Tuesday, May 1, 2012



Over the years I have received a great many copies of letters and documents as well as clippings and photographs.  Each of them has its own value to individual readers.  I have selected a few things that I thought would be of interest to all readers of this book. Each selection is preceded by the name of the author or  subject.  My own comments or observations are in parentheses and italics.

1.  A William Henry Hyten Remembrance
Willam Henry Hyten (1823-1911) wrote this, which is the oldest direct remembrance I have obtained.

“ This is September 3rd 1894.  8:00

It is by the request of some of my family that I jot down some of the facts of the history of my family as it should occur to me from time to time.  I am among the oldest of the family now living; that my tremendous nerves will suggest as I go along writing it.  I shall try to make it readable.

My name in full is; William Henry Hyten; named for General (Tippecanoe) Wm. H. Harrison.  (Fighter of Indians in Indiana and ninth president.)  I was born on the 12th day of October 1823 in Montgomery County, Ky., 5 miles west of Mt. Sterling; near Grass Lick Baptist Church.  (Grassy Lick Methodist Church is 4.5 miles west of the Montgomery County Courthouse.)

When I was 3 years old my Father (William Caywood Hyten) bought a farm consisting of 105 acres, 2 miles farther on the road to Mt. Sterling (That would be near a modern-day church on the north side of Grassy Lick Road.), of one John Todd, on which was a good 2 story brick house, & stone stable to which we moved in the fall of 1826.

I attended school at Grass-Lick Church, I went to the same school with the  noted John Williams, Noted rebel in the late war.  Also Tom Johnson, who became to be a noted wealthy capitalist.

My father, William Caywood Hyten was born near Hagerstown, Maryland on 17th of Jan, 1790, and lived to be near 94 years old.  (I don't think he was born near Hagerstown because that is not in Montgomery County where other sources say he was born.)  He died near Danville, Ind.

My paternal grandfather (Josiah Heighton) come to Maryland from Scotland, when a child.  My mother was Eliza Darnell; born in Montgomery Co., Ky. in the year 1801.  Father and Mother were married in the year 1816.

My maternal grandfather, Henry Darnell was born in Maryland, his ancestors came from Scotland near 300 years ago.  (That would be before 1600.)  He was a preacher of the gospel and belonged to the christian (Campbellite) church.

My maternal grandmother was Sally Turpin, of the French Family of Turpins.  Some of whom is spoken of in the French Wars of a century and a half back.

He lived to be 107 years old; died about 1837. 

His wife lived to be 113 years old.  After each of them passed the century line VIZ; I saw them at our house, just before we started to move from Kentucky.  (I don't think they were 100 yet in 1833)  There was there at the same time, Grandfather Darnell's mother at the time was 103 years old.

The (sic) Turpin and wife were very small people, he weighed 105 pounds, and was 5 feet 2 inches tall, she 96 lbs. and 4 1/2 tall.

It will be seen that we are of Scotch-Irish decent, with the French taint through the Turpins.  I have never met or heard of any of the name Hyten-Turpin-Darnell-Caywood or Carrington that we, the Hytens are not akin to.

My mother (Elizabeth was ) a Darnell; her mother a Turpin.

My father's mother (Rebecca) was a Caywood, _______ married a Hyten.  He died then she married a (James) Gorrell, so that I have a half uncle -- James Gorrel and an aunt Harriet Gorrel -- she first married her cousin Rashe Caywood -- who died and she married a man by the name of Cox, He is now dead and she lives with a son in Crawfordsville, Ind.

(William Hyten, the head of the unconnected branch, married Virginia Cox in Posey County, Indiana, in 1857.  Given all the interconnection of families,  that strengthens the probablity that he is one of us.)

My grandmother Gorrel had one sister who was the wife of Uncle Tom Carrington, as everyone knew him.  He left a large family near Russelville and near Danville, Ind.   (Carringtons are also connected with Stephen Henson Hyten's family in Callaway County, Missouri.)

The Caywood's and the McDaniels inter-married, so that the Hytens and McDaniels are of kin.

My mother had several brothers and sisters, VIZ:  Ezekiel, Zacariah, Turpin, and Harrison (Wm.H.) the yougest, and sisters Metilda, Swain, Polly Flathers.

Grandfather Darnell came from Maryland to Kentucky before it was a state, when it was full of indians and wild beasts.  He was the appointed Gov't Ohio River pilot over the Louisville Falls.  His pay for the service was by allowance of a land claim for 100 acres, on which Louisville now stands.

A quar (queer) freak of himself and since then his children is, that, that claim was never looked after; often talked of but nothing was ever done or tried.  He also had a Gov't patent for some hundreds of acres of land at Vincennes, obtained fr services as land surveyor of lands in that locality.  Singular indeed, This claim was left as the other -- never looked after by him or his children, land at the time being so low, I suppose was the cause of their negligence.  They often talked of it but put it off.

One of the curious happenings at that time was the capture of a brother of grandfather Darnell's, by indians.  They kept him 4 months.  He escaped at night, barefoot, walked 60 miles to the camp of the whites through deep snow; lost both of his feet.

My father had two full brothers; Henson Hyten (Stephen Henson)  moved from Fleming Co. to Mo. in the fall of 1831, and Otha Hyten (Thomas Otho)  went from Ky. to Ill. about 1835.  In age my father was between them.  (Actually he was the oldest.)  Henson lived to be 90 years old.  Each of them left families.  (This mention of Stephen being in Fleming Co. would seem to confirm that the Stephen H. Hiten who appears in the 1820 census of that county is Stephen Henson Hyten.)

Father and family left the old home in Ky. on the 12th day of October 1833.

Grandfather Darnell's family had preceeded us by 2 years, himself did not come with the family -- He being Sheriff, and the Laws of the state was so that he could not resign the office.  He remained and lived at our house until his time was up, then he come with us to Indiana.  We were 11 days on the road.  We moved in with grandfather's family and so remained most of the winter.  The house consisted of two square cabins of round logs 14 by 16 feet square and stood 8 feet apart, all covered under one clapboard roof, forming an entry (so called in those days) between,  One story high with 8 ft. porch extending full length of one side.

There was about 14 all told that wintered in that house.

There was 80 acres of as heavy timbered lands as Indiana afforded lying close to this, -- yet vacant, so father entered it at $1.25 an acre or $100.00 for the 80 acres.  He gave one Tom Potts ten dollars to chop the timber 12 ft. ready to roll (pile).

He hired one Billy Williams to hue and make ready, the logs for a house 18 by 26 ft. 1 1/2 story.  It was well put up for the times.  There was not a sawed plank in it, covered with split 4 ft. boards, held down with poles and was so called.  Split puncheons for floors, the same but thin for loft, laid on poles, doors shuttered the same, clay chimney, bed-steads had one post with side and end rails let into either wall -- then split boards laid on for bed cord.  Now this was much the best house in 5  miles and up for at least 5 years.  There was an 80 acre tract lying by the side of this owned by one McPeters; Father bought it for $2.50 per acre, on it was a deadening of 20 acres, ready for the fire so we got in 10 acres of corn the first year; That was a rare chance; as most new comers had to start in the green."

2. Another William Henry Hyten Remembrance
This was copied by Bertha L. Doyle, daughter of Mary Clay Hyten Goff, daughter of William Henry  Hyten the author of the above, and was never completed.  January 16th, 1929.

“ Letter Dictated by Rev. W. H. Hyten of Ladoga Indiana Aug. 1908.
To the Turpin Reunion Gathering.

..........................On the 12th day of October 1833, my father Wm. C. Hyten with his family left the old home Montgomery Co. Ky., to settle in HendricksCo. Ind.;  It was on my 10th birthday that we left the "Old Kentucky Home".  Of course everybody cried.  Blacks as well as whites.  All cried.  Father owned five of them; they were allowed to choose their new masters regardless of price.

Tweo days before we started  there was an old friends meeting at our house. That was the 10th of October 1833.  20 or 25 persons was present and among them was the two old people.........Henry James Turpin & Sarah, his wife;  represented at that time to be , he 107, she 104 years of age.  .................. There was present at the time my grandfather Henry Darnell, his family was in Indiana (wife Harriet, Polly, Matilda, Zacariah & others).  They moved to Indiana one year before.  He was sherrif (sic) of Montgomery County and according to the law at that time he could not resign the office, so he lived at our house until we moved.  We  were 18 days on the road, or rather:  getting through the woods and stick ponds.  Landed three miles north of Danville, Ind. about Nov. 1st.

By tradition we learned that the Turpin families as well as Darnall families emigrated to this country 400 years ago.  (That is doubtful since that would be place the immigration around 1500.)  I know of no record giving light on the subject.  I suppose it will remission; what a pity too that some one of our ancestors did not make study of our genealogy long ago.  We became lost in history when our ancestors moved west to the wilderness thereby lost the benefit of schools and the history of the world.

It was in the earliest days of the setting up of Kentucky that the Turpins and Darnells left Maryland and Virginia crossed over to Kentucky, the date I can't give you but I share the word of my grandmother Sally Turpin (-Darnall) that herself and Nancy were then girls when the emigrants built the arch of block houses near where Lexington (Ky.) now stands, describing the circle as half moon in shape.  The spring which the using  water was to be had in as much as the Indians would not fire on children, it was the custom to send them for water;  two or three times the Indians run in from either side trying to cut the children off from entering the circle of block houses had they suceeded would have captured the children and carried them off.   But the women in case of such cases would cross fire through the post holes, and they were expert rifle shots.  Indians frequently would succeed in the capture of the children, hold them a while, then sell them back to the whites........................"

3.  JOSIAH HEIGHTON (1769-1810)
(The following Bill Of Sale is in Deed Book C of Montgomery County, Maryland, on pages 566-7.)

"At the request of William Vears the following bill of sale was recorded this the 26th day of July 1787 to wit,  Know all men by these presents that I Joseph Heighton, of Montgomery Conty and state of Maryland for and in consideration of nineteen hundred and one pound of crop tabacco and fifty three shillings current money to me in hand paid by William Vears of the county and state aforesaid have bargined sold released granted and confirmed and by three presents do bargin sell release and grant and confirm unto the said William Vears his heirs and assigns forever two cows and calves one yearly oxen sheep eleven hogs all marked with a crop and under bit in the left ear and two under bits in the right ear three beds and furniture one chest and table pewter Casons one dish and six plates two Iron pots one kettle one iron oven one loom two chairs one linen and one woolen wheel one box Iron and a parcel of tabacco in a bulk to have and to hold all and singular the said goods implements of household stuff and plantation utensils and every of them by the only proper use and behoof of said William Vears his Executors administrators ....................

Signed and sealed in the presence of  Tho P Willson  Richard Wootoon.

Joseph Heighton  "X" his mark.  Seal......................"

(It is possible that this was Joseph Hyten,Jr. not Josiah Heighton, but I think it was the latter.  It would seem from the extent of the sale that either he was moving or clearing out an estate.  This is the first legal document other than a census with the name HYTEN in it.)

4. The $5 Million Dollar Inheritance
By the time I got interested in my family tree, my grandfather George Robert Hyten had been dead for thirty years. While he had been alive I don’t think I ever asked him anything about our family’s history and I can’t remember him ever having volunteered anything.
When I did start asking questions in the late 1980s, two of my aunts, Ann Lorraine Hyten-Streif-Martesen and Dorothy Ellen Hyten-McKinney, related a similar, incomplete story ... that of a huge inheritance from relatives in far off England.  Because of this mysterious inheritance that grandpa was never able to collect I concluded that the HYTENs must be English.
It wasn’t till 1998 that I found any firm evidence of this story ... and that didn’t really clear up anything. It just made me interested in finding out more about the family of my great grandmother whose name I bore as my middle name ... SPENCER.
When Wilbur George Hyten died his widow, Gerry, passed two letters on to my father, Robert Spencer Hyten, Sr. They had been among the papers of their father, Bob or George Robert, of whom Wilbur had been estate executor.
The following are the texts of those letters. Letter #1, written in pencil and sent to George Robert Hyten in 1925, is from his aunt, Lucretia Mackett. In it she tells of a letter she received from her cousin, Ella Spencer-Birch (Letter #2) telling of the search for the heirs of a $5 million dollar estate.


Dear Nephew,
            Enclosed you will find a letter that I received from my cousin and your mother’s cousin Ella Spencer Birch. I don’t know whether you remember Ella Spencer or not, her husband was cashier at the Neoga Bank and has been dead for 25 years. Now if that was my father’s cousin that died in New York he must have got the estate from England or at least part of it or he couldn’t have left five million dollars. Now I have taken off all the names of my father’s family which is in his Bible here. They date as far back as 1718 but it (didn’t) tell where any of them were from and I have sent them to Ella as she that (sic) friend in New York City to help.
Now what has to be done is trace back that Enid Spencer’s back ancestors and that will be apt to hit some of these that my father has written down in his Bible here, and it seems to me then that my fathers families (sic) history can then be traced back through this Enid Spencer’s history as we are all the same family. Bob, read this enclosed letter carefully and see what you think about it. and it is in your interest as much as the rest and I know that you understand these things better than I do for I am too feeble to bother out much of anything now. I know that my father said that we were the descendants of the Earl of Spencer in England and that there was a fortune there for us if we could get it, as Ella says - sometimes them things turn out something and sometimes they don’t turn out anything. I don’t have a bit of faith in it at all.  Bob, don’t loose this letter but keep it. I mean the one that Ella wrote. with love and best wishes to all

Your Aunt

Lucretia Mackett

            Neoga, Ill
            Oct. 3rd  25
Mrs. Lucretia Mackett
Greencastle, Ind.

Dear cousin - you will be surprised to hear from me - I had wondered about you all - but never knew where you were.  but in writing to John Spencer - at Leedersburg (?) Ind. he told me that you spent part of your time at your sons at Greencastle & gave me the address.
I got a letter the 12th of August from Walter Spencer ( uncle Cal Spencer’s son ) from Sacramento Calif. saying a cousin of our fathers had died in N. York.  his name Enid Spencer & left 5 million.  he wanted to know our grandfathers name & where in England he was born.  said he was sure he was a cousin & if we could prove back was a good show to fall heir to a good bit of money. didn’t tell any particulars as to when he died or anything & a 2nd letter didn’t tell anything.  since that I found out our grandfathers name was Samuel Spencer but I am not going to tell him this unless he comes across & tells what he knows for in a 2nd letter on(?) information.
there were 9 in family as I have it. We have a friend in N.Y. City that can help.
Do you know anything that would help - I know our grand parents come from England to Virginia - then went to Ky. and aunt Lucretia said our grand mother Rachel Spencer brot (sic) a letter from the Episcopal church of Eng. and went to Virginia.  1st then to Ky. but Ido not know where in England. some times these things don’t amount to anything & again they do.  let’s try for it any how.  if you know any thing tell me & I’ll keep you posted.  as it would pay to do it - I suppose a good lawyer would be needed.
I am still living in Neoga - my 4 children married. I have a big house- 2 apt. & transient roomers on my side. A married son & daughter living in town.  tell me about yourself & children
with love    your cousin    Ella Spencer Birch

5. The Spencer Family
 George Robert Hyten’s connection to the Spencers mentioned in the letter was his mother, Eliza Jane Spencer - Hyten, the wife of his father, J.R. Hyten.  As noted in the letter, she can be traced back four generations into Kentucky as far back as 1718. I don’t know the source of the following information which was on a paper I obtained from my father, Robert Spencer Hyten, Sr.


CALEB SPENCER ( b. 1718)

            WALTER SPENCER ( b. 4/13/1761. d. 8/22/1837)
            m. SARAH ( b.1756, d. 2/15/1826)

                        SAMUEL SPENCER ( b.11/28/1780, d. 6/11/1856)
                        (Lived in Carrol County, KY)
                        m. REBECCA ( b. 4/3/1790, d. 1/13/1833)

                                    JOHN WESLEY SPENCER ( b. 2/2/1818, Carrol Co.,KY, d. 1897)
                                    m. MARIA ( b. 7/28/1818, d. 5/3/1868)

                                                ELIZA JANE SPENCER (b. 11/12/1851, d. 10/7/1877
                                                m. J. R. HYTEN “

It should be noted that when Ella Spencer Birch wrote the second letter, she was living in Neoga, IL, where Thomas Otho Hyten settled in 1840. Lucretia Mackett was living in Greencastle, IN, near where Dr. William Henry Hyten raised his family in the 1800s.
From the contents of these letters it would appear that Lucretia Mackett was a sister of John Wesley Spencer’s daughter Eliza Jane Spencer - Hyten. Since Ella Spencer Birch is a cousin of Lucretia, she apparently was the child of a brother of John Wesley Spencer. Ella also refers to “our” grandfather Samuel.
Uncle Cal Spencer could have been another brother of John Wesley Spencer. The cousin “of our fathers” who died, Enid Spencer, could have been the son of a brother of Samuel Spencer.
I don’t know how John Spencer fits into the picture.
Ella’s letter seems to indicate that Samuel Spencer and his wife came from England to Virginia and then Kentucky, and that his wife’s name may have been Rachel rather than Rebecca.
A quick check of census records found a Walter Spencer in Henry Co., KY in 1810. In both 1820 and 1830 there was a Samuel Spencer in Gallatin Co., KY. Parts of both these counties were to be taken to make up Carroll County in 1838. Carroll County is where our Samuel Spencer is said to have lived and his son John Wesley Spencer was to have been born. There are other Samuel Spencers in Kentucky in those censuses, but none in that part of the state. There are Spencers in Fleming and Bourbon counties which was HYTEN territory at that time.
Marriage records also provide some information. On Oct. 15, 1799, Hephizibah Spencer, indicated as the daughter of Walter, married John McClain in Shelby Co.,KY. While Shelby County is well southwest of  Carroll County, the date makes this a very likely connection ... Hephizibah is probably a sister of Samuel Spencer.
From 1837 to 1898 there are a series of Spencer marriages in the adjacent Illinois counties of Coles, Shelby, and Cumberland ... the later two in which Thomas Otho Hyten settled. One of those is that on March 24, 1867 of Eliza Jane Spencer to  John R. Highton who is John R. Hyten, my great-grandfather. Another on July 28, 1858 is that of his brother Hugh A. Hyten to Cynthia H. Barnett. While I haven’t yet made up a family tree joining the others, they are all obviously related. Some of them will be Eliza’a siblings while others are those of Lucretia and Ella.

6. From The Carrington Family Histories
Samuel and Milla/Mildred (McDonald) Carrington are found in Charles County, Maryland. Land records of Jan. 8, 1782. They lived in Montgomery County, MD, before, in 1804, going to Mt. Sterling, KY’s Grassy Lick Creek area, where Josiah Heighton/Hyten raised his family. Samuel died there in 1810.
In 1804 their son Thomas (born 11-20-1782 either in KY or in Montgomery Co., MD) married Elizabeth Caywood, who was born 2-27-1786, the sister of Josiah’s wife, Rebecca. They moved to Montgomery Co., KY (Mt. Sterling). In 1835 Thomas and Elizabeth moved to Putnam Co., IN, where William Henry Hyten was to reside after 1856.
Another of their sons, Samuel C. Carrington III, a non-slave holder, moved to nearby Hendricks County, Indiana in 1835 and bought land four miles north of Danville or a mile north of William Caywood Hyten who had arrived two years earlier. William Henry said his family “often spoke of Scotch-Irish descent. His Carrington cousins did also.” “they were a jovial lot, also those Caywoods, Hytens and Carringtons.”
Samuel often spoke of his Scotch-Irish decent.

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