wesley Houghton mentions it's history in his genealogy, he had nothing to do with the Association.
Fisher M. Rice (1847):
The Houghton Association: report of the agent to England.
Imprint: New York: Jared W. Bell, printer, 1848. Available at Higginson Books.
Houghton (1835-1911) :
Houghton Memorial, 1869 Compiled descendants of Jason and Caty Houghton, of the Ralph Houghton line. 670 descendants of Ralph Houghton's line were published in Columbus Smith's 1869 Report to the Houghton Association. This consititutes the first published genealogy of the Houghton family.
Josiah Houghton (1800-1861):
Wrote a genealogy of John Houghton of Lancaster MA, after supposedly spending a fortune in getting family records and history to enable him to claim and secure property in England.
Rev. Royal and Cecelia Houghton (1868):
Wrote a diary that contains information about their Houghton family.
Anthony Keizer (1857- ):
History and Genealogy of the Houghton Family, the descendants of Capt. Timothy Houghton who emigrated to Nova Scotia: 1896
This is the second published Houghton genealogy. John Wesley Houghton in his 1912 Houghton Genealogy, Almira White in her White Genealogy, as well as Marshall McClanahan in his 1957 Houghton genealogies, all used the data first compiled and published by David A. Keizer in his 1896 genealogy of the Canadian descendants of Capt. Timothy Houghton of Massachusetts. Keizer noted that he had read H. S. Nourse's Early Records of Lancaster, MA, as well as his Lancaster MA BMD Records, and his Military Annals of Lancaster MA. He also read J. Willard's Sketches of Lancaster MA of 1826. He erroneously believed John Houghton the Emigrant of Lancaster MA was the John, age 4/40 of the "Abigail". He includes 1852 descendants of Capt. Timothy Houghton. Available at Higginson Books.
Charles Edward Church (1835-) & Ernest Percy Webber (1874-): D. Keizer' Genealogy of the Houghton Family. 1896 above is misattributed to both of these individuals in several references; (see "The Sedition Trial of Timothy Houghton" by Barry Cahill; Mr. Cahill gives C.E. Church as compiler of Keizer's work)
Stedman Nourse (1831-1903):
Early Records of Lancaster MA (1884)
Lancaster MA VRs (1890)
Includes many early Houghton vital records; He was a John Houghton of Lancaster, MA descendant.
Almira Larkin White (1900):
Genealogy of the Descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 3 volumes,1900-1905
Compiled many early Houghtons
Caroline Keyes Houghton Squires (1852-):
The Houghton Family by Thaddeus William Harris: Handwritten genealogy copied from manuscripts belonging to Mrs Caroline K. Houghton Squires, daughter of Simon W. Houghton to whom these papers originally belonged.
Daniel Merrick Wheeler (1846-):
He wrote a
genealogy of the Whitingham VT
John Barber White (1909)::
Descendants of John Barber of Worcester, Mass., 1714-1909, 1909
Includes a number of early Ralph Houghton descendants
Dr. John Wesley Houghton (1834-1924):
Houghton Genealogy. Descendants of Ralph and John Houghton, 1912
The third published Houghton genealogy, considered by many as the Houghton Genealogy. Very few place references; compiled from Houghtons sending him data; no citations. Many errors. But an outstanding job for a pre-computer age genealogist. While he reported the English Houghtons, he disavowed the "Ralph is Radcliffe of English De Hoghton ancestry theory". He was a Ralph Houghton descendant. He listes 8350 Houghton descendants.J. W. Houghton obviously used Francis W. Houghton's material (esp. British ancestry) of 1869. Available at Higginson Books.
Wellington Clark (1850-):
Author of an unpublished genealogy of the Houghton Family circa 1900; Dr. JWH offered to co-author the Houghton Genealogy with him; critical of JWH, lists corrections.
John Calvin Lawrence Clark (1871):
A famous New England historian; he researched the Houghtons with Dr. Harris A. Houghton.
Annie Lane Burr and Thomas Hovey Gage (1925):
John Houghton of Lancaster, Mass., and some of his descendants, 1925 (first and only NEGHR publication of a Houghton line). The 4th published Houghton genealogy.
Dr. Harris Ayers Houghton (1874-1946):
Houghton researcher before 1930 (used many county histories).
His work is in the Chicago SAR Library. McClanahan attributes his genealogy of the Houghton family as being "from early Harris Ayres Houghton data", as well as stating "Possibly Dr. Frederic L. Weis used his data in his Early Families of Lancaster, Mass."
Clarence Winthrop Bowen, Ph.D. (1852-):
History of Woodstock, CT, c 1930
Lists some Houghton lines in Connecticut
Luella Houghton (1879-1945):
She wrote a 32 page Houghton genealogy of her family, "We Houghtons and our beloved Shed-Members", 1938. The 5th published Houghton genealogy.
Mrs. Fred (Lillie) Brandt:
Descendants of Eleazer Houghton 1690-1790 and his wife Elizabeth (Divoll) Houghton 1693-1784, 1964
Compiled and self published the Illinois descendants of Eleazer Houghton (87 pages). The 6th published Houghton genealogy. Available at Newbery Library in Chicago.
Rev. Frederick Lewis Weis (1941):
Early Families of Lancaster MA, 1941
Compiled 7 generations of John Houghton descendants (40 pages) and several generations of Ralph Houghton (7 pages); no citations; relied heavily on Burr and Hovey; appears to have used Nourse's Lancaster MA VRs data.
William DeLoss Love II (1888- ):
Descendants of Capt. William Houghton and Marilla Clay, 1953. The 6th published Houghton genealogy. Available at Higginson Books.
Vivian Imogene Morgan Uran (1891-1970):
Houghton Genealogy, 1954 A Ralph Houghton descendant, through her mother, Lydia May Houghton. She wrote a 500 page compilation of her Houghton ancestry to Ralph Houghton. (She was the author's wife Marilyn's grandmother; Her genealogy started the author's interest in Houghton research).
Edna Florine Houghton (1892-1980):
Compiled the Houghton Genealogy of the descendants of Deacon Jason Houghton, of Ralph Houghton line.
Wiley Carpenter (1921-1959):
He compiled a genealogy of the descendants of Elijah Houghton in 1955.
Marshall Loring McClanahan (1904-1990):
John & Beatrix (Joselyn) Houghton of Lancaster, Massachusetts, & some of their Descendants, c. 1957
Ralph and Jane (Stowe) Houghton of Lancaster, Massachusetts, & some Descendants.
Considered the second major Houghton genealogy; an unpublished manuscript; One of the first to use vital record citations; clearly duplicated JWH and Weis, used Harris A Houghton; but multiple typos of dates; many misquoting of pages in VRs citations. He clearly read Rev. Royal Houghton's diary. He includes a total of 8568 Houghton descendants (Ralph line, 3204 individuals and John line , 5364 individuals).
Nadine VanNoy (1922-
A Houghton Family from Ralph Houghton of Lancaster MA., 1652 to Rosamond Houghton VanNoy of Conover, WI, 1992:
A genealogy of the Broome Co. NY Houghtons, descendants of Otis Houghton. The 7th published Houghton genealogy. (includes 217 individuals)
Barbara Marie Houghton, L. M. Griggs, Vanchie P. Houghton, J. Smith, B. Williams (1933- ):
The Michigan Descendants of Noah Houghton including Noah's Ancestry in America, 1994
work of genealogical research of the
Houghton's of Michigan. The 8th published Houghton
genealogy. (includes 1064 individuals)
Scott Bartley (c 1995):
Families in 1791,
1995: VT Houghtons based on
Howard Baker Houghton, Jr. (1922-1999):
Our Houghton Heritage, 1995
The major Houghton genealogy of the descendants of John Houghton of New Jersey; includes about 240 individuals; the 9th published Houghton genealogy.
Dr. Carolyn Houghton Chapman (1938- ):
She compiled the descendants of John Hart Houghton, of the NJ Houghtons, 1997; includes 66 individuals
William Wells Houghton, Jr (1934-):
He helped compile the descendants of Reuben Houghton of Canada and IA, 1997; includes 164 individuals
Ralph Henry Houghton (1944 - ):
He created the first electronic version of John Wesley Houghton's The Houghton Genealogy of 1912. Fully searchable. Available at:
John Schroeder (1979-):
He compiled the descendants of Nathaniel Houghton, Jr, 2000
Edward S. Houghton (1905-):
compiled the descendants of Silas
Houghton, 2001. His nephew Richard William Houghton compiled the data
into a gedcom; includes 57 individuals.
Jeffrey Whealdon Bryant (1957- ):
He compiled the descendants of Alfred Haughton of England, 2002; includes 629 individuals.
Jeffrey Lynn Haughton (1944-):
He is the major current compiler of Haughton genealogical data, 2003
Deryl Wayne Houghton (1941-):
He helped compile the descendants of Joseph Houghton of MI, 2003; iincludes 402 individuals; also a website
Christopher A. Houghten (1972-):
He compiled the descendants of Thomas Houghten of England, 2004; includes 557 individuals
She separately compiled the descendants of Thomas Houghten of England, 2004; includes 557 individuals; some differences from Chris Houghten's data
Byril Samuel Sutton (1949-):
He helped compile some of the descendants of Elijah Houghton of VA, 2006; the best compilation of Houghtons originating in the state of Virginia; includes 1239 individuals.
William Douglas Houghton (1951-):
The Memoirs of Orton Clifton Houghton. 2009
An excellent brief memoir of late 19th century rural America and a Houghton inventor. The 10th published Houghton genealogy
Houghton Ancestors: A 1,000 Year Historical Adventure. 2010. 241 p.; The 11th published Houghton genealogy
While he states that that "This is the most comprehensive and factually accurate book ever written about Houghtons.", but only includes 118 Houghtons. It is based on the 1912 Houghton Genealogy data focusing on the early English Houghtons, and his own family, the descendants of William Houghton of Wisconsin. He again restates and accepts the "Ralph and John are cousins" and the "John & Ralph Houghton of Lancaster were on the Abigail" theories. But it is interesting read about some interesting Houghtons and he does have great pictures.
Dr. Charles J. Vella, Ph.D. (1944- ):
Houghton Surname Project, 1994-2015; currenly unpublished but available online at the Houghton Surname Project website: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~houghtonfamily/
DNA Project, 2004-2015; currently includes 52 volunteers, and 15
Houghton/Haughton DNA lines
First Houghton researcher to consistently use primary sources; first review and compilation of all of the U.S. census data for Houghton surname listings, and the first DNA analysis of the American Houghton lines. It is the largest Houghton database ever compiled. The beneficiary of 100s of Houghton researchers who supplied their Houghton data to him. He includes the data of all previously available Houghton genealogies. It includes 91,340 total individuals; 49023 Houghton surname individuals; 72,962 total Houghtons and descendants; 3925 Haughtons.
If using this material please use citation: "Houghton Surname Project, authored and compiled by Charles J. Vella, PhD"
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