Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The 1810 Kentucky census lists James Hyton in Harrison County and John Heton in Fleming County, both with children. Both are about the right age to be the sons of Joseph Hyten, Jr. as suggested in the last of the "Hytens Before 1800" Family Tree possibilities in Chapter 2. Combined with the fact that these two counties are just to the north of the HYTEN base in Montgomery County, it is not unreasonable to assume that we are looking at branches of the HYTEN family. That remains unproven. With the information available this would probably only be true if Joseph Hyten, Jr. and Josiah Hyten were brothers (see the second of the Family Tree possibilities). Unfortunately Joseph is enough older than Josiah to make that doubtful.
John Heton and his family of six females aged 10 to 16 and one male 10-16 disappeared but James Hyton can be linked to future generations of Harrison County HITENs. In the four censuses between 1810 and 1840 James’ last name would be spelled Hyton, Hiton, and Highton. In 1850 the spelling became HITEN. Arriving at James Hiten as the head of the HITEN Family Tree took a lot of research but also quite a bit of deductive reasoning, the kind that purest genealogists don’t readily accept.

What I had was James Hiten with a fairly consistent family over a period of thirty years. Unfortunately it was a family without names as in those early censuses only the head of household was named. Adding to the confusion was the custom of grouping of others in the household into wide age brackets which differed from census to census. From later censuses I had three distinct HITEN families in the same region of Kentucky, those of William, James J., and John William, all born between 1812 and 1828.

Tying the latter three to James proved difficult because the census records began including family members’ names all of James’ children who had married. There are no birth or marriage records tying those early HITENs together. It is only through land transactions which I assumed to be made between family members that I can connect them to each other.

The 1810 census lists the James Hyton household as one male 16-26 and one female 10-16. This was probably James (1788- ) and Polly (Mary) (1785-1858) since neither had yet married although her birth date doesn’t quite match. Marriage records show the younger James marrying Nancy Polk or Pock (1786- ) in 1811 and Polly Hiten marrying John Adam Pock/Polk in 1812. (Although the name is spelled both ways in indexes it is Pock on the latter couple’s tombstones.)
In the 1820 Harrison County, KY census in addition to three boys and three girls, James Highton is listed with two 18-25 year old males. They are too old to be his sons so I assume they are his brothers which would complete the probable family grouping of Joseph Hyten, Jr.’s children. That could make John Heton who wasn’t listed anywhere in 1820 as one of them.
James Hiten’s family grew and then declined as members were married off. The number of HITEN families in Harrison County, KY grew as the size of James’ declined. Using the age spreads from the 1810-40 censuses I developed a chart comparing the ages of his children in each census. This led to the conclusion that he probably had ten children between 1800 and 1828. From the actual birth dates of HITENs that appeared in later censuses I tentatively identified eight of those children.
Two of those, James J. (1823- ) and John W. (1828-ca.1880) would be the heads of my two clear-cut Kentucky branches. A third branch under William (1812-1850/1) is less clear but I have pieced together a logical scenario from him to modern times. Four of James’ daughters were probably Polly (Mary), Emily, Catherine, and Elizabeth (1826-?). A son and daughter who were gone by 1830 remain unidentified.
Polly (Mary) (ca.1804/15-?) married twice. Her first marriage to Alphues Courtney, in 1829 resulted in three children while her second to Joel Fields, Sr. in 1837 yielded four offspring. Emily (ca.1811/20-?) married John (Cooper) Courtney in 1841 and they had a daughter, Nancy Catherine (1842-1917). Another daughter, Catherine (ca.1820/25-?), married another Courtney, Absolum, also in 1841. I don’t think they had any children nor did the final daughter, Elizabeth (1826-?). She married Job Funkhouser in 1850 and they were living with James and Nancy at the time of the census.

It was using information derived from the Harrison County, KY, First Deed Index during an August 13, 2001 visit to the county vault that I concluded that my theory about James and his off-spring was probably correct. Of those I assumed to be his children only Catherine Hiten - Courtney and Elizabeth Hiten - Funkhouser aren’t included somewhere in these deeds.

James Hiten first bought land in Harrison County, KY in 1815 when he purchased 55 acres from Jacob Fry. In 1836 he bought 36 acres from W. Holt and in 1841 sold parcels of 24 and 40 acres at Mill’s Farm to R. Madison.

The records from 1851 onwards are probably the transactions of his son James J. Hiten (1823-ca.1895) who married in 1848. In 1854 and 1857 he bought four parcels totaling 21 acres from various Fightmasters who could have been his in-laws. In 1857 he bought 15 acres from his brother-in-law John Courtney (Emily’s husband) and 1858 sold 17.75 acres to Jno. Hieton (his brother, John W. Hiten). Before his final purchase of land on Twin Creek from W.H. Fightmaster, he had bought some 67 acres from others.

John W. Hiten’s (1828-ca.1890-5) various deeds stretched from 1854 to 1895. His purchases totaled over 77 acres. In 1884 he bought 5 acres from Emily Courtney (his sister Emily Hiten-Courtney). In 1891 he bought land from W. Hiten (his nephew William I. Hiten) and from the J.J. Hiten (probably the heirs of his brother James J.).

William Hiton (1812-ca.1850-1) bought a couple 16 acre parcels in 1856. In 1860 Mary Hiten, who I assume to be his wife, Mary Ann Fields-Hiten (1818-1882), received 90 acres from Wm. Hieton which I assume is a settlement of his estate as he apparently passed away sometime between 8-24-1850 and 11-9-1851 when she remarried to Alfred Courtney. There is also an 1875 transaction of 69 acres between her and Elizabeth Hamilton who would have been her daughter, Sarah E. Hiten-Hamilton (1846-1928).

Three later transactions between 1888 and 1890 by Mary Hiten must be those of Mary E. Bowman-Hiten (1858-1900), particularly since the first is to one Edward Bowman. Since her husband Thomas Hiten (1858-1917) was still alive I assume that she was selling land she had inherited.

From 1884 to 1891 William Hiten sold five times and bought once. I’m guessing that these transactions were those of William’s son William Irwin Hiten ( 1844-1928). The first was to Mary Courtney, his father William’s wife’s remarried name. The final sale was to his brother, John W. Hiten.

Listed under the name William Hiton from 1866 to 1884 are nine deeds which I attribute to William Hiten’s estate. One for 18 acres is to his daughter Sarah E. Hiten-Hamilton, another of 75 acres is to his son, Brice, and one of 11 acres is to his brother, James J. Hiten. The last two in 1883 passed 112 acres to his son Wm. Irwin Hiten who hadn’t been married too long at the time.

(Wesley) William J. Hiten (1842-1907) and separately his wife Martha Jane Courtney-Hiten(1852-1926) made five and one transactions each. He bought one piece from James Fields who was probably his cousin and sold to Mary C. Day who is probably his sister, (Tina) Mary C. Hiten-Day McLoney (1850- ??). Martha bought land in 1893 from Elizabeth May.

(Given that some of William Hiten’s land is transferred to his son William Irwin Hiten but none to Worthy or Wortley G. whose name only appears in census reports, it is my guess that Wortley is in fact Wesley (William) J. Hiten whose name may have been mis-transcribed as William J. when it was in fact Wesley J. Hiten. The fact that both had the same birth year and William J. can’t be attached anywhere else, makes me comfortable in declaring Wortley or Wesley and William J. are one and the same person.)

I apologize to genealogy purists because I realize virtually all my conclusions in this chapter are based on conjecture. For me conjecture is a tool, a starting place, which has very often been proven by facts that I may not have looked for if I hadn’t been convinced of my theories.

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