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John Houston was born about 1740 in either Ireland or Abbeville, South Carolina. Descendant Cleburne Huston states that he was born near Belfast, in County Antrim, Ireland, but his daughter Elizabeth lists on the 1880 census that her father was born in South Carolina. John's parents are believed to be Thomas Huston & Agnes Orr. Thomas & Agnes were both born in Ireland and died in Abbeville, South Carolina.

John Houston was married at least twice, based on birthyears of his children and the birth year of his second wife Jean Guthrie. Children named in his December 1802 will were: sons John, James, William and Samuel, and daughters Jencey, Nancy and Elizabeth. Also listed were Son-in-law Robert M. Mann and wife and Son-in-law James Armstrong and wife. Nephew Hugh Huston is also named as an heir. I am not positive which wife was the mother of each of these children, and will place them below where I believe they fit. Please be aware that the children listed below are my best guess at this point, based on the information I have. More research is needed for this family, and all documentation is welcome!

The marriage of John Houston to Unknown First Wife

John Houston & Unknown First WifeJohn Houston was age 45 or over on the 1800 census, so he was born in 1755 or earlier. Some online trees list his birthdate as early as 1740. Mary Houston, the first known child I have for him, was born in 1775. As second wife Jean Guthrie Houston is documented on a passenger list as being born in 1770, and also is referred to in John's will as being his "late" wife (even though she was obviously still living and listed as an heir), it seems very likely if not definite that John Houston was married to someone else before he was married to Jean. John Houston probably married Unknown First Wife sometime between 1761-1774.
Mann/Houston Records

The Children of John Houston and Unknown First Wife

Daughter HoustonDaughter (Agnes?) Houston was born between 1756-1774 in South Carolina. Her name was possibly Agnes as sister Mary Houston Mann named one of her daughters Agnes Houston Mann. She probably married James Armstrong sometime between 1774-1792. There is an entry listed in Marriages, Ninety-Six and Abbeville District for a James Armstrong who married "Unknown Houston" before 1780, which would make her probable birthdate 1756-1762. She is listed as "son-in-law James Armstrong and wife" in the December 1802 will of John Houston, who died in 1803. There were two households headed by persons named James Armstrong on the 1800 census of Abbeville, South Carolina, both with the oldest female (presumed to be the wife) ages 26-44. In one the oldest male was also age 26-44, and in the other, the oldest male was age 45 or older. There are several online trees that suggest that this daughter was named Agnes Houston, and that she was married to the James Armstrong (1764-1837) who was married to Mary Agnes Frierson. I do not think this is correct, based on information posted on There is a James & Agnes Armstrong that are buried in the Zion Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Maury Co., Tennessee with a marker says that Agnes Armstrong (listed as being Mary Agnes Frierson) who was born November 7, 1759 in Williamsburg, South Carolina, and who she died October 18, 1837. Her husband James was born April 1764 in Sumpter Co., South Carolina, and died November 11, 1837. He was a Revolutionary War veteran. They married in 1785 in Williamsburg, South Carolina, and had at least 9 children, born between 1785-1803. Daughter Houston Armstrong died sometime after December 1802. More research is needed on this family.
Notes for Daughter Houston Armstrong
Mary HoustonMary Houston was born in 1775 in Abbeville, South Carolina. Mary married Robert Morill Mann on April 21, 1795 in Abbeville District, South Carolina and they had 8 children. The family is listed on the 1800 census of Abbeville, SC. Son-in-law Robert M. Mann and wife are listed as heirs in the December 1802 will of John Houston, who died in 1803. In 1807 the family moved from South Carolina to Logan Co., Kentucky. They originally planned to emigrate to Illinois, but they heard rumors of Indian attacks and decided to delay going there. I have not found them on the 1810 census at this time. In 1817 the family moved to Randolph Co., IL to join neighbors from Abbeville, SC who had moved there. They are listed on the 1820 & 1825 censuses of Plumb Creek, Randolph Co., IL. They are listed on the 1830, 1840 & 1850 censuses of Randolph Co., IL; in 1850 they are listed as living in Twp 5 South Range 7 West. Robert M. Mann died on December 28, 1855 in Preston, Randolph, Illinois. Mary is listed at age 85 in the household of her married son Samuel Alexander Mann on the 1860 census of Twp 5 South Range 7 West, Randolph Co., IL.. Mary Houston Mann died on November 07, 1860 in Preston, Randolph, Illinois. Robert & Mary are both buried in the Preston Cemetery, Preston, Randolph, Illinois. The children of John Mann & Mary Houston are: John (1796), William M. (1798), Elizabeth Ann (1800), Agnes Houston (1803), Robert Bartus (1805), Jane Ann (1809), Albina (1812) and Samuel Alexander (1815).
The Family of Robert M. Mann & Mary Houston
Notes for Mary Houston Mann
Elizabeth HoustonElizabeth Houston was born on January 14, 1788 in South Carolina. She may be the daughter of John Houston's second wife Jean Guthrie depending on their marriage date. I believe that she is the Elizabeth Houston who was married to Joseph Barr on November 1, 1808 in Abbeville, South Carolina. One of Joseph's sisters, Mary, married George Houston, who was son of James Houston & Ann Carrigan. Joseph & Elizabeth had at least 6 children. Based on birthplaces of the children, the family lived in Georgia from at least 1814-1823. Joseph & Mary are listed on the 1850 census of Tallapoosa, Alabama. They moved from Alabama to Texas, and are listed on the 1860 & 1870 censuses of Upshur Co., Texas. Joseph died on January 7, 1879 in Upshur or Gregg Co., Texas. Elizabeth, age 93, is listed on the 1880 census of Precinct 2, Gregg Co., Texas as mother-in-law in the household of Berry & Adaline (Barr) Johnson. Elizabeth Houston Barr died on November 5, 1885, probably in Gregg Co., Texas.
Notes for Elizabeth Houston Barr

The marriage of John Houston to Jean Guthrie

John Houston and Jean GuthrieJohn Houston and Jean Guthrie were probably married sometime between 1788-1795, based on Jean's birthdate of 1770 and the birth of their first known child in 1796. When John Houston died in December 1802 (His will was probated January 1, 1803), Jean would have been age 32, with at least 3 children under the age of 6. I have not found her on later census records, but the chances are good that she remarried. Mary Mann Dains lists John's second wife as being Jean Guthrie Livingston, so that may be an avenue to explore for her possible second marriage. At least two of her sons emigrated to Alabama, but I don't know if Jean went with them.

The Children of John Houston and Jean Guthrie

Samuel HoustonSamuel Houston was born in June 1796 in Abbeville, South Carolina. He is listed as a son in the December 1802 will of John Houston, which was probated in January 1803 when Samuel was age 6. Samuel married Jemima Wilson on January 12, 1819 in Abbeville, South Carolina and they had at least 5 children. Based on birthplaces of their children, they lived in Abbeville, South Carolina at least through 1833. They are listed on the 1820 census of Abbeville, South Carolina. Talladega Co., Alabama was formed in December 1832 from Indian territory, and at some point the family moved there. Samuel Houston died on December 17, 1837 in Abbeville, South Carolina or Talladega, Talladega, Alabama. Jemima Wilson Houston died on January 27, 1872 in Talladega, Talladega, Alabama. Jemimah is buried in the Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery, Talladega, Talladega, Alabama.
Notes for Samuel Houston
James W. HoustonJames Wesley Houston was born on October 11, 1798 in Abbeville, South Carolina. He is listed as a son in the December 1802 will of John Houston, which was probated in January 1803 when James was about age 4. James was married to Mary Ann "Polly" Gilmer in 1829 in Alabama, and they had at least 8 children. They are listed on the 1850 & 1860 censuses of Union, Dallas, Alabama. James Wesley Houston died on July 29, 1872 in Selma, Dallas Co., Alabama. Children of James Wesley Houston & Mary Ann "Polly" Gilmer are: Samuel Henry (1830), Jane (1832), Thomas Archibald (1834), J. A. (male) (1836), H. A. (male), (1838), Sarah A.(1840), John J. (1841) and Robert F. (1843).
Notes for James Wesley Houston
John Houston John Houston was born between 1795-1803, probably in Abbeville, South Carolina. Based on birthyears of the other children, I think he was probably born about 1800. He is listed as a son in the December 1802 will of John Houston (Sr), which was probated in January 1803 when John (Jr) was age 0-7. John Houston is listed as being age 16-25 on the 1820 census of Abbeville, South Carolina, and is the only person in his household. He is listed on the same page as Samuel Houston, above.
Notes for John Houston

Nephew Hugh Houston named in John Houston's will. There is a Hugh Thomas Houston listed on some online trees as being a son of John Houston and Jean Guthrie, but listed on others, I think correctly, as being the son of Henry Rufus Houston & Keziah Credelle. If this is so and he was John Houston's nephew, then Henry Rufus and John Houston were brothers, both children of Thomas Houston & Agnes Orr. Some trees also list Thomas as a son of John McClung Houston & Margaret Cunningham, but "Notable Southern Families" does not lists Thomas as one of their children.

Hugh T. HoustonHugh Thomas Houston was born 1796-1802 in Abbeville, South Carolina. I believe he is the nephew Hugh Houston who is listed in the December 1802 will of John Houston of Abbeville, South Carolina. Hugh, age 17, is probably the male age 16-18 listed in the household of Samuel Houston above on the 1820 census of Abbeville, South Carolina. Hugh married Sarah Jane Gilmore in 1831 in Alabama. (James Wesley Houston, above, married Mary Ann "Polly" Gilmer about 1829, probably in Alabama, and it is possible that Gilmer and Gilmore are variations of the same name. Polly Gilmer was daughter of Archibald Gilmer & Agnes Houston, and Cleburne Huston states that Agnes' father Samuel was "a full cousin" of John Houston b. 1740. Hugh and his family are listed on the 1850 census of Union, Dallas, Alabama. They are on the 1870 census of Beat 4, Neshoba, Mississippi.

Is the John Houston who died in 1802/3 related to the family of Governor Samuel Houston of Texas?

What is the relationship of John Houston (died 1802/3) to the John Houston who married Else/Alice Armstrong?