Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Between 1796 and 1800, Josiah Heighton/Hyten moved his family to Kentucky. They settled in Montgomery County which at the time covered a great deal of Eastern Kentucky. Now Montgomery County, KY. is just east of Lexington, KY. Just forty miles or so to the northeast in Harrison County the 1810 census listed James Hyton the head of the HITEN families. John Heton, who may have been James’ brother lived fifteen miles to the north in Fleming County.

When William Henry Hyten was born in 1823, the family was on a farm five miles west of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, near Grass Lick Methodist Church*. A 1823 map shows Mt. Sterling, which is now the county seat of Montgomery County, at the intersection of six major roads that crossed the area. Right up to the 1980s the major crop grown in the area was tobacco just as it had been in Charles County, Maryland from which Josiah Heighton/ Hyten had brought his family. Only an occasional small plot of tobacco stands to-day. Most of the land in the area lies fallow.
(* Today in 2001 that church still exists. Grassy Lick Methodist Church claims to be the oldest Methodist church in Kentucky. The present brick structure was built in 1856 and has a plaque outside commemorating its longevity.
Heading west on High St., the street on the north side of the Montgomery County court house, it is 4.5 miles out High St. and Grassy Lick Road to a T-intersection. The church lies just around the corner to the left.)

In the fall of 1826 the Hytens moved two miles further down the road toward Cynthiana to a 105 acre farm that William Caywood Hyten bought from James Todd. The farm had a 2-story brick house and a stone stable. At that point in the road today there stands a modest farm on the south, a mansion-like house on the north, and a big church complex just west of that. It is easy to picture the entire area as it was in the early 1800’s as you drive the narrow winding road.
What is surprising is that there are no court records in Montgomery County, KY, that refer to HYTENs of any spelling.

The Beers and Lanagan “1879 Map of Montgomery County, Kentucky” doesn’t show any HYTENs owning property which isn’t surprising since they had all been gone at least thirty-five years by then. It does indicate several land owners whose names frequent the HYTEN / HITEN Family Trees. Using the Grassy Lick church as a reference point, J. McDaniel lived straight north. G.W. Goodpaster (a name from the HITEN Family Tree) was just east of him and C.O. Moberly and R. Goodpaster next further east. North of them was W.A. Boyd. In the far northern reaches of the county five miles away there was J. McDaniel, H. Caywood, J. Arnold, and W.Flanders. S.Carrington lived about two miles ENE of town.
Today there are a lot of Goodpasters in the Mt. Sterling phone book as well as Darnells, Carringtons, Caywoods, McDaniels, and Boyds.

When Josiah Heighton died is not known as he just seems to have disappeared after the 1810 census of Montgomery County, Ky. What we do know is that wife Rebecca remarried to James Gorrel on May 13, 1816 in Bath County, KY. which is immediately north of Montgomery County, KY. When Rebecca died in 1849 she was in Indiana with her son, William Caywood Hyten. Supposedly she was buried in the family plot on his farm but there is no legible stone with her name there.
Another source says that Rebecca had two children by Gorrel; a son, James, born in 1816, and a daughter, Harriet. It says she later moved with the two children to Indiana where they lived with her son James until she died. That may have been until he died since I know she was with William Caywood Hyten when she died.

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