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Family Links
Christopher Norton
.1718 England
Mary Emmerson b.1735 Goochland, VA

...Thomas Norton b1753 Goochland, VA
...William Norton b1754 Goochland, VA
...Martha Norton b1756 Goochland, VA
...Sarah Norton b1757
Goochland, VA
...John Norton b1759 , VA
......Hiram b.1795 Bourbon, KY
.........Nimrod b.1831 Nicholas, KY
...James Norton b1761 , VA
...David Norton b1763 Fluvanna, VA
......David Jr b.1795, Pendleton, VA
...Elizabeth Norton b1769 Fluvanna, VA
...Milly Norton b1774 Fluvanna, VA

John Norton as the father

Proofs
Christopher Norden and Mary Emmerson
are the parents of this Norton family.


A retired British naval officer settled in Virginia before the Revolution.
The best information
we have about the father of this family is from Nimrod Norton, a great grandson of Christopher Norton. His history is retold in the Poston history and was dictated by Nimrod to his nephew Dr. Charles Norton. There is a second telling in the "Confederate Military History" supplied by Nimrod himself.

"A Commodore Norton resigned from the British Navy and settled either in Virginia or on the shore of Albemarle Sound, N. Carolina, "shortly before" the beginning of the Revolutionary War."
Poston History

"His (Nimrod's) grandfather was John Norton, son of a retired British Naval officer who had settled in Virginia before the Revolution, and gave five sons to the Continental army."
Confederate Military History

In addition we have a third family history also referred to in the Poston History from another source that confirms that the father of the family was a retired British naval officer that settled in Virginia.

Finally we have the record of Eliza Benefiel, a great grand daughter of Christopher Norton. Her history recounts one of his exploits in the navy. (However, she names him as "John" confusing him with John Norton who was the head of the family in Kentucky.)

"...Norton, was born in England in the time of trouble with sea pirates. He went to sea at the age of twelve and was 40 years on the sea. There was one noted pirate that did such havoc to the merchant vessels that England fitted out a vessel expressly to capture him. My grandfather Norton was on the English vessel that followed the pirate five years and finally came on it in a heavy fog in speaking distance. When spoken to they hoisted a black flag. The pirates had two vessels - one very small and tams - the idea was with the English that they would cripple the small vessel first. They shot into it and it sank like a lump of lead. They then attacked the other vessel and had a hard fight with them - finally overpowered them and took them to England. But most all the treasure was on the little vessel. Grandfather said that the money that was on the big vessel was divided among the men and there was a hatful to each man. All treasure was on the little vessel. I did know the names of the two captives and of both the English and pirate vessels which I have often heard my grandfather relate. I don’t doubt it is in the libraries as England fitted out the vessel expressly for the capture of the noted pirate, the event would no doubt be on record."
Eliza Trimble History


The mother of this family was Mary Emmerson who was married Christopher Norden.
Mary Norton is firmly established as the mother because she signed a wedding bond giving permission for her daughter, Milly Norton to marry John Black in Bourbon county, Kentucky.

That she is the daughter of Thomas Emmerson is confirmed in the will of Thomas Emmerson.

"I will and bequeath to my daughter Mary Norton five shillings...."
Will of Thomas Emmerson, Albemarle County Will Book No. 3 1785-1798, pg. 101

The birth of her 2nd son as recorded in the Douglas register also confirms that she is the daughter of Emmerson and married to Christopher Norden. A later entry records the birth of a daughter Martha, but Mary's husband's name is transcribed incorrectly in the printed index. Sometime after 1757 Christopher and Mary began using Norton instead of Norden.

"Christopher Norden & Mary Emmerson a son named William born Jun 13.1754 [Baptized] 1756 June 26."
Douglas Registry book

"Christopher Norden (transcribed Knowling) & Mary Emmerson a daughter named Martha born Oct 28, 1757. Baptized 1757."
Douglas Registry book

Mary Norton also witnesses a land transfer in Albemarle county on land that borders Emmerson family land.

20 Dec 1761 Henry Tilley Jr. & wife Jean (Jane) to Phillip Thurman (This is the fellow who is said to have changed spelling to THURMOND) for L30, 294 acres adj. Rich Meadow; Capt. Jos. Martin, Henry Bunch. Wit: David Thomson, Caty Thomson, Mary Norton.
Albemarle Deed Book 3, p. 211

Christopher and Mary Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of the Commonwealth on 2 Dec 1785. Mary Norton sold this land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788.


Christopher Norden was in Norfolk - James City area from 1747.
The first evidence of Christopher Norden is a lawsuit filed in 1747 at James City that names Charles Friend, mariner v. Christopher Norden. This helps establish him as a mariner, possibly a Captain of a merchant ship because Friend was master of a ship.

Of course the birth records from the Douglas Register above confirm that Christopher Norden was married to Mary Emmerson by 1754 when William Norton was born.


DNA evidence conclusiviely links Norden and Norton
DNA evidence confirms a match of 37/37 markers between the decendants of Robert Norden who came to Virginia as the first Baptist minister in 1714 and the decendants of this Norton family. This DNA evidence gives a 99.4% chance these families have a common ancestor by 1700. There are no other matches to this Norton (or Norden) DNA.

There is an legal entry in 1752 for a land transaction in Sussex county Virginia where the original Robert Norden lived. It was between Robert Norden and George Lathbury. This was settled in James Cittie in 1760 and was settled by Richard Norden. This Robert and Richard Norden are possibly sons of the original Robert Norden who came to Virginia in 1714 and died 1725.


From 1776 to 1784 this Norton family lived in Fluvanna, Virginia.
We know that Fluvanna, VA is the home of this Norton family in Virginia from the Revolutionary War records of David and James Norton.

David's record in particular says he was born in Fluvanna, VA in 1763 while James records that he left from Fluvanna for two of his tours of duty during the Revolution.

The only Norton land in Fluvanna or Albemarle counties of Virginia was owned by Christopher Norton since before 1777. There are 3 records of Christopher Norton in the land record books of Fluvanna, VA. .

DB 1. The first is on page 37. That deed, dated October 1, 1777, is from George Haggard to Abner Barnard. The land sold is on the south side of Mechuck Creek and the land is bounded by Norton's line.

DB1 The second mention is on page 222. The deed, dated July 12, 1779, is from Giles Allegre to Drummond Smithson. The land is on Horsepen Ck. Christopher Norton is listed as a Witness with John Glaspy.

Christopher and Mary Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of the Commonwealth on 2 Dec 1785. He and his wife "Mary" sold that land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788.

Christopher Norton is on the reconstructed tax list of Fluvanna, VA in 1782 with 6 whites in his family.


The children and grandchildren name their children Christopher and Mary.
Milly Norton was the youngest of Christopher and Mary's children. She had 12 children with John Black. Their 8th and 9th children were Mary and Christopher.

Samuel Norton, a son of David (son of Christopher) named one of his sons Christopher.

For the most part, Christopher is left out as a family name. In the historys that came from Springfield, IL and Texas he is referred to only as the "Commodore".

 

 

John Norton as the father
Traditionally, John Norton is named as the father of this family. This tradition seems to stem from three sources.

1) David Norton Jr, a grandson of Christopher Norton joined the Mormon church in 1831 and moved to Utah. This family produced several versions of a family history with John Norton as the father, but without any documentation.

2) A second source is Seller's history of Marion County, South Carolina. Although this history plainly refers to the Norton family that went to Kentucky, we know from DNA that the Nortons referred to in Sellers history are unrelated to the Nortons of Fluvanna, VA.

John Wesley Norton of the Marion, SC Nortons prepared the Norton history for Sellers. It is thought that Nimrod Norton from the Kentucky family met John W Norton in Richmond while he was a member of the Confederate legislature and John W Norton and his sons from Marion SC were serving in the Confederate Army. They were all in the same area for 10months. Perhaps they compared family notes and decided that the William Norton in Marion/Horry was their relation. DNA has proved that there is no connection. But John Wesley included the Kentucky story in his information to Sellers.

3) A third source of the tradition and the only incidence of John Norton being referred to directly as the father of this family is from Eliza Trimble's history.

My grandmother, Elizabeth (Norton) Benefiel, as the daughter of John Norton and was born May 1, 1769. Her father, John Norton, was born in England in the time of trouble with sea pirates. He went to sea at the age of twelve and was 40 years on the sea.

Eliza Trimble was born 28 years after Christopher Norton died and may have remembered the name of her grandmother Elizabeth's brother, John Norton. This John Norton apparently inherited from his father Christopher and was the principal Norton land owner of Bourbon, KY.

This John Norton signed on the 1792 marriage bonds of Milly Norton to John Black in Bourbon, KY. This is almost certainly Millys brother John. Milly's mother, Mary Norton gives permission for the marriage. It is doubtful that Mary Norton would have had to sign permission if her husband was still alive. John Norton also served with Milly's husband in the Revolution. Mary Norton's signature