Monday, June 1, 2009


In 1985 I began in earnest to pursue the HYTEN family tree. By 1988 I had assembled enough information to publish a book, Hyten: An American Family. As I continued to pursue unanswered questions, I also researched the HITEN family. That resulted in 2001 revised version of my book, A History of the HYTEN / HITEN Families, copies of which are available for purchase.
Faced with what would seem to be dead ends, I turned to reviewing the works of those studying the HYDEN family ... I knew that one branch of the HYTENs and one of the HITENs had turned out to have descended from HYDENs. This recent work connects two HITEN groups and two HYTEN groups to the HYDENs. As you might imagine genealogy seems to be a never ending trip through a never ending maze.
It is important to remember that even throughout the 1800s many people could not read or write so it was left to others determine how a name was spelled. The three names, above plus other variations in spelling, are really quite logical interpretations of what the recording official thought he had heard.
The following outlines of the various groups I have identified summarize where my research has ended along with what I think further research might uncover ... the latter is italicized. It is my hope that when you read these vignettes you might realize that you have the key to information I am seeking.

JOSIAH HEIGHTON ( b. ca.1769 - d.1810 to1816 ): THE FIRST HYTENs
The unbroken history of the HYTEN family begins with JOSIAH HEIGHTON and his three sons who all carried the HYTEN name, WILLIAM CAYWOOD, STEPHEN HENSON, and THOMAS OTHO, who respectively headed the Indiana, Missouri and Illinois branches of the HYTEN family. Virtually every male is accounted for from these three HYTENs onwards.
JOSIAH may have descended from two prior generations of Joseph Hytens. A 1776 of the Port Tobacco area of Charles County, Maryland lists a Joseph Hyten with a son. The 1790 Montgomery Co., MD, census lists both Josiah Heighton and Joseph Heighton. This Joseph was too young to be the 1776 one so might be his son. But he is also too young to be JOSIAH’s father, thus leaving JOSIAH with no clear heritage.
Conversely, The History of Pioneer Families of Missouri, 1876, says “Joseph Hyten, of Maryland, married Prisilla Caywood and their son Josiah married Rebecca Caywood ..... Their children were William, Stephen, and Otho.”
In an 1894 remembrance WILLIAM CAYWOOD HYTEN’s son WILLIAM HENRY wrote “My paternal grandfather (JOSIAH HEIGHTON) come (sic) to Maryland from Scotland, when a child.” and “It will be seen that we are of Scotch-Irish decent.” I have made no progress in pursuing this heritage.
It should be noted that a single HYDEN, WILLIAM, is said to be born in 1764 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, which is adjacent to Charles Co., MD, thus leaving the door open for the HYTENs to be HYDENs. WILLIAM had a cousin JOSEPH HYDEN born in Virginia about the same time. While William remained a popular name in both the HYTEN and HYDEN families through the generations, the name Joseph rarely was used in either.
There are only 3 or 4 references to HYTEN males that I haven’t been able to trace completely but I do know enough to doubt they could be the source of any of my unconnected HYTENs or HITENs.

For 20 years I was unable to connect this WILLIAM HYTEN to anyone else although his Tennessee birth 1860 Hamilton Co., Il census) would seem to have made him a HYDEN. He married in Southwestern Indiana’s Posey Co. in 1856 but was apparently already living in Hamilton Co., Illinois in 1840. His wife Virginia Cox’s family records list his name as “___ Heighton”.
In late 2009 I finally conncted him ... to the HYDEN family. It had only been a short time before that Hyden researchers had conncted him to the family of Richard Hyden through a series of family lawsits filed in Bradley Co., Tennesse, in the 1850s.
WILLIAM had a son JOSEPH LANE whose middlle name I tought was after a local war hero but now realize was after his gradmother Sara Hyden’s maiden name. A grandson told me that when his ancestors ‘came over the mountains’ they changed their name because of some kind of trouble. This probably refers to the lawsuit.

Montgomery County, Arkansas, records of 1900, 1903, and 1906 document SAMUEL G. HYDEN. The latter two were marriage records signed by SAMUEL with a “X”. By 1910 he is listed as SAMUEL HAYTON and finally 1912 as S.G. HYTEN. His son JESSIE GWINN HYTEN says he officially changed his name but I can’t find any record of that.
SAMUEL GWINN’s death record, which lists his birth year as 1884, says his father’s name was Alfred. There was an appropriate aged Alfred Hyden to fill the position. More research gave ALFRED GILMER HYDEN (1861-1904) and his wife, Sarah Ellen Reece, a family of four including a SAMUEL born around 1886, a little too young but definitely a possibility. ALFRED’s step mother who probably raised him was Lucy Guinn, thus possibly tying SAMUEL GWINN to this ALFRED. The problem is that Sarah is said to have died around 1884, so she would have been died before one of these Samuels was born but not the other, and before census listing the family.
Just about the time I was ready to except the dates as close enough to be recording errors ... maybe she died in childbirth ... I found new ‘facts’ on the internet ... Alfred Hyden married Tennessee Horner/Anthony and they were said to be the parents of SAMUEL GWINN.
While I feel fairly certain that SAMUEL GWINN HYDEN/HYTEN was a son of ALFRED GILMER HYDEN whose father WILLIAM ALEXANDER HYDEN was married in Arkansas, I can not say that with the certainty that a genealogist must.
I think I have everyone from SAMUEL GWINN onward.

From 1810 to 1840 JAMES HITEN was listed in the Harrison County, KY. censuses as Hyton, Hiton, and Highton. In 1850 he finally was HITEN. During this time JAMES HITEN had at least nine children whose names are not listed in census records. It is only by circumstantial evidence that I connected the three Kentucky HITEN branches to him.
I can’t connect JAMES HITEN to the JOSIAH HEIGHTON/HYTENs who lived in a nearby Kentucky county, Montgomery. There is a remote possibility that he could be a son of one of the Joseph Hytens and maybe even a brother of JOSIAH HEIGHTON but that is pure, baseless speculation. There are no other James Hytens in any early generations of the HYTEN families.
There is a JAMES GOFF HYDEN with a similar birth date (1787-1853) but he is very well documented. There is enough information on the only other JAMES HYDEN from the correct era to suggest that he isn’t JAMES HITEN either.
Incidentally, there was a JOHN HETON in nearby Fleming County in 1810. This too might have been a son of one of the Joseph Hytens.

WILLIAM first appears in the 1850 Harrison County, KY, census.
The Lost Kentucky Hiten branch is so named because much of the information about it is very sketchy ... that, and it apparently died out. Virtually every male I discovered was reported under multiple names. In some cases different names can be confidently assigned to the same person ... in other cases, I’m not so sure. It seems there were so many different Williams that nicknames were attached to them ... and census reports do little to help clarify which is which. No living HITEN knows any more than rumors about this branch even though they share similar geographic areas.
There are several males on whom I have incomplete information.

Unlike the other two branches of the senior JAMES’ family, this branch spread out to the south and west of Harrison County. While I think I have accounted for everyone, there were enough multiple marriages to complicate the picture.
An interesting note is that one of the wives, VIRGINIA TUCKER-HITEN, was born in Oklahoma near where the Oklahoma HITENs lived ... and her grandmother’s maiden name was Reese, a name from the HYDEN family tree. These facts may be just a coincident or they may be a connection.
One of JAMES J.’s sons, JAMES T. disappeared.

Early on in my research GENE HYDEN had sent me information on JOHN and his family but I didn’t pay much attention to it as at the time I wasn’t missing any HYTENs. Finally, it dawned on me that Harrison County was just one county northwest of Montgomery County where JOSIAH HEIGHTON/HYTEN raised his family. JOHN’s father JAMES could well have been a cousin of the three HYTEN boys. That’s why I began pursuing the HITEN name.
I believe I have pretty well accounted for everyone in this branch of the HITEN family. I’ve been to Cynthiana, Harrison Co. twice, attending a family reunion and later to begin clearing out an old family cemetery.

Building this man’s tree was a lot of work as the only family members who seemed to want to help really couldn’t. Not only don’t know where HENRY F. HYTEN came from I’m not real sure what his name was. The 1880 Boone Co., IN, census says he was born in Tennessee while the 1900 Jackson Co. one says Kentucky. There is also a record of an Edgar Hiten born in 1839. HENRY’s boys were named HENRY EDGAR and FRANCIS MARION so the F. could be right or could have actually been a E. standing for Edgar, a name he may have eventually went by.
There are no Henrys in the HYTEN tree but there are in HYDEN tree in both Tennessee and Kentucky ... but no Edgars or Francis. Best guess is that he was a HYDEN but I cannot yet make that conection.

A daughter-in-law of GILFORD HUB HITEN (1901-1979), who I had as the first Oklahoma HITEN, traced back two more generations. LILA SWORDS-HITEN found SYLVANUS (CHARLIE) HITEN who the 1900 OK Territory census said was born in Illinois.
Later I found zero year old SYLVANIUS HYDEN in the 1860 Vigo Co., IN census with Catherine (56) and Margaret (27), apparently his mother and grandmother. I am pretty sure that Catherine was the wife of Hiram Hyden the head of the Vigo Co. HYDENs who later became the Edgar Co., IL HYDENs I have not been able to connect these HYDENs with the other HYDENs around the country.
I did find an 1870s magazine article placing him on a farm in Boone County, Arkansas. This is near the unconnected WILLIAM TAYLOR HYTEN/HYDEN family who lived in Johnson Co., AR for over 50 years. The JAMES GOFF HYDENs also passed through Johnson Co. Neither can I connect him to SAMUEL GWINN HYDEN/HYTEN who had been in the Indian territory of Oklahoma at that same time.

JOSEPH’s father was ANDERSON HENRY HYDEN (ca. 1805- ??) from Bradley Co., TN. The 1900 Fayette Co.,AL census listed JOSEPH HEITON but after that he was always a HITEN. His heirs are clearly tracked.
ANDERSON HENRY HYDEN’s father was RICHARD HYDEN (1772-1850), a fourth generation HYDEN and the son of WILLIAM’s. ANDERSON’s brother was WILIAM HYTEN the head of what for years had been the unconnected branch of the HYTEN family.

RUBEN is said to be a Scot who was married in South Africa in 1841 shortly after arriving there. His family tree has been very well researched by both its American and South African members. They have even been to Scotland in a failed attempt to make a direct connection there.
The closest I’ve come to finding a connection there for him or my own Scotch-Irish ancestors is the name Aighton attached to a small fiefdom in the far south east of Scotland where a town by that name still exists. In a highland brogue Aighton could sound like Hyten or for that matter Hyden.

I’ve been able to construct quite an extensive family tree for FRANCIS ... 13 generations and over 1000 names. Admittedly, it has not been done with all due diligence.
My goal was to find a place for all my unconnected HYTENs and HITENs to be attached. The effort must be considered a success because I was able to clarify the known connection of the Tennessee-Alabama HITENs to the HYDENs, find out that WILLIAM HYTEN of the unconnected HYTENs was in fact connected to the HYDENs, and make the probable connection of the Oklahoma HITENs to the HYDENs.
I was left with a rather large number of HYDEN families in Vigo Co., IN; Edgar Co.,IL; Marion Co.,IL; and Effingham Co., IL unconnected to the rest of the HYDENs ... this despite the fact that I know JAMES GOFF HYDEN lived Edgar Co., IL at least in 1830. These families are critical because of (a.) their probable connection to SYLVANUS HYDEN/HITEN and the Oklahoma HITENs and (b. & c.) their possible connection to HENRY F. HITEN.

My goal in writing this is to inspire readers to help me find the answer to who are the ancestors of those at the top of each branch of the HYTEN and HITEN trees and explore the possible connections to the HYDEN family.

EDWARDSVILLE, IL, 62025-1339
(618) 656-4106

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