Wednesday, May 2, 2012


This Hyten Family Tree started innocently enough in a motel one day in 1967 when I picked up an Indianapolis phone book and found a HYTEN listed. I thought then that I must have found the only other HYTEN in the world. After all, a name like HYTEN is different. When I wrote that first letter to David Hyten I had no idea that I was beginning a lifelong journey into the world of genealogy. The journey began by following only the HYTEN name.

Future trips and additional phone books were to add the names of more HYTEN s. Their correspondence in turn added even more names to my files. For years the problem remained that those notes and lists were not joining into a family tree. I was finding that there were a lot of HYTEN s out there, but despite some common threads, I could not locate the source of the family. Even now, over thirty years after I started, I still do not know for sure what country our ancestors came from nor do I even have all of us joined together on one family tree. What I do have though, thanks to many people, are the names of over 640 HYTENs.

In April of 1986 I published a draft copy of the family tree book in order to allow everyone who read it a further chance to fill in missing information. The draft copy served its purpose well. In the year and a half after it was published I had doubled the amount of information available, allowing me to add story lines to what had been more like a collection of dates.

By the time I published the 1988 edition of the HYTEN family tree I was down to only three deceased males that I was not able to trace until their death in order to determine if they had heirs. For a family with its roots beginning in the 1700s that is a pretty fair accomplishment.

I established five distinct branches of the Hyten family tree. Three branches descend from the sons of Josiah Heighton and date back at least to 1790. They are the William Caywood, Stephen Henson, and Thomas Otho Hyten branches. The latter is my family branch. Another branch, the large William Hyten one, goes back to his 1821 birth. The Texas branch of Samuel Gwinn Hyten turned out to be HYTEN s by choice as I found that Samuel had changed his name from HYDEN to HYTEN.


I can not possibly list everyone who has contributed information to me although I wish that I could. There are two people though that provided me with the keys which allowed me to join together the disjointed information I then had. Their help resulted in a family tree of which I think they and any genealogist would be proud. It was Lila Hyten - Stites that got me going on this final push and Pat Douglass-Smith who provided much of the properly documented data that I have used. My role was more that of detective and editor than that of researcher. I have done just enough of the latter to respect those who do it.

Others who contributed were Eleanor Douglass-Embree, Arlene Hyten-Rainey, David Lawrence Hyten, who was the first HYTEN that I contacted, Floyd James Hyten, David Lee Hyten, Donald William Hyten, Harry Alexander Hyten, Jerry Lester Hyten, Becky Ingram, (Todd) William Todd Hyten, Norine Cuddingham-Hyten, Cole Wesley Hyten, both of whom have since passed away, Blaine Warren Hyten, and my parents, Mary Josephine and Robert Spencer Hyten, Sr. There is also Sara Lynn Hyten whose only contribution was to give me the name of her aunt Lila who in turn provided me with the key to putting it all together. Don't you ever be one of those people who thinks that he or she has nothing to add.

After a long rest I began to slowly review information on the HITENs which I had set aside during my quest of the HYTEN roots.
By 1999 I had assembled seven distinct family trees of HITENs. Over the next couple years I tried to connect them as well as attach stragglers to the various trees. It took a lot of work during 2001 to finalize what you see in this latest edition of the HYTEN family tree book now renamed A History of the HYTEN / HITEN Families. There were HITEN mysteries remaining but, if I had waited to solve them I might have never gotten the book out.

In 2009 I placed some of the contents of the book on the Internet in a blog at . This resulted in connecting the Unconnected Willim Hytens to the HYDEN families. In 2012 nearly 50 people had joined me on Facebook resulting 47 new HYTEN names and 15 new HITEN names. All new information is now gathered into this 2012 publication of the latest form of the book; this Internet blog site.

I am presenting the information that I have gathered un-footnoted. This may not be considered scholarly, but at this point I consider it more important to get this book out to those who would use and enjoy it. I do have a bibliography and lists of my sources which should help future researchers avoid covering old ground again. Heaven only knows how many times I looked at some of those standard source books before I realized what I was doing. I should admit though that sometimes it took a couple readings to find valuable facts. For now I have in my files the documentation to share with anyone who cares to challenge any of the information herein and I welcome any such inquiries.

Information in the stories was gathered from both historical documents and stories passed on from generation to generation. As you read, you might want a map in front of you to find all the places mentioned in this story. I tried to avoid bogging the story down with too much numerical data, but I am a numbers man so there are plenty of dates in the text.

This book is written in four parts. The first chapters are about the lives of the earliest HYTEN s and HITENs. The second section of chapters is about the HYTENs and the third about the HITENs. The final section of chapters contain background material and unfinished business.

My unpublished name lists contain 641 HYTENs, 373 alive and 268 dead. There are 169 HYTEN households. The list contains 123 HYTEN men, 127 HYTEN women, and 123 wives who are alive. There are 95 men, 101 women, and 72 wives who have passed away.

There are 311 HITENs including 122 alive and 189 dead. There are 54 HITEN households. The list contains 34 HITEN men, 49 HITEN women, and 39 wives who are alive. There are 71 men, 61 women, and 57 wives who have passed away.

When this all began thirty years ago I had no idea that there were 40 HYTENs let alone 952. It has been a labor of love. I hope that you get as much enjoyment out of reading this book as I did writing it.

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