My father’s mother’s maiden name was Horton. Her family immigrated from England and settled in Virginia in the mid-1600s. The name is common in English history, and several places are named Horton in England. The name Horton derives from Old English hour ‘dirt’ and tΕ«n ‘settlement, farm, estate,’ presumably meaning ‘farm on muddy soil.’

Medevil England – De Horton

In Middle English, the prefix ‘de’ can represent where someone is from. The name ‘De Horton’ is seen in many of the names from the first Horton in 1190. His name was Rodger. This name became quite popular after the Norman Conquest of 1066. He was shown to be from Horton in Northamptonshire, England.

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Horton, Northamptonshire, England today

Horton is 8 miles southwest of Northampton. It is primarily known as the location of the now-demolished Horton House. This was the manor of the first governor of the Bank of England, among others.

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St Mary Magdalene Church dating to the 15th century

Human settlement in Northampton dates back to 3500 BC. Roman settlements from the Roman Period (41-450 BC) have been found nearby. During the Anglo-Saxon period, it was subject to occupation by the Danes. After the Norman Conquest in 1068, the town rose to national significance. Early meetings of the government (Parliament) took place there, and several Kings had residences there.

Around the time that Rodger de Horton was born, Richard I granted the city a charter in return for money to support the Crusades.

Immigration to America

William Kimble Horton (1626-1702) was born in Stauton, Gloucestershire County, west of London, near the Welsh border.

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Staunton, Gloucestershire County

Staunton is a village located near the larger town of Gloucester. England was rife with many wars during this period, collectively called the English Civil War. In 1642, the Seige of Gloucester was part of a Royalist campaign by King Charles I to take control of the Severn Valley from the Parliamentarians. Gloucester was a port town, and it is likely he immigrated with his wife from here.

His first daughter, Virginia, was born in 1652 in Westmoreland, Virginia.


Estill Cemetery, Gate City, Virginia

To be continued…